Ministry mulls online shopping charge

A proposal is being made to impose an extra charge of 20 sen for purchases between RM200 and RM1,000 made online, says Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin. However, Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa was quick to object, making it clear in a tweet that no matter how much the amount, it was something the government has not made a decision on. Zahidi said no additional charge would be imposed on purchases below RM200 while an additional 20 sen would be charged for the next RM1,000 block of purchase. This, he said, was a measure to raise a special fund to assist the B40 group, including improving communications infrastructure in rural areas. Many experts lauded the move, but stressed that transparency and accountability were crucial as there already exist allocation for fiberisation, including contributions from telecommunication companies to help bridge the rural-urban digital divide. (The Star Online)

State govts urged to come up with list of industries posing risk to water source

All state governments have been suggested to come up with a list of industries that are high risk and should not be situated near surface water intakes to serve as a reference to all agencies involved to prevent pollution of water sources. Water quality expert Dr Zaki Zainudin said the state government which is responsible for water management should create the list so that it can be used as a ‘state directive’ for state and federal agencies. He also explained that the state government should plan on zoning such industrial areas in the downstream and low-risk areas. Yesterday, Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said his ministry would set up an Environmental Crime Unit in the near future to address the issue of pollution. (Bernama)

Covid-19: Malaysia’s infectivity rate surges to critical level

The Covid-19 infectivity rate or R-naught (R0) in Malaysia, which currently stands at 1.72, has exceeded the critical mark of 1.6, said Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. He said this marks a massive change from two weeks ago, when the RO stood at 0.72. Dr Noor Hisham said the significant RO increase is reflective of the increase in the number of local transmissions compared to two weeks ago. There is an increase in community transmission in Malaysia, but the jump is likely due to non-compliance with standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place to stem the outbreak. He urged all frontliners and the general public to regard the case as a lesson on the importance of taking precautions to protect themselves and their families at all times. New COVID-19 cases increased to three digits or 100 cases yesterday compared to 62 cases on Monday, bringing the total cumulative positive cases in Malaysia to 9,559 cases. (NST Online)

Police: Property crime up 30% in Miri so far this year

The property crime index in Miri has seen a 30% increase so far this year, said Miri police chief ACP Lim Meng Seah. Cases involving theft between January and Sept increased by 85% this year compared to the same period last year. “As for housebreaking, a total of 234 cases were reported over the same period this year compared to 142 last year.” In addition to cracking down of property crime, Lim said police are working hard to address gambling and vice activities in the district via raids. (Malay Mail)

Glomac mulls foray into data centres

Glomac Bhd plans to include data centres as one of its investment properties to diversify its income streams amid the dismal state of the retail market. The property developer is in talks with several data centre companies for the expansion plan, its group MD and CEO Datuk Seri Fateh Iskandar Mohamed Mansor said. “We are already talking to data centre experts who may not want to own the building. We can own it while they operate the data centre, and we can share the revenue. We have to think outside of the box now. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the retail market has slowed down, and it is worse now,” he said. Trends show data centres are the next big thing for property players to cater to, as the advancement of technology and the rise of work-from-home arrangements due to the pandemic continue to drive the need for data management. The general investment climate was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent containment measures, particularly the MCO. Revenue from the group’s property investment segment mainly derived from car park rental and mall rental income. (The Malaysian Reserve)