Zuraida: Putrajaya looking to extend home ownership campaign till end of 2021

The government is looking to extend the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) until the end of this year, says Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin. She informed that she had requested Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz to allow the extension. “However, the MoF will probably review the conditions, and they will be a little different from the existing ones,” she said. Meanwhile, Zuraida said as of Feb 28, 2021, a total of 34,354 units of houses worth RM25.6 billion were successfully sold for the 2020-2021 HOC campaign, with discounts totalling RM4.3 billion. The HOC in 2020 was implemented with stamp duty exemption, as well as a 10 per cent discount for eligible applicants to purchase houses worth RM300,000 to RM2.5 million. (Malay Mail)

Third MRT line approved

The Cabinet has given the go-ahead for the third MRT line in the Klang Valley which was suspended by the Pakatan Harapan administration. Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the Cabinet made the decision on MRT3, also known as the Circle Line. “Following the announcement of the project revival in Budget 2021 last year, the government has agreed that Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRT Corp) will be the project owner and developer, and it will update studies done in 2018 before the suspension of the project by the previous government,” he said. He added that MRT Corp hoped to kick-start the project in the second half of the year. The Circle Line will form a loop line that encircles, but effectively bypassing Kuala Lumpur’s central business district, while linking up most of the radial rail lines. Phase 1 of the Putrajaya MRT is nearly complete, while Phase 2 is scheduled to open for passenger service by January 2023. (The Star)

Third MRT line approved | The Star
(Source: The Star)

PM: Speed of Malaysia’s economic recovery hinges on Covid-19 vaccination rollout

The pace of Malaysia’s economic recovery hinges on the success of the Covid-19 vaccination plan, said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. Repeating calls for the public to sign up for the Covid-19 National Immunisation Plan (NIP), he said there was a correlation between the vaccination rollout and economic recovery. Economic activities are picking up speed amid the new normal as the vaccination plan is being implemented, he said. As of yesterday, some 7.6 million people had registered for the Covid-19 vaccination through the MySejahtera mobile application. The number, however, was still relatively small compared to Malaysia’s population of some 32.7 million people, he said. (NST Online)

Plastic waste importers to pay for managing waste

Starting June, plastic waste importers must pay RM20 for every tonne of scrap brought into the country for recycling in a move by the government to regulate the recycling industry and curb plastic pollution. Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said the government had wanted to charge a fee of RM50 for every tonne but it was negotiated down to RM20. “They have agreed, so we will implement this in June,” she said. At present, these importers need not pay any levy when they bring in plastic scrap for recycling. There was a furore in 2018 when factories processing plastic waste caused a major pollution in Kuala Langat, Selangor. As of February this year, she said there were 71 recycling factories or companies with Approved Permits (APs) to import clean and recyclable plastic scraps that come under the Customs code of HS3915. Other measures introduced since 2018 include factories being required to have proper storage facilities and a restriction on plastic waste import from developing countries. Zuraida explained that Malaysia would only allow import of plastic scraps from developed countries such as Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea. (The Star)

Schools ready to go full swing

All five million students are in school today, the first time that everyone is back since the country had to grapple with the third wave of Covid-19 cases. All secondary school students have resumed schooling today after five months, starting with those in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu yesterday. The reason that secondary school students were the last to physically return to school was to make way for the SPM and STPM 2020 examinations, which were postponed to early this year. Parents and teachers agree that if there is one lesson to be learnt from the past year living under Covid-19, it is that online learning has been an inadequate substitute for the experience and teaching in physical classrooms. Students, teachers and other workers at schools are reminded to always adhere to the prescribed standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure the school session can continue safely. (The Star)