Happy mid autumn festival 中秋节快乐


Asam Pedas

Asam Pedas

Asam Pedas (Indonesian and Malaysian Malay: Asam Pedas, Minangkabau: Asam Padeh, English: Sour and Spicy) is a Minangkabau and Malay sour and spicy fish stew dish. It is popular in Indonesia and Malaysia.

The spicy and sour fish dish is known widely in Sumatra and Malay Peninsula. It is part of the culinary heritage of both Minangkabau and Malay traditions, thus its exact origin is unclear. The Minang asam padeh can be easily found throughout Padang restaurants in Indonesia and Malaysia.

It has become a typical cuisine of Malays from Jambi, Riau, Riau Islands, Malacca, and as far north in Aceh. The spice mixture and the fish used might be slightly different according to the area.



Tourism contributes 14.9% to Malaysia's economy

Tourism contributes 14.9% to Malaysia's economy

The tourism industry continued its significant contribution to the country’s economic growth with a share of 14.9 per cent last year as compared to 10.4 per cent in 2005.

In a statement, chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the figure showed an upward trend since 2005 and was growing rapidly with an average annual growth rate of 11.2 per cent over the past twelve years.

“The direct contribution of the tourism industry to the nation’s gross domestic product last year recorded 6.1 per cent with a value of RM82.6 billion compared to RM76.6 billion in 2016,” he said.

He said foreign tourist arrivals dropped to 25.9 million last year from 26.8 million in 2016.

The number of domestic visitors increased from 189.3 million in 2016 to 205.4 million in 2017, he said adding that Selangor was the most visited state by number of tourists.

According to Mohd Uzir, shopping remained as the largest component of tourism product with a value of RM26.8 in 2017, followed by accommodation and transportation which recorded RM20.7 billion and RM15 billion respectively.

He said as for total employees involved in the tourism sector, the number also increased to 3.4 million in 2017 from 1.5 million in 2005.

Mohd Uzir said retail trade continued to be the largest contributor to the national economy with a share of 44.8 per cent and posted a double digit growth of 12.4 per cent in 2017 as compared to 10.5 per cent in the previous year.

He said this was followed by food and beverage serving service with 16.3 per cent and accommodation with 12.8 per cent.

- Bernama

Happy Malaysia Day 马来西亚日快乐


Malaysia aims to be in world's top 10 tourist destinations by 2019

Malaysia aims to be in world's top 10 tourist destinations by 2019

Malaysia aims to be among the world’s top 10 tourist destinations in 2019, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi today. Photo credit: Hafiz Sohaimi

Malaysia aims to be among the world’s top 10 tourist destinations in 2019, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi today.

He said the ministry has undertaken several efforts to promote Malaysia as a must-visit destination and will set new strategic directions to provide a conducive environment for industry players to drive and boost tourism growth.

“It is our aim to improve the country’s position after being ranked number 12 last year. We must be more competitive internationally.

“We will have good cooperation between federal and state governments to promote Malaysia and discuss with local airlines companies to have more direct flights to Malaysia,” he told a press conference after launching the Matta Fair 2018 at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here today.

Mohamaddin said with resilience, innovation, product quality and excellent service standards, the tourism sector should be able to drive the nation forward, making Malaysia a preferred travel destination for tourists.

He said the tourism industry in Malaysia had grown significantly and is targeting a foreign tourist arrival goal of 26.4 million with a total expenditure of RM84.9 billion this year.

From January to April 2018, Malaysia recorded 8.4 million international tourists, an increase of 37.2 per cent from China, India (21.2 per cent, South Korea (26.5 per cent, Canada (28 per cent) and United States of America (23 per cent).

The 46th edition of the Matta Fair being held from Sept 7 to 9 features 1,336 booths offering international and domestic travel promotions and discounts, including 86 booths offering umrah packages. – BERNAMA


Enjoy your satay, there’s no tax for it at food outlets

Enjoy your satay, there’s no tax for it at food outlets

IPOH: There will be no Sales and Service Tax on satay sold in food outlets, says Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

He said the SST on the popular Malaysian food was imposed during the processing stage for the purpose of packaging and sales.

“It is the sales that get the SST, not at the outlets,” he told reporters after a briefing on the SST at a hotel here yesterday.

Lim was replying to a question on whether the SST would be imposed on chicken or beef satay sold in food outlets, as it was among the items listed as taxable under “preparation of meat”.

He said failure to do so would mean that they could not charge the SST and would have to use their own funds to pay the tax to the government.

His call was echoed by Customs Department director-general Datuk Seri T. Subromaniam, who said friendly visits by the department found that there were still food providers who had not updated their systems.

“We advised them to update their systems so that the 6% service tax could be charged,” he said.

In Shah Alam, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Jamil Salleh said the real impact of the SST on the prices of general goods was expected to be fully felt in the second week of its implementation.

This is because goods sold during the first week after the end of the tax holiday are actually tax-free.

Noting that traders had bought the goods during the tax holiday period, he said the tax-free stocks should be sold at prices minus the SST.

“However, some traders might want to take advantage of the situation but we are ready for that.

“We have mobilised 1,000 enforcement personnel to check against profiteering.

“Legal action will be taken against profiteers, and I want them to be severely punished to deter others from doing the same,” he said after visiting a juice-producing factory yesterday.

The Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act provides a fine of up to RM100,000 or a three-year imprisonment upon conviction.

~News courtesy of The Star~


SST: Not much difference for service sector

SST: Not much difference for service sector

The implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST) beginning this Saturday is not expected to make a major difference in the price of services.

According to tax expert Norsa’adah Ahmad, this was because the six per cent tax imposed on services such as those provided by hotels, insurance, and food catering companies was the same as that imposed by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) before this.

“There should not be much difference with the previous price...most (prices) will remain the same.

“Compared to the effect (of SST) on the price of other goods where the public is watching to see if prices increase or not, the price of services is not expected to show much difference,” she told Bernama today.

However, Norsa’adah who is also a member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) did not discount the possibility of double taxation on the price of food and drinks sold in food outlets.

She said a 10 per cent sales tax is imposed on certain products like canned drinks at the production stage and it was not impossible that restaurants would increase their prices to cover the service tax.

Among the services on which the SST is imposed are those provided by night clubs, private clubs, golf clubs, casinos, lotteries, telecommunications, paid television, legal services, accounting services, forwarding agents, architects, engineers, valuers, security, parking, car rentals, advertising, domestic services, information technology services, credit cards and electrical services.

Meanwhile, hoteliers also do not expect an increase in room rates with the SST except for the usual increase during peak periods such as school holidays due to high demand.

However, executive director of the Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners Shaharudin M.Saaid said if the mechanism for the tax was the same as the previous SST, the room rates are expected to decrease.

“If the mechanism is the same as SST 1.0 before the GST was imposed, then room rates should be cheaper as the SST 1.0 did not impose a six per cent tax on service charges,” he said.

He said under the GST, a six per cent tax was imposed on service charges, resulting in an increase in the price of rooms and other services.

However Shaharudin hoped the mechanism for the implementation of the new SST is explained to the hotels quickly to avoid any confusion.

“We are waiting for clarification from the Royal Malaysian Customs Department,” he said. - Bernama

Rural folk urged to get involved in eco-tourism

Rural folk urged to get involved in eco-tourism

Rural folk should get involved in eco-tourism to benefit from Visit Malaysia Year 2020.

Rural Development Minister Rina Harun said villagers should take advantage of eco-tourism acvitivities to improve their livelihoods.

“They can ride on complementary activities like boat operations, tour guides, and the food and beverage industry to supplement their incomes,” she said at the launch of the eighth Tasik Kenyir Festival at Pengkalan Gawi yesterday.

She said her ministry was working with agencies such as the Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority and Orang Asli communities to develop ecotourism attractions.

“Ecotourism offers local and foreign visitors the opportunity to appreciate the country’s beauty,” she said.

“At the same time, it provides them with the chance to experience the cultures of communities in the interior, thereby, showcasing the uniqueness of the state.”

Rina also urged those involved in developing tourism spots to ensure that the natural habitat and environment were conserved.

“I am confident that Tasik Kenyir has the potential to be a popular tourist destination just like Britain’s Lake District and the Balkans in southeastern Europe.

“Kenyir’s unique houseboats, along with the elephant and kelah fish sanctuaries, blend with the water and land sports to make it a complete tourist destination.”

Efforts, she added, were underway to develop more homestays at two villages next to the 260sq km man-made Tasik Kenyir.

~News courtesy of New Straits Times~