CIDB: Only 23% of construction sites in Malaysia not in operation

Work has yet to start at 23% of construction sites in the country due to several factors, such financial problems, not being able to meet requirements for compliance with prescribed standard operating procedures (SOPs) and labour shortage. Malaysian Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) CEO Datuk Ahmad ‘Asri Abdul Hamid said the figure showed a positive decline compared to 84% during the early phase when the economic sector was allowed to reopen on May 4. Based on a survey conducted by CIDB last month, he said, 35% of the construction sites where work had yet to start was due to financial problems, 21% for failing to meet the SOP requirements, especially on the need to send workers for Covid-19 screening test, which involved cost. On the shortage of workers in the country’s construction sector, he said this was due to many foreign workers returning to their respective countries and were not able to come back as the country’s border was still closed. “As such, we want to encourage local workers to fill up this shortage and CIDB itself is taking the initiative to increase training and placement of local workers in the construction sector,” he added. (Malay Mail)

Landmark ruling on failure to pay maintenance fees

Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) is the first local authority in Malaysia to pursue legal action using the Strata Management Act 2013 against maintenance fee defaulters. And there would be more to come, vowed MPSJ deputy president Mohd Zulkarnain Che Ali. He was speaking at the Subang Jaya Municipal Magistrate’s Court in SS15, Subang Jaya, yesterday after the court convicted and fined the defendant RM5,500, in default of a one-month jail term. The defendant was also ordered to pay the maintenance fees arrears. “With the start of these prosecutions, we hope to educate strata unit buyers and owners in the municipality and all over Malaysia not to take the Tribunal for Strata Management (TPS) and its decisions lightly. It also sends a clear message to buyers and owners not to disregard their responsibility under the law to pay the monthly maintenance fees to ensure that management and maintenance in a strata building can run smoothly, ” said Zulkarnain. (The Star Online)

Guan Eng joins call for govt to extend loan repayment moratorium

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has backed those calling the federal government to consider extending the moratorium on loan repayments slated to end in September by at least another six months. Lim, who is also Bagan MP, cited how unemployment rates have gone up from 3.2% in January to 5% in April, with April’s figure amongst the highest in the recent decades. Under the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package’s (Prihatin), Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has proposed an automatic moratorium on all loan repayments by individuals and small and medium enterprises for six months from April 1 until September 30. It was reported on Friday that BNM said it was unlikely that financial institutions would extend the six-month moratorium on the payment of monthly instalments for vehicles and housing loans. Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz had said that it is up to the banks if they wish to extend the loan moratorium in a targeted way. (Malay Mail)

Azmin: Perikatan could call for snap polls anytime

The Perikatan Nasional (PN) government led by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin may call for snap polls as early as this year or 2021, Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali had said. In a report by Sin Chew Daily, the International Trade and Industry Minister was quoted as saying that the PN government had already overcome political, economic and public health crises brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Citing the possibility of a snap election anytime, Azmin, therefore, said it was crucial for all parties to get themselves ready and be united in facing the polls. Recently, Tokyo-based Nikkei Asian Review published a report citing anonymous sources claiming Muhyiddin was eyeing a March 2021 general election to legitimise his role as prime minister. (Malay Mail)

Chinese badminton superstar and legend Lin Dan announces retirement

China’s two-time Olympic badminton champion Lin Dan on Saturday has announced his retirement in a social media post on Saturday (July 4), thanking his family and fans in the process. Nicknamed “Super Dan” by world badminton fans, the 36-year-old shuttler said it was time to end his 20-year stint with the national team. Lin Dan is one of the most successful players ever on the international circuit where he was unstoppable at the world championships, winning five times from 2006 to 2013. He twice stopped Malaysia’s badminton legend Datuk Lee Chong Wei in the final at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics. His glorious national team career also included six Thomas Cup triumphs and five Asian Games victories from 2006 to 2018. (The Star Online)