FMM wants more time to implement workers’ housing, amenities provision

The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has sought for additional time to allow its members to undertake the necessary adjustments to comply with the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446). FMM president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said the full enforcement of the law, which was to take place from Sept 1 with fines of RM50,000 for each offence, as being too drastic and would severely hamper the business revival initiatives of most industries. The regulation accompanying the law which provided greater detail was only gazetted and released on the Attorney General’s Chambers’ website on Aug 28. He said employers, industries especially the SMEs, would find it challenging to fulfill all the conditions on time as there would be adjustments needed to be made to meet the provisions of the regulations. This included complying with the sleeping/personal space for each worker, as well as the need to renovate buildings/space to ensure compliance to the minimum standards for accommodation as well as converting non-residential buildings to buildings for dwelling/accommodation. (NST Online)

Thailand studies Melaka bypass to link Indian, Pacific Oceans

Thailand is looking to construct a land passageway that would connect the Indian and Pacific Oceans, bypassing one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. The Strait of Malacca, a narrow sea lane between Malaysia and Singapore, is currently the shortest sea route linking the Asia-Pacific region with India and the Middle East. About a quarter of the world’s traded goods pass through it each year. “Using an alternative route through Thailand would cut shipping time by more than two days, which is very valuable for businesses,” said Transport Minister Saksiam Chidchob. Thailand plans to build two deep seaports on either side of the country’s southern coasts, and link them via highway and rail, according to Saksiam. The 100-kilometre “land bridge” would replace an existing proposal to dredge a canal through the isthmus. The idea for a canal has been put forward and dismissed several times over the past few decades. (The Star Online)

Kuching to have new hotel as part of SEDC, UDA RM400mil project, says CM

A new 12-storey 200-room hotel will be part of a RM400 million land development project involving the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) and UDA Holdings Bhd (UDA) at Jalan Datuk Merican Salleh in Kuching. Located about 5km from this city’s centre and near Pending Heights, the project will involve 12.6 acres of land. The project will also include two blocks of 21-storey high rise apartment complex complete with swimming pools, gyms and playgrounds; offices and shophouse buildings ranging from two storeys to six storeys. Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said facilities that would be developed under the project would be able to complement the state’s tourism industry. The commencement date of the project has not been decided due to the extended Recovery movement control order. (Malay Mail)

DAP sets up ‘aduanmoratorium’ portal to help Malaysian borrowers

The DAP today launched a website to help Malaysians who failed to get banks to extend a six-month moratorium on their loans. Called “aduanmoratorium”, the DAP said it will collate the information from borrowers and take up their financial woes with Bank Negara Malaysia, the federal government and the Finance Ministry. Users will have to provide their personal information, detail the issues with obtaining the extension, type of borrowings and upload supporting documents for verification. The portal is accessible in four languages: Bahasa Malaysia, English, Mandarin, and Tamil. “Many have gone to the banks now and gotten no approval for their extensions. Hence we hope this portal will help them as there are 7.7 million Malaysians who have loans and over 3,000 small and medium enterprises that are affected by the pandemic and in need of financial aid,” said DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng. “We will collect all the data and send it to the government to get their claims done so that their moratoriums are extended,” he added. (Malay Mail)

(Source: Malay Mail)

Chinese investors snap up HK property

Mainland Chinese investors are scouring Hong Kong’s commercial property market for bargains after prices plunged 30%, signalling a new wave of demand following anti-government protests last year that kept a lid on investment activity. Property agents expect the influx of Chinese capital, which has helped Hong Kong become one of the world’s most expensive property markets, can once again prop up the sector as China recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and stands ready to deploy liquidity. In August alone, mainland buyers snapped up at least two office towers and one hotel building worth HK$4 billion ($516 million) in total. The pick-up in demand coincides with the imposition of a national security law in Hong Kong on June 30, which authorities in Beijing and the financial centre have said is necessary to ensure its stability and prosperity. (The Star Online)