PM announces RM20bil Pemerkasa economy recovery scheme

Putrajaya will introduce a new economic recovery programme dubbed Pemerkasa (Strategic Programmes to Empower the People and Economy) worth RM20 billion. Pemerkasa consists of 20 initiatives and the government will provide a fiscal injection of RM11 billion for the scheme. Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that priority will be given to the National Immunisation Plan, which will see its allocation increased from RM3 billion to RM5 billion. Another RM2.5 billion will be channelled to help small projects at grassroots level, bringing the total amount to RM5 billion for 2021. The government has also agreed to extend the Special Prihatin Grant (GKP 3.0) to give business the opportunity to reopen. Another RM700 million will be provided under the Wage Subsidy Programme 3.0 for individuals affected in the tourism, wholesale and for those whose businesses have faced closure during the pandemic. (Malay Mail)

RM20 billion Pemerkasa economic stimulus package

No more blanket MCO, says PM

Controlling the spread of Covid-19 is part of the initiatives spelled out under the People and Economic Strategic Empowerment Programme (Pemerkasa), which includes efforts to accelerate vaccination programme and no longer impose blanket movement control order across the country. Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government would implement a more targeted Covid-19 containment strategy backed by science and data to reduce the negative impact on the country’s economy. “Instead, targeted movement control restrictions will be implemented based on localities and imposed only on specific clusters,” Muhyiddin said. The Prime Minister said the third initiative to control Covid-19 infectivity is to implement a more transparent and stricter enforcement of regulation to ensure the pandemic remains under control. (The Star Online)

Pasukhas aims to launch flagship property project with GDV of RM338 million by September

Pasukhas Group Berhad aims to raise at least RM10 million or more from a proposed rights issue with warrants to fund a mixed development known as Yayasan project in Kuala Lumpur and a factory project in Perak. The group is targeting to launch the project by September this year under the proposed name of Lushwoods Towers and Residences. Yayasan is the group’s flagship property project since it diversified into property development in August 2018, and the project is targeted to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2023. Meanwhile, Pasukhas’ wholly-owned subsidiary Pasukhas Sdn Bhd will build a turnkey glove-manufacturing factory in Kinta. The group said that it plans to also work with various property developers and project owners in Malaysia to secure additional mechanical and engineering contracts for commercial buildings, mixed developments, and other specialised projects. (NST Online)

Iskandar Malaysia’s BRT to start three-month pilot next month

The Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (IMBRT) comprehensive transit system project is scheduled to undergo a three-month pilot testing programme here next month, showcasing its transportation capabilities. Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) chief executive officer Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said the pilot needed to get a better understanding of the IMBRT that will be rolled out in 2023. “The pilot testing programme is a significant milestone for the IMBRT as Iskandar Malaysia needs to be well connected to grow as an international metropolis by 2025. This can only be possible with the support of a reliable public transportation system that has a wide coverage such as the IMBRT,” said Ismail. The pilot was originally scheduled for last year but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Ismail said the IMBRT would be connected with the RTS Link and the Gemas-Johor Baru double tracking project through trunk stations located at both networks. The three-month pilot will see the participation of nine bus suppliers from four countries demonstrating the latest green technology that will include electric and biodiesel powertrains. (Malay Mail)

HSSI bags first Johor BRT project
*Not the actual IMBRT (Source: Focus Malaysia)

Angry Birds theme park in Johor to close on April 5

The Angry Birds Activity Park, a theme park in Johor Bahru based on Rovio’s hit puzzle videogame, is shuttering on April 5. In a Facebook post, the company thanked customers for their support over the last six years of operations. As of press time, its official site has not yet reflected the announcement, instead stating it was closed from Jan 13 due to the MCO. The 2,415 square-meter park, located in Komtar Johor Bahru City Centre (JBCC) mall, opened back in Oct 31, 2015, equipped with 24 games and rides designed for family entertainment. It was a collaboration between Johor Corporation (JCorp) subsidiary Damansara Assets Sdn Bhd and game developer, Rovio Entertainment Ltd. It was reported that Johor was home to at least 10 theme parks, earning it the accolade of the Malaysian state with the most such parks, including Legoland Malaysia and the Angry Birds Activity Park. (The Star Online)

Malaysian YouTubers have to pay up to 30% US tax starting later this year

YouTubers in Malaysia who are under the YouTube Partner Program will be required to pay taxes to the United States starting later this year and it could be as early as June. The Partner Program allows content creators to generate income from ads as long as they have more than 1,000 subscribers. YouTube said in a support page that it may be required to deduct up to 24% of their total earnings worldwide – not just income earned from US viewers – if content creators don’t submit their tax info by May 31. Those who submit the required info and are eligible for “tax treaty benefit” will only have to pay up to 15% of earnings from viewers in the US. However, according to information on the US Inland Revenue Service (IRS) website, Malaysia does not have a tax treaty with the US. Also, according to the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) guidelines on Digital Businesses, YouTube is a taxable business model under the broadcasting and media category. (The Star Online)