Khairy: Covid-19 vaccine won’t be mandatory

Vaccination against Covid-19 will be voluntary in Malaysia, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin. He said Malaysians must also indicate their willingness to be vaccinated once the vaccines become available in the country. “It’s voluntary, so if (you) want to get vaccinated you will have to sign up. (There is a) sign-up feature in (the) MySejahtera mobile application, (to get) your consent to be vaccinated,” he said. Asked if the vaccine will be made available to foreigners free of charge, Khairy said that has yet to be decided. He added that the more foreigners are vaccinated, the safer Malaysians will be. Khairy was previously reported as saying that the details of the National Vaccination Plan, which is scheduled to start in February, will be finalised this Thursday. The government aims to launch the implementation plan when Covid-19 vaccine supplies are acquired. (Malay Mail)

“Assets company” removal was main concern in HSR termination

Malaysia’s suggestion to remove the assets company (AssetsCo) to manage the Kuala Lumpur (KL)-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) was the primary concern that led to the project’s termination. Singapore Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung told the country’s Parliament yesterday that Singapore could not accept Malaysia’s proposal to remove the systems supplier and network operator of the HSR project as it constituted a “fundamental departure” from the original agreement. Ong was quoted as saying that both countries had agreed under the HSR bilateral agreement to appoint a best-in-class industry player through an open international tender to assume the role of the AssetsCo as neither country had the expertise to operate the HSR. He described AssetsCo as the “centrepiece” of the rail project to ensure that both countries’ interests are protected. Malaysia holds the view that the amount of compensation needed to be paid to Singapore for the termination of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project is much lower than S$270mil (RM821mil), according to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. (SCMP)

2020 listings a prelude to vibrant IPO market in 2021

The 18 initial public offerings (IPOs) on Bursa Malaysia in 2020 may be 12 entries shy of the 30 recorded in 2019, but these debutants have shown that even an unprecedented event such as the Covid-19 pandemic could not deter them from their listing plans. The ACE Market saw the highest number of listings with 10, followed by the LEAP Market with six and the Main Market, two. “The IPO pipeline for [2021] onwards is the most active I have ever seen. That is surprising and incredible, as [the Main Market] has not had this level of activity since the 2010-to-2012 period,” says Ramesh Manimekalanandan, managing director and head of regional equity capital markets at Maybank Investment Bank Bhd. Companies intending to launch their IPO in 2021 have been encouraged by their strong third-quarter results, attesting to their resilience even when faced with limitations imposed by the pandemic and lockdowns, he explains. There are at least five potential IPOs to look out for in 2021, including local glove maker Harps Holdings Sdn Bhd, credit reporting agency CTOS Data Systems Sdn Bhd, Smart Glove Corp Sdn Bhd, Affin Hwang Asset Management Bhd, and Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd. (The Edge)

MetMalaysia issues bad weather warnings and alerts in several states

The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) has issued bad and alert weather warnings, with heavy rains expected in several states across the country until tomorrow. It said continuous heavy rain is predicted in Kelantan involving the districts of Pasir Mas, Jeli, Tanah Merah, Machang, Kuala Krai and Gua Musang. Heavy rains are expected to occur throughout the states of Perlis, Kedah, Penang and several districts in Perak, namely Kerian, Larut, Matang and Selama, Hulu Perak, Kuala Kangsar and Kinta. “Most areas in the west coast of the Peninsula, Sarawak and Sabah are expected to experience thunderstorms and heavy rain along with strong winds, especially in the evening until early night,” the statement said. The situation will also lead to flash floods in low-lying areas as well as damage to weak soil structures. Meanwhile, more people were being evacuated due to the floods in Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan, while the situation in Perak, Selangor and Johor is reported to be improving with the drop in the number of evacuees. (Bernama)

Malaysia records 11 new Covid-19 clusters from workplaces, construction sites and factories

Malaysia recorded 11 more Covid-19 clusters as new infections again rose past the 2,000-mark yesterday. Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said most of the clusters reported were from workplaces, construction sites and factories. To date, the Ministry of Health has reported a total of 548 clusters. Of the figure, 306 clusters have ended and 242 clusters are still active in the country. Malaysia reported 2,027 new cases nationwide and eight deaths from the disease yesterday, giving the country 122,845 cumulative cases and 509 deaths to date. There were 1,221 recoveries, bringing the total number of those discharged to 99,449. (Malay Mail)