PM to launch new norms campaign tomorrow

A new campaign themed “Embracing New Norms” will be launched by the Prime Minister tomorrow to counter the Covid-19 pandemic. Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the campaign was aimed at raising awareness and empowering the people to protect themselves, their families and the community, and to help frontliners fight the pandemic. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would launch the campaign at the Pagoh Sports Complex in Johor. Saifuddin said although Malaysia was among the more successful countries when it came to handling and controlling the pandemic, the virus still existed and the number of infections could increase at any time if the people did not embrace the new norms. (The Star Online)

Finance Minister: Malaysia’s current debt and liabilities is RM1.2 trillion

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz today affirmed Malaysia’s debt and liabilities currently stand at RM1.2 trillion as announced by the former Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration. He debunked claims by Umno MPs claim that PH lied when its then finance minister Lim Guan Eng gave that figure. He also clarified that the enormous amount did not mean the government, now led by Perikatan Nasional (PN), is “bankrupt”. He said the RM1.2 trillion sum is separated into debts and liabilities. The country’s debts currently total RM854 billion. “If you include the government’s liabilities and the off-budget, which the PN government does not do, it will reach RM1.2 trillion,” he said. He said the government’s debt last year was RM793 billion, due to a deficit in its GDP; and added that in 2018 it was RM741 billion and in 2017, it was RM686.8 billion. (Malay Mail)

Young buyers flock to property market

Property developers are seeing a pick up in sales, especially from younger buyers, as the numerous interest rate cuts and government incentives have spurred buying interest. Eco World Development Group Bhd president and CEO Datuk Chang Khim Wah said the increase in younger buyers was due to a conscious strategic effort made by the group to appeal to this target market. The percentage of young buyers (below 40 years old) today is more than 70%, compared to around 43% in 2015, he said. Of the 70%, Chang said around 50% are in their 30s and the remaining 20% are in their 20s. Mah Sing Group Bhd CEO Datuk Ho Hon Sang said as the bulk of its projects comprised units within the affordable range segment, the majority of its buyers comprised those below 35 years of age. “Malaysia’s population is still very young with 66% below 40 years old and as such, household formation continues to be strong. Affordably-priced properties of good quality and at strategic locations remain highly sought after,” he said. Sunway Property said it is seeing increasing interest from younger buyers from 25 years to 35 years in its properties that are transit-oriented and have good facilities nearby. (The Star Online)

Guan Eng facing three charges

Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng will face three charges of corruption and abuse of power over the controversial Penang undersea tunnel project. He will face one corruption charge in the Kuala Lumpur Special Corruption Court and two charges for abuse of power in the Penang Sessions Court next Monday. Lim, also the former chief minister of Penang (2008-2018), was accused of requesting 10% of the profits from Datuk Zarul Ahmad Zulkifli as a bribe in order to get the contract for the project. Zarul is the senior executive director of Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZC), the firm which was awarded the project. It is believed that the charges in Penang involved the purchase of a bungalow and land in the state in 2015. According to sources, prosecutors are expected to apply for all of the cases to be jointly tried in Kuala Lumpur. The MACC had summoned Lim three times last month for questioning. The RM6.3bil Penang undersea tunnel project was under investigation again following fresh leads. (The Star Online)

Source: The Star Online

MACC seeks law to make asset declaration compulsory for MPs

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is seeking a law to make it compulsory for Members of Parliament to declare their assets, according to MACC deputy chief commissioner (prevention), Datuk Shamshun Baharin Mohd Jamil. He said the law could be enforced next year if the relevant parties worked towards making it a reality. He explained that without the compulsory asset-declaration law, the MACC only played a “custodian” role in the case of asset-declaration forms handed to it. “If matters of corruption arise with the asset declaration, we would invoke provisions under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 to conduct investigations,” he said, adding that the current asset declaration was only governed by the parliamentary code of ethics. In July last year, the Dewan Rakyat unanimously approved a motion compelling all MPs to declare their assets and those of their wives or husbands, children, and trustees through a statutory declaration. (Bernama)