Applications open for cross-border travel between Msia, Spore

Applications for cross-border travel between Malaysia and Singapore open today. Immigration Department director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud said foreigners living in Singapore who wished to enter Malaysia for a short period of time for official purposes and business dealings could do so through the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) facility. “RGL also applies to Singaporeans who want to enter Malaysia for business purposes for a short period,” he said. Meanwhile, he said all Singaporeans and permanent residents of Singapore who have a Long Term Social Visit Pass (PLSJP) to work and conduct business may enter Malaysia through the Periodical Commuting Arrangement (PCA) facility. All foreign visitors were required to download the MySejahtera application and activate it on their mobile phones. (NST Online)

Decision on RMCO to be based on infection data

The government will analyse data on the Covid-19 spread before deciding on the status of the recovery movement control order (MCO), which is slated to end on Aug 31. “We have to look at the current situation before the end of this month where we will discuss our next step,” said Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Speaking to reporters attending the launch of the Embracing New Norms campaign by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Saturday, Ismail Sabri said if there were no new infections until Aug 31, then the government would no longer need to use the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act. The recovery MCO, which started on June 10, was a progression from the conditional MCO. Interstate travel is allowed under the recovery MCO, among other restrictions that were eased up. (The Star Online)

BNM may cut OPR by another 25bps as early as September

Hong Leong Investment Bank Research (HLIB) is not discounting the possibility that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will cut the overnight policy rate (OPR) by another 25 basis points (bps) to 1.50% by as early as its next Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in September. The central bank yesterday announced it had cut the OPR by 25bps to 1.75% to provide additional policy stimulus to accelerate the pace of economic recovery, and will continue to assess evolving conditions and utilise its policy levers as appropriate to create enabling conditions for a sustainable economic recovery. The 1.75% OPR is the lowest since the floor was set 16 years ago. Yesterday, BNM made its fourth rate cut this year, with a cumulative 125bps slashed so far. HLIB said while it had expected a 25bps cut in the second half of 2020 (2H20), the timing of the reduction was earlier than expected. (The Edge)

Don’t set ceiling on rental rates, Putrajaya told

A real estate company has cautioned the government against interfering with the free market with the proposed Residential Tenancy Act. Commenting on an announcement that the legislation is being drafted, Henry Butcher CEO Tang Chee Meng said he was especially concerned over the likelihood of infringement on the rights of property owners. Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin told the Dewan Rakyat this week the act was aimed at preventing landlords from raising rents and evicting tenants without good reason and to address racial discrimination issues in the property market. Tang said there should not be a ceiling on rental rates. “The government should not be interfering with market mechanisms except in the case of houses that come under the low cost and affordable categories,” he said. Tang also said controls on rent rates would take away landlords’ incentive to spend money on the maintenance and upgrading of their properties. (Free Malaysia Today)

Guan Eng pleads not guilty to soliciting RM3.3m bribe

Lim Guan Eng has pleaded not guilty to a charge of using his position as then chief minister of Penang to solicit a RM3.3mil bribe related to the RM6.3bil Penang undersea tunnel project. The former finance minister was accused of assisting the company owned by Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli to be appointed to conduct the construction of main roads for the undersea tunnel project. Last Friday (Aug 7), Lim pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur to soliciting gratification to help a company secure the RM6.3bil Penang undersea tunnel project. He was accused of using his position as the then chief minister to solicit a 10% cut of the profits which would be made from the road and tunnel project. According to the charge sheet, he is alleged to have sought 10% of the profits from Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd senior director Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli as an inducement to get the contract for the project. Zenith was awarded the project. (The Star Online)

Lim Guan Eng arrives at the Penang courthouse on Aug 10,2020. (Source: The Star Online)