Plastic bags to cost 50sen from Jan 1 in Penang
The 20sen charged for each plastic bag will increase to 50sen in Penang effective Jan 1 next year. This is the first increase since the “No Free Plastic Bag” was introduced by the state government in 2009. The thickness of the plastic would also be increased from 15 microns to 40 microns. This is in line with the state government’s policy of ‘No Free Plastic Bag’ and ‘No To Single Use Plastic’ which will begin on Jan 1, 2019. The state-level ‘No to Plastic Straws’ campaign will also begin in phases from Jan 1 next year. (The Star Online)

MACC probing claims of tampered 1MDB audit report
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has begun investigating claims that the original audit report on 1MDB had been tampered with and altered. It will also be calling up several witnesses soon to testify and to assist in the investigations. Auditor-General Tan Sri Madinah Mohamad has confirmed that the contents of the original audit report on scandal-plagued fund 1MDB had been tampered with and altered, upon instructions by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his aides. (Malay Mail Online)

MIEA: Property agents, negotiators have a role in FundMyHome
Real estate agents and negotiators have a role to play in the new FundMyHome property scheme, said MIEA president Eric Lim. “It is an interesting scheme and I think we have a role to play [in it] given that we have a big client base and network in the industry. So we would love to work together with [FundMyHome],” he said. EdgeProp Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Tong Kooi Ong said the platform is one that is inclusive of all stakeholders. Tong said real estate agents can help prospective FundMyHome homeowners by facilitating transactions under the scheme. (The Edge Markets)

MRCB receives RM1.33bil govt compensation for ending EDL highway
Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd (MRCB) has received RM1.325bil from the government as a settlement for ending the concession for the Eastern Dispersal Link Expressway (EDL). MRCB CEO Ann Wan Tee said the payment was a significant event as it marked the end of the non-core asset rationalisation programme in connection with MRCB’s corporate transformation. The sum received on Nov 23 will immediately reduce MRCB’s net gearing from 0.71x to 0.46x. The company’s net gearing is expected to fall even more to 0.22x after 80% of MRCB’s 30.45 hectares of land in Bukit Jalil is disposed to EPF, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year. (The Star Online)

Fuel subsidy for RON95 to be rolled out in stages
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail today announced that the targeted fuel subsidy mechanism for lower engine capacity vehicles will be rolled out in stages from the second quarter of 2019. Malaysians used 1.2 billion litres of fuel each month, with 90% using RON95. Under Budget 2019, motorists using cars with engine capacities of 1,500cc and below, or motorcycles with engine capacities of 125cc and below, will enjoy RON95 petrol at a lower price. Eligible drivers can receive subsidies for up to 100 litres per month for cars and 40 litres per month for motorcycles. (Free Malaysia Today)