MCO extended in KL and three other states, travel ban stays

The Movement Control Order (MCO) in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Penang has been extended for another two weeks from Feb 19 until March 4. Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri said the other states that were under MCO previously will now be subjected to the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), also effective Feb 19 to March 4, while Perlis will now be the only state with Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) status. The interstate and interdistrict travel restriction is still in force. He said based on the report of the Health Ministry, the relaxation on interstate travel given at the end of last year has led to a spike in COVID-19 cases, hence the ban. However, the 10km radius travel limit in the same district in all states, has been lifted, effective immediately. (Bernama)

Public COVID-19 vaccination registration to open March 1

The registration process for COVID-19 vaccination for the public will commence on March 1, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. The Ministry of Health (MOH) had identified several methods that the public could use to register, and it would also identify target groups to ensure they received the vaccination. “There are five methods that we have identified for registration, including using the MySejahtera application, website or phone number,” he said. Dr Noor Hisham also said that the MOH had been preparing for the COVID-19 vaccination programme since August last year, which also included the provision of infrastructure to ensure that the vaccine was received and stored safely. He said that if there were side effects of vaccine use, the MOH would record and report it to the World Health Organisation (WHO). He said that the MOH was of the view to only conduct the COVID-19 immunisation programme for individuals aged 18 and above. (Bernama)

EPF may need to re-strategise to cater to i-Sinar withdrawals

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) may be forced to deviate from its investment strategy following the decision to allow i-Sinar withdrawal without conditions last week. Experts said the fund may need to have a higher percentage of its investment in liquid investments such as money market instruments, which normally give a lower return on investment. “The reason for doing this is to ensure enough liquidity to cater to these withdrawals. However, this will deprive the opportunity to invest in higher return asset classes such as overseas equity, real estate and infrastructure,” said Putra Business School Assoc Prof Dr Ahmed Razman Abdul Latiff. “Nevertheless, the impact will not be severe and EPF will still be able to give a competitive rate for its dividend.” The EPF’s overall investment assets stood at RM924.75 billion as of Dec 31, 2019, of which 37% comprised a Shariah-based portfolio and 63% conventional portfolio or Simpanan Konvensional. For 2019, the EPF reported a gross investment income of RM50.29 billion, with two-thirds coming from stable interest and dividend streams. Last week, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul said the fund is in the process of removing all conditions for the i-Sinar facility, which would cost the fund about RM70 billion. (The Malaysian Reserve)

UEM Sunrise, Mulpha call off RM5bil JV

UEM Sunrise Bhd and Mulpha International Bhd have called off their joint venture (JV) for a GDV RM5 billion mixed development in Nusajaya, Johor. The two companies said the development fell through as the conditions precedent, which included the obtaining of written approvals and planning approvals for the parcels of land, had not been fulfilled or waived during the conditional period. The conditional period had previously been extended twice — once to Feb 15, 2020, and subsequently to Feb 15, 2021. The venture was first announced on Feb 16, 2016, comprising the development of three parcels of land, measuring a total of 195.27 acres over 20 years by a 50:50 JV company of the two parties. Planning for the development was supposed to commence in the second half of 2016, with Phase 1 of the project previously targeted to be launched in 2018. (The Edge)

Top Glove’s R&D arm ranks second highest among Malaysian patent applicants in 2020

Top Glove Corporation Bhd’s research and development (R&D) arm, Top Glove International Sdn Bhd, has been ranked the second-highest Malaysian patent applicant for 2020 by the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO). It said although patent filings had traditionally been dominated by universities, Top Glove International’s achievement reflected the trend of increasing industry-based R&D and demonstrated the company’s commitment towards inventions, innovation and continuous enhancement. Last year, the group’s R&D centres filed 52 patent applications in Malaysia and 97 patent applications overseas related to gloves, formers, dental dams, chemicals used in the glove industry and automation systems, which enhance product quality and improve the production efficiency. Top Glove, which owns more than 300 intellectual properties (IPs) locally and globally, currently has nine R&D centres throughout Malaysia and Thailand. According to MyIPO, the top five Malaysian patent applicants in Malaysia for 2020 are MIMOS Bhd, Top Glove International, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, University of Malaya, and Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas). (Malay Mail)

top glove research
(Source: The Star Online)