Malaysia’s vaccine procurement process, delivery schedule

Malaysians who are not active frontliners, below the age of 60 and in relatively good health can expect to receive their dose of Covid-19 vaccinations only by the third-quarter of this year or later, the science, technology and innovation minister revealed. Khairy Jamaluddin, also the Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) co-chair, said this is because the first batch of vaccines to arrive will be prioritised to inoculate those within vulnerable groups. “Frontline workers from the healthcare and security sectors will go first. Then senior citizens and people with chronic illnesses. If you are a healthy adult under 60 and not a frontline worker, it is safe to assume that your turn will come by Q3 or after,” he wrote in a statement. Khairy explained that only the first batch of vaccines from US company Pfizer will arrive at the end of February. “We will receive one million doses in Q1 of 2021, 1.7 million doses in Q2, 5.8 million doses in Q3 and 4.3 million doses in Q4.” Khairy assured Malaysians that adequate research will be conducted on all vaccines procured by the country and subject to approval from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency. (Malay Mail)

MCO 2.0 unlikely to be as destructive on Malaysia’s economic growth

The re-imposition of the Movement Control Order (MCO), widely referred to as MCO 2.0 that will be in place for two weeks from 13 Jan, is not expected to have as destructive an impact on Malaysia’s growth as the first lockdown had on the second quarter of 2020, according to Standard Chartered. “This is because the restrictions are a lot more targeted. Also, the lockdowns are not synchronised globally where everyone is currently having it,” said Standard Chartered Chief economist for ASEAN and South Asia Edward Lee. While the new MCO will delay economic recovery, it will not change the entire outlook for growth in 2021 as the roll out of vaccines by governments worldwide is expected to improve prospects, he said. Standard Chartered is expecting Malaysia’s economy to grow at 7.5% this year, compared with a 5.8% contraction last year. (The Edge)

Penang to extend House Ownership Campaign to end of 2021

The Penang government plans to extend the House Ownership Campaign (HOC) to the year-end following implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) and imposition of Emergency which is expected to continue until August. State Housing, Local Government and Town and Country Planning Committee chairman, Jagdeep Singh Deo said this measure was aimed at reducing the burden of new house buyers during this difficult time and for economic generation in the real estate sector. “In Penang, we have almost 3,000 unsold houses worth RM 2.9 billion but out of this number, only 0.8% of affordable homes priced under RM300,000 are still unsold. We will try to assist this sector as it is important in ensuring cash flow in the market,” he said. Jagdeep said the state government had approved almost 4,000 applications for low-cost, low medium-cost and affordable homes. (Bernama)

Penang manufacturer to develop commercial properties in Seberang Perai

Tek Seng Holdings Bhd aims to develop commercial properties including shop lots and light industries in Seberang Perai Tengah, Penang and expand its manufacturing business. It plans to develop the properties on industrial land that will be jointly acquired by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Wangsaga Industries Sdn Bhd and Tek Seng Properties & Development Sdn Bhd. Tek Seng said that the two firms had entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Limsa Ekuiti Sdn Bhd to acquire nine adjoining parcels of industrial land and building for RM46.962 million. Apart from shop lots and light industries, it plans to also build a manufacturing factory and warehouse. Tek Seng did not disclose the estimated GDV for the proposed development of the commercial properties. (NST Online)

Second phase of Census 2020 to be rescheduled

The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) will reschedule the implementation of the second phase of the Malaysian Population and Housing Census 2020 which involves face-to-face interviews. Chief statistician and Census 2020 commissioner Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the rescheduling of the second phase of the census, which was initially set for Jan 20 to Feb 6, had to be made following the implementation of the MCO. “The new dates for the nationwide Phase Two of the Census 2020 will be announced soon,” he said. Mohd Uzir said in support of efforts to curb and break the chain of Covid-19 infection, the DOSM was also in the midst of reviewing the census operations, including the possibility of reactivating e-Census, the online census platform. (The Edge)