BERITA MINGGU reported that the welfare of tom yam sellers nationwide would now be protected with the setting up of the Malaysian Tom Yam Operators Association (Pertom).
Quoting its pro tem president Mustapha Muhamad, the paper said the association was aiming to get more than 10,000 members among the estimated 30,000 traders involved in selling the popular cuisine at restaurants and stalls.
“The grouping will enable us to help those in need, as well as to compete in the market and to standardise the menu and prices,” he said at the association's inaugural assembly, which was opened by Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.
Mustapha said tom yam operators have long existed in the country and it was high time that they unite in an association.
“This is not a political party but it is to protect the welfare and interests of the operators, including their family members,” he added.
On another matter, the paper reported that the Culture, Arts and Tourism Ministry would help local artistes to get gigs in hotels and entertainment outlets.
The ministry's secretary-general Datuk Mohd Azmi Razak said a database containing the list of local artistes and the latest information about them would be created to enable the ministry to find gigs for them.
“The information would be distributed to hotel operators who need performers at their premises,” he said after a meeting with the Malaysian Artistes Association at the ministry.
Utusan Malaysia highlighted the reactions to the plight of a young mother who claimed to be a victim in a child custody case because of inconsistent syariah laws in two states.
It said Siti Fauziah Abd Rahman, who was granted the custody of her daughter by the Kuala Terengganu Syariah Court was appalled when the Alor Star Syariah Court ruled in favour of her husband.
It said Siti Fauziah's efforts to get her daughter from her former in-laws' house in Kulim was to no avail.
Quoting Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Abdul Hamid Zainal Abidin, the paper said the syariah laws would differ from state to state as they could make minor amendments to suit them before implementing the laws.
“It is not that the laws are not standardised but perhaps they are not fully enforced,” he said.
Abdul Hamid, however, admitted that the syariah court system was not at its best and would need constant advice and suggestions to upgrade it.
It also carried comments from Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who said that the standardisation of syariah laws needed to be scrutinised.
“Our country is not that big. It is best that we work towards using the laws,” he said.