MCO in whole Malaysia except Sarawak from January 22

Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today that five more states will come under the movement control order (MCO) from January 22, effectively locking down the whole country except Sarawak. Ismail said the MCO on Kedah, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Terengganu and Pahang will run until February 4. “The MCO SOP will apply in these places. Business operations will be from 6am to 8pm,” he said. Sarawak will remain under the conditional MCO (CMCO). Ismail said the government will wait for the Health Ministry’s report before deciding if an extension would be necessary. “After that we can decide if the cases are fewer, we might revert to the CMCO or maybe extend it depending on the report from MOH,” he said. (Malay Mail)

Rehda: Property prices are now at rock bottom

The reinstatement of movement control order (MCO 2.0) and the surging number of Covid-19 daily new cases might have dampened the market sentiment, but the industry leaders do not foresee the property prices continuing to move downwards as current price has bottomed. Real Estate and Housing Developers Association Malaysia (Rehda) Malaysia president Datuk Soam Heng Choon said the current property price has “hit the rock bottom”. “The selling price now is the result of the input cost made of the spiking building material price and additional cost incurred due to the pandemic. All developers want a quick sale so that they can pay the contractors and so on to move the business,” he said. Nevertheless, he also highlighted that developers have gone back to the drawing board as far as launch projects and pricing are concerned as they want to minimize any losses or additional holding cost at this point in time. “With the MM2H program on hold and MCO reinstated, the developers have no other choice but to price the new projects at a very competitive price to survive the pandemic,” he noted. (The Edge)

Daily cases expected to stabilise at 3,000 within a week – Health DG

The Ministry of Health (MOH) expects the number of COVID-19 daily cases in the country to stabilise at 3,000 within a period of one week. Health director-general, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said after this period, the ministry would review the need to extend the Movement Control Order (MCO) for another two weeks. The expected number of daily cases a week ago was due to exposure to the virus during the incubation period and now the cases could be detected, he added. He said the MOH also expected an increase in the number of cases in the next two to three days. Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said implementation of the MCO nationwide except Sarawak was following the surge in cases including in Klang Valley due to cross-district and cross-state travel and activities. (Bernama)

Employers footing COVID-19 screening cost get double tax deduction

Employers who bear the cost of COVID-19 screening will get double tax deduction for the payment of employee screening costs made during the year, said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz. “Individuals can also get tax exemption for screening costs,” he said. Tengku Zafrul said the Social Security Organisation would bear the cost of screening foreign workers in the red zone. Regarding the moratorium, he said the approval rate was more than 95 per cent for individuals while for small and medium enterprises, the approval rate was 99%. On the i-Sinar programme, Tengku Zafrul said the Employees Provident Fund had agreed to facilitate it, so far only 1% of applications had not been approved. (Bernama)

Logos inks first Malaysia JV to develop integrated logistics hub

Logo SE Asia Pte Ltd (Logos), a leading logistics real estate specialist in Asia Pacific, has entered into a joint-venture (JV) with a local partner to develop a sustainable integrated logistics, warehousing and e-commerce hub in Shah Alam. The project, to be developed in phases, will cover a total development area of 745,000 square metres (sqm) spanning across five warehouse blocks. The multi-storey facility, upon completion, will be one of the largest one-stop logistics hub in Malaysia. It is designed with flexibility to cater to multiple tenants, featuring driveway, ramps and cross-docking features to facilitate logistics efficiencies and effective traffic management. Knight Frank executive director of capital markets Allan Sim said the investment by Logos in Malaysia is a strong testament and mark of confidence by international logistics players in the growth of the local industrial sector. (The Star Online)