Mustapa: 12th Malaysia Plan to be tabled when Parliament reconvenes

The 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) will be tabled once Parliament is allowed to sit, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said. He said the 12MP is ready for tabling and it is constantly updated, among others, in terms of numbers and strategies as it takes into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, Mustapa said the National Development Implementation Committee would also monitor every project under the federal government this year to check whether it is progressing according to the plan and schedule in order to revive the country’s economy. Mustapa, who is also the co-chairman of the committee, said this is to ensure that construction projects under the 11MP are not disrupted even though the country is reeling from the COVID-19 epidemic. “The allocation for the development sector this year is RM69 billion but there were reports that we could not spend all the money and this is a matter of concern. So, next week the Economic Planning Unit will hold a workshop involving all ministries to look into cash-flow requirements to identify the problems faced such as land management… these will be zeroed in so that we know how much has been spent this year,” he added. (The Star Online)

AirAsia Group plans air taxi, drone delivery service

AirAsia Group Bhd plans to launch an air taxi service and the country’s first drone delivery service as the budget carrier seeks to diversify amid the coronavirus pandemic, the company’s CEO said on Saturday. As part of the group’s diversification push, it also aims to launch a ride-hailing service next month as COVID-19 continues to hit air travel. “The air taxi will have a pilot and four seats. At the moment, we have our team working on this upcoming service by AirAsia,” Chief Executive Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said. The service should start operating in about 18 months. He also announced that the airline’s logistics unit Teleport, which is currently testing an urban drone delivery service with state-backed firm Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), would conduct its first commercial delivery by the end of this year. Fernandes said the group was recovering from the impact of the pandemic and had used the opportunity to accelerate its digital transformation. (The Star Online)

Malaysian cities are getting hotter

Malaysian cities are getting hotter, revealed a land surface temperature mapping study. The study undertaken by Think City Sdn Bhd has showed marked increases in peak land surface temperatures in Kuala Lumpur city centre, Bayan Lepas and George Town in Penang, Johor Baru as well as in Ipoh, Perak. The study found an increase of 1.64°C in Kuala Lumpur’s surface temperature between 1989 and 2019. There was an increase of 5.63°C in Bayan Lepas and 6.37°C in George Town between 1988 and 2020. It also showed an increase of 6.75°C in Ipoh city between 1998 and 2019 and an increase of 6.7°C in Johor Baru between 2005 and 2018. The rise of temperatures in these urban areas is primarily linked to the urban heat island effect, as well as a lack of greenery and is also attributed to global warming. Think City’s Geospatial Analyst Dr Ceelia Leong said the urban heat island effect is mostly caused by materials such as concrete and bitumen which absorbs and re-emits the sun’s heat more than the natural landscape. (NST Online)

ECRL is 21% complete

The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project which is expected to be completed in 2026 has reached a progress rate of 21% so far, said Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) chairman Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali. Mohd Zuki said although the percentage indicated that the project was ahead of schedule, it was still a long way to go, adding that there were several issues such as land acquisition and site clearance that needed to be solved. “The most critical issue includes the approval from state governments on section A (Kota Bharu to Dungun), B (Dungun to Temerloh) and C (Temerloh to Port Klang) where we are still awaiting the approval from the Selangor state government,” he said. On the participation of local contractors in the ECRL project, Mohd Zuki, who is also the Chief Secretary to the Government said it had so far reached 12% of the 40% target set by MRL adding that more local contractors are expected to participate when the project’s civil works fully opened. (Malay Mail)


Get ready to cash in on revenge spending, says Wee

As the world gradually recovers from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic, “revenge spending” is expected and Malaysia must be ready to seize the opportunity for its economic revival, says MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong. He said consumers would compensate for lost time with a surge of people going out for entertainment and shopping, dining out and travelling following the long suppression during the various stages of the movement control order. “All these will help to revive the service, retail, tourism and manufacturing industries, ” he said. Dr Wee said even though there would still be challenges and uncertainties in a post-pandemic economy, it would also be a crucial time for economic rebound and revival. “Many countries are eyeing this golden opportunity by planning immunisation programmes…so that important sectors are able to open up. Our country must not lag behind or we will miss the golden opportunity for economic revival,” he added. (The Star Online)