1st National Digital Economy & 4IR Council identifies 6 clusters to drive digital economy

The first meeting of the National Digital Economy and Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Council has identified six clusters as the driving components in the digital economy and 4IR agenda. According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office today, the six clusters are economy, digital talent, community, data and digital infrastructure, emerging technology, and government. “The council is the highest administrative body in establishing policies, implementation and monitoring of the nation’s strategies and initiatives for the digital economy and 4IR,” it said. The National Digital Economy and 4IR Council would take over the role of almost all digital and technology related committees chaired by the prime minister previously. Besides that, it said all councils, committees and digital and technology task force chaired by ministers, senior ministry and agency officers would be streamlined or merged under the six newly created clusters. The establishment of this council with an integrated governance structure will enhance the country’s ability in optimising the development of 4IR technology and ensuring that the growth of the digital economy is in line with the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. (Bernama)

No moratorium on rental for Penang public housing schemes, says exco

There will not be any moratorium on rental payment for those who are renting public housing units in Penang, said state exco Jagdeep Singh Deo. He said a moratorium cannot be given across the board to all tenants renting public housing units, but those facing issues can apply individually. “We will consider on a case by case basis and assist those who really need it,” he said. The special committee, under the state government, looks at the non-payment of rentals at all public housing schemes in the state including those under both city councils and the state. “There are various packages that can be offered to those who really can’t afford to pay, such as installment schemes,” he said. However, he said there are also cases where the tenants abuse the system and refused to pay the monthly rental of RM120. “When there are arrears by tenants, action will be taken but the special committee will evaluate and assist those who genuinely face difficulties in paying their rent,” he added. (Malay Mail)

Kuchai Link 2 to ease travel time, congestion

The newly-completed Kuchai Link 2 in Kuala Lumpur is expected to reduce traffic congestion at the Kuchai Lama Interchange by up to 15 minutes during peak hours. The link features a direct two-lane overpass from Jalan Kuchai Lama to the Sungai Besi Highway (Besraya) heading towards the Balakong and Putrajaya direction, bypassing the Kuchai Lama Interchange and Maju Expressway (MEX). The RM60mil project by Besraya included building an 830m-long overpass and upgrading Jalan Kuchai Lama. Once open, the existing Kuchai Lama Interchange will be reconfigured from a four-phase traffic light intersection to free-flow. The project was completed on Oct 30 after three years of construction. There was a delay in its completion due to some realignment works and relocation of two existing pedestrian bridges. Kuchai Link 2 is scheduled to open today, subject to approvals from the Malaysian Highway Authority. (The Star Online)

kuchai link 2
Source: The Star Online

Alibaba’s 11.11 global shopping festival exceeds 372.3 billion RMB in 30 mins

The second sales period of Alibaba Group’s Alibaba 2020 11.11 Global Shopping Festival kicked off at midnight on November 11. This year’s 11.11 takes place over 11 days. Alibaba said as of 00:30am on November 11, the total gross merchandise volume (GMV) of the 11-day campaign had surpassed 372.3 billion renminbi. “A record peak performance of 583,000 orders per second, showcasing the scalability and strength of Alibaba’s digital infrastructure,” the group said. The global campaign comes against the backdrop of China’s continued economic and retail sentiment recovery. Alibaba said on Thursday that the annual sales frenzy broke records again, raking in 498.2 billion yuan (roughly $75 billion). The total includes an earlier three-day period that was added to boost post-pandemic sales. Compared to the same timeframe as last year, this year’s haul represents an increase of 26%, the company said. A survey from market research firm Oliver Wyman found that 86% of Chinese consumers are willing to spend the same as or more than what they did during last year’s Singles Day. (NST Online; CNN)

alibaba 11.11 singles day shopping festival
Source: Yahoo Finance

Worldwide number of COVID-19 cases surpasses 52 million

The worldwide number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has surpassed 52 million, reported Sputnik news agency, quoting Johns Hopkins University. The exact number of the coronavirus cases stood at 52,041,441 as of 01:50 GMT on Thursday. More than 1.28 million people have died of the disease, the university added. The World Health Organisation declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11. The biggest number of cases so far have been registered in the United States, India and Brazil. (Bernama)