World Bank: Malaysia to achieve high-income status by 2024
Malaysia’s economy is projected to expand at a rate of 4.7% in 2019 and 4.6% in 2020; while the country is expected to achieve high-income nation status at some point between 2020 and 2024, said the World Bank. For 2018, Malaysia’s economic growth is expected to moderate in the near term, growing at 4.9%, underpinned by continued strong growth in private consumption. In 2017, Malaysia’s economy expanded at 5.9%. “As a highly-open economy, Malaysia will continue to face substantial risks relating to uncertainty in the external environment,” The World Bank said in its latest economic report on the region. (NST Online)

Developers wanted for project at MAHB’s Subang Aerotech Park
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is opening its doors to developers to present their proposals that could be incorporated into the masterplan to transform its remaining 10.5ha of land in Subang into a comprehensive aerospace hub, to house major aviation players within the next five years. The land is located at one of its clusters called Subang Aerotech Park (SAP), which is part of the Subang Regeneration Initiative development that also includes the Business Aviation Nexus and City Airport projects. MAHB has already received various proposals from local and international industry players, and the deal is expected to conclude in the next two months. Under the new model, the company will facilitate and engage property developers, including from overseas, that will rent the land plot and build-to-suit the tenants need in 15 months’ time. (The Malaysian Reserve)

Government mulls options to bring down toll rates
Following its deferment of toll abolition, the government is now considering giving rebates or discounts for road users, as well as extending the concessions for tolled roads, to bring down toll rates, according to Works Minister Baru Bian. The government is still looking at proposals from industry players and has yet to make a decision. “[We will announce a] decision in two to three months’ time,” he said. Industry experts have suggested that one way for the government to lower the costs of highway construction is by guaranteeing bonds. The government could also look into delaying the construction of expressways that “don’t have to be built now”. The government can also consider PPP (public-private partnerships) with private firms. (The Edge Markets)

Gobind: Malaysia to update data protection laws
Malaysia is looking to update its data protection laws to prevent data breaches, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo. “The law has to be on par with European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, as data breaches nowadays not just occur locally, but stretch across globally,” he said. “We need to put in place a system to ensure data breaches don’t happen, and find ways to stop a breach immediately before it gets out of hand.” He said the Ministry is looking to work with other Asean countries to develop a framework on data protection too. (The Star Online)

New national car scheme to land first model by 2020
The New National Car Project (NNCP) will introduce its first model in under two years time, said Entrepreneur Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Yusof. The first car may even arrive before 2020 due to the “disruption” model planned for the project. “This is because we are not starting from zero and we intend to use pre-existing infrastructure to manufacture the cars,’’ he said. The national car project will be privately funded, with the government and federal agencies providing its “ecosystem”. He said the car will be semi-autonomous and will be inspired by suggestions from the youth. The NNCP aims to be a platform not just to produce cars but any other mobility products such as trains or other transport craft. (Malay Mail Online)