Works Ministry promises to fix potholes within 24 hours

The Works Ministry, through the Public Works Department (PWD), will conduct pothole repairs through the “Aku Janji Zero Potholes” campaign that was reintroduced last July. The ministry said that the previous campaign that ran from 2016 to 2018, aimed to strengthen the ministry’s commitment towards the maintenance of roads in the country. “Under this campaign, pothole repairs will be done within 24 hours of its discovery or complaints and in three days for permanent repairs as stated in the Federal Road Maintenance contract,” its statement read. The statement defined pothole damage as holes with diameters of 200mm to 1,000mm. According to the statement, the ministry allocated RM1.09 billion for federal road maintenance throughout the country, including electricity, traffic lights and street lamp bills for 2021. The issue of potholes was highlighted after Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin was injured when the bicycle he rode crashed after the front tyre got caught in a pothole. (Malay Mail)

2021 the year to revive national economy via domestic tourism – Nancy

The year 2021 will be a year to revive the country’s economy through domestic tourism, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri. She called on the people to explore various interesting tourist destinations in the country through the ‘Cuti-Cuti Malaysia’ initiative. Looking back at 2020, Nancy said this year was a year of challenges in which almost the whole world had to be in a ‘lockdown’ state and the tourism industry as a whole had to stop operating. She said the ministry had planned and implemented various plans and appropriate strategies to meet the current challenges. “I am confident that all initiatives can stimulate and inject domestic spending consistently,” she said, adding that the Tourism Recovery Plan can also help craft entrepreneurs generate income. Nancy also reminded the public to be responsible tourists by complying with standard operating procedures (SOPs) set to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Bernama)

RM425 million convention centre to boost Ipoh’s business tourism

The RM425 million Ipoh International Convention Centre (IICC), which will be fully operational from next month, is expected to attract more business travelers to the city and in turn benefit its residents. Property developer Bond Holdings Sdn Bhd as the manager, the Ipoh City Council (MBI) as landowner, and construction firm Sycal Bhd today sealed a collaboration agreement for the management of the 28,000 sq ft centre. Ipoh Mayor Datuk Rumaizi Baharin said the main purpose of the collaboration was to manage the IICC effectively, including the banquet halls that could be used for annual dinners, corporate talks, trade fairs, community bazaars, workshop conferences and other activities. The IICC will consist of a 0.56-hectare convention centre, a 0.34-hectare five-star hotel block and a 0.38-hectare serviced apartment. “With its strategic location and state-of-the-art facilities, the centre will give a rebranding for the city of Ipoh,” he said. (NST Online)

No more new import licence for cigarettes from Jan 1, 2021

There will be no more new import licence for cigarettes issued by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (JKDM) effective Jan 1, 2021, said Customs director-general Datuk Seri Abdul Latif Abdul Kadir. However, he said the existing import licences could still be renewed. He said from Jan 1, 2021, all transshipment of cigarettes, tobacco products, electronic and non-electronic cigarette devices including vape and nicotine-free liquids/gels used in electronic cigarettes, are only allowed at five ports. The imposition of tax on cigarette products at all Duty Free Islands (PBC) namely Langkawi, Labuan, Tioman and Pangkor and the Free Zones (Retail Business) will start on Jan 1, 2021. “As such duty exemption on cigarettes and tobacco products for visitors and tourists will no longer apply from Jan 1, 2021,” he said. (Bernama)

Employers must remit EPF contribution on 15th of each month

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has instructed employers to remit their mandatory EPF contribution by the 15th of every month, starting January 2021. It said this is in line with the original contribution payment date determined by the EPF. Previously, the EPF provided an extension for contribution payment from the 15th to the 30th of every month from April until December 2020. The extension was to ease the burden of employers due to the uncertainties surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic. The EPF said the contribution payment date will revert to the original date to ensure employee contributions are paid without delay. Contribution payments can be made on the EPF website via the i-Akaun (Employer) portal, Internet banking or by visiting the counter of appointed banks. (The Star Online)