CMCO extended till June 9

The conditional movement control order (MCO) will be extended for another four weeks until June 9 as public sentiments are also in favour of it, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. The Prime Minister said mass movements would not be allowed although major festivals – Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Kaamatan and Hari Gawai – fall within that period. “When the situation improves, Malaysians can go back to their hometowns to visit their parents or relatives,” he said in a live broadcast on national television yesterday.However, he said visiting close neighbours and families in the same state would be allowed during the festivals, provided that there was a maximum of 20 people gathered at any one time. (The Star Online)

Malaysia Q1 GDP seen shrinking for first time in decade

Malaysia’s economy is expected to have contracted for the first time in more than a decade in the first quarter as the coronavirus crisis shattered private consumption and external demand. The median forecast from a poll of 12 economists was for GDP to decline 1.5% in January-March from a year earlier, the first contraction since the third quarter of 2009 during the global financial crisis. Individual forecasts ranged from GDP growth of 0.8% to a decline of 4.2%. Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy took a heavy blow from sharp downturns in tourism, external trade and global crude prices, made worse by poor domestic activity due to curbs on movement and businesses. (The Sun Daily)

IJM Land’s RM4.5bil The Light City to resume in August

IJM Land Bhd will restart work on the stalled RM4.5bil The Light City project, which is located next to the Penang Bridge, in August. IJM Perennial Development Sdn Bhd general manager Tan Hun Beng said the construction work was supposed to start in April. IJM Perennial is a joint-venture company between IJM Corp Bhd and Singapore-based Perennial Real Estate Holdings Ltd to oversee the project. According to Tan, the details of the contract for the project are now being finalised. Tan added that the project, scheduled for completion within a four-year period, might take longer because of the new SOPs that needed to be adhered to in light of the Covid-19 outbreak. Initially, IJM Land had planned to start work on The Light City in 2018, but given the property market slowdown, the group held back the implementation of the project to revise the plan. The project will include two malls, the Penang Waterfront Convention Centre, a four-star hotel, offices, and residential condominiums. The first phase is scheduled for completion in 2024. (The Star Online)

Artist’s impression of The Light City’s vibrant mix of retail, hospitality, commercial and residential which is set to catapult Penang into the list of iconic global waterfront destinations.

Malaysia ranked 4th in public opinion survey on govt response to COVID-19

Malaysia has been ranked fourth in a global survey on public approval of their government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ahead of Singapore and Indonesia tied in seventh position. CEO of real estate agency IQI Global Group Kashif Ansari said it is no surprise that Malaysians feel their country has responded well to the coronavirus, because Malaysia has always had good world-class medical facilities and the government has taken muscular but empathetic action to protect the population. Malaysia, he said, is about to emerge from its lockdown with remarkably little loss of life, pointing out that 105 other countries have had more COVID-19 deaths per million people than has Malaysia. In the survey, Malaysia came in fourth with an index score of 58, behind the United Arab Emirates and India tied at third spot with an index score of 59. Vietnam was second with a score of 77, with China (85) topping the list, with the most citizens rating its performance favourably across all four key indicators: national political leadership, corporate leadership, community and media. (Bernama)

Industry players want protocols to ease health screenings

Construction industry players are appealing to the government to create a proper Covid-19 testing protocol for each sector to ease worker bottlenecks. Rehda president Datuk Soam Heng Choon said he estimated there were about 400,000 to 500,000 foreign workers in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor registered under Socso who wanted to get tested. “It is crucial to set up a clear protocol on which sectors should get tested first as there are limited labs. This will also clear the long queue of those eager to come back to work, ” he said. The government had announced that all foreign workers were required to undergo Covid-19 tests. (The Star Online)