Urban renewal programme for old flats

All flats of over 40 years old, including those built by private developers, will be redeveloped under the Federal Territories Ministry’s Urban Renewal programme. Its minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said flats which were no longer suitable for occupancy, small in size and were old structures would be rebuilt with various facilities and equipment. “Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has prepared guidelines for such areas with old, rundown, small and overcrowded housing to be redeveloped under the Urban Renewal programme. The identified areas will be demolished and rebuilt, subject to agreement of the original owners,” he said. Annuar said the Urban Renewal programme would go hand in hand with the development of flats owned by DBKL. “All these, including the Seri Perlis flats in Keramat, Seri Labuan (Cheras) and Seri Negeri Sembilan (Sentul), will be rebuilt so that the owners can get a new house with the size of 750 to 800 square feet, three rooms and complete with facilities similar to those at regular condominiums. We hope this will provide relief to the owners of old apartments,” he added. (Bernama)

KKMM: WiFi for PPR housing, data package for SPM/STPM students in 2021

The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) has announced five initiatives aimed at helping B40 households as well as SPM and STPM students stay connected in 2021. Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the initiatives include free WiFi coverage at 130 selected People’s Housing Projects (PPR) nationwide until the end of April 2021. Local telcos are also expected to introduce a special data package plan on Jan 6, 2021 for SPM and STPM candidates which will be available until the end of the examination period in April. The Jaringan Prihatin initiative aimed at B40 groups which was announced in Budget 2021 is expected to roll out in March 2021. This includes allocation of a telecommunications credit worth RM180 per person (RM15 per month) or a subsidy to cover part of the cost of purchasing a smart device. The free additional 1GB Internet data initiative provided by telcos, which was scheduled to end on Dec 31, will also be extended until the start of the Jaringan Prihatin subsidy programme. The operation hours for all Pusat Internet Komuniti (PIK) will be extended from 9am to 9pm daily. (The Star Online)

Christmas gatherings: No more than 20 people in landed properties

Christmas visits will only be limited to private gatherings of not more than 20 people at any one time on Dec 25, says Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. He said this ruling applied to areas under RMCO and CMCO, whereas in places under EMCO, only household gatherings were allowed. The 20 people limit is only for landed properties. For apartments and condominiums, the maximum number is 10 visitors for units 1,500 sq ft and below, and 20 for units between 1,500 and 2,500 sq ft. Church prayer sessions will also be allowed at RMCO and CMCO areas but at limited time. Ismail said on Christmas eve (Dec 24), church mass would be allowed between 5pm and 9.30pm, and up to two sessions maximum. For Christmas day mass, he said mass times would be from 7am to 1.45pm, and limited to three sessions. All sessions are required to undergo a 45-minute sanitisation exercise in between. Churches must also set up counters for temperature and QR code checks. The number of churchgoers allowed is based on existing places of worship SOP. (The Star Online)

Government to seal vaccine purchase with AstraZeneca

The government will be concluding an agreement with AstraZeneca of United Kingdom today to purchase COVID-19 vaccine to meet the immunisation needs of 20% of the people in the country. Health Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said this is the third agreement after the government signed with COVAX to buy 10% of its vaccine need and with Pfizer to cover 20% of Malaysia’s requirement last month. “Overall, we will be purchasing vaccine for 50% of the people. We will try to get all vaccine supplies in the first quarter next year,” he said. Dr Adham said at the same time, the government has to increase procurement for another 20% vaccine to meet the need of 70% of the people. It was reported that the first batch of vaccine would be arriving in February 2021 with supplies continuing until the end of 2021. “What is important is that companies which gave quick access to their vaccines must ensure they are safe, and of quality. Must also receive approval from the producing country as well as approval from MOH’s National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA). If it is concluded, we can vaccinate the first Malaysians comprising frontliners in early 2021,” he said. (Bernama)

Bank Islam named Malaysia’s strongest Islamic retail bank

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd has been named as Malaysia’s strongest Islamic retail bank for 2020 by the Cambridge International Financial Advisory (Cambridge IFA) at the sixth Islamic Retail Banking Award 2020, held virtually on Dec 15, 2020. Bank Islam said this was the second time that it received the award, which it won for the first time back in 2015. Its CEO Mohd Muazzam Mohamed said the title demonstrates the bank’s readiness to become the first and only listed Islamic bank in Malaysia and the region. “Hence, we will continue to innovate and deliver comprehensive financial solutions by leveraging the latest technological advancements to cater to the needs of a diversified portfolio of customers, while continuing to deliver value for our stakeholders,” he said. The Islamic Retail Banking Award was hosted by Cambridge IFA — a UK-based financial intelligence house — to highlight, acknowledge, and honour success stories in the Islamic retail banking sector. (The Edge)

(Source: The Malaysian Reserve)