30% of Malaysians expected to be vaccinated next year

A total of 9.6 million people or 30% of Malaysia’s population are expected to be vaccinated against Covid-19 next year, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. Earlier, it was announced that the government had inked a preliminary purchase agreement with pharmaceutical company Pfizer to get a supply of 12.8 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to meet the immunisation needs of 20% or 6.4 million of the Malaysian population. Apart from the agreement with Pfizer, the government has also signed an agreement with the COVAX facility to get Covid-19 vaccine to meet the immunisation needs of 10% of the Malaysian people. “Insya-Allah, we will receive the vaccine supply in stages beginning the first quarter of next year,” he said. Muhyiddin said he was confident that with the access to these vaccines and the continued efforts to break the chain of infection, the country could bring the disease under complete control and help revive its economy and improve the people’s well-being. He said the government would return the mandate to the people to elect the government through a general election when the Covid-19 pandemic has ended. (The Sun Daily)

Address issue of crowded, confined foreign workers accommodation to curb spread of COVID-19

The issue of crowded and confined accommodation of foreign workers needs to be tackled immediately to ensure that it does cause the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. He said this was in line with the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446). He said there were several factors which contributed to the transmission of infectious diseases among workers, including places of accommodation, personal hygiene as well as the environment of the accommodation and workplaces. He said the MOH always took a serious view of incidents regarding the rise in COVID-19 transmissions in workplaces as manpower, be it foreign or local, is a valuable asset for any company or organisation. (Bernama)

PM: Let’s have a presidential council

It is time to have a presidential council comprising heads of the parties which formed the Perikatan Nasional government, as not all party presidents are in the Cabinet, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. This would further strengthen the ties between parties in Perikatan Nasional, Barisan Nasional, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), said the Prime Minister who is Perikatan chairman. There were some who felt that it was a challenge for these parties to work together in view of their past rivalry, he said, adding that this was why such a council was necessary. “Through this council, the party heads can present the views of their parties on main policies of the government which can then be presented to the Cabinet so that we can take that into consideration when we as a government make decisions, ” said Muhyiddin. “The focus of the Perikatan government should be to lighten the burden of those who have been hit hard during the pandemic,” he added. Perikatan, he said, had rolled out the RM305bil stimulus and Budget 2021 as a caring government for all races and religions. (The Star Online)

Kuala Lumpur places 8th in Expat City Ranking 2020

London, Paris and Rome are famed for their history, culture, and commerce. Now, they share something else in common: Expats don’t like them. The three European capitals attracted some of the lowest rankings in a global survey of more than 15,000 people representing 173 nationalities. Concerns about health care, safety, work-life balance, and the affordability of housing weighed on their scores in research conducted by InterNations, a Munich-based expat network. At the other end of the scale, a quartet of Spanish cities placed in the top 10. Expats gave Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, the world’s highest score based on its climate, housing affordability, and health care. Just down the list – and around 100 miles down the coast – Alicante, a city of 330,000 people, came in second place. Malaga and Madrid earned 6th and 9th place. Aside from the four Spanish cities, Lisbon, Panama City, Singapore, Buenos Aires, Kuala Lumpur, and Abu Dhabi made it into the top 10. (NST Online)

(Source: InterNations)

CSR, KBKK Expressway projects set to be ready in 2025 – Mustapa

The construction of the Central Spine Road (CSR) project and Kota Bharu-Kuala Krai (KBKK) Expressway are expected to be completed in 2025, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. He said to date, 21% of the CSR line had been completed, with 62 km of the road from Merapoh to Kampung Seberang Jelai in Pahang already in use. “Once the two road projects are completed, they are expected to reduce traffic congestion, especially during peak hours, weekends and festive seasons, besides helping to reduce accident rates,” he said. The CSR project involved the construction of a 295.7 km highway from Bentong, Pahang to Kuala Krai, Kelantan while the 67.6 km-long KBKK Expressway comprised several packages, with the total cost approved for both projects being RM9.5 billion. However, Mustapa said the two projects, which were proposed under Budget 2021, could only be carried out if the Budget is passed in Parliament. (Bernama)