Muhyiddin launches National Tourism Policy 2020-2030

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today launched the National Tourism Policy (DPN) 2020-2030, a blueprint to help recovery of the tourism industry. He said in the virtual launch today that the policy is a six-pronged strategy plan achieved through approaches that include strengthening competitiveness, sustainable tourism sector development and disaster preparedness. “This policy will be implemented through six key strategic thrusts namely governance transformation, inclusive investment tourism zones, enhancing digitisation, enriching tourist experience and satisfaction, strengthening commitment to sustainable tourism and increasing human capital capacity in tourism sub-sectors,” he said. Through the policy, Malaysia will create investment zones for tourism projects dubbed as Special Tourism Investment Zones to enhance the public-private cooperation and attract more local and international investors. The policy, which is deemed as a yardstick for Malaysia’s economic growth, will focus on generating tourism revenue through sustainable tourism and create an impact on the national economy. Previously, Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac) has expressed its commitment to sustainable tourism industry in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG). (The Malaysian Reserve)

Continue adhering to SOPs despite getting COVID-19 vaccination, public urged

The public has been urged to continue adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOP) such as observing physical distancing, wearing face masks and washing hands even after receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. Virology expert and director of Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre, University of Malaya Prof Dr Sazaly Abu Bakar said the risk of getting infected still exists even if the person has been vaccinated against the virus. He advised the public to abandon the old lifestyle and adopt new habits in the new norm, even if the COVID-19 vaccine has been found. “This is because the vaccine is effective in preventing the individual from experiencing a more serious effect of the infection but that does not mean that the person cannot be a carrier of the virus,” he said. He added that the vaccine being developed now is only for those aged 18 and above. (Bernama)

Malaysia ranks highly among emerging markets

Malaysia is ranked fifth among 17 other developing countries according to a Bloomberg study that gauges their outlook for 2021 based on 11 indicators of economic and financial performance. In the study, Malaysia is ranked ahead of other Asean countries such as the Philippines (10th) and Indonesia (12th). Thailand (1st) is ahead of Malaysia in the study, while India (11th) and China (17th). The study cited various data points including that Malaysia has a forecast GDP growth rate of 6.8% in 2021 and a fiscal balance of -5.4% of GDP next year. “Many emerging market economies are poised to recoup economic losses, judging by various metrics surveyed by Bloomberg, ” the report said. It noted that among the main factors for this is healthy foreign reserves, more so in Asia which would provide a cushion from external shocks. It also highlighted Goldman Sachs’s effective lockdown indexes which indicate that most developing economies stand to gain a lot in terms of activity catch up once the pandemic is brought under control. “In the latest readings, Malaysia, Chile, and the Philippines have the most room to subside in 2021. Those indexes should all eventually converge close to zero, ” it said. (The Star Online)

DBKL offering 50% discount on development fee until May 31 next year

Property developers in the city looking to kick off a project can apply for up to 50% discount in development fee from the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) until May 31 next year. Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said the initiative hopefully would spur economic growth in the city and in turn, encourage job creation. He said that 36 projects had been approved thus far under the initiative, with a gross development value amounting to RM35.9bil. Out of this amount, DBKL, he said, had granted some RM137mil in development fee discount. Annuar also said that the ministry was mulling an additional 15% rebate on the discount given for developers that hired young graduates. This move, he said, was expected to benefit some 1,000 graduates who were struggling to gain employment amid the worsening economy. Annuar said the initiative was in recognition of the crucial role played by private sectors in the country’s economy. (The Star Online)

Malaysia reopens borders to international students from Jan 1

International students will be allowed entry into Malaysia once more starting January 1, 2021, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said. However, he said the exception was for those coming from the United Kingdom ― where a new highly infectious strain of Covid-19 emerged recently ― resulting in parts of the country, including London, being placed under full lockdown. “Students who will be eligible for this would be those returning to universities or schools in Malaysia and new students who have already received offers from local universities and schools and have already found a place to live,” he said. Incoming students to Malaysia must adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) already set by the National Security Council, which includes Covid-19 testing prior to travelling to Malaysia, and a swab test upon arrival. “Those who test negative during these tests must still undergo the mandatory 10-day quarantine at locations gazetted by the government. All cost will be borne by the student,” he said. (Malay Mail)