Catching Up

ICYMI: Trainwreck For MRT2 Devs, Bye-bye Death Penalty & 1 Mil M'sians Still On Slow Internet

  • VP Hot Takes is our weekly roundup of tech and digital lifestyle news in Malaysia.
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MMC-Gamuda Claims Unfairness As Underground Works Contract Canceled By Gov

The government and MMC Gamuda Joint Venture has come to new terms of agreement to complete the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT2) project. Under the new terms, MMC-Gamuda which was given the mandate to see through the public transportation job in February 2014 at a cost of RM28 bil, would see through the completion of the above-the-ground portion at RM17.42 bil.

Both parties failed to come to an agreement for the underground portion of the project, hence MMC-Gamuda’s underground contract has been canceled and it will be up for international open tender. There has been debate on both sides, an online petition was even launched over the outcry on the possible ‘loss’ of 20,000 jobs due to the cancellation. However, the government has stood firm with their decision and even Tony Pua wrote an open letter to show why MMC-Gamuda should stop playing victim.

Dale John Wong
Oh, too bad MMC-Gamuda can’t get richer. But in all seriousness, my immediate concern is for the employees of MMC-Gamuda themselves. The outcome of such a scenario is usually always to the detriment of those within the lower levels, and I’ve already heard rumours of people losing their annual bonuses.
Justin Lee
After reading about what Tony Pua said, I’m on the government’s side as MMC-Gamuda are huge corporations that have funds and backing, thus claiming that they will lose 20,000 jobs is a bit of an exaggeration. Since when do corporations care about their people rather than profits?
Venxhin Pang
Even if someone else wins the tender, they’re going to need the hands/manpower to work. Who better to take on that role than these so-called “20,000 employees” who would presumably have lost their MMC-Gamuda jobs? After all, they’re definitely qualified... right?
Nicholas Ker
To me, it always takes two hands to clap—I’m inclined to think that there’s more here than meets the eye. I will say that Gamuda’s campaign seems pretty transparent, while I’m glad that Tony Pua came out to give a little clarity on the whole fiasco.
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Image Credit: Pexels/ Pixabay

Over A Million Streamyx Customers Still Pay RM110 For 1Mbps As TM Continues To Ignore Them

Malaysians can finally rejoice as the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission has successfully managed to push for more affordable fixed line broadband prices through their Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing (MSAP) initiative. But as usual, internet providers have been slow to respond—especially TM—with a majority of their users still stuck with 1 to 8 Mbps packages that cost over RM110.

Streamyx users still form a strong majority of TM’s customer base, and for them to be ignored in the MSAP is definitely unfair, especially when they do not have any alternatives. However, don’t put all the blame on TM as most Streamyx users are located on the outskirts and they might not want to upgrade them as it will cost more. But at least give them a fairer pricing as for RM110 we could get more than 50Mbps with other providers.

Dale John Wong
Quite incredible that our biggest comms provider is dragging their heels over implementing faster Internet, especially for those in rural areas. It’s so important that these folks get the same opportunities for education as the rest of us and I pray our comms ministry lays down the law to speed everything up.

Image Credit: ThreatMetrix

M’sians Can Shop Online Without Worry As They Might Get Digital IDs In The Future

The government will be looking at introducing a national digital identification system to boost the e-commerce sector and fight crimes at the same time. Gobind Singh Deo, the communications and multimedia minister said instances of fraud were among the top concerns for e-commerce today, as buyers are unable to verify the identity of the person advertising their goods or services on the internet.

As expected, like all government policies, he indicated that the government will need time to decide whether or not it would introduce the digital ID system as his ministry needs to discuss and obtain feedback from financial institutions and other agencies, including the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation. On one hand, it could be an issue of privacy and on the other it could curb scammers and people who comment ‘pm’.

Justin Lee
Why didn’t we come up with this earlier? There has been more cases of fraud and scams on e-commerce platforms and with a Digital ID, it will work similarly as a MyKad and you would know who is dealing with you from the other end. I don’t think privacy would be an issue as the pros outweigh the cons.

Image Credit: Pexels/ Donald Tong

Malaysian Criminals Can Now Stay In Jail Forever As Gov Abolishes Death Penalty

Finally, the Cabinet has decided to abolish the death penalty, and it will be tabled in the next Parliament sitting which will begin on October 15, said Datuk Liew Vui Keong. The minister in charge of law in the Prime Minister’s Department said while the government is studying certain cases, as of now, all executions have been postponed.

Liew added that all the paperwork for the abolishment of the law is in its final stages, and that the Attorney General had given the green light for it to be tabled in Parliament.

He simplified it in a sentence, “All death penalties will be abolished. Full stop.” That depends on the Parliament’s decision, however—as we know, nothing is certain there.

Nicholas Ker
I will unashamedly say that I am against the death penalty. Anyone with an understanding of the legal system will tell you that it is an archaic penalty, especially given how many death penalties are mandatory. Most of the first world has abolished death penalties, and I’m just hoping nothing goes wrong between now and then.

Image Credit: Pexels/ Pixabay

Dr M Plans Big Surprise For M’sians With Budget 2019

In other words, we’re going to get new taxes introduced.

Unsurprisingly, the new government needs to raise new revenue—they’ve laid the groundwork by constantly telling us about all the debt left behind by the previous team.

“I don’t think that is something welcome by the people but we may have to devise new taxes in order to have the money to pay our debts,” said our Prime Minister.

The government has already been hinting that it’s going to hurt. Finance minister, Lim Guan Eng said, “This will not be easy, but I believe it can be done. After all, it is always darkest just before dawn.”

Other ways that the government can make money? Dr M has also said that government assets may be sold off again, but this time, they’ll look at locals to be the buyers.

Venxhin Pang
We don’t know much, except that the new tax regime won’t be like SST. This budget is going to be a big test for the new government, and there will be many watching to see if they fail.

Feature Image Credit: Wikipedia

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