Malaysia, Singapore terminate HSR project

The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project has been terminated after Malaysia and Singapore could not come to an agreement on proposed changes. Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in a joint press statement, said the Malaysian government had proposed several changes to the HSR project in light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its economy. “Both countries will abide by their respective obligations, and will now proceed with the necessary actions, resulting from this termination of the HSR Agreement. Both countries remain committed to maintain good bilateral relations and cooperate closely in various fields, including strengthening the connectivity between the two countries,” read the statement on Friday (Jan 1). In May, both governments agreed to extend the deferment of the HSR to Dec 31. The 350km HSR was targeted to be up and running by 2026 and was expected to cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to just 90 minutes. (The Star Online)

MOE: All educational institutions to open according to 2021 academic calendar

All educational institutions under the Ministry of Education (MOE), as well as private educational institutions (IPS) registered with the ministry, which includes international schools, will be opened according to the 2021 academic calendar. MOE said that the opening dates can be referred to at, while for the IPS, the dates are subject to the institutions’ respective academic calendar. This opening involves educational institutions nationwide, including in areas which are placed under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO). The MOE will always monitor the current situation of the operation of educational institutions together with the Ministry of Health and the National Security Council to ensure that the health and safety of educational institutions continue to be given priority, it said. (Malay Mail)

National Vaccination Plan to be finalised this Thursday

The National Vaccination Plan scheduled to start in February will be finalised this Thursday, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Khairy Jamaluddin said. He said this would be discussed in the COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Committee Meeting to be chaired jointly by him and Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba. “We aim to launch the implementation plan when we have acquired supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine,” he said. This is a comprehensive plan which covers the period before the vaccines are received including the hospitals that can be registered to have access to the vaccine as well as the transportation and storage of the vaccines. (Bernama)

Malaysia to begin Covid-19 vaccine rollout in Feb, one million to receive Pfizer jab

Up to one million frontliners and high-risk population groups in Malaysia will be vaccinated against Covid-19 next month, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba. He was reported as saying that this will be the first phase of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine once it arrives in Malaysia, with the second phase to take place in April or May. Members of high-risk groups include those with non-communicable diseases such as heart, lung and kidney ailments, and diabetes. “The government will provide the vaccines for free, with a target of 80% of the population or 26 million people,” he said. The second phase will see approximately 6.2 million doses of the vaccine arriving which will be deployed accordingly. Separately, the minister said the government is not planning to reopen national borders anytime soon, given the high global Covid-19 infection rate. (Malay Mail)

KL’s high-end residentials still popular among Asian buyers

Kuala Lumpur remains an attractive investment spot for Asian buyers post-Covid-19, CORE Precious Development Sdn Bhd chairman and managing director Zhang Bao said. This is given that properties in KL have relatively affordable price per square feet, ample facilities, great accessibility with integrated transport services, and one of the highest standards of living in Southeast Asia. “Other factors include Malaysia’s reasonable cost of international education, great healthcare system and reputation as a top retirement destination,” said Zhang Bao. Quoting a report by Juwai IQI recently, he said Malaysia was expected to see an increase in foreign purchases in the next 12 months. The country was ranked seventh in the third quarter of this year among the world’s most preferred destination by Chinese property buyers. CORE Precious is a joint-venture (JV) company between China Communications and Construction Group (CCCG) and WCT Holdings Bhd. The company is currently developing a high-end residential project located at the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX). (NST Online)