Temperature checks, eat in classroom among MOE’s guidelines

Temperature screening before entering the school compound and eating in classroom during recess time are among new normal practices that students need to adapt when schools reopen, said Education Minister Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin. The new normal practices are among the Ministry of Education’s school reopening management guidelines to be distributed to schools beginning today. It was also posted on the ministry’s website. Meanwhile, Mohd Radzi said parents did not have to worry about social distancing during school recess as the children would only be allowed at the canteen area in stages and they would eat their meals in the classrooms. Tables in the classroom and labs must have a one-metre gap and the surplus students would be placed in the other class. However, no date for schools to resume has been announced. (Bernama)

Covid-19: Comprehensive law for tenants, homeowners and banks needed

Pakatan Harapan (PH) lawmakers want a more comprehensive law governing the financial relationship between renters, landlords and banks in light of the economic upheaval that has occurred as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Opposition chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said that a moratorium for tenants will have a direct financial impact on landlords who are still paying off their housing loans to banks. He pointed out that the issue of unemployment will not just hit income earners, but also their families — leading to around 500,000 to one million families being adversely hit. Similarly, Kebun Bunga (Penang) Assemblyman Jason Ong said that the government needs to come up with a comprehensive solution that is dynamic enough to be able to take into consideration the needs of tenants, landlords and the banks providing housing loans. He said by granting the tenants a moratorium on their rents, it will not be fair to the landlord who might lose a source of income, or unable to pay off their debts. (Malay Mail)

Revival of mega projects may be pushed back to 2021

Affin Hwang Capital Research expects the revival of mega infrastructure projects in Malaysia to be delayed to next year. This comes as the government faces financial constraint amid the pandemic’s impact on the federal budget as well as the ongoing review to lower project costs. It noted that market expectations for the revival of mega projects such as the Klang Valley MRT Line 3 (MRT3) and Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) have triggered a rebound in prices of construction stocks in the last few months. “Hence, we do not expect the two projects to be included in the short-term economy recovery plan to be announced. But the two projects are likely to be included in the 12th Malaysia Plan 2021-2025 to be announced in early-2021,” it said. (Yahoo! News)

Developers raring to resume work

Developers are eager to begin work at construction sites again as many are held to deadlines agreed upon before the movement control order (MCO). Overhead costs are also piling up each day work is delayed. However, a bottleneck in the infrastructure needed for mandatory Covid-19 tests for foreign workers is delaying efforts to continue development. Senior Minister (Defence) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said of 6,000 construction projects checked by the Construction Industry Development Board, over 4,000 had opted to remain closed. “We have overheads and our responsibility to our clients to meet our agreed-upon deadlines. But many construction projects cannot start because of the mandatory Covid-19 tests needed before our foreign workers can come back to work,” said Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) Malaysia president Datuk Soam Heng Choon. Locally, manufacturers are waiting for construction projects to begin again as they can’t run their factories at full capacity until then, he added. (The Sun Daily)

Malaysia’s first virtual mall to be launched in 3Q

Ideal United Bintang International Bhd (IUBIB) aims to launch the 1st Avenue virtual mall in 3Q2020 following the completion of its acquisition of the mall located on Jalan Magazine in Penang. “We target to launch the first virtual mall in Malaysia – 1st Avenue Virtual Mall. This virtual mall will be integrating digitalization and information technology with the brick-and-mortar segment, which refers to the physical stores at this point,” IUBIB executive chairman Tan Sri Datuk Alex Ooi said. The six-storey lifestyle shopping mall was reopened on May 8, 2020 with strict health compliance to CMCO regulations. It plans to offer an interactive online retail experience by combining a re-active campaign with promotions provided by its tenants. The mall will also collaborate with online shopping platform Shopee to establish a “mall within a mall” virtual experience concept that allows shoppers to shop virtually at 1st Avenue Mall through the Shopee platform. 1st Avenue Mall is anchored by Parkson. It also has an entertainment floor section that houses a TGV cinema. (The Edge)

(Source: IUBIB)