Friday, April 29, 2011

Varsities urged to hire PhD holders as lecturers - The Star

THE Higher Education Ministry has suggested that doctorate degrees (PhD) be made the basic requirement for the post of lecturers at all public institutions of higher learning. Its deputy minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said this was to achieve the target of having 75% lecturers with PhD in research universities and 40% in other universities.

“The increasing number of quality lecturers is one of the factors in the effort to empower institutions of higher learning (IPT),” he said in response to a question from Dr Syed Husin Ali.

Saifuddin said the ministry also encouraged IPTs to get qualified and experienced lecturers from overseas.

“The ministry has provided incentives to attract foreign experts to do their research at the IPT by providing attractive packages through the ‘contract for service’.

“The IPTs can also attract specialists from local industries to contribute fulltime or on a part-time basis in teaching and research activities to reduce the cost of getting the service of foreigners,” he added. — Bernama

Monday, April 25, 2011

Two Days more to file in your Tax Return

If you have not submitted your tax return, you have until April 30 to do so. The following is the link to those who choose to do e-filing. Make sure you have password from the office of Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri.

Here is the guide book supplied by the Inland Revenue Dept for your reference:

The Star paper has provided some tips on what to file in:

TAXPAYERS have just one more week to go before the April 30 deadline for submitting income tax returns. In this last segment of Sunday Star's Income Tax series, a team from Inland Revenue Board's Corporate Communications Unit headed by director Mazlan Wan Chik answers your questions.

Books, computers and broadband

> My child is studying in a university overseas. Can the purchase of books needed for her degree be allowed for deductions?

Total deduction of up to RM1,000 is allowed for the purchase of books, journals, magazines and other similar publications (hardcopy or electronic), whether purchased locally or overseas. However, it excludes newspapers or banned reading materials such as morally offensive magazines. Please make sure that you keep the receipts.

Yearly exercise: People filing their income tax forms via the IRB’s e-Filing system at Menara Mustapha Kamal in Petaling Jaya.
> I bought a computer notebook for personal use through a friend working in a computer manufacturing company. The purchase was made under his name to be entitled for staff price. Can I claim relief through Pembelian Komputer Peribadi Untuk Individu?

Personal computer for non-business purposes is given as a deduction instead of a rebate. The amount of deduction is limited to a maximum of RM3,000 and is given on an individual basis once in every three years of assessment and you must have a receipt. You are not eligible to claim relief for purchase of that notebook because the receipt was not issued in your name.

> For broadband subscription, does it include the monthly subscription to TM Streamyx?

Yes, the monthly bill for Streamyx line is deductible for tax from 2010-2012.

> Is the relief Pembelian Buku/Majalah/Jurnal/Penerbitan usable for both myself and wife (RM1,000 each) at the same time if we file separately?

For separate assessments, each of you can claim deductions for purchase of books/magazines subject to a maximum of RM1,000. Please make sure that both of you keep the receipts.

> For broadband expenses, can I claim for payment for 3G services on smartphones?

Yes. But on broadband usage only.

> My smartphone bill is registered under my mother's name but I am paying the monthly bill. Can I claim for deductions for broadband?

No. An amount limited to a maximum of RM500 is deductible in respect of expenses expended by the individual for the payment of broadband subscription under the individual's name. This deduction is only allowed for Years of Assessment 2010, 2011 and 2012.

> I subscribe to TM's Streamyx Internet package at Rm60+10 per month package. My local tax office said this is not deductible for RM500 relief granted under the broadband scheme. However, I heard from one tax consultant that it is deductible. Please help.

An amount limited to a maximum of RM500 is deductible in respect of expenses expended by the individual for the payment of broadband subscription under the individual's name, including the Streamyx line. Broadband refers to telecommunication in which a wide band of frequencies is available to transmit information of at least 256 kbps.

> My cousin received a monthly mobile phone allowance of RM250 in 2010. His job requires him to call often and the allowance is hardly enough to cover the actual expenses. His EA form included the above allowance (under gross amount) but does not state exemption at the bottom of the form. Can he get the exemption of RM3,000?

Expenses allowable is only for monthly bills for broadband subscription, fixed line telephone, mobile phone, pager and PDA registered in the name of the employee or employer, including cost of registration and installation. Telephone allowance is not exempted.


> I understand that I can claim a deduction of up to RM5,000 for parents' medical expenses. Does it include the salary for domestic maid to care for my parents?

Deduction for domestic maids to care for parents is only applicable in year of assessment 2011.

> I am an expatriate. I had renal transplant a few years ago in my home country and I am on immuno-suppression medications currently. I usually buy the medicines from my home country as my medical consultant is over there. I would appreciate if you could inform me whether I can claim tax deductions for the medicines and if so, what supporting documents should I have with me.

Send your application to Jabatan Dasar Percukaian, Tingkat 12, Blok 9, Kompleks Bangunan Kerajaan, Jalan Duta, Peti Surat 11833, 50758 Kuala Lumpur.

> According to the IRB's website, the list of allowable deductions for medical expenses incurred for parents includes expenses in a nursing home. If my parents are both pensioners and I am footing the cost of my grandparents' stay in a nursing home, would I be able to claim the monthly expenses incurred for deductions?

No. Deduction is only for parents.


> Upon browsing for Tax Exemptions for Individuals, I noticed a provision for Tax Exemption that states: “Leave passage within Malaysia not exceeding three times in a year and one leave passage outside Malaysia not exceeding RM3,000.

i) How do I go about applying for this tax exemption?

ii) Where do I fill in my claims?

iii) How do I show proof of travels within Malaysia if I use my own means of transport?

iv) What is the limit for travel within Malaysia?

i) This exemption is only applicable to staff whose employment agreement states that he/she is given leave passage. For details, refer to public Ruling 1/2003 in the IRB's website.

ii) Your employer will declare it under column G of your Annual Income Statement (EA) form.

iii) It is not applicable.

iv) Your are limited to three times a year for travel within Malaysia.

> My company car is eight years old. My company over-calculated on the allowance for the past three years. How can I claim back the overpaid portion for the past three years?

Send an appeal letter together with the supporting documents to the branch where your file is registered.

Joint or separate claims

> I am a married woman who stopped working in the year 2009 and do not have any income in 2010. Do I need to submit a Borang BE for AY 2010? If yes, what category of assessment should I select? When my husband submits his Borang BE, what type of assessment should he select in order to obtain the wife relief of RM3,000?

You have to submit the BE form if you receive it. Select “5” . For husband's form, fill no. 4 Self for spouse without source of income/tax exempted income.

> Since I am not working, my husband pays for my insurance policy. Can he claim this against the education and medical insurance relief?

Your husband is not allowed to claim deduction for the premium payment on education or medical insurance if the receipts are issued under your name.

> My wife and I file our income tax assessments separately. I have an SSPN account for my son under my name. For the year 2010, I deposited RM3,000 into my son's SSPN account. My wife also deposited RM3,000 into my son's SSPN account even though it is under my name. I claim child relief for my son but my wife does not. Can she claim tax rebate for the RM3,000 she contributed although the account is not under her name and she is not claiming child relief for my son? Can she claim tax rebate for the same if she were to claim child relief for my son?

The beneficiary can have a maximum of three accounts under his name. So, in this case, your wife must have an account as a depositor for your child to claim for SSPN deduction.


> I have two children aged four and six years old. They are studying in a private kindergarten. I file my tax under “Taksiran Berasingan”. How should I fill out Section D16 and Section D16a? Who is eligible for 100% and who's for 50%?

You have to put “2” in No. of children eligible for deduction (D16) and “2” at 100% D16A. Where two or more individuals (not husband and wife living together) are each entitled to claim a deduction for payment made in respect of the same child, each of those individuals is entitled to claim 50% of the whole deduction.

> My son left Malaysia in October 2010. He was cleared by the IRB and even got a refund for overpayment. Does my son have to fill up the BE form for the year of assessment 2011? If so, does he have to fill up his income from his present overseas employer from October to December 2010 or only income derived in Malaysia that has not been declared for the above period? If there is no other Malaysian income from October to December 2010, is he still required to submit his return?

No, he does not need to file the tax form again for year 2010. Clearance has been issued and the tax for year 2010 has been calculated. Income from overseas need not be reported to the IRB as it is not subject to Malaysian Tax.

> I would like to seek your help in filling up the mutual fund declaration. It is mentioned that mutual fund declarations should be declared under HK-6. However, from the mutual fund distribution statement, I am having difficulty determining which columns refer to gross income and tax deducted columns.

Fill in the amount in column D for taxable income and E for tax deduction.

> What is Anuiti Tertunda and how much is it? How can I make use of this relief and which company sells this?

Anuiti Tertunda or the annuity scheme is under section 49 (1A) ACP 1967.

It refers to a contract between an individual and a life insurance company in which the individual pays a lump sum or a series of premiums and the insurance company pays it back in instalments spread over a long period of time in the future as agreed upon. You can buy from any insurance company that offers the scheme.

A further deduction is given in respect of any payment of premium for deferred annuity contracted on or after Jan 1, 2010. The total deduction for D17 and D18 is limited to a maximum of RM7,000. However, the total deduction in respect of life insurance premium and EPF contribution (item D17) is limited to RM6,000. Subsection 49(1A).

> Does the list of sports equipment include weight-training equipment such as barbells and exercise benches?

Under the Sports Equipment (Fitness) relief, any sports equipment related to sports activities is entitled to a deduction, including exercise equipment like the treadmill, exercise bike and air-walker.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

RM21mil fund to help writers publish own books - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Starting this year, local writers can apply for an allocation under the RM2mil fund to publish their own books.

National Library director-general Datuk Raslin Abu Bakar said the money would be given to those who completely write their own books.

"Writers can submit their works to the committee which will evaluate them based on the terms set," he told reporters at KL International Book Fair 2011 here on Saturday.

Raslin said qualified writers would be given RM25,000 each and the national library would buy and distribute the books to libraries nationwide.

However, the books published must be suitable for the rural community.

Some 16,044 books were published in 2008, 15,767 in 2009 and 15,756 in 2010.

The book fair, which began at Putra World Trade Centre on Friday, ends May 1. - Bernama

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Syed Husin Dedah SB ‘Lantik’ Pensyarah Universiti - Keadilan Daily

Senator Dewan Negara, Profesor Dr Syed Husin Ali mendedahkan bahawa Polis Cawangan Khas bukan sahaja mempengaruhi keputusan yang dibuat kerajaan, malah turut campurtangan dalam pelantikan pensyarah universiti, yang disifatkan lebih bahaya dan teruk dari campurtangan politik.

Beliau mendedahkan perkara ini semasa membahaskan titah Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin di Dewan Negara, semalam.

“Sekarang ini diketahui bahawa seseorang pemohon untuk menjadi pensyarah akan ditapis. Sebelum ia boleh diterima, namanya dirujuk kepada pihak keselamatan (biasanya SB) untuk dikaji dan dihalusi latar belakangnya.

“Hanya selepas dibersih atau diluluskan oleh pihak SB barulah tawaran jawatan dihantar kepadanya. Biasanya hubungan dan pendirian politik calon itupun boleh menjadi alasan menyekat perlantikan,” ujarnya.

Menurut Syed Husin, SB bukan sahaja campurtangan dalam pelantikan pensyarah, malah turut mempengaruhi keputusan dalam pelantikan seseorang profesor Emeritus, yang dilihat tidak sehaluan dengan kerajaan.

“Bahkan lebih buruk lagi diketahui bahawa SB campur tangan dalam hal perlantikan Profesor Emeritus. Gelaran ini diberi kepada seseorang yang telah berkhidmat selama tempoh tertentu di sesebuah universiti selepas ia bersara, atas dasar sumbangan dan kecemerlangannya dalam bidang akademik.

Menurut Syed Husin lagi, terdapat kes di mana seorang bekas profesor yang terkenal dibatalkan gelaran Profesor Emeritus oleh sebuah universiti ulung di Malaysia kerana disekat SB.

“Badan-badan akademik dalam Universiti itu bersetuju mengaugerahkan gelaran ini kepada bekas Profesor berkenaan. Akan tetapi, apabila sampai ke peringkat Lembaga Universiti, campur tangan SB berlaku. Maka tidak jadilah gelaran itu dianugerah,” katanya.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mutual recognition on degrees between Malaysia and China

BEIJING: Malaysia and China are to sign a Mutual Recognition Agreement on higher education that will become a catalyst in increasing student exchange between the two countries, said Malaysian Ambassador to China Datuk Iskandar Sarudin.

He added that ministry officers of both countries had recently discussed the proposal, which was expected to be finalised soon.

"Both countries had agreed to the proposed matter during Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's visit to China in 2009 and the Chinese premier Hu Jintao's visit to Malaysia later," he told reporters here Sunday night.

He added that issues related the proposal had been ironed out and the agreement was just waiting to be signed.

According to Iskandar, there are currently 2,252 self-sponsored Malaysian students pursuing their higher education in China, including 152 in Beijing, Shanghai (346), Guangdong (402) and Yunnan (7).

He added that there were also 119 students learning the Chinese language at the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU), comprising 84 students under the Education Ministry and 35 under MARA scholarship.

As at 2010, 10,214 students from China are pursuing their studies in various fields of studies at higher learning institutions in Malaysia, including business, hospitality, computer science, information technology, design and architecture.

Iskandar Sarudin said the exchange of Notes of Agreement between Malaysia and China on the partial abolition of visa requirement for holders of diplomatic and official or service passports would be effective one month after this was signed. - Bernama

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

International LifeLong Learning Conference 2011

The ILLLC2011 conference will be held at the Seri Pacific Hotel in KL on 14th and 15th November 2011.

The theme of the conference is: "Transforming Nations Through Enculturation of LifeLong Learning." The sub-themes are as follows:

Laying the Foundation:

* Nurturing the culture of lifelong learning
* Learning communities for sustainable development
* Empowering marginalised communities
* Overcoming barriers and challenges

Lifelong Learning for National Development:

* Driving human capital and human resource development
* The role of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)
* Making lifelong learning relevant for the workplace
* Current practices and future options

Policies and Implementation:

* The roles of the government and private sector
* Bridging the gap between formal and non-formal education
* Measuring lifelong learning: Qualification framework, regulation and quality assurance
* Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)
* Funding and managing lifelong learning programmes

Realising Lifelong Learning for All:

* Democratising lifelong learning: Ensuring access, opportunity and equity
* Leveraging on technology for lifelong learning
* Creating a conducive environment for lifelong learning

The conference is co-organized by Open University Malaysia, Ministry of Higher Education and University Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Important Dates:

Call for Papers: 1 April 2011
Abstract Submission: 30 May 2011
Notification of Abstract Acceptance: 15 June 2011
Submission of Full Paper: 15 August 2011
Notification of Full Paper Acceptance: 15 September 2011
Submission of Camera-Ready Paper: 30 September 2011
Registration (Early Bird): 30 September 2011
Registration: 15 October 2011
Conference: 14 - 15 November 2011

For details:

General Guidelines for Submitting an Abstract

• Abstracts should not be more than 200 words. Abstracts of more than 200 words will be rejected by the system.

• Abstracts should be sent via the Abstract/Paper Submission System not later than 30 May 2011.

• Abstracts should incorporate the objectives, methodology, results, implications and possible future studies.

• The paper title should not exceed two lines or 30 words.

General Guidelines for Submitting Full Papers

• Authors are encouraged to submit full papers describing original, unpublished research that is addressing any of the sub-themes but not currently under review by another conference or journal. The full paper should include a title, author’s name, affiliations, e-mail address, figures/tables and references. All authors are requested to adhere to the guidelines for preparing the full paper. The total number of words should be between 3,000 and 4,000.

• Paper submission is via the Abstract/Paper Submission System

• Papers should be in Microsoft Word format (.doc/.docx). Do NOT zip/compress the file! Any embedded OLE object should be in one of the default formats that come with Microsoft Office such as MSExcel or Powerpoint. Please ensure that all personal information is removed from the paper and the file properties, and that the first line is the title line.

• Once the paper has been uploaded, you will receive an acknowledgement confirming that your paper has been received. If you fail to receive this confirmation, please e-mail the secretariat at

Monday, April 4, 2011

42 private varsities, colleges struck off in 2010 - The Malaysian Insider

By Yow Hong Chieh April 04, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — The government revoked approvals for 27 private higher learning institutes and deregistered 15 private universities last year for failing to meet standards, the deputy higher education minister has said.

Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the institutes and universities in question had been guilty of offering poor quality premises, teaching staff, management and governance to students.

“In 2009, 32 private institutions were disbanded and 13 more were deregistered as they were non-viable,” he said during Question Time in Parliament today.

Saifuddin was replying to Padang Terap MP Mohd Nasir Zakaria, who asked the ministry to state the number of private universities and university colleges in the country.

Mohd Nasir also asked about the grants given to private universities and university colleges as well as their enrolment numbers.

Saifuddin said as of January this year, there were 24 private universities, 20 university colleges and five overseas universities with local campuses.

“The total number of private institutions, including private universities, university colleges and foreign universities with local campuses, is 485,” he said.

“The total number of students enrolled in all private institutions is 541,629.”

The Temerloh MP said the fundamental research grant scheme (FRGS) was reopened in 2009 by the Education Ministry and was initially offered to Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten), Malaysia Multimedia University (MMU) and Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP).

“That year, 30 research projects were sponsored for the three universities involving grants of RM1.4 million,” he said.

He added that in 2010, the FRGS was opened to all private universities, university colleges and universities from overseas with local campuses.