Customers paying the price for cashless transactions
Several banks have come under fire for charging fees when customers make loan and credit card payments with cash or cheques over the counter or through deposit machines. At least two other banks have announced they would do the same from next month. The Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) says the fees are imposed to “encourage customers to move from cash to electronic payments” but consumer groups argue that this practice is unfair to those who do not do their banking via digital channels. Customers are charged RM2 for over-the-counter transactions, while those using deposit machines are charged 50sen. Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) CEO Datuk Paul Selvaraj said banks should not penalise consumers who do not know how to perform Internet banking or who do not trust it, noting that the poor and the disadvantaged will be the ones who will be burdened. (The Star Online)

REHDA urges govt to review charges, requirements to save cost
The Real Estate & Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA) hopes the government will lower or abolish unnecessary charges and requirements imposed on developers to reduce the cost of doing business. Its president Datuk Ir Soam Heng Choon said developers have been experiencing a significant increase in the cost of doing business, particularly in construction materials and consultancy services, which are between 5% to 10% higher. The requirements that developers have to comply include land conversion premium, capital contribution charge (for infrastructure and utility) where some plots of land need to be surrendered for plants and machinery construction and stamp duty. “We also urge state governments and local authorities to review some of their impositions and fees that are not adding value to development but only creating more red tapes and additional costs,” he said. (The Edge)

Sime Darby Property makes it to Dow Jones Sustainability Indices
Sime Darby Property Bhd (SimeProp) has been selected as an index component of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). SimeProp said the inclusion reinforced its sustainability credentials as it is the only Malaysian property developer to qualify for the Dow Jones Sustainability Emerging Market Index alongside other property companies from the Philippines, Thailand, Mexico, Chile, and South Africa. The Dow Jones Sustainability Emerging Market Index comprises emerging-market sustainability leaders identified by RobecoSAM, the investment specialist that focuses exclusively on sustainability investing. (The Edge)

Dr M says steering Malaysia back to health with reforms, fiscal discipline
Various institutional reforms have been undertaken to put Malaysia on a better footing, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. “The first thing we tried to do and have done is to strengthen the agency that is focused on corruption,” he said referring to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. Dr Mahathir said the next reform goal was to uphold the rule of law. The prime minister said his administration has also focused on better management of funds. (Malay Mail)

Malaysian makes it into Forbes Asia’s Power Businesswomen list
Co-founder and chief operating officer (COO) of regional giant ride-hailing app Grab, Tan Hooi Ling is among 25 women named in Forbes’ 2019 Asia’s Power Businesswomen list. As COO, the 35-year-old Malaysian focuses on growing Grab’s market share in the eight countries and 336 cities where the company operates. Tan, together with co-founder, Anthony Tan, have successfully raised over US$9bil since the app was launched in 2012. The 2019 Asia’s Power Businesswomen list, announced yesterday, highlights 25 of the region’s outstanding women in business. The list, Forbes Asia said, recognises women who are breaking down barriers and playing a significant role in shaping Asia’s business landscape. This includes entrepreneurs who have started their own business, those transforming their family enterprises and high-level executives. (The Star Online)

Grab co-founder and COO, Tan Hooi Ling (Source: Forbes)