Rise in Covid-19 cases leaves health experts divided on CMCO’s efficacy

The persistent spike in daily Covid-19 cases in the last two months has prompted health analysts to question if the renewal of the conditional movement control order (CMCO) has been effective in reining in the pandemic. Despite the consensus that social distancing and movement restrictions are important to control the outbreak, some medical professionals believe there are weaknesses in how the current CMCO is enforced, even as public health authorities say the curbs are saving lives. Among them is the lack of transparency regarding data. Dr Khoo Yoong Khean, managing editor of The Malaysian Medical Gazette, noted that the Ministry of Health (MOH) is now less open with detailed information compared to the first few months when the country was under a full lockdown, making it difficult to evaluate the efficacy of the current restrictions. Dr Khoo, in arguing against a blanket movement ban, said imposing targeted curbs would be better to contain the outbreak instead of a state-wide partial lockdown. Yesterday, Selangor which has been on an extended CMCO period, recorded its highest number of Covid-19 infections so far with 603 new cases, also making up 55% of the overall nationwide total of 1,096. (Malay Mail)

Construction begins at Johor Baru-Singapore RTS project

The Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link ground-breaking ceremony was held yesterday, kicking off construction works for the long-awaited infrastructure project. The ceremony was carried out at the site of the future Immigration, Customs and Quarantine (ICQ) Building in Bukit Chagar, Johor and officiated virtually by Johor’s Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar from Istana Bukit Serene. “The RTS Link between Malaysia and Singapore will be a railway service with two stations, one at Bukit Chagar in Johor Baru, and the other at Woodlands North in Singapore. The link is targeted to begin operations by the end of 2026 and will provide an easy and efficient border crossing between Malaysia and Singapore,” said MRT Corp. The RTS will cost Malaysia RM3.7 billion, which includes the construction of a station at Bukit Chagar, depot at Wadi Hana, viaducts through the city centre of Johor Baru and over the Straits of Johor to the Malaysia-Singapore boundary. In addition, the cost also covers the construction of the four-storey CIQ complex, which will be part of a transit-oriented development that will also feature a multimodal transport hub and mixed property development. (The Edge)

Groundbreaking ceremony of the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link
Groundbreaking ceremony of the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link (Source: Cyber-RT)

Property crimes top offence in 2019

Property offences accounted for 80% of the 83,456 criminal cases recorded in 2019, according to the Statistics Department. The bulk of these were from 30,867 cases of vehicular theft. However, property crimes last year were lower than the 71,760 cases recorded in 2018. The 16,489 cases of violent crimes accounted for 20% of the total. Of these, 59% were for robbery. The crime index ratio also fell to 256.6 per 100,000 population, the fourth straight year it has declined. All states except Sarawak, Penang, and Terengganu saw their crime rates fall. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission opened 1,039 investigations last year or 24.7% more than 2018. Corruption-related arrests also rose by 23.2% from 2018 to 1,101 in 2019. The most common offence was for accepting bribes, which saw a 40.1% rise in investigations to reach 374 cases. (Malay Mail)

Govt to study possibility of building foreign workers’ housing

The government will conduct a study into the possibility of providing living quarters for foreign workers to curb Covid-19 transmission at construction sites, said Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa. The ministry is in talks with several other ministries and the Malaysian Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB). Annuar said the rise in cases proved that the foreign workers’ quarters do not meet the standards and the communal living is a serious health threat providing perfect conditions for the spread of the virus. “Those (contractors) who engage the services of foreign workers need to ensure that they are free of the disease and proper housing is provided for the workers,” he said. As of Nov 18, from a total of 3,128 construction workers screened following detection of the Damanlela Cluster, 1346 positive Covid-19 cases were recorded. (Malay Mail)

Takaful Ikhlas introduces online residence and household protection plan

Takaful Ikhlas General Bhd has introduced an online IKHLAS Home Protect Takaful (IKHLAS Home Protect) in conjunction with the Minggu Saham Digital (MSD) 2020. The IKHLAS Home Protect is a comprehensive and ideal protection plan that provides complete protection for residence and household from loss or damage due to fire, lightning, underground fires, explosions, and water tank overflow. In addition, IKHLAS Home Protect also provides protection from loss or damage due to floods on residence and household of participants. The protection plan also provides additional benefits for residential buildings, which include cash advances, home financing assistance and damage to glass and households which includes asset protection in residential areas, loss of money, bush and weed fires, and property damage due to fallen trees or branches, and others. In conjunction with the MSD, the public can subscribe to the IKHLAS Home Protect Takaful protection plan online at www.takaful-ikhlas.com.my with a rebate of 15%. (Bernama)