Tun M: Government mulling idea of cryptocurrency
The government is mulling with the idea of cryptocurrency, especially on the role it might replace, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said. He was reponding to International Monetary Fund Chief Christine Lagarde’s remarks on the possibility of central banks around the world considering issuing digital currency. Various central banks around the world are seriously considering the ideas, including Canada, China, Sweden, and Uruguay. Cryptocurrency or digital currency is not a legal tender in Malaysia. Dr Mahathir went on to say that more interesting than cryptocurrency was a cashless society. “When money is not used, corruption is less possible,” he said. (The Sun Daily)

Utusan sells Jalan Tiga land for RM18mil
Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd, the publisher of Utusan Malaysia, has proposed to sell a piece of industrial land in Kuala Lumpur for RM18mil to raise cash. The net proceeds from the disposal of the 4,715 square meters plot of leasehold land, located at Jalan Tiga Off Jalan Chan Sow Lin are intended to be utilised as working capital requirements. The company on Thursday entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Strong Skyhutch for the disposal of the land. Utusan said the land has a market value of RM17.8mil. The original cost of investment in the property was RM813,191 in 1979. (The Star Online)

Penang govt wants to buy back low-cost homes from ‘rich’ owners
The Penang government may buy back low and medium cost homes of owners who have become richer and has set up a special committee to look into this. The reclaimed units will then be channelled to new applications under the new system, said State Housing, Local Government, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo. “We also want to ensure unit stocks are sufficient to be offered to eligible buyers and not be rented to third parties. It is stipulated that the owners must occupy these units and not put them up for rent,” he said. Jagdeep Singh also told the assembly that the state government was now giving priority to ICT infrastructure to attain its smart cities vision by 2030. (The Star Online)

Government paid compensation totaling RM5.1bil to highway concessionaires
The total compensation paid out by the Government to concessionaires of tolled highways from 1990 to 2017 is RM5.109 billion while the total toll collected from the time they started operating till 2017 is RM74.654 billion. Works Minister Baru Bian said there were 29 tolled-highways still in operation throughout the country. He said the average expenditure to operate and maintain these highways is RM1.7 billion annually. Two of the concessions were scheduled to end in 10 years, 16 in 11 to 20 years and 11 have more than 20 years. The Government pays compensation to the concessionaires so that they do not increase tolls as per their concession agreements. (The Edge Markets)

Mersing to be declared national geopark next year
Mersing would be declared the first national geopark site in Johor in March next year. Its assistant district officer Mohamed Afiq Zubir said the matter had been agreed upon by the National Geopark Development Committee, and the papers on the proposal were already in the works. He said geology is the most important element in applying for the geopark status, but it must be accompanied by others including biodiversity and culture of the local community. “The proposal to make Mersing a geopark is in line with government’s effort to position the district as a thriving tourist destination, both domestic and internationally. The district’s uniqueness is based on the belief that it was one of the earliest land formed in the peninsula, apart from the existence of a once active volcano 300 years ago,” he said. (NST Online)

(Photo from The Rakyat Post)