Govt sets up Economic Action Council amid economy slump

Amidst growing concerns over the slowing down of the global and local economy, the Cabinet has today decided to form an Economic Action Council (EAC) to be headed by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. He said the council would convene for a meeting every Monday, beginning next week, with any proposals made will also be tabled at the weekly Cabinet meeting for further deliberation and decision. The premier added that the setting up of the council was particularly important in light of the global Covid-19 outbreak and the drop of the global fuel price, which he said have impacted the country’s economy tremendously. Muhyiddin also launched the Covid-19 Fund, which will be used to help those affected by the coronavirus outbreak. He said the government would allocate RM1mil to the fund, adding that the public was encouraged to donate. (The Sun Daily)

Covid-19: Tax deduction for Johor Malay reserve land expanded to five hectares

The tax deduction of 50% for Malay reserve land in Johor has been expanded from four to five hectares, according to Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad. He said the matter was decided after taking into consideration the current state of the people’s economy which had been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. He said the state government had also decided to extend the tax payment period to further ease the people’s burden and the period of payment would be determined by the Land and District Office. To assist the hospitality industry, Hasni said the state government agencies would be allowed to hold events and programmes at the hotels to boost the sector’s business. (Malay Mail)

IHH Healthcare offers on-demand Covid-19 testing in Malaysia

Asia’s largest private healthcare group IHH Healthcare has begun offering on-demand testing for the new coronavirus at its hospitals in Malaysia. The group rolled out its diagnostic services in Malaysia and Singapore “so that public hospitals have the bandwidth to continue prioritising the treatment of infected patients,” managing director and Chief Executive Kevin Loh said. The country reported 20 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the total confirmed infections to 149 in the Southeast Asian nation. Malaysian authorities are tracking around 5,000 citizens across the country believed to have been potentially exposed to the coronavirus at a religious event in the outskirts of the capital Kuala Lumpur. IHH’s testing service in Malaysia, accredited by the health ministry, is available on-demand at its Gleneagles and Pantai hospitals in Kuala Lumpur and southern state of Malacca. The hospital operator aims to expand the service to at least three other states on Peninsular Malaysia. (The Star Online)

Front facade of Pantai Hospital KL. IHH Healthcare (Source: The Star)

No snap polls, says Muhyiddin

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today ruled out the possibility of holding snap polls, stressing that his Perikatan Nasional Government would serve the people until the next General Election. Muhyiddin said the new Government is for the people and it would work for the people. It was reported that Pakatan Harapan (PH) Members of Parliament (MPs) have alleged that Muhyiddin did not enough nominations to be appointed as Prime Minister and they were planning to table a motion of no confidence against him when Dewan Rakyat resumes its sitting on May 18. Commenting on the matter, Muhyiddin said: “Of course (I have the majority support). If not, I wouldn’t be here.” (The Edge)

Najib’s SRC trial ends

The SRC International Sdn Bhd trial involving former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has concluded with the final witness taking the stand. Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah informed High Court judge Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali that the defence was closing its case after the testimony of Asst Comm Regjit Singh from the MACC. Justice Nazlan then fixed a four-day oral submission on May 12,13,15 and 18. The defence trial, which started on Dec 3 last year, lasted 33 days with 19 witnesses taking the stand. On Nov 11 last year, Justice Nazlan ordered for Najib to enter his defence after ruling that the prosecution had proven a prima facie case against him. The Pekan MP is accused of seven charges – three for criminal breach of trust, one for abuse of power and three for money laundering involving SRC International funds totalling RM42mil. (The Star Online)