Customs collects RM54.86bil so far
The Royal Malaysian Customs Department has collected RM54.867bil in revenue for the first nine months of this year, the Finance Ministry said.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong attributed the success to the determination and hard work of Customs officers at all levels.
“From the enforcement aspect, 566 cases were solved involving tax amounted to RM489.63mil due to continuous operations.
“I believe the department will continue to play an important role in thwarting smuggling to prevent revenue leakages,” he said when launching the Malaysian Royal Customs Department Encyclopedia project last week.
Lee described the encyclopedia as very relevant in enlightening the public on the function of the department.
Meanwhile, Royal Malaysian Customs Department Director-General Datuk Seri Khazali Ahmad said the encyclopedia would be published by the Association of Former Malaysian Customs Officers (Perbekas) and the Ex-Malaysian Customs Officers Cooperative (Kobekas) and launched in six months’ time.
He said the content of the encyclopedia was ready for editing.
On the Goods and Services Tax, he said the total collection so far this year amounted to RM29.5bil.
“We are confident of achieving a GST collection target of RM39bil for 2016 provided people pay. That is why we are going after those who do not pay,” he said.
E-commerce act to be amended to deter fraud
The Electronic Commerce Act 2006 will be amended in the quest to eradicate fraud during online business transactions.
Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said the ministry was looking into various aspects that could be strengthened to protect consumers and traders.
“The world is getting increasingly sophisticated and we do not want fraud occurring during e-commerce transactions.
“In some cases, consumers were not receiving the items they had order online, while in other cases, they received different items from the ones they had ordered,” he told reporters.
German industry body warns against takeover protection measures
The head of the VDMA German industry association warned on against proposals to protect high-tech companies from unwanted takeovers, saying it would be better to ensure that German businesses are treated fairly when investing abroad.
Newspaper Welt am Sonntag had reported that Deputy Economy Minister Matthias Machnig had sent to government members a paper containing six key points for reviewing investment at the European Union level.
The paper foresees wide-reaching rights for the EU and national governments to prohibit company acquisitions by investors in non-EU countries, the newspaper said.
Thilo Brodtmann, head of the VDMA, responded to the issue by saying that functioning competition and open markets were essential for the future of the machinery industry.
“These basic rules should not be thrown overboard,” Brodtmann said in a statement.
“Mechanical engineering companies in Germany, therefore, do not want extended protection from foreign investors, but above all to have the same conditions for their own investments abroad as there are in the EU.”
Any examination of possible protective measures should be taken with utmost care, he added.
“The right of an entrepreneur to sell his property freely should not be restricted for reasons of daily policy,” he said.
Takeovers by Chinese investors have prompted the German government to consider whether it needs to do more to protect key technologies.
German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has called for a European-wide safeguard clause which could stop foreign takeovers of firms whose technology is deemed strategic for the future economic success of the region.
Disney launches new startups at in-house accelerator
The Walt Disney Company held a graduation ceremony for its in-house accelerator programme last week, giving nine companies the chance to pitch their plans to change the entertainment industry.
In its third year, the Disney Accelerator gives start-up companies access to Disney executives as they fine-tune their products. The companies are selected from a much larger group of applicants.
Disney invests in the companies and gives them office space in Glendale for three to six months. Typically the companies emerge with a deal to serve some branch of the Disney empire.
“It’s a personal relationship that really matters,” said Michael Abrams, Disney’s senior vice president for innovation. “It’s about bringing everyone together.”
Among the companies featured at Thursday’s “Demo Day” was Atom Tickets, a social ticketing app that allows friends to plan movie outings together.
Matthew Bakal, the company’s chairman, said the company had arranged a deal to sell Disney merchandise alongside tickets through the app. Moviegoers would get targeted ads for merchandise as they leave the theater.
Other companies include Ader, which handles advertising and sponsorships for e-sports; Pley, a subscription toy service that uses an algorithm to select appropriate toys for children; and Hanson Robotics, which makes humanoid robots.
Disney CEO Robert Iger touted the programme as a way to bring fresh ideas into the company.