Malaysians more digitally inclined, cash usage declined since COVID-19

Malaysian consumers are becoming more digitally inclined, as evident in the rise in the adoption of digital payments, e-commerce and preference for online activities, said Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin. Citing Mastercard Impact Studies, he said Malaysians’ cash usage had declined to 64% since the beginning of pandemic COVID-19. On the payments front following the pandemic, the studies showed that about 40% of Malaysian consumers reported increased use of mobile/digital wallets, followed by contactless debit cards at 26% and contactless credit cards at 22%. The findings also showed that Malaysia led on the usage of mobile/e-wallets in Southeast Asia, ahead of the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore. (Bernama)

Foreigners not allowed to open certain types of businesses in KL

Twenty types of businesses have been singled out by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) as being off limits to foreigners in the nation’s capital. The ruling, which came into effect on July 20, prohibits foreign nationals from applying for a licence to open a hypermarket, supermarket, mini mart, sundry shop, 24-hour convenience store, petrol station and laundry service, among others. The ban also includes foreign partnerships. However, Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan said the ruling was only for new applications. “It goes without saying that any form of sub-letting, renting or sale of licence to foreigners is prohibited, ” he added. The mayor said the city had been grappling with the issue of too many foreigners without permits and stepping up enforcement was taking a toll on the city’s resources. “For example, we don’t have the authority to arrest illegal foreign workers and the illegal foreign workers know this and that is why they keep coming back to the same place of business again and again, ” he said. (The Star Online)

Sarawak govt plans to turn Kampung Santubong into archaeological town

The state government is planning to turn Kampung Santubong into an archaeological town once the development of heritage sites near the village are completed, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah. Once developed, he believed that the heritage sites would be able to attract tourists and visitors because in addition to the heritage sites, Santubong area itself is famous for its natural beauty apart from housing many old treasures that are over 1,000 years old. There are three heritage sites located near Kampung Santubong which are being developed by the Sarawak Museum Department namely the Sungai Jaong Archaeological Park, Bongkissam and Bukit Maras Archaeological Park and the Wallace Centre. Abdul Karim said that the three heritage sites are currently being developed and are expected to be completed and opened to members of the public in the first quarter of next year. (Malay Mail)

Vaccine will likely be ready in 2021’

Many Malaysians think a Covid-19 vaccine will be available to them before the end of the year but health experts believe the vaccine will only be ready in 2021. The experts also felt that Malaysia would have to raise its “vaccine diplomacy” with the manufacturers and other countries to be given priority on the prized item. Universiti Malaya virologist Prof Dr Sazaly Abu Bakar said the chances of Malaysians getting a Covid-19 vaccine would be at the end of next year. A study by Ipsos Malaysia showed that 48% of Malaysians surveyed think a vaccine would be available to them, which makes them more optimistic than the global average of 41%. China was the most optimistic at 87% followed by Saudi Arabia (75%) and India (74%) while most Western countries were less optimistic with France at 40%, the United States at 34%, Britain at 31% and Australia 27%. (The Star Online)

Cryptocurrency premises raided for stealing electricity

Two cryptocurrency mining premises here have been raided for electricity theft totalling an estimated RM2.5mil. The raids were conducted during a joint operation led by the Energy Commission (ST) with Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), Iskandar Puteri City Council and the Inland Revenue Board at the shophouses in Iskandar Puteri. Johor ST regional director Nazlin Alim Sadikhi said TNB incurred an estimated RM80,000 in losses per month due to the electricity theft. “We found 100 mining machines in the first premises and another 48 in the second premises, ” said Nazlin. She said that the machines operated round-the-clock and involved high energy consumption. Nazlin reminded landlords who rented out their properties to be alert and report such activities to avoid problems. (The Star Online)