Long-distance married couples allowed interstate travel from Thursday

Couples in long-distance marriages living in states under the Movement Control Order (MCO) will be allowed to return to meet their spouses beginning today. Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government agreed to relax the rules in a special National Security Council (MKN) meeting yesterday. “The government agreed to allow couples who live far away from each other due to work purposes to meet their family, provided they get the prior permission and approval from the police,” he said. However, Ismail Sabri, who is also the Minister of Defence, advised those with symptoms either to seek treatment first, go for a screening, or to postpone their journey until they are healthy. (Bernama)

Malaysian property market recovery stunted, delayed further to 2022

The Malaysian property market is expected to see a further delay in its recovery to 2022 due to the resurgence of Covid-19 cases and the reimplementation of the movement control order (MCO), according to real estate consultancy Rahim & Co International Sdn Bhd. Its CEO Siva Shanker said real estate analysts predicted last year that 2021 would see a recovery in the property market, not knowing that Covid-19 cases would rise to 4,000 levels. “Because of high numbers and we’re back into the peak of the pandemic, that slated recovery of 2021 and projections for 2021 are probably going to be delayed to 2022 due to rising Covid-19 cases and the resultant lockdown,” he told. Director of research Sulaiman Saheh said the property sector’s recovery has become stunted as the market became cautious, adding that overhang properties in the market are still unlikely to see a significant drop in 2021 and it will be a mammoth task to reduce them. (The Sun Daily)

DPS on track to roll out RM1 billion worth of projects under its 5-year plan

DPS Resources Berhad says the company is on track to roll out about RM1 billion worth of property development projects in Melaka, Seremban, and Klang Valley, over the next five years. “In achieving our RM1 billion target, we have a five-year plan to build affordable homes,” said the company’s group managing director (GMD) Edward Sow Yuen Sen. Sow said that as part of the RM1 billion target journey, DPS will be completing four projects in Melaka with GDV of RM159.73 million. DPS is developing the four projects under collaboration with landowners. Sow said under such arrangements, the landowners will get some of the completed units in exchange for the land. The Main Market-Listed firm has two main businesses led by property development and construction. Its other business is trading and furniture-making. (NST Online)

Second full lockdown will lead to irreparable damage to Malaysia’s economy

A second full lockdown will lead to irreparable damage to the business sector and the economy, with a devastating impact on business survival and job security, according to the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM). It urged industries to give their fullest cooperation and play their part by taking the additional proactive and preventive measures to tighten the existing standard operating procedures (SOPs) at the workplace and living quarters of employees. “We are equally concerned about the latest updates that there are currently 318 active Covid-19 clusters of which 99 clusters or about 30% are from the manufacturing sector,” FMM president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said. “It must be recognised that as long as the pandemic pervades, the growth and investments by the private sector will remain subdued and the economic recovery will continue to be sluggish,” he added. (Malay Mail)

Hotel Equatorial Penang to cease operation by March 31

The five-star Hotel Equatorial Penang is set to close down effective March 31 this year. In an internal circular to employees, general manager Alan Ong said the directors of the hotel made the announcement of closure today due to the adverse business conditions caused by Covid-19. He wrote that the last day of business to the public is yet to be decided but it will be before March 31. Ong said the company has suffered huge losses but will still pay severance benefits to hotel employees, the details of which will be announced later. The 413-room hotel, which is about 30 years old, is located near to the industrial zones and the Penang International Airport. (Malay Mail)

Hotel Equatorial Penang is set to close down effective March 31 this year. — Picture by Hotel Equatorial Penang
(Source: Malay Mail)