Carlsberg allowed to operate as it provides ‘beverages’

Several parties wonder why Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd is allowed to operate and if it is considered an “essential service” as Malaysia undergoes a total lockdown today.

It has also turned into a political issue with opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim jumping on the bandwagon. The Port Dickson MP, had this morning, tweeted:

“RM100 for the unmarried, M40 sidelined, brewery allowed to operate, Parliament remains silent and decisions are often distorted. It shows that the government is not serious in enforcing a total lockdown. I would like to hear the response from the people.”

An International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) spokesman clarified that Carlsberg provides beverages, and as such, is allowed to operate as per the National Security Council’s regulations.

Amanah’s deputy youth leader Kevin Shawn Gomez questioned if products by Carlsberg were truly essential for Malaysians.

“Amanah Youth demands a detailed explanation from Senior Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali as his ministry (International Trade and Industry) had given the approval for Carlsberg to operate,” Gomez said.

“Amanah Youth would like to ‘praise’ Pas for maintaining its silence and for continuing to be part of a government that is not Syariah compliant.”

Carlsberg’s brewery is located in Shah Alam, Selangor.

MITI had previously come under fire for allegedly approving authorisation letters to almost all industries prior to the total lockdown being enforced. This led to the government instructing essential service providers to obtain approvals from their respective ministries in order to operate throughout June 1-14.

The other ministries could not handle the volume of approvals, which resulted in websites crashing. MITI was then asked to step in and be the one-stop centre in approving the authorisation letters through its CIMS 3.0.

Carlsberg had, on its website, stated the company had last year contributed RM895.8 million in excise duties to the Malaysian and Singaporean governments for its combined operations, RM53.6 million in corporate taxes and RM80.3 million in Sales and Service Tax (SST) for Malaysia.

Malaysia today recorded 7,105 new Covid-19 cases. Selangor continues to top the list, with 2,068 cases, followed by Kuala Lumpur (817 cases), and Sarawak (703).

Here’s the news round-up today.

FAREWELL, LIMKOKWING

Artist and educationist Tan Sri Limkokwing passed away today. He was 75.

Limkokwing University of Creative Technology confirmed his passing but did not state the cause of death. Last week, the university issued a statement, saying its founder-president had suffered a “fall in his home”. He was hospitalised but was in stable condition.

Limkokwing shot to fame with his work in the creatives and advertising scene, and had even helped Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress run its first general election in South Africa.

Others remember Limkokwing for his Guli Guli cartoon strips which were published in the New Straits Times from 1982 till 1987.

CIVIL SERVANTS TO GIVE UP ALLOWANCES FOR THREE MONTHS

Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali, said 800,000 civil servants, from Grade 29 and above, will contribute to a special fund that will be used to battle Covid-19.

The contributions – deductions from fixed entertainment allowances and fixed allowances – will total over RM30 million.

Those exempted from the deductions are frontliners and those from Grade 1 to Grade 28.

Mohd Zuki said civil servants are the backbone of the government, and the contribution is a show of solidarity in supporting the government’s efforts in battling the pandemic.

SPEND MORE, PH TELLS GOVT

Pakatan Harapan expressed its disappointment over the RM40 billion financial aid package announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday.

Its presidential council pointed out that the Pemerkasa Plus, unveiled by Muhyiddin only contains RM5 billion in new funding. It added the government must be bold and spend to pull the economy out of this recession.

“RM5 billion cash injection is hardly adequate when MCO 3.0 is expected to sustain losses of RM2.4 billion daily, similar to MCO 1.0.”

It said vaccination is crucial and demanded that Parliament reconvene immediately so that all MPs, including the opposition, be given equal constituency allocations to help the rakyat get through the pandemic.

CLOSE TO 100,000 COMPANIES GIVEN GREEN LIGHT TO OPERATE

As of noon today, 517,144 companies with a workforce of 9.67 million, had registered under CIMS 3.0 managed by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. A total of 95,142 companies obtained approval to operate throughout the total lockdown, which started today.

It is estimated that some 1.2 million people from the approved companies are now allowed to work from their offices or premises.

Companies under the approved sectors, which did not register with the CIMS 3.0 prior to this Movement Control Order are advised to do so, should they wish to continue to operate.

All approval letters issued by MITI via CIMS 3.0 will bear a QR code. This will allow the authorities and the enforcement agencies to verify the authenticity of the approval letters.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RMAF

The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) turned 63 today.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah said the RMAF’s contributions in protecting the sovereignty of the nation’s airspace was greatly appreciated.

“May RMAF become an air force to be reckoned with in the world,” Al-Sultan Abdullah said.

ZOO NEGARA WELCOMES PANDA CUB

Giant pandas Liang Liang and Xing Xing are proud parents of a new cub.

The Wildlife and National Parks Department said Liang Liang gave birth to the cub last night at the Giant Panda Conservation Centre in Zoo Negara.

The gender of the cub has not yet been determined as it is still under the close care of its mother, the department said in a statement.

This is Liang Liang and Xing Xing’s third cub. Their first cub, Nuan Nuan, was born in 2015, while Yi Yi was born in 2018.

Zoo Negara staff will monitor Liang Liang and the new cub over the next 24 hours.