Rehda calls for Covid-19 bill

The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) is calling for the government to enact a force majeure exemption bill or a “Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill” to lawfully protect players of all industries during the movement control order (MCO) period. Rehda president Datuk Soam Heng Choon said the enforcement of the MCO has impacted the livelihood of the rakyat in all industries across the board, with many parties being unable to perform their contractual obligations. The bill therefore is to ensure that every party is safeguarded against any form of penalisation that would be imposed under normal circumstances, he said. Soam said Rehda is of the opinion that the enactment of such a bill will be beneficial not only to purchasers, developers, financiers and other property industry players, but also those in other industries that form Malaysia’s economic ecosystem. (The Edge)

Medical group calls for MCO to be extended

A group of medical professionals led by the Academy of Medicine Malaysia (AMM) today urged the government to extend the movement control order (MCO) beyond phase two which ends on April 14. The group warned that the mass exodus of people during the Hari Raya season poses a risk of spreading the virus beyond control, and that it was too soon to resume a state of normalcy with no cure or vaccine available just yet. Malaysia is still seeing a rise in positive cases on a daily basis and to date, there have been 4,119 positive Covid-19 cases, with 65 deaths. The Academy of Medicine of Malaysia, embracing 11 Colleges and 15 Chapters, is a registered body representing all the medical specialists in Malaysia. (Malay Mail)

Coronavirus driving real estate agents down

Housing real estate agents globally say the coronavirus pandemic has cut their 2020 earning expectations, this is according to the Global Coronavirus Agent Survey by Juwai IQI. The firm noted that 82% of the agents will see their earnings negatively impacted this year, and 62% of agents predict the impact of the pandemic on their real estate market will last longer than three months. Only 10% of agents worldwide believe the impact from the widespread of the virus will be limited to two months or less. The survey included agents from over 60 countries to gauge the impact of the pandemic on the global real estate industry. In Singapore and Australia, 88% and 84% of agents expect to make less, respectively in 2020. Malaysian and Philippine agents are the least pessimistic among those surveyed by Juwai IQI. Juwai IQI executive chairman Georg Chmiel said that while the coronavirus has impacted markets across the board, it is seeing more real estate agents and property developers turning online to market and launch their developments. (NST Online)

No moratorium for housing loans under LPPSA

There is no moratorium for housing loans taken by civil servants via the Public Sector Home Financing Board (LPPSA). In a statement today, LPPSA said borrowers would continue the monthly instalment repayments under the scheme despite the ongoing Movement Control Order (MCO). It said the welfare of civil servants was sufficiently taken care of as they still receive their salaries and pensions to cover their monthly expenses. The government has subsidised the LPPSA at a 4% interest rate, which is lower than the rate offered by any banking institution. It said any moratorium or delay in financing the monthly instalment would affect LPPSA’s cash flow and result in additional loans of more than RM2 billion. It said LPPSA was responsible in ensuring its financial viability and resources remained intact so it can continue to serve existing and future civil servants. (NST Online)

Malaysia’s lab network launches Covid-19 testing scheme

A consortium of Malaysia’s leading private laboratory network has launched the country’s largest Covid-19 collection and testing programme to assist effort to ‘flatten the curve’. The consortium of three associated laboratories comprises Gribbles Pathology Malaysia, Quantum Diagnostics and Clinipath Malaysia. The participating laboratories will soon be bidable to conduct over 5,000 tests daily with 24-hour turnaround time. The consortium said the programme was being rolled out in phases with the first drive-through service starting on April 9 at Clinipath’s headquarters in Klang and booking commencing on April 8. Malaysia was testing at a current rate of 1,255 tests per million people compared to 6,800 tests per million people in Singapore and 6,500 tests per million people in South Korea, it said. (NST Online)