KL wholesale market to re-open tomorrow

The Kuala Lumpur wholesale market in Batu Caves, which recently saw Covid-19 cases among several traders and their workers, will re-open tomorrow after being ordered to close for two days. A notice by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) stated that the market would only re-open at noon under the orders of the National Security Council. It was learnt that the traders were told by DBKL on Saturday that they would no longer be allowed to employ foreign workers until further notice. As “middlemen” between farmers and retailers, wholesalers at the market supply fresh vegetables to retailers such as in the Klang Valley, Negri Sembilan and Kuantan. Kuala Lumpur Vegetable Wholesalers Association vice-president Chong Tek Keong said wholesale prices of vegetables shot up by between 20% and 30% with a drop in supply to grocery stores as the Covid-19 cases at the market caused over half of its 216 members to suspend trading. The government’s directive to bar foreigners from working at the Kuala Lumpur wholesale market was also a setback, as local workers were difficult to find. (The Star Online)

90-day grace period after MCO for registration of births and deaths

Registration of births and deaths during the movement control order (MCO) will be allowed to be delayed up to 90 days from the date the MCO ends, says Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Currently, registration of births and deaths have to be made within 60 days at the nearest National Registration Department (NRD). Failure to do so would result in a late penalty. Ismail Sabri also said that the Home Ministry had decided that those who needed to replace their lost MyKads can do so by getting an appointment with their respective NRD branches. For Malaysian citizens residing in other countries, the period of 90 days must be calculated from the date the MCO or lockdown ends in that particular country. (The Star Online)

Do not make travel plans yet’

Malaysians intending to travel should not assume they can proceed with their plans as soon as the movement control order (MCO) is lifted, says Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. “Even if you have bought a ticket from the airlines, they can only start operating when the government gives the go-ahead. So if the time comes and there is still no approval from the government, you can’t fly, ” he said, in reference to airlines selling tickets for flights scheduled after the MCO period. The MCO, he said, had effectively reduced the number of new cases to double digits in the past few days “but that doesn’t mean all is safe yet”. Ismail Sabri said anybody entering Malaysia was subject to mandatory quarantine regardless of travel via land, air or sea. Travellers on long transit in Peninsular Malaysia on their way to Sabah or Sarawak would also have to be quarantined in those states. He advised Malaysians who wish to travel home to get permission from the police before purchasing their tickets. (The Star Online)

Only virtual AGM allowed for companies, societies and associations during MCO

All companies, cooperatives, associations and organisations are required to postpone their annual general meetings (AGM) to another date on the advice of the Ministry of Health (MOH) during the movement control order (MCO). Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob said, however, leverage may be given if any company, society or association wants to conduct their AGM or meetings online. “We want to avoid situations that require many people to convene in one place,” he said. He asked hoteliers to contact the government if they would like their property to be used as a quarantine centre, adding that as an incentive, the hotels in question will be offered Sales and Service Tax (SST) exemption in return. At present, there are 190 quarantine centres operating across Malaysia, with 17,008 individuals undergoing mandatory quarantine. (Malay Mail)

Neiman Marcus to file for bankruptcy as soon as this week

Neiman Marcus Group is preparing to seek bankruptcy protection as soon as this week, becoming the first major U.S. department store operator to succumb to the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, according to sources. The debt-laden Dallas-based company has been left with few options after the pandemic forced it to temporarily shut all 43 of its Neiman Marcus locations, roughly two dozen Last Call stores and its two Bergdorf Goodman stores in New York. Neiman Marcus is in the final stages of negotiating a loan with its creditors totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. It has also furloughed many of its roughly 14,000 employees. Neiman Marcus’ borrowings total about $4.8 billion. Other department store operators including Macy’s, Nordstrom, and J.C. Penney that have also had to close their stores are battling to avoid Neiman Marcus’ fate. (Reuters)