PMO: Parliament to reconvene on July 26

Parliament will sit for five days starting July 26, the Prime Minister’s Office announced in a statement issued this evening, after months of public and Palace pressure. Dewan Rakyat proceedings will take place from July 26 to July 29 and August 2, the statement said. Meanwhile, the Senate will sit for three days from August 3 to August 5. A Special Third Parliamentary Proceeding of the 14th Term would be held for five days from July 26 to July 29 and August 2 for the Dewan Rakyat and three days from August 3 to 5 for Dewan Negara. “The special sitting will be for the purpose of explaining to members about the National Recovery Plan and amend all laws and regulations to allow for a hybrid proceeding to be held,” it added. The prime minister had often cited the public health crisis and the danger of transmission to justify keeping both the Lower and Upper Houses closed. The PMO said the special parliament sitting will observe a standard operating procedure to be prepared by the National Security Council with the advice of the Ministry of Health. (Malay Mail)

House prices likely to rise 3-12% in 2022-2023

House prices in Malaysia is expected to climb 3% over the next 12 months and will continue to surge by 12% in the following 12 months on improved outlook. In terms of rental market, although rent would show just one per cent growth over the coming 12 months, it is expected to bounce up to 8% after the third quarter of 2022 (Q3 2022), real estate technology group Juwai IQI said in its latest property survey. “As we go about reopening and putting the pandemic behind us, we expect to see an increase in transaction activities and prices later this year,” said group co-founder and CEO Kashif Ansari. “First-time buyers are benefitting from the government’s stimulus policies, as they have increased savings and a stronger motivation to purchase their own home because of the pandemic,” he said. He added that many people in these groups spent less on travel, entertainment and other living expenses since the pandemic began, hence, the accumulated savings had helped them to purchase their first homes. “The states expected to record the most substantial first-time buyer growth are Penang and Perak, with three-quarters of agents in those states projecting such increase,” he said. (Malay Mail)

Ismail Sabri: Penang to move to Phase Two of National Recovery Plan on Wednesday

The government has agreed for Penang to move into Phase Two of the Movement Control under the National Recovery Plan (PPN) effective from Wednesday (July 7), said Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. According to him, the decision to allow Penang to move into the next phase was made after it achieved the three main threshold value indicators, with the average number of daily cases recording 9.5 cases out of 100,000 people for seven days, which is below the threshold value of 12.2 cases out of 100,000. Apart from that, the rate of bed usage in the ICU was at a moderate level and the assessment of “Capacity to Respond” was at an adequate level, while 10.1% of the adult population had received the second dose of the vaccine jab, which is above the threshold value of 10.0%. Meanwhile, he said the MKN had decided that all types of merchandise in grocery, convenience stores, supermarkets and mini markets could be sold to customers during the PPN period. (Malay Mail)

More states nearly ready for Phase Two, says PM

More states are showing positive progress in the battle against Covid-19 and have the potential to transition to Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. Without naming the states, the Prime Minister said they looked set to meet the criteria that would allow them to transition to the second phase soon. “Aside from the five states that have transitioned to Phase Two of the NRP, there are other states that are showing good developments and have the potential to achieve the three threshold value indicators in the near future,” he posted on Twitter yesterday. The five states that have transitioned to Phase Two starting yesterday are Perlis, Kelantan, Perak, Pahang and Terengganu. The three indicators are the number of daily Covid-19 cases dropping to below 4,000; bed usage in intensive care unit wards being maintained at a “moderate” level; and 10% of the population being fully vaccinated. (The Star)

Khairy: No reason for EU to ‘discriminate’ one AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer from another

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today said that there is no reason for the European Union (EU) to “discriminate” between the different AstraZeneca manufacturing locations as all of them adhere to the good manufacturing practice (GMP). Khairy said that Malaysia is taking steps after the EU announced that its Digital Covid Certificate which came into force on July 1, only recognises EU-approved shots for free travel within the bloc. “There is absolutely no reason for the EU to discriminate one AZ facility from the other. And as for AZ themselves, I will ask AZ to liaise with the EU,” he said, during the joint programme with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba. On July 2, news portal CodeBlue reported that Malaysians vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine may be barred from entering Europe, as the EU Digital Covid Certificate only approves jabs approved by the bloc. reported that while the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved the Covid-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca apart from besides Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, the EU drug regulator’s approval does not cover AstraZeneca doses made by South Korea’s SK Bioscience or Thailand’s Siam Bioscience. Malaysia’s AstraZeneca orders are produced in South Korea and Thailand. (Malay Mail)