Malaysia-Singapore cross-border travel kicks off Aug 17

The cross border travel between Malaysia and Singapore is expected to start Aug 17. This was after both countries agreed and finalised the standard operating procedures (SOP) for the implementation of the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) travel schemes. Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said Malaysians who are eligible for the two schemes can submit their applications to the Immigration Department beginning Aug 10. For the two other schemes proposed, namely for those who commute daily to Singapore for work (Category 3) and the total opening of the border (Category 4), both governments were still fine tuning various details before implementing them. Hishammuddin said the success of the RGL and PCA schemes would depend on the discipline of the public in adhering to the SOPs that have been agreed by both nations. (NST Online)

Face mask compulsory from Aug 1

It will be compulsory to wear face masks in crowded public places and on public transport starting Aug 1 or face stern action, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. The ruling was made following the increase in positive Covid-19 cases and lower compliance to standard operating procedures (SOP) among the public. Those who do not comply with the ruling can be issued with a RM1,000 compound notice under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 or prosecuted in court. During the recovery movement control order, violators of the regulations can be issued a RM1,000 compound or brought to court where they could be fined or jailed. The government had refrained from making it compulsory previously as such a ruling could have impacted the lower-income group financially, he added. (The Star Online)

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MCO may return if Covid-19 cases climb to three digits

The government would consider re-enforcing the Movement Control Order (MCO) if the daily number of Covid-19 cases reaches three digits. Senior Defense Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said if the cases continue to climb, the government would have no choice but to enforce the MCO again, limiting the people’s movement. “I understand that if the MCO is enforced again, it will make things difficult for all parties, including those of us who want to work and so on. But this measure must be taken,” he said. Interstate travel is still allowed unless there is another announcement to the contrary tomorrow. He also reminded the public to heed the the SOPs set by the government and do not rely primarily on the security team. “What concerns us now is that there might not be social during the slaughtering procedure and the gathering ceremony afterwards during the coming Aidiladha,” he said, adding that the country’s borders remain closed. (NST Online)

Welfare Dept aid recipients set to increase three-fold due to revised poverty line income

The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry expects a three-fold increase in the number of recipients for its Welfare Department (JKM) benefits in line with the revision of the national poverty line income (PLI), said its minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun. She said that based on the previous monthly household income of RM980, JKM had allocated RM1.53 billion a year to be channelled to more than 500,000 eligible recipients. On July 10, the Department of Statistics Malaysia announced that the new PLI was RM2,208 per household per month. She said at present 11 types of aids were being channelled through JKM to children, senior citizens, persons with disabilities (OKU) and chronic patients. Rina also said that all agencies and departments under her ministry were closely studying existing policies and programmes relating to the PLI so that improvements could be done in line with the new income rate. (Malay Mail)

Stormy weather until mid-August

Severe weather conditions currently experienced in certain parts of the country are expected to last until mid-August. Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) director-general Jailan Simon said they had forecast thunderstorms and rain would sweep across the coastal areas of Perak, Selangor, Melaka, Negri Sembilan, west of Johor and the east of Sabah in the morning. In the evening, states and territories in the west coast, especially in Perak, Selangor, Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur and Melaka, would experience thunderstorms. “We expect the current wet conditions with on and off thunderstorms will continue until middle of next month,” he said. Asked of a possibility of haze during this period, he said it could occur if there was out of control open burning. “However, the possibility of a bad haze is quite low,” he said. The authorities have advised the public to be cautious of the dangers posed by water columns in waterfall areas and to avoid parking vehicles in flood-prone areas. (The Star Online)