Malaysia leads mobile wallet usage in Southeast Asia

Malaysia leads other countries in Southeast Asia in the usage of mobile/digital wallets at 40%, ahead of the Philippines (36%), Thailand (27%) and Singapore (26%), according to a Mastercard Impact Study 2020. Covid-19, which led to wide movement restrictions, had driven momentum in Southeast Asia towards the digital economy by necessitating rapid adoption of e-commerce, digital payments and preference for online activities. Nearly half of the consumers surveyed in Malaysia reported an increase in online shopping during the period. Malaysian consumers also shifted to other payment methods other than mobile/digital wallet, such as contactless debit cards (26%) and contactless credit cards (22%), while cash usage declined 64% since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand also reduced their cash usage by 67%, 64% and 59% respectively. Malaysia’s digital activities especially online shopping and usage of digital payments, were also higher in comparison to other markets in Southeast Asia. (The Edge)

Transport Ministry to cooperate with China to promote nation building, attract Chinese investors

The Transport Ministry has pledged to cooperate with the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing to promote nation building and to attract more investors from China. According to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, the decision was made following a meeting between him and Tiong’s team yesterday. Dr Wee said ideas to improve the national transportation system and to develop better transport and logistics connectivity over land, sea, and air between Malaysia and China were also discussed. He added that Tiong was briefed on the RM44bil East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project, which was previously suspended when Pakatan Harapan was in power. Both agreed that the government must utilise the ECRL project fully for the interests of the nation and the people. (The Star Online)

Amprop to focus on selling overseas properties

Amcorp Properties Bhd (Amprop) will focus on securing sales of its properties in Spain, London, and Tokyo instead of new launches as uncertainty on the global economy remain. The group, which has several successful projects in its portfolio on the home front expects the coming financial year (FY2021) to be challenging due to the weak sentiments arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. “This could adversely affect the group’s operations, cash flows, and financial position for the coming financial year although the impact cannot be reasonably estimated at the date of this report,” it said. Amprop is positioning itself as an established property developer and investor overseas, with projects in the UK, Japan, and Spain. (NST Online)

Penang reveals new reclamation project off Bayan Baru

The Penang government today revealed plans to reclaim about 60ha off the Free Industrial Zone (FIZ) in Bayan Baru. The project, themed “Linear Waterfront”, will begin from the Queensbay roundabout to the second bridge and will have an estimated GDV of RM1 billion. Based on an artist’s impression by project owners Penang Development Corporation, the project will have four oblong-shaped strips of reclaimed land attached to the coast of Penang island. Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said it would effectively extend FIZ’s electronics-dominated industrial zone and, at the same time, build a new world-class township. Chow said the proposed project had received preliminary approval from government technical agencies, and a request for proposal (RfP) from interested parties from July 31 to Sept 30 would be called. Currently, a few reclamation projects are slated for Penang, the key one being the 1,620ha three-island Penang South Reclamation project. (Free Malaysia Today)

Education Ministry cuts school holidays in 2020 term revision

The Education Ministry (MOE) announced changes to the academic term this year to help schools better plan lessons that have been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the movement control order (MCO) since March. The MOE said the mid-term break will now only be five days, down from nine days previously. The changes affect schools categorised as Group A (Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu) and Group B (Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Penang, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya). Year-end term break for Group A will also be reduced to 14 days from 42 days, while Group B reduced to 13 days from 41 days. The MOE said that the school year for 2020 will now total 168 days. The revised school term for year 2020 can be seen here. Schools are to reopen in phases from today, starting with students who are taking their school leaving examinations. (Malay Mail)