Sultan Iskandar Mosque is nation’s first tourism-friendly mosque

The Sultan Iskandar Mosque in Bandar Dato’ Onn, Johor Baru has been declared Malaysia’s first tourism-friendly mosque following a Malaysia Tourism Quality Assurance (MyTQA) certificate given to it by the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry. Datuk Kamaruzzaman Abu Kassim, who is Johor Corporation (JCorp) outgoing president and chief executive, as well as Waqaf An-Nur Corporation Bhd chairman, said it was JCorp’s core mission to promote a better understanding of Islam and also its aesthetic aspect through the mosque. “We hope to attract 40,000 visitors to the mosque for Visit Johor Year 2020, ” he said. Kamaruzzaman said in addition to having mosque employees play a tour guide role to provide insight on Islam, there are also the Galeri An-Nur and a theatre as well. Sultan Iskandar Mosque, which was built in 2013 and can accommodate 4,600 worshippers, is the sixth and biggest mosque under Waqaf An-Nur Corporation. (The Star Online)

E&O to raise RM1.5b from sukuk issuance

Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O), through its unit Tanjung Pinang Development Sdn Bhd, is raising RM1.5 billion from a sukuk issuance. It announced the establishment of an Islamic medium term note programme for the issuance of Islamic medium term notes (Sukuk Murabahah) of up to RM1.5 billion in nominal value. The lifestyle developer said the Sukuk Murabahah programme was unrated and will have a tenure of 25 years commencing from the date of the first issuance. Proceeds from the issuance will be used on the land reclamation, infrastructure and development costs of the group’s Seri Tanjung Pinang 2 development in Penang. It will also be used to repay existing borrowings, support working capital and defray expenses incurred in relation to the sukuk issuance. (NST Online)

Uproar over hike in minimum wage

Manufacturers and bosses are questioning the timing as well as the list of 57 major towns and cities that will see a hike in the minimum wage from RM1,100 to RM1,200 beginning Jan 1,2020. Some are even warning consumers to expect price increases. Federation of Malaysian Manu-facturers (FMM) president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said how the 57 areas were chosen was ambiguous and not clear. “The ministry should state the per capita income of the 57 towns, ” he said. He also questioned whether the ministry had consulted stakeholders before coming to its decision, which did not give manufacturers much time to prepare. The minimum wage increase from RM1,100 to RM1,200 was first announced in Budget 2020 in October, but the list of actual towns and cities – beyond the 13 state capitals – was only revealed on Wednesday. (The Star Online)

Sunway Big Box Retail Park opens to the public

Sunway Big Box Retail Park in Iskandar Puteri, the first hybrid retail park in Malaysia, has officially opened to the public. It is the seventh retail development under the Sunway Malls umbrella that currently has 7.7 million square feet of net lettable area (NLA) under management. Sunway Malls and Theme Parks CEO HC Chan said costing RM250 million, the two-floor retail cluster is set to provide an immersive retail and leisure experience to the shoppers as it is home to nearly 100 retail, food and beverage and entertainment stores. “On top of that, our hallmark integrated development will also have a hotel and office tower to be built. The hotel is scheduled to open in 2020 followed by the office tower in 2021,” he said. (The Edge)

Malaysia finally scraps Anti-Fake News Act

Malaysia has repealed the Anti-Fake News Act following the Senate’s approval. This was Pakatan Harapan’s second attempt at abolishing the controversial law criminalising “fake news”, introduced by the previous administration. Under the law, those found guilty of spreading what authorities consider to be “fake news” could face up to six years in jail and fines of up to RM500,000. The bill was passed and tabled in the Dewan Negara. It will now be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah for assent. (Free Malaysia Today)