Highlights:

  1. PM assures government will find temple riots mastermind
  2. Home Minister: Developer’s hired hands trespassed into temple – Muhyiddin
  3. Law firms deny hiring thugs in temple riots case
  4. SC Continues to drive digitisation of the Malaysian Capital Market

PM gives assurance government will find temple riots mastermind
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today gave the assurance that the government will find the mastermind behind the riots near a Hindu temple in Selangor early Monday and yesterday. A firefighter was seriously injured, several other people were also hurt, 23 cars were torched and a section of the One City Mall was damaged during the riots in the vicinity of the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in USJ 25, Putra Heights, near Subang Jaya. “We are trying our best to find the culprit. We do not have much evidence but the police will conduct a thorough investigation to find out who was responsible,” he said at a media conference in Kuala Lumpur. Tun Dr Mahathir was also critical of two lawyers who allegedly hired a group of people to occupy the temple, saying it was done without thinking of the consequences. “These foreigners do not understand the culture of Malaysians. You cannot do that. If we find out who is the one who did this, I think the AG and lawyers have to find some case against it.”

Earlier, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin disclosed that lawyers of the developer company had hired a group of Malays to occupy the temple. He said a police investigation reveals that lawyers from the developer company hired a group of Malay men to “take control” of the situation at the Hindu temple but they intruded into the house of worship. Tan Sri Muhyiddin said two lawyers of the company, One City Development Sdn Bhd, were among the 21 people the police have arrested to assist in the investigation into the riots. He added that the head of the group of men had been given RM150,000 to “exercise control” over the temple and that the 50 people hired for the task had been paid between RM150 and RM300 each.

In a related development, legal firm Skrine today denied that its lawyers were involved in the hiring of thugs that led to the riots. The firm’s partner, Khoo Guan Huat, said in a statement that none of the firm’s lawyers have been arrested by the police and the firm has no knowledge, whatsoever, of the alleged hiring of thugs. He said the firm condemns in the strongest terms any such action.

SC Continues To Drive Digitisation of the Malaysian Capital Market
The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) today urged financial services providers to embrace technology to develop a more inclusive, innovative and efficient capital market, in line with the government’s agenda to support the growth of the digital economy. Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng, who officiated the SCxSC Fintech Conference 2018, shared details regarding the recently announced co-investment fund (CIF) for equity crowdfunding (ECF) and peer-to-peer (P2P) financing. The CIF is part of the government’s initiative to enhance access to financing for the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which traditionally face challenges in obtaining financing to catalyse their growth.

Meanwhile, SC Chairman Datuk Syed Zaid Albar outlined the progress of the SC’s Digital Markets Strategy. He said: “technology and innovation, if deployed within the framework of robust safeguards, can be harnessed to transform markets for the benefit of investors, intermediaries and the economy at large.” Syed Zaid highlighted that alternative market-based financing initiatives, namely ECF and P2P, continued to show strong progress. To date, the 13 ECF and P2P registered platforms have collectively raised more than RM200 million for nearly 500 MSMEs. To scale up this segment, the SC is assessing new applicants for both ECF and P2P platforms, and is expected to make an announcement in the first half of 2019. Additionally, the SC has received strong interest from new and existing capital market players to offer automated discretionary portfolio management services under the Digital Investment Management (DIM) framework.