Mandatory Covid-19 screening for all 1.7 million foreign workers in Malaysia

Malaysia has imposed mandatory Covid-19 screening for 1.7 million foreign workers in view of the high number of cases involving the group. And effective today, the authorities will also start imposing a fine of RM50,000 per worker if employers house their foreign workers in crowded spaces. Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the first phase of Covid-19 screening involving 888,342 foreign workers would be carried out in Selangor, Labuan, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Negri Sembilan. “The Human Resources Ministry would start enforcing the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 beginning tomorrow (Thursday). Employers who flout the regulations would be fined RM50,000 per worker, ” he said. As for the mandatory screening in phases, Socso would pay RM60 per employee for the rapid antigen test. (The Star Online)

10 Malaysian universities among 110 best in Asia

Ten local universities – seven public and three private – are among 110 best universities in Asia based on the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings: Asia 2021 report. According to the report released today, University of Malaya (UM) leads other universities in this country at 9th place, followed by Universiti Putra Malaysia (28th), Universiti Sains Malaysia (34th) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (35th). Universiti Teknologi Malaysia came in 39th, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (70th), Taylor’s University (89th), UCSI University (105th), Universiti Utara Malaysia (107th) and Universiti Teknologi MARA (108th). Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad said the achievement had indirectly placed Malaysia as a higher education hub in the Asian region and could assist the institutions in fostering cooperation with the world’s renowned researchers. She said this was the first time UM managed to be listed among the 10 best universities in Asia by securing the 9th place compared to 13th last year. A total of 35 local universities are listed in this year’s QS ranking, compared to 29 last year. (Bernama)

World Bank calls for higher minimum retirement age

Faced with inadequate retirement savings and longer life expectancy, Malaysians will eventually have to work longer beyond the current retirement age of 60. The World Bank has called for the country’s minimum retirement age to be increased to 65, albeit gradually over the longer term. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economic Affairs) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed agreed it is necessary for Malaysians to work longer in the future to ensure adequate financial protection in old age. The World Bank report pointed out that there is no evidence the employment prospects of younger workers would be negatively affected due to increased employment among older people. It added that talent shortages could be addressed if more Malaysians aged 50 to 64 are active on the labour market. Such policies will allow Malaysians to work longer, be healthier for longer, with less physically demanding occupations, and with more digitally-enabled work places. Come 2056, Malaysia will be a “super-aged society”, with over 20% of its population above the age of 65. (The Star Online)

malaysia aging society
(Source: The Star Online)

Over RM20bil worth of residential properties remain unsold

Some RM20bil worth of residential properties remain unsold due to an overhang, says Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin. “Based on the First Quarter 2020 Property Market Report by the National Property Information Centre (Napic), a total of 31,661 completed units remain unsold with a value of RM20.03bil,” she said. She added that this was an increase of 3.3% in the number of unsold units and an increase in the value compared to the same period last year. Zuraida said the overhang in residential units was due to several factors such as a mismatch in pricing and location. She added that the difficulty for potential buyers in obtaining bank loans was also a factor. To overcome this, she said that her ministry is currently developing a Housing Integrated Management System (HIMS) to replace the current data record system. The new system, she added, would contain details such as developers’ licence, management and control of projects, enforcement, and residential ownership in private housing projects. The new system is expected to be completed by the middle of next year. (The Star Online)

Football legend Maradona dead at 60

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona has died at the age of 60. Renowned along with Brazil’s Pele as one of the greatest footballers of all time, the Argentine World Cup winning captain died of a heart attack, having undergone brain surgery earlier this month, a member of his entourage told AFP. President Alberto Fernandez immediately announced three days of national mourning in the South American country. Rising to stardom from a grimy Buenos Aires slum to lead Argentina to World Cup victory, Maradona was a rags-to-riches story in his soccer-mad homeland. The life of one of the most gifted soccer players in history had been marked by wild highs and lows. He had been admitted to hospital three times in the last 20 years for serious health issues – two of which were potentially fatal – due to his drug and alcohol addictions. The highs were crowned by his performances when he captained Argentina to victory in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. (NST Online)

Argentinian football legend Diego Armando Maradona lifting the FIFA World Cup trophy in Mexico circa 1986
Argentinian football legend Diego Armando Maradona lifts the FIFA World Cup trophy after defeating Germany at the Azteca stadium in Mexico City, Mexico, 29 June 1986. (Source: ABC)