Stay home to prevent third wave of Covid-19 from happening — Health D-G

As the country imposes the movement control order starting today in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19), Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah is pleading with Malaysians to stay at home. Dr Noor Hisham noted that the country has a slim opportunity of cutting the network of Covid-19 infection under the move. He urged the public to be responsible and take all steps of precaution for their own safety, as well as their family. “Failure is not an option here. If not, we might face the third wave of the virus, which will be bigger like a tsunami, especially if we have the ‘tidak kisah’ (don’t care) attitude,” he added. (The Edge)

S&P: Asia-Pacific recession is now guaranteed

Asia-Pacific economic growth in 2020 will more than halve to less than 3% as the global economy enters a recession, said S&P Global Ratings. S&P Global Ratings Asia-Pacific chief economist Shaun Roache said an enormous first-quarter shock in China, shutdowns across the U.S. and Europe, and local virus transmission guarantees a deep recession across Asia-Pacific. “By recession, we mean at least two quarters of well below-trend growth sufficient to trigger rising unemployment,” he said. Roache estimates permanent income losses is likely to at least double to more than US$400 billion. He added that if lingering uncertainty results in a strong preference for U.S. dollars, policymakers in Asia’s emerging markets may be forced into a damaging round of pro-cyclical policy tightening. (The Edge)

MERCY Malaysia launches Covid-19 fund

MERCY Malaysia has launched the Covid-19 Pandemic Fund today to support the severely strained Malaysian healthcare system. The fund will also go towards supporting medical services and essential needs of marginalised groups. “We have been reinforcing preventive measures such as hand-washing, eating well-cooked foods and correct use of face masks at our mobile clinics for refugees and migrants since last month. “These marginalised communities cannot be left out of the pandemic containment plan as they can potentially be hot spots for the virus to spread rapidly,” said Executive Director of MERCY Malaysia, Ir. Amran Mahzan. He added that in the following weeks, MERCY Malaysia’s medical volunteers will be deployed to assist the Health Ministry’s screening and sampling of potential patients in key areas such as KLIA and District Health Offices. To support MERCY Malaysia’s initiatives, you may donate through or direct to MERCY Humanitarian Fund (5621 7950 4126) or MERCY Malaysia (CIMB 8000-7929-08). All donations are tax-exempted. (NST Online)

Axis REIT buys factory in Klang

Axis REIT has completed the acquisition of a leasehold property within the Bukit Raja industrial zone in Klang, Selangor for RM37 million. The property comprises 5.6-acre land with two blocks of detached factory and a double-storey office building. It was acquired from Lion Steelworks Sdn Bhd, a unit of Lion Corp Bhd. The acquisition is in line with the fund’s investment objectives and to achieve growth in the net asset value (NAV) per unit of Axis-REIT, by acquiring high quality, earnings accretive properties with strong recurring rental income. Axis REIT Managers Bhd (ARMB) said that the board is actively scouting around for properties, and aims to acquire RM140 million worth of properties to be added into the portfolio. (NST Online)

Minister: Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign cancelled

The Visit Malaysia 2020 tourism campaign has been cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the movement control order. Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the cancellation is with immediate effect, and will involve the freezing of all over-the-counter and online services for the ministry’s Tourism Licensing Division. However, all tourist accommodation will be permitted to operate at a minimum level. All guests at said premises must remain in their rooms for the quarantine period, but are allowed to order food through room service. “For guests forced to extend their stay throughout the movement control order, they may register with tourism accommodation suited to their budgets. However, new domestic tourists seeking to register with premises will not be permitted,” she said. (Malay Mail)