MyHSR launches HSR tenders

MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd, the government’s project delivery vehicle for the Kuala Lumpur- Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project, has launched two tenders to appoint consultants for the project to assist with regulatory submissions to the relevant authorities. The two separate tenders are for the appointment of the Section 4 (S.4) Land Consultant and the Environmental, Social and Heritage Impact Assessment Consultant. MyHSR Corp CEO Datuk Mohd Nor Ismal Mohamed Kamal said the planned environmental, social and heritage impact assessments will identify the potential sensitive receptors along the project corridor and mitigation measures will be proposed to minimise the impacts. The tenders are preliminary consultancy tenders as part of preparatory items ahead of the targeted alignment display next year. The government had recently announced that it would continue discussions with the Singapore government on the HSR, following its decision to resume the project recently. (The Star Online)

Stiffer penalties for drink-driving

Stiffer penalties await those who cause death due to recklessness or driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs in the newly-passed Road Transport (Amendment) Bill 2020. Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the government was not only using legislation to address the issue but also the three E-elements of education, engineering of road conditions and enforcement. He denied that the increase in penalties was aimed to boost government revenue, adding that the punishment was meant to deter reckless driving or driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Among the amendments to the Bill include those charged with causing death due to dangerous or reckless driving can face up to 10 years imprisonment and fined up to RM50,000 if convicted. The Bill proposed that those charged under Section 41 for dangerous or reckless driving causing death could face between five and 10 years as well as a fine of not less than RM20,000 and not more than RM50,000. They will also have their driving licence suspended for five years if convicted. The Bill also seeks to amend Section 45 G to lower the prescribed limit of alcohol content allowed in an individual to be lowered to 22mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath; currently is it 35mg. (The Star Online)

Sarawak Biohub Port project to kickstart in Q1 2021

The Sarawak BioHub Port and Industrial Estate development, to be located on 2,500 hectares of land between Bintulu and Samalaju and with an estimated development cost of RM20 billion over 10 years, is expected to kickstart in the first quarter of 2021. Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) will be the coordinator for the project which will be developed by a consortium with the Port of Rotterdam, Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd and Regal International Group among the key partners. AIM CEO Naser Jaafar said the project is now still at the feasibility study phase and the master plan is expected to be revealed in the first quarter of 2021 followed by the ground breaking. Out of the 2,500 ha allocated for the project, the BioHub Port will take up about 200 to 300 ha, while the industrial estate will be co-developed in phases with downstream companies, which would be allocated 30 ha each. The port would be operated collectively by Bintulu Port and the Port of Rotterdam. (Malay Mail)

Penang city council gives 24-hour approval for construction

Construction projects in Penang island will be given 24-hour approval to start work as part of the Penang Island City Council’s (MBPP) economic stimulation package. MBPP Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said certain categories of construction will be allowed to start work 24 hours after they submit an application for building permission and commencement of work. Approval for the early commencement of work only applies to certain criteria of residential and commercial buildings. It applies to projects involving residential buildings of less than four units with valid planning permission and renovations on residential buildings that are less than 50% of the built-up area or less than 1,500 sq ft. The residential buildings include terrace houses, bungalows and semi-detached houses. As for projects in commercial buildings, it only applies to internal alterations in commercial buildings that do not involve the construction of more floor space. Yew said normally, the process of applying for building permission and commencement of work approvals takes up to 37 days. (Malay Mail)

Employers face RM50,000 fine for failure to provide proper workers’ housing starting Sept 1

Employers who fail to comply with the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446) which will be fully enforced on Sept 1 could face a maximum fine of RM50,000 for each offence. Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M.Saravanan said the act will be enforced by the Department of Labour of Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM) to ensure the employers comply with the provision of the laws. The Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities (Amendment) Act 2019 (Act 446), which extends to all employment sectors, providing housing and accommodation for workers, will come into force on June 1 this year. The previous Act 446 jurisdiction only covered the housing and accommodation aspects of more than 20 acres plantation and mining sectors. (Malay Mail)