IRB collects record RM145 billion in 2019

The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) collected a record RM145.1 billion in direct taxes in 2019, said its chief executive officer Datuk Seri Sabin Samitah. He said the income tax collection last year was the highest ever recorded by the board, and is RM8.08 billion or 5.89% more than its collection in the previous year. This was aided by the Special Programme for Voluntary Disclosure (PKPS) which provides Malaysians who have tax compliance problems a second chance to rectify their tax reporting by offering a low penalty rate. Sabin said during the PKPS period, a total of 286,428 Malaysians had made voluntary tax declarations with a total tax collection and penalties imposed of RM7.88 billion. However, the RM145.1 billion collected last year fell almost RM5 billion short of the target of RM150 billion set by the government. For 2020, Sabin said the Finance Ministry has set a new record target of RM154.7 billion for the board to achieve. (The Sun Daily)

Tabung Haji “letting go” some assets

Tabung Haji is “letting go” some of its properties that are not giving returns because it can find other ways to invest, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The Prime Minister said some of the properties were not useful and Tabung Haji should get out of owning such properties. “There are other ways of investing the money to get better returns,” he said. It was reported that Tabung Haji Hotel and Residence Sdn Bhd (THHR) would close down four hotels by April 2020, namely TH Hotel Kota Kinabalu, TH Hotel Penang, TH Hotel & Convention Centre Alor Setar and TH Hotel & Convention Centre Terengganu. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof claimed the four Tabung Haji hotels were not being shut down but transferred to a special government vehicle Urusharta Jamaah Sdn Bhd, which is under the Finance Ministry. (The Star Online)

Jalan Abdullah residents in KL protest proposed 32-storey serviced apartment

Residents of Jalan Abdullah here are up in arms over a proposed 32-storey development which will be sandwiched between their existing homes. They said the project’s construction could potentially damage existing houses, some of which date back to the 1930s. One resident claimed that no prior engagement was done with residents over the proposed development. Currently, the plot of land is occupied by a carwash and car park serving patrons of restaurants in the vicinity. The land measures just under an acre and was originally occupied by three bungalows. Documents stated that the said land plots have been acquired by Bangsar Rising Sdn Bhd for the proposed 32-storey serviced apartment project. The land will be developed by Mega Capital Development, according to residents. However, the proposed development has yet to receive its development order. (Malay Mail)

Public invited to provide feedback on PSKL2040

The Federal Territories Ministry has called on the public to contribute their ideas and feedback on the KL 2040 Draft Structure Plan (PSKL2040). Minister Khalid Samad said they could do so throughout the PSKL2040 exhibition from Feb 18 until March 18 at Menara DBKL 1. He said the ministry and City Hall (DBKL) would extend the timeline to receive the feedbacks until May. “All feedback will be considered by professionals and those involved with the structure plan. It (feedback) will be analysed to match with the KL 2040 structure plan,” he said. The PSKL2040 is expected to be finalised and gazetted in December. “If however the gazzetted plan changes, the public can take legal action against the City Hall,” he added. PSKL2040 comprises vision, objectives and strategic directions to guide the development of Kuala Lumpur for the next 20 years. Among the challenges to realise the PSKL2040, Khalid said, was the ageing population and downsizing of households. (NST Online)

HSBC to slash investment bank, 35,000 jobs in strategy overhaul

HSBC Holdings PLC said on Tuesday it would shed $100 billion in assets, shrink its investment bank and revamp its U.S. and European businesses in a drastic overhaul that will mean 35,000 jobs cut over three years. The bank is seeking to become more competitive as it grapples with slowing growth in its major markets, the Covid-19 coronavirus epidemic, Britain’s European Union exit and lower central bank interest rates. HSBC said it would merge its private banking and wealth businesses, axe European stock trading and cut U.S. retail branches as it seeks to remove $4.5 billion in costs. The restructuring, one of the largest undertaken by a blue chip lender for more than a decade, will be partly managed through natural attrition as people leave the bank. HSBC is Europe’s biggest bank by assets, which makes the bulk of its revenue in Asia. (The Star Online)