MCO 3.0 in six Selangor districts, but economic activities allowed

Six districts in Selangor — covering areas such as Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam, Subang Jaya, Klang, Puchong, Kajang, Cheras, Ampang and Rawang — will be put under the Movement Control Order (MCO) from May 6 to 17 due to the surge in new Covid-19 cases. Social activities are disallowed under the new measures, but most economic activities will not be affected, said Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Grocery and convenience stores as well as shops selling daily necessities are allowed to operate between 6am and 10pm. Petrol stations are also allowed to operate between 6am and 10pm. Dining premises will be allowed to operate between 6am and midnight in the six districts. They will, however, not be allowed to accept dine-in orders. Daily markets, including night and morning markets, will be allowed to operate between 6am and 2pm. According to the NSC website, areas under MCO only allow movement of people for the purpose of buying daily necessities, medical services and official government work. Ismail Sabri said work-from-home directives will be announced by the government and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry soon. (The Edge)

Raya SOP: No open houses, 15-person limit for house visits in MCO areas

The National Security Council (NSC) has released standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration. For areas under the movement control order, Hari Raya visits are allowed only on the first day with not more than 15 people at one time depending on the size of the house. Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said those celebrating Hari Raya in EMCO areas cannot have guests and are only allowed to celebrate with those in the same household. “The practice of hosting open houses during the festivity is not allowed in all areas,” he added. The Defence Minister also announced that Hari Raya prayers in mosques and suraus in areas under all types of MCO are allowed with the respective state religious departments to decide on the congregation size and who can attend. Hari Raya is expected to fall on May 13. (The Star)

Hari Raya SOP 2021

Industrial properties drive investments

The value of major investment transactions in Malaysia grew 53% year-on-year to RM1.46bil in the first quarter of 2021, spurred mainly by properties within the industrial sub-sector. Savills in its Asia Pacific Investment Quarterly report for the first quarter of 2021 said the industrial sub-sector led overall transaction value during the period, accounting for approximately 48% of the total, followed by commercial transactions at 22%. The largest acquisition in the reviewed quarter was by Hartalega Holdings Bhd, which acquired 250 acres of industrial land in the Kota Perdana Special Border Economic Zone, Kedah for RM228.7mil. Within the Greater Kuala Lumpur area, the largest transaction was by UEM Land Bhd’s purchase of 9.3 acres of factory land in Section 13, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, for RM200mil with plans to build a RM1.3bil mixed-use development. Savills said the gradual recovery of the local property market should be supported by the progressive rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations. According to the National Property Information Centre (Napic), the industrial sub-sector recorded 4,758 transactions worth RM14.85bil in 2020. (The Star)

SP Setia to issue RM3bil sukuk

Property developer S P Setia Bhd has announced a plans to raise RM3bil under the Sukuk Wakalah Programme. The Sukuk Wakalah Programme allows for the issuance of rated and senior unsecured sukuk from time to time, subject to total outstanding amount of Sukuk Wakalah not exceeding RM3bil at any point in time. “The preliminary rating of the Sukuk Wakalah Programme is AA-IS,” the company said. HSBC Amanah Malaysia Bhd is the sole Principal Adviser, Joint Lead Arranger, Joint Lead Manager and Shariah Adviser for the Sukuk Wakalah Programme. Other Joint Lead Arrangers and Joint Lead Managers are Maybank Investment Bank Bhd and RHB Investment Bank Bhd. (The Star)

Rising property prices, stagnant income force many to remain renters

A recent survey on household income conducted by the Economic Planning Unit revealed that 76% of Malaysians still earn below RM5,000 a month. In that salary bracket, they cannot afford a house that costs more than RM300,000, which rules out homes in urban centres where most of them work. With unemployment rate rising and the economic outlook still uncertain due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many are likely to remain renters indefinitely. Buying a house is an unattainable goal. According to Knight Frank UK, residential units in existing buildings or new ones are being converted for long-term leases under the “Build-to-Rent” system, that has been lauded as the answer to Britain’s “broken” housing system. In Germany, only 42% of the population own a home. In comparison, Malaysia is way ahead, at 70%. But there are many Malaysians who are still striving to have a home to call their own. (The Sun Daily)

JPJ collects RM3.147m in summonses in two weeks, says D-G

The Road Transport Department (RTD) has collected RM3.147 million in traffic summonses within two weeks, following its 70% discount offer in conjunction with the department’s 75th Platinum Jubilee celebration, said its director-general Datuk Zailani Hashim. He said the collection involved 45,317 summonses issued nationwide. The 70% discount for two months, from April 13 to June 11, is offered for all RTD-issued summonses, in conjunction with the RTD’s 75th anniversary. Zailani said the discount offer was given to all summonses issued for offences under the Road Transport Act 1987 (Act 333), the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board Act (Act 334), the Land Public Transport Act (Act 715), including cases that are still blacklisted. (Malay Mail)