Status quo for certain sectors during work from home order

Security personnel, restaurant and retail outlet workers, traders, grocery and convenience store employees are among those not affected by the work from home order. Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said civil servants not in essential services as well as workers in industries under the International Trade and Industry Ministry were the ones who had to follow this directive. Those going to work in office will only be allowed at their workplaces for four hours from 10am-2pm for three days a week. Police and armed forces personnel, public transport workers, taxi drivers, plantation and agriculture workers, e-hailing as well as delivery service providers are also allowed to work as normal. “The work from home directive will remain for as long as the conditional MCO is enforced. If it is extended, then the order will continue to be in place. Employers are reminded to issue travel permission letters to staff who are allowed to work during this period, ” he said. He highly recommended that red zone workers get tested to ensure those who were in the office were free of Covid-19. However, it is mandatory for those with symptoms to be tested. (The Star Online)

Fully subsidised COVID-19 swab tests for employees available via MYEG portal

MY E.G. Services Bhd’s one-stop COVID-19 portal provides a convenient channel for employers in areas under CMCO to arrange for the subsidised screening of their workers. MYEG’s one-stop COVID-19 portal, launched in May, is a convenient alternative channel for companies that wish to streamline the process of registering and arranging for the testing of their workers – both Malaysians and non-Malaysians – for the COVID-19 virus. Through the portal, employers can verify the eligibility of their workforce for Social Security Organisation (Socso) coverage and proceed to arrange for eligible employees to be tested without any upfront payment required as MYEG will liaise directly with Socso on the subsidies for the screening costs. “The costs of the tests for such employees who are contributors to the Socso will be borne by Socso,” it said in a statement. It was announced that only those in the public sector and industries under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) are required to work-from-home from Oct 22. (Bernama)

Co-living emerging as alternative investment option

In Knight Frank’s Commercial Real Estate Investment Sentiment Survey 2020 (CREISS 2020), co-living emerged as an alternative investment option. The survey participants were representatives in senior management levels across the commercial property industry, namely developers, commercial lenders and fund/REIT managers. Knight Frank says the niche asset class, generally integrated or located in close proximity to transit-oriented developments and higher education clusters, is gaining popularity among developers/investors as it typically generates strong recurring income. It is also gaining popularity as an alternative investment due to the increasing demand for rental accommodation among singles, students or young professionals. Knight Developers are looking for alternatives that will complement their existing or ongoing developments. However, until a vaccine is developed, co-living occupancy rates will be impacted, as physical distancing is very difficult when one is sharing a home with others, some of whom may be complete strangers or transient renters. (The Edge)

KIP REIT to add industrial and commercial properties to its assets portfolio

KIP REIT, a pure retail player, will diversify its assets portfolio to include real estate used for industrial and commercial purposes. Its shareholders had approved the proposal to diversify its assets portfolio, allowing it to source and evaluate offers from a broader range of assets to grow the fund. KIP REIT Management Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Chew Lak Seong said there are challenges currently, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. KIP REIT currently has a portfolio of seven properties, with a total net lettable area of about 1.5 million square feet and a total asset value of RM840.6 million. The seven properties are six KIPMalls located in Bangi, Tampoi, Kota Tinggi, Masai, Senawang and Melaka, and AEON Mall Kinta City in Ipoh. (NST Online)

Road Transport Act (Amendment) 2020 comes into effect Oct 23

The Road Transport Act (Amendment) 2020, which carries heavier penalties for traffic offences, particularly related to Sections 41 to 45, will come into operation from Oct 23, says Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong. “We hope the latest amendments will create greater public awareness among road users to obey traffic laws and ensure that our roads will be safer for all,” he said. The amendments include Section 41 of the Road Transport Act 1987 (Act 333), involving the offence of causing death by reckless or dangerous driving. Amendments were also made to Section 44 of the same act involving the offence of causing death by reckless or dangerous driving and divided into two categories, namely cases causing injury and those resulting in death. The bill also proposed to amend the new alcohol content limit of 22 microgrammes in 100 millilitres (ml) of breath; 50 milligrammes (mg) of alcohol in 100 ml of blood and 67 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of urine. (Bernama)