Malaysia now in Phase Five, Putrajaya’s new rules for CMCO applies nationwide

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that Malaysia has currently moved to the fifth phase of the movement control order (MCO), a week before it was supposed to end on May 12. The current phase also called the conditional movement control order (CMCO), which comes with more relaxed rules, applies to the whole country from Monday (4 May) onwards, he said. Ismail Sabri explained that this new set of regulations is now the one applicable in Malaysia, with the previous set of regulations made for the fourth phase of the MCO now revoked. He cited as example that the regulations under MCO 4 state that only a maximum of two persons are allowed in one vehicle, while the regulations under MCO 5 now allow a maximum of four in a car. The new regulations for CMCO can be found here. (Malay Mail)

Malaysia: Customers urged to review property insurance policies

The General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) has urged consumers and business owners to review their property insurance policies such as their fire insurance and business interruption coverages where necessary. This development comes amidst concerns among policyholders over whether their insurance policies will provide them with the protection that they need during the uncertain COVID-19 period. PIAM notes that not all insurance companies are providing the same coverage for an insurance policy and therefore advises consumers and business owners to contact their respective insurers and insurance agents or brokers for any assistance or clarifications on their property insurance policies. The association also cautioned that there may be unscrupulous parties prepared to make promises that cannot be met by the customer’s insurer. Meanwhile, PIAM confirmed that all relevant fire policy coverage which is conditioned on the premise being occupied will not be affected by restrictions imposed by the MCO. (Asia Insurance Review)

Property demand in Penang still strong despite economy

The demand for property in Penang remains robust despite the economic downturn brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and the movement control order (MCO) enforced to curb its spread. FIABCI president Michael Geh Thuan Peng said he is still receiving enquiries about property under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme. He also noted that banks have yet to let up on processing applications for home loans. Nonetheless, he said, property players should note that the MCO has been in place for only six weeks. “The market can still take a nosedive,” he warned. Nonetheless, he added, it has the capacity to rebound with time. Last month, state executive councillor in charge of housing Jagdeep Singh Deo said Penang is already working on a range of incentives for the real estate sector, with one of the options being to lower property prices across the board to stimulate the market. (The Sun Daily)

State govts may face legal action if they stop businesses from reopening: MITI

State governments may face legal action from various parties particularly industry players if they stop businesses from resuming their operations from May 4, 2020, says Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali. The Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry said the government views seriously the position taken by the various state governments in refusing to execute the decision to restart the economy. Effective yesterday, companies from almost all sectors of the economy are allowed to operate following the government’s decision in order to revive and revitalise the economy. The federal government will provide a set of comprehensive and stringent Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for use by all parties and these SOPs have been provided to the state governments on May 2, 2020 to be applied by all parties, he said. (Bernama)

Bank Negara may cut OPR by 50bps in May and 25bps in July

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is expected to slash the overnight policy rate (OPR) by 50 basis points (bps) on Tuesday during its monetary policy committee (MPC) and a further 24bps in July, said Standard Chartered Global Research. This would take the policy rate to 1.75%, lower than the 2% OPR during the 2008-2009 global financial crisis. The bank opined that as BNM had already cut the OPR by 50bps since the start of the year, a further 50bps cut in May would be appropriate, balancing between the need to extend monetary policy support and stability in monetary policy decisions. Additionally, the bank said that Malaysia has a relatively high household leverage, which should benefit from the rate cuts. “We estimate that a 50 bps cut to the mortgage rate may help households save around 0.4% of the gross domestic product per annum,” it said. (Bernama)