News Snippets: 3 July 2018

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Highlights:

  1. Najib arrested
  2. Government to review tourism tax
  3. MITI to discuss Malaysia’s positioning as major trade player
  4. Pikom expects 5.4 per cent rise in average ICT monthly salary for 2018

Najib arrested
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has been arrested at his residence in Langgak Duta at around 3pm today. Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) sources e havconfirmed the arrest. It is learnt that Datuk Seri Najib has been taken to the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya. He is expected to be charged tomorrow.

Government to review tourism tax
The government will review whether to retain the tourism tax to ensure that it would not affect tourist arrivals to the country. Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said the flat rate of RM10 per room per night charged on foreign tourists needed to be reviewed to determine whether it was reasonable or too high. “If we have the tax too high, people will not want to visit the country, but if we impose a moderate tax or even an acceptable tax more people will come,” he said this in his first media conference as a Minister. The tourism tax, which came into effect on 1 September 2017, charges a flat rate of RM10 per room per night on foreigners staying in hotels or registered private accommodation.

MITI to discuss Malaysia’s positioning as major trade player
Strengthening Malaysia’s position in trade is the top agenda of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry under newly-appointed Minister, Darell Leiking. He said he would discuss trade policies and the government’s direction with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow. “It is too early to comment on it as this is the first day of us entering office.”

Pikom expects 5.4 per cent rise in average ICT monthly salary for 2018
The National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Association of Malaysia (Pikom) expects the overall average monthly salary of ICT professionals this year to rise 5.4 per cent to RM9,389 from RM8,908 in 2017. Research Committee Chair, Woon Tai Hai said among the five main categories of positions, namely fresh graduates, junior executives, senior executives, managers and senior managers, the expected rise in senior manager’s salary this year is 5.9 per cent followed by managers at 5.7 per cent. “However, the projected overall average monthly salary for all categories this year will still be lower than the average annual growth rate of seven per cent recorded between 2009 and 2017,” he added. He was speaking to reporters at the launch of the 11th edition of the ICT Job Market Outlook in Malaysia. Woon said the Malaysian ICT industry’s salary scale must be competitive in the region to mitigate the risk of a brain drain of talent, particularly in the cybersecurity sector.

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