MetMalaysia: Not extreme weather condition but monsoon transition phase

Heavy rain and thunderstorm hitting most parts of the west coast of the peninsula is not an extraordinary or extreme weather phenomenon, says Department of Meteorology Malaysia (MetMalaysia) director-general, Jailan Simon. He explained that this condition was due to the country currently going through the monsoon transition phase which usually caused heavy rain and thunderstorm over a short period in the evening or early part of the night. “It is rather difficult for us to say that the current weather condition is extreme…as the heavy rain and thunderstorm occurring like yesterday (in Kuala Lumpur) had occurred before,” he said. Jailan said in such a situation, the strong winds could reach a speed of 100 km/h which could cause trees to collapse and structural damage to buildings. MetMalysia forecasted the weather condition to continue for a number of days more but might dissipate by next week with the change of wind direction. The monsoon transition phase began on March 16 and is expected to continue until mid-May. (Malay Mail)

Call for department in banks to probe housing loan defaults

Experts are calling for Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and banks to set up a department to look into why borrowers are defaulting on their payments. The recent case of M. Moganah, who had her home in Seri Kembangan, Selangor auctioned by a bank, highlights the need for such a department, they said. Malaysian Chapter of the International Real Estate Federation former president Yeow Thit Sang said members of the B40 group are often in such situations, not by choice but as victims of circumstances. He said factors such as poor education and lack of opportunities, on top of the Covid-19 situation, have led to a drop in their earnings. He suggested that banks explore all possibilities to help borrowers overcome their financial troubles as long as they had not defaulted before. Yeow said BNM and commercial banks must establish a department to look into such cases. Lawyer V. Kokila Vaani said both banks and borrowers must take some responsibility in such cases. “An enhancement of the notification requirement is needed on the bank’s side. On the other hand, the borrower must also make sure to constantly update their banks on their contact details,” she said. (The Sun Daily)

Signs of a fourth Covid-19 wave upon us

Malaysians must do all they can to prevent another spike of Covid-19 cases, as health experts believe that a fourth wave is imminent with a lapse in SOP compliance. This comes amid a statement from the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry that the vaccine supply to Malaysia is slow-paced, and with Ramadan bazaars being allowed to operate. For a few days now, the number of new infections has also been higher than recoveries. Universiti Putra Malaysia medical epidemiologist Assoc Prof Dr Malina Osman said the major contributing factor to the rising cases right now was people’s behaviour, which include tendencies to get together and having closed interactions during meals without face masks on. Dr Mohammad Farhan, who is on the Selangor Covid-19 Task Force Committee, said the vaccines were no longer a matter of prioritisation, but a matter of “speed and volume”. Currently, he noted that the government faces multiple issues such as resistance from the public, time, vaccine allocations, and the general anxiety of the population in accepting certain vaccines. (The Star)

For at least a decade, monthly wage as low as RM1,000 the norm for Malaysian fresh grads

At least 10% of Malaysian graduates with Bachelor’s degrees have been getting a monthly income of just between RM1,001 to RM1,500 since at least 2010, data from Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) surveys show. Furthermore last year, more graduates fell into this income bracket compared to others, with the proportion of those earning between those amounts reaching a decade-high value of 22.3%. The idea of a national policy for minimum wage or the lowest amount that must be paid to employees was first announced by the Malaysian government in July 2012, which then led to the 2013 implementation of minimum rates of RM900 monthly (or RM4.33 per hour) in peninsular Malaysia and RM800 monthly (or RM3.85 per hour) in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan. The minimum wage was further increased in 2016, 2019, and most recently, 2020. As comparison, the national poverty line was in July 2020 updated by the Malaysian government to RM2,208, which means households with a monthly income below this amount are considered as poor households. (Malay Mail)

Teladan Setia buys Melaka land for RM95.1mil

Melaka-based property developer Teladan Setia Group Bhd has acquired 210.4 hectares for RM95.1 million to develop affordable homes in Melaka. Its wholly-owned Asal Harta Sdn Bhd had entered into a conditional SPA with Eramaju Tegas Sdn Bhd for the acquisition of three parcels of land in Jasin. “The acquisition is in line with the group’s intention to expand its presence beyond the city centre of Melaka. Prior to this, Teladan Setia has purchased a 46.94 hectare parcel of land in Jasin,” it said in a statement. Teladan Setia also said it was in the process of completing the acquisition of another five parcels of land totalling 11.82 hectares located in Alor Gajah and central Melaka. “Based on our recent market studies, we believe that landed homes remain the property of choice among the local Melaka population for the foreseeable future,” Teladan Setia managing director Richard Teo Lay Ban said. (NST Online)