TNB, TM abort joint Nationwide Fiberisation Plan
Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) have aborted a joint effort to roll out high-speed broadband (HSBB) Internet services to rural areas. The two government-linked companies (GLCs) said they would not proceed with the proposed joint proposal to deliver the Nationwide Fiberisation Plan (NFP). Both companies had signed a MoU on Jan 16 to explore the implementation of the project. The NFP is a project announced in March 2017 by the previous government with the target of doubling the speed of fixed broadband and expanding the network reach into rural areas by leveraging on TNB’s extensive fibre trunk network. It was reported that the “last-mile” fiberisation plan could cost some RM10 billion. (The Star Online)

Azmin: NEP will be reviewed
The New Economic Policy (NEP) will be reviewed by the Government to ensure that it fulfils the needs of the people and the direction of socio-economic development of Malaysia, says Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali. The review of the NEP would be carried out in line with the aspirations of a New Malaysia in ensuring sustainable economic growth and a fair distribution. Azmin also said the 12th Malaysia Plan between 2021 and 2025 will focus more on a detailed and comprehensive development strategy for Malaysia. For years, the NEP had come under fire for allegedly being biased towards the majority race. (The Star Online)

Govt hopes to table SST bill next week
The government hopes to table the new Sales and Services Tax (SST) bill in parliament next week. The government intends to implement the SST from Sept 1 in place of the goods and services tax (GST), which was zero-rated in June after Pakatan Harapan took over Putrajaya. On July 16, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that the SST would be set at 10% for sales and 6% for services. Guan Eng said the SST, together with rising crude oil prices and extra dividends from government-linked companies, will bring in an additional RM14.4 billion revenue for the government to make up for the loss of RM21 billion in revenue from the zero-rating of the GST. The government will also honour its pledge to abolish the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma). (The Edge Markets)

Contractor enforces layoffs, pay cuts after ECRL suspension
The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) main contractor said today it hopes the government will lift the project’s suspension order soon, confirming that it is trimming down its workforce. China Communications Construction (ECRL) Sdn Bhd (CCC-ECRL) also said that it will offer pay cuts to its remaining staff. In addition, CCC-ECRL has also offered pay reduction and non-pay leave to other staff. It was reported last Saturday that almost half of some 2,000 workers, mostly Malaysians, on the project have been laid off since suspension on July 3. The Pakatan Harapan government is reviewing the US$20 billion (RM94.5 billion) ECRL project among other “mega projects” in a bid to cut massive federal debt. (Malay Mail Online)

MVV remains attractive to investors despite no HSR station
Malaysia Vision Valley (MVV) remains attractive despite the cancellation of a key Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) station from the massive development, senior Sime Darby Property Bhd (SD Property) executives said. SD Property township COO Datuk Wan Hashimi Albakri said while the entire MVV project was being reviewed by the government, investors continued to knock at its doors to help develop it. However, there was nothing concrete at the moment. The first phase of MVV is over 30 years covering 11,636 acres. (NST Online)