Govt drafting Temporary Measures Bill

The government is in the process of drafting a “Temporary Measures Bill” to mitigate the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali. He added that as engagement with the public is crucial, an online consultation platform is currently being managed and administered by the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC). He reiterated that the government’s incremental measures in dealing with the pandemic leading to the latest stage, namely the Recovery MCO, have borne productive results, and stressed that it must not lose sight of the imperatives of protecting lives as well as livelihoods. While business concerns should leverage on technology and innovation, automation and digitalisation must forge ahead and at the same time, employability of the workforce should be enhanced while reskilling and upskilling initiatives should be urgently initiated to reduce the dependency on foreign labour, said Mohamed Azmin. (Bernama)

Banks in Malaysia to decide on loan moratorium extension after September

Banks are anticipated to come up with their own decision on whether to extend the loan repayment moratorium or not once the moratorium ends in September. Affin Hwang Capital Research analyst Loong Chee Wei said some quarters who are affected by the pandemic to the point of losing their job would be given the moratorium, but it would not be a blanket order. Earlier this week, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the decision whether to extend the loan moratorium in a targeted way was entirely up to the banks and they could not be forced to do so. There have been calls for the loan moratorium to be extended for another six months to provide a clearer picture for the people to re-adjust their financial commitments or financial lifestyle. (Malay Mail)

Johor plans to upgrade Pasir Gudang Municipal Council and JB City Council this year

The Johor government plans to upgrade the Pasir Gudang Municipal Council (MPPG) to city council and Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) to city hall this year. State Housing and Local Government Committee chairman, Ayub Jamil said MPPG has the potential to be upgraded following its annual revenue reaching almost RM200 million. Meanwhile, the state government and Department of Statistics were looking at the population figure in Pasir Gudang, whereby a population of at least 500,000 was required for upgrading to city status. “The state government’s proposal is to upgrade Pasir Gudang (municipality) to city while at the same time, MPPG needs to address poverty and squatter issues. MBJB will be upgraded to city hall. However, it too needs to resolve several issues including squatters and cleanliness,” he said. (Malay Mail)

Perak offers pathway to legitimacy for farmers illegally working state land

Perak government is ready to grant amnesty to small-scale farmers cultivating State Agricultural Development Corporation of Perak (SADC) land illegally, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu. He said that this will legitimise their activities while generating income for the state and SADC from the rent and lease offered. “They don’t have to be worried. We will not take back their land. We will provide the same land with a lease. It will be a win-win situation for all,” he said, urging them to come forward as soon as possible and meet with the SADC. Ahmad Faizal said that the government will only impose a rent of RM1,500 per hectare annually (RM125 per month) for the land involved. Ahmad Faizal also pointed out that the state managed to license 1,165.026 hectares of illegally farmed land in 2019 without disruption to the farmers. He also added that a total of 3,494.7 hectares of land belonging to SADC around Perak has yet to be amnestied and is still illegally cultivated. (Malay Mail)

Ivory Properties buys land opposite Penang’s Queensbay Mall for RM142.8m

Ivory Properties Group Bhd has acquired two pieces of adjoining land in Penang, for RM142.79 million where it aims to develop commercial space and service apartments. The Penang-headquartered property developer said the 19,800-sq-metre freehold land was located strategically in the established neighbourhood of Bayan Lepas directly opposite Queensbay Mall, the largest shopping mall in the state. Ivory Properties said its board was optimistic about the demand for the products to be developed on the land given the strategic location. It said the land was zoned largely for commercial use and was currently used as car park space under tenancy. (Malay Mail)