Malaysians wait with bated breath for Muhyiddin’s Covid-19 announcement

Attention will focus today on Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s special address on Covid-19, amid expectations that a renewed lockdown could be announced to suppress Malaysia’s runaway infection rate. With new daily infections still above the 2,000-case mark and health authorities’ desperate remarks about faltering compliance with measures to slow the disease, Malaysians are bracing for the return of some form of the movement control order (MCO). Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has urged Malaysians not to believe rumours but his remarks have also fuelled speculation, after he said the government would give Malaysians time to prepare for the impending announcement. He said the National Security Council (NSC) is formulating the necessary Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) based on suggestions from various parties. Among the items that will be deliberated include the introduction of stricter SOP if necessary, to prevent any unnecessary travel among the general public. (Malay Mail)

Termination of HSR plus point for JB city centre, negative for Iskandar Puteri

The termination of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project will negatively impact properties in Iskandar Puteri in Johor. In contrast, the no-go for the bullet train project will have a positive impact on properties in Johor Bahru (JB) city centre, including the Danga Bay area. Malaysia and Singapore have decided to terminate the multi-billion ringgit HSR project as both countries could not reach an agreement on several changes that the Malaysian government proposed. Datamine Malaysia head of research Jerren Lai said the lack of a major catalyst like the HSR project will slow the growth in property prices in Iskandar Puteri, including Puteri Harbour. He expects that the value of properties in the JB CIQ (Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine Complex) and the surrounding areas will now become more popular among homebuyers and developers in tandem with the Rapid Transit System (RTS) development, connecting Johor Bahru with Woodlands in Singapore. (NST Online)

Sibu Indoor Stadium to be turned into COVID-19 quarantine centre

Eighty special tents of the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) have been installed at the Sibu Indoor Stadium by members of the Malaysian Civil Defence Force (APM) as a COVID-19 quarantine centre. Sarawak Housing and Public Health Assistant Minister Dr Annuar Rapaee said the opening of the quarantine centre was an early preparation should the quarantine centre in Kemuyang becomes fully occupied. “This is only as an initial preparation should the situation get more pressing and we hope not to use it as we are working hard to break the COVID-19 transmission chain,” he said. Sibu district became a COVID-19 red zone yesterday when 44 cases were recorded over the past two days, starting with 37 cases reported under the Pasai Cluster on Friday. (Bernama)

Federal, state govts should work together to ensure welfare of flood victims – Muhyiddin

The federal and state governments need to work together to ensure the welfare of flood victims, so that it is not only limited to the provision of daily necessities while they are housed at relief centres, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. He said efforts to help the victims should continue for some time even after they return to their respective homes. “The same goes for other aspects such as repairing their damaged homes, and this step is to ensure that the victims do not remain in a state of trauma due to the disaster,” he said. He said district offices, local authorities, as well as state and federal government agencies, have been urged to give immediate attention to the repairing flood-damaged infrastructure such as roads, mosques and schools. Apart from that, Muhyiddin said he had instructed those managing the relief centres as well as the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) to provide two tents for families with more than six people so that they could stay comfortably. (Bernama)

Nicol David nominated in GOATs list

Malaysian squash legend Datuk Nicol David is now in the illustrious company of GOATs. The World Games have nominated the 37-year-old Penangite in their Greatest Athlete of All Time list for voting. Nicol is the only Malaysian and Asian to be on the list, which has 24 past and present athletes from different sports nominated by their international federations. Others include Swedish archer Morgan Lundin, the Brazilian women’s beach handball team, Russian gymnastics legend Evgeniya Kanaeva, Dutch Jiu-Jitsu exponent Rob Haans and Sweden’s muaythai world champion Sofia Olofsson. On Jan 20, the 10 candidates with the most votes will continue in the race. The World Games Greatest Athlete of All Time will be crowned on Feb 1. To vote for Nicol, go to and look for Nicol David in the list. The World Games is a multi-sports event staged every four years by the International World Games Association under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. (The Star Online)