Malaysia expected to achieve 4.8% GDP growth for 2020: Azmin

Malaysia is expected to achieve a stronger and more sustainable GDP growth of 4.8% next year on the back of its strong macroeconomic fundamentals, according to Minister of Economic Affairs Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali. He said Malaysia’s highly-diversified economic and export structure, supportive labour market, low and stable inflation, a strong and well-capitalised financial sector and a healthy current account surplus on the balance of payments would continue to drive the economy going forward. “For 2020, RM56 billion has been allocated for 5,466 development projects in order to support the growth momentum and strengthen the country’s long-term economic capacity, whereby of this amount, RM53.2 billion is allocated for 4,744 ongoing projects and the remaining amount of RM2.8 billion has been set aside for 722 new projects,” he said. (The Edge)

New medical grads see red over incentive cut

Incoming medical professionals are up in arms over the government’s decision to eliminate the Critical Service Incentive Allowance for new appointments beginning Jan 1. Many of them are unhappy that the Public Service Department (PSD), which made the announcement, thinks that the public healthcare sector is no longer deemed critical. Unlike other professions that are also affected following the announcement, healthcare practitioners like doctors, pharmacists and nurses depend highly on the public sector to kickstart their career because of the required housemanship and compulsory service. A senior medical officer who only wanted to be known as Dr Arif said medicine was no longer a secure job like it used to. “What will happen when they feel discouraged to choose medicine?” he asked, adding the situation was further compounded when there were no more permanent positions for medical professionals in civil service. (The Star Online)

Incoming supply remains a concern

The outlook for the Klang Valley office market remains challenging in the medium term because about 22 million sq ft of incoming supply is targeted for completion in the next two to three years. “As business conditions remain lacklustre with no immediate catalyst to boost demand, we anticipate weak market absorption,” says Knight Frank Malaysia. KL City has an estimated office supply of 55.73 millionsq ft, KL fringe has 29.45 million sq ft and Selangor, 22.15 million sq ft. This brings the estimated total to 107.33 million sq ft. Prime A+ office segment in the city’s new CBD is facing more downward pressure due to a growing mismatch between supply and demand, and as existing and new buildings compete for the same pool of tenants. However, multinational companies are looking to set up their offices in premium or Grade A office space which will benefit newly completed buildings in ongoing mega developments. (The Edge)

Developer sues Parkson unit for alleged failure to pay rent

Property developer PKNS-Andaman Development Sdn Bhd has served Parkson Corporation Sdn Bhd (PCSB), a subsidiary of Parkson Retail Asia, with a writ and statement of claim in relation to premises let to PCSB within EVO shopping mall in Malaysia. In a filing, PKNS alleged that PCSB has failed to observe its obligation to pay rental for the premises, according to the tenancy agreement entered into between both parties on Oct 2, 2017. PKNS is claiming for reliefs including RM3.7 million as accrued monthly rental from April 2, 2018 to Dec 2, 2019, and thereafter at the rate of RM183,000 per month until the return of the premises. In response, PCSB has taken the position that no rental is payable because “PKNS has failed to satisfy the conditions set out in the tenancy agreement for rental commencement to be triggered”. (Business Times)

Jawi lessons just for ‘national heritage’, everyday items, Education Dept official says

Jawi lessons that will proceed for Standard Four, Five and Six next year will only include three pages which will educate pupils on the scriptures that is inscribed on everyday items and national heritage, said Ministry of Education (MoE) deputy director-general Habibah Abdul Rahim. She explained that the introduction of jawi into the education syllabus was to promote Bahasa Malaysia’s artistic beauty compared to its Romanised version. Habibah also said that the introduction of jawi is merely to instil an appreciation of the language as a national heritage and that MoE has no intention of replacing romanised Bahasa Malaysia with the scripture. (Malay Mail)