May to make MPs a final ‘bold offer’ on Brexit deal

<p>BRITISH Prime Minister Theresa May said today she was preparing to make a &#8220;bold offer&#8221; to MPs in one final attempt to get them to back her Brexit deal.</p> <p>May said that when she brings the Withdrawal Agreement Bill before parliament early next month, it will come with a new package of measures attached that she hopes can command majority support.</p>

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Char Kuey Teow Jalan Batai has moved to Shah Alam

Char Kuey Teow with duck egg.

For those who loved the old first generation Jalan Batai Char Kuey Teow (Damansara Height’s Seng Lee kopitiam) back in the days, you’re in luck – you can now find the original uncle manning a Char Kuey Teow stall at Sen Kee White Coffee kopitiam at Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam.

Sen Kee White Coffee at Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam.

This uncle has been cooking up a storm at this location for over a year now, while his daughter is still running the show at the previous place.

Like any proper Char Kuey Teow stall, this one serves only Char Kuey Teow and nothing else, but you do get a choice between chicken egg or duck egg.

The Char Kuey Teow sold here is just as it was in Jalan Batai – plenty of wok hei, with pretty decent sized prawns by Klang Valley standards, and all the necessary ingredients such as bean sprouts, cockles, and chives.

However, in replacement of lap cheong, there’s fish cakes, which is something that’s not 100% ideal but acceptable.

So for those who used to love a proper plate of Char Kuey Teow from the uncle who used to operate at Jalan Batai, this is a place to go.

There’s also a second generation Batai Char Kuey Teow now at Klang for anyone who’s curious.

Do you recognise this Char Kuey Teow uncle?

Sen Kee White Coffee
33, Jalan Mewah 25/63,
Taman Sri Muda,
40400 Shah Alam, Selangor
GPS: 3.030874, 101.535499

Trying to influence your cravings since 2005, Kar Yeong was Guest Judge on Versus 1001 Rasa Baba’s 2018, R.AGE Food Fight Judge 2015 and NTV7 Foodie Blogger 2014. To read more about Kar Yeong’s food journeys, visit his blog at www.KYSpeaks.com

I was referring to Ambiga and Cynthia, says Khalid on Kiara park project

Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad.

PETALING JAYA: Khalid Samad today clarified that he was referring to two activists when he said that they did not bother to meet him in the ongoing dispute over the Taman Rimba Kiara development project.

“I think if you listen to the video you will understand that I was referring to Ambiga and Cynthia,” he told FMT, referring to former Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan and Center To Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4), executive director Cynthia Gabriel.

The Federal Territories minister will meet them tomorrow.

Khalid was also referring to a recording of the press conference which he shared with FMT.

In the recording, Khalid was heard saying that both Ambiga and Cynthia “had not met him for even one minute” and wondered how they could make comments after listening only “to one side of the story”.

The duo, he said, should meet him instead of attacking him and making assumptions in the media.

“I did not say I never met with (Segambut MP) YB Hannah Yeoh,” he said in a text message to FMT.

Yesterday, Yeoh rubbished a claim by Khalid that she had continued to address the issue through the media instead of seeing him for answers.

She told a town hall session with Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents that there had been at least five meetings with the FT ministry before yesterday’s event to clarify the status of the proposed development project, which is said to encroach into the park.

She said this in an apparent response to Khalid’s comment that he was “very disappointed” with her for continuing to address the issue through the media instead of going directly to him for answers.

Khalid had reportedly said many of the statements were “confusing, hurtful and embarrassing” to him.

Today, Khalid revealed that he met her, along with the TTDI residents association.

“I mentioned my meetings with the RA in the video but I did not say that it was together with Hannah as I wanted to comment about their (the residents) attitude without implicating YB Hannah.”

The Taman Rimba Kiara development will see the construction of a block of 350 units of affordable housing where residents from the current longhouses will be placed, and eight 50-storey high-end condominium blocks, with a gross development value of at least RM3 billion.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall approved the project in July 2017 despite massive objections from surrounding residents.

The project, which is currently being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, is a joint venture between the Federal Territories ministry’s Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan and Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Malton Bhd.

Fish auctions on FB Live? Yes, it’s a thing in Malaysia and thousands are hooked


Together with a few partners, Audrey Goo started MyFishMan which is an online seafood delivery service. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Together with a few partners, Audrey Goo started MyFishMan which is an online seafood delivery service. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 — It’s not quite Tsukiji Market — that iconic fish market in Tokyo where fish is auctioned in the early hours of the morning — but it’s a fish auction anybody with access to Facebook can participate in.

Small fishing companies in Malaysia have turned to digital technology to keep up with the growing demand of a new generation who prefer having their fish packaged and sent to their homes and pay less than they would if they went to a real market.

One such company is MyFishMan, based in Klang, whose co-founder 37-year-old Audrey Goo began operating three years ago.

Screengrab of DD Fishery Live Facebook page by myfishman.com. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Screengrab of DD Fishery Live Facebook page by myfishman.com. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Her company recently started to conduct fish auctions with partner DD Fishery Live — via Facebook Live — which she said they learned how to do through trial and error.

Viewers watch the livestream of the seller displaying the fish, and if they are interested in purchasing, they can contact the seller via a WhatsApp number displayed.

“Our auctions run from 8pm to midnight, five days a week. At best, we can expect to auction up to 300kg of fish daily,” she told Malay Mail.

DD Sea Products Trading is where all the fish is cleaned, vacuum-packed and frozen. — Picture by Choo Choy May
DD Sea Products Trading is where all the fish is cleaned, vacuum-packed and frozen. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Viewership at each session can be between 200 and 1,000 with the bulk of the Facebook Live audience made up of parents or busy mothers who do not have time to go to the market.

“Since we began auctioning over a year ago, our profits have increased by 10 to 50 per cent on average. With our viewers coming from all over the country, we have delivered as far as Kuantan, Penang and Johor Baru,” she said.

A worker packs the sold fish from the 'live' auction for delivery. — Picture by Choo Choy May
A worker packs the sold fish from the ‘live’ auction for delivery. — Picture by Choo Choy May

However, this widening of their customer base brings with it its own set of challenges.

“Transportation is actually a bigger problem, since a good portion of our viewers are from outside Selangor.

“In a way, one can say this bypasses the middleman as the fish goes directly to the end consumer. But to be fair, many of those conducting Facebook Live auctions are themselves middlemen,” she said.

Prices can be lower by 10 to 30 per cent, depending on the type of fish, so consumers find it a great bargain. Also, the fish is delivered right to your doorstep.

Fish which has been scaled, gutted and cleaned are packed for delivery to customers. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Fish which has been scaled, gutted and cleaned are packed for delivery to customers. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Goo said several fishermen have also expressed interest in the new channel, and added she is willing to teach them how to use Facebook Live to get more customers.

“They are not as many compared to middlemen who do auctions on Facebook. But if the fishermen are part of the younger generation, then we can teach them how to set up, record and pack, among others.

“This is especially since most of our auction viewers are within the 30s and 40s age range. Of course, we still cater to physical customers who tend to be middle-aged women in their 50s and above,” she said.

A selection of DD Fishery Live’s supplementary products like homemade cooking sauces and condiments. — Picture by Choo Choy May
A selection of DD Fishery Live’s supplementary products like homemade cooking sauces and condiments. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Most important to Goo is the ability to reduce wastage, since most of her fish suppliers hail from various places including Port Klang and Sekinchan.

“Auctioning also allows us to sell spare parts including the fish heads and tails in the package, which people tend to use to make soup. We also throw in stuff like homemade cooking sauces and condiments.

“Currently, our customer base is Chinese, but we are planning to open up a special section for Malay customers due to requests from several customers in Kelantan,” she said.

MyFishMan plans to partner with several sauce-manufacturing companies in Kelantan, who will also provide assistance when conducting auctions.

“I am not sure if the Malay customer base will increase, as it is still very new for us. But I am going to stay confident all the same,” Goo said.

Lim Yew Ping, co-owner of seafood e-retail platform Sea Fresh, was one of the earliest users of Facebook Live to auction fish directly to customers. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Lim Yew Ping, co-owner of seafood e-retail platform Sea Fresh, was one of the earliest users of Facebook Live to auction fish directly to customers. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Lim Yew Ping, the co-founder of another wholesaler — Sea Fresh — said despite the increased interest in fishermen looking to sell their catch directly to consumers, he does not foresee the numbers increasing greatly.

“Customarily fishermen spend an average of eight hours at sea. This means they are quite exhausted when they get back; hence, the prominent role of middlemen,” he said at his office in Kuala Selangor.

The 27-year-old, who runs the company with his sister and a cousin, is probably one of the earliest users of Facebook Live to auction fish, which he began doing in January last year around the same time he established his company.

“At the time, it was only me and my sister, and we got the idea from Taiwan where it is quite a big trend. It was a learning process as we did not know we had to prepare so many things.

“At that testing stage, many customers indicated they wanted fish as fresh as possible, instead of merely packaging it. And then in July or so last year, suddenly everyone started doing Facebook Live auctions,” Lim said.

Fish is scaled and cleaned before being vacuum packed. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Fish is scaled and cleaned before being vacuum packed. — Picture by Choo Choy May

This piqued the interest of the fishermen themselves, but many are still staying away as they want to observe if this will work out or not in the long run.

Despite having to discontinue the Facebook Live auctions for a time after Chinese New Year due to a lack of manpower, Lim said he has learned much during the process.

“We learned that customers prioritise the freshness of the fish, the convenience and not having to enter a wet market to purchase it.

“Interestingly, most of our viewers and customers during the auctions tend to be working-class men in their 30s and 40s. I think they also view it because they find it entertaining to engage with the seller,” he said with a laugh.

A worker at Sea Fresh prepares the fish for sale online. — Picture by Choo Choy May
A worker at Sea Fresh prepares the fish for sale online. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Although digital technology has enabled Sea Fresh to reach out to customers interested in buying seafood yet cannot physically make it to do so themselves, Lim said the main challenge is still the customers’ buying behaviour.

“An example is seasoned housewives who like to haggle for the price and insist on physically touching the fish when buying.

“Hence, the reason why we have a frozen food truck for residents in Kuala Selangor and other places to cater to them since they make up the majority of our clients,” he said.

Boxes of seafood waiting to be delivered to customers. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Boxes of seafood waiting to be delivered to customers. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Despite his belief that the number of fishermen engaging in direct sales will not be significant due to the time-consuming aspect of their profession, Lim said digital technology will still work in favour of the end consumer.

“Traditionally, the fishing industry has five tiers: The fishermen to large wholesalers, then small wholesalers, then markets, and finally customers.

“Increased digitalisation means it is quite possible to reduce this to just two tiers. From my experience, customers can get prices 30 per cent cheaper,” he said, adding this is also subject to the fish type, its availability and freshness.

Sea Fresh works closely with fishermen to collect their catch once they dock. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Sea Fresh works closely with fishermen to collect their catch once they dock. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Lim said he expects a genuine need for such services to expand in the coming years, where fish and seafood are packaged nicely and delivered right at the doorstep.

“With any luck, time, and initiative, this phenomenon may one day resemble the same kind of service provided by the Alibaba Group,” he said.

Ismail Sabri gives up Selangor Umno chief post


Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri speaks during a press conference in Parliament March 19, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri speaks during a press conference in Parliament March 19, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

SHAH ALAM, May 18 — Umno vice president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has quit as Selangor Umno chairman, effective May 1.

In a statement here today, Ismail said Selangor Umno deputy chairman Datuk Mat Nadzari Ahmad Dahlan assumes the role of acting chairman pending an announcement from Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, who is also carrying of the duties of the president, on who would be appointed to the post.

“Insya Allah (God willing) the announcement will be made after Aidilfitri (next month),” he said. — Bernama

KL man claims he was assaulted, tasered and abused with chilli on genitals while under police custody


A 30-year-old man suspected of armed robbery, has lodged a police report alleging that he was assaulted, tasered and had his genitals rubbed with chilli paste by policemen to induce a confession from him. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
A 30-year-old man suspected of armed robbery, has lodged a police report alleging that he was assaulted, tasered and had his genitals rubbed with chilli paste by policemen to induce a confession from him. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — A 30-year-old man suspected of armed robbery, has lodged a police report alleging that he was assaulted, tasered and had his genitals rubbed with chilli paste by policemen to induce a confession from him.

The victim identified as S. Mahedran in his police report claimed that his abuse took place at the Sentul police headquarters where he surrendered himself after learning that he was wanted.

S. Mahedran’s lawyer M. Visvanathan has called on the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) to look into the case.

Visvanathan cried foul at the manner Mahedran’s complaint is being probed, as his report is also being looked into by officers from the Sentul district police headquarters where the alleged abuse took place.

“Basically my client was being investigated under Section 395, 397 and 412 of the Penal Code for armed robbery and handling of stolen goods.

“He was taken in on April 29. In fact, he surrendered himself to the police and made a report saying he is surrendering to the police on his own free will because he got to know that he was on the wanted list.

“What happened was, on the very same day, they started assaulting him. Once he was in custody, they handcuffed him to the back and started beating him on the neck area, kicking him, punching him and then they stripped him naked, and they smeared pounded chilli all over his body, especially his private parts,”’ Visvanathan told Malay Mail.

He said on top of that Mahedran was also laid on ice cubes naked, and the torture went on for 13 hours daily while he was under police remand.

Visvanathan further alleged that the officers investigating his client had threatened him that they would target his mother and ‘will not hesitate’ to rape his sister.

“The final day he was in custody, what they did was they tasered him. He survived but he is really traumatised,” Visvanathan who is also the Eliminate Deaths and Abuse in Custody Together (Edict) spokesperson added.

“The degree of abuse and torture, in this case, is beyond words.

“It is ridiculous that the Sentul police are investigating its own officers. They are the ones who are investigating their fellow officers. This is ridiculous and that’s the reason why we need the IPCMC. We cannot have this situation,” he added, referring to the proposed Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission.

In Mahedran’s police report which was sighted by the Malay Mail, he was also allegedly threatened by an inspector who warned Mahedran against lodging any report against him, or risk being detained and tortured again.

Sentul police chief Assistant Commissioner S. Shanmugamoorthy, when contacted, pledged a thorough and transparent investigation into the case.

“I got the report much, much earlier, and we are investigating, and we take this issue seriously.

“On my part, I ensure that no stones are left unturned, and I will make sure everything is transparent and thoroughly conducted,” he added.

Govt optimistic of overcoming growing challenges to economy, says Guan Eng


Lim said at present the country was facing challenges that included the current US-China trade war. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Lim said at present the country was facing challenges that included the current US-China trade war. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

GEORGE TOWN, May 18 — The government is always optimistic of overcoming the growing challenges to the economy and will do so to the best of its ability, says Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Lim said at present the country faced two major challenges, namely the financial problems inherited from the previous government and the trade war between China and the United States.

“The first challenge poses a difficulty to the new government in undertaking projects. The second has had a global impact which all countries have to overcome. So, this is a major challenge as Malaysia is a trading nation and exporter,” he added.

He told reporters this after a breaking of the fast event with the MPKKK Kadun Air Putih at the Masjid Kampung Bharu, Air Itam, here tonight.

Lim, however said, although faced with the economic pressure, the government will do its best to overcome problems.

“We can see the success of the government through the first quarter 2019 economic growth of 4.5 per cent which exceeded the private sector’s own projection of 4.1 per cent or 4.3 per cent. We have surpassed the prediction and this is a good sign for the economy to grow sustainably in a stable and healthy manner,” he added.

Meanwhile, towards ensuring the economy continues to progress sustainably, he said the banking sector needs to play its role in facilitating and being flexible with loans, not only to homebuyers, but also for low cost and affordable houses as well as small and medium entrepreneurs.

“I ask that banks somewhat ease (conditions) to make loans easier for businesses which are still active as well as for purchasers of low cost and affordable housing.

“In addition, banks too need to facilitate loans to those wanting to venture into business and small medium entrepreneurs, as this will help with the economic growth of the country,” Lim added. — Bernama

Dr M can restore economy in two years, says Anwar


Port Dickson MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he was confident in the prime minister's efforts. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Port Dickson MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he was confident in the prime minister’s efforts. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

BUKIT MERTAJAM, May 18 — PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is confident the country’s economy will recover in two years based on the plans and implementation being carried out by Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

Anwar who is Port Dickson MP said the prime minister has now put several government agencies on good footing to ensure the country’s economy continues to improve.

“After we (Pakatan Harapan) had won last year, we realised the national economy was in a bad shape…this is not politics but a fact and the people need to know about.  

“I am confident and hopefully in one or two years, Tun (Dr Mahathir) will restore the country’s economy to continue the agenda of assisting the people,” he said when speaking a Breaking of Fast With Anwar at Al-Falah Mosque in Permatang Pasir near here today.

Also present were State Health, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry and Rural Development Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin and the State Domestic and International Trade, Entrepreneur Development and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain as well as 500 people including villagers attended the function.

At the event, he called on Muslims throughout the country to appreciate and take a lesson from the Quran and make efforts to close the gaps with the various races during the month of Ramadan. — Bernama

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