BNM: All loan borrowers with reduced income eligible for lower monthly installments

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) today reiterated that all loan borrowers who have suffered a drop in income, including salary, allowances, commissions and household incomes, are eligible for a reduction of monthly instalments according to the reduced income. In a series of tweets detailing the eligibility for reduction of monthly instalments, the central bank clarified that under the latest loan repayment assistance, the B40 recipients of Bantuan Sara Hidup/Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat can choose either a three-month moratorium or reduction of monthly instalments by 50% for six months. The central bank also pointed out that for facilities with approved amounts up to RM150,000, microenterprises, as well as SMEs which were not allowed to operate during the lockdown, can also choose either a three-month moratorium or reduction of monthly instalments by 50% for six months. (The Star)

Malaysia’s Covid-19 cases plateau for fourth straight day

Malaysia’s seven-day average for Covid-19 cases has remained steady near 7,500 for the fourth consecutive day, suggesting that the latest surge from the ongoing third wave has peaked. According to Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, the effective reproduction number (Rt) for Covid-19 has also declined again. “The Covid-19 infectivity rate, or R0/Rt, predicted from daily cases on June 2 for the entire country is 1.06,” he said. Yesterday, Malaysia reported 7,703 new Covid-19 infections, nearly a tenth higher than the previous day but also the second day of increased numbers. However, the past four days represent the longest period that the rolling-average has stayed flat since the start of May, when the government began imposing various movement control orders in an attempt to respond to the country’s worsening Covid-19 situation. Yesterday, Malaysia’s positivity rate was 7.68% from 100,288 tests performed. The WHO recommends a positivity rate of 5%, with higher figures indicating possible under-reporting of cases due to insufficient testing. (Malay Mail)

Malaysia now has 15 in list of world’s best universities

A record 15 Malaysian universities qualified for the Times Higher Education (THE) Asia University Rankings 2021, compared to eight last year. Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) made a huge leap in the 2021 edition when it jumped two bands to achieve its first ever top 200 finish. The international university rankings also saw Universiti Kuala Lumpur and Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka making their debut in the 401+ band, and five out of six Malaysia’s top-performing universities improving or maintaining their positions. Universiti Teknologi Petronas moved up 13 spots to 111th place, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman maintained its position at 119th, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) climbed nine places to finish at 136th and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) climbed 10 places to 150th. This year, 551 universities rank in total compared to 489 in 2020, with China’s Tsinghua University and Peking University claiming the first and second spot while Singapore’s National University of Singapore took third place. (The Star)

Malaysia's top five universities

Penang urged to call off PSR project

Kepala Batas MP Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican yesterday urged the Penang government to cancel the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project as it did not command the full support of the state’s population. Reezal Merican, who is also Youth and Sports Minister, said the mega sea reclamation project elicited various negative reactions and spawned two petitions calling for its cancellation. He claimed the “Save Penang! Reject the 3 Islands Reclamation!” public petition had gained over 116,000 signatures in support till yesterday, while another petition titled “Save Malaysia’s sea turtles!” which is directly linked to the PSR project had also gained nearly 250,000 signatures. Reezal Merican also claimed that the objection towards the project was due to its implementation that was said to not be for the PTMP transportation projects as it seemed that it had morphed into a real estate project dominated by private entities. In addition, he claimed the project would threaten the livelihoods of those who rely on the ocean and its bounty and destroy the marine ecosystem and biodiversity and change the flow of the seawater. (The Sun Daily)

ECRL Dungun tunnel breaks through six months ahead of schedule

The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project has reached a major milestone as it achieved a tunnel breakthrough at the 871-metre single-bore Terowong Dungun in Terengganu six months ahead of schedule. ECRL project and asset owner Malaysia Rail Link (MRL) and engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contractor China Communications Construction (ECRL) Sdn Bhd (CCC-ECRL) said the final blast at Terowong Dungun on May 29, 2021 broke through the last barrier some 12 metres from the tunnel’s entrance portal. The tunnel breakthrough at Terowong Dungun has taken place less than two months from the inaugural ECRL tunnel breakthrough at the 1.1-km Terowong Paka on April 9, 2021. Terengganu will feature five ECRL tunnels upon the completion of the project. MRL chairman Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali said the teamwork of some 100 ECRL personnel at all levels had paved the way for the tunnelling works and breakthrough at Terowong Dungun to be ahead of schedule, adding that the overall infrastructure works for the tunnel is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2022. (The Edge)