Housing developers allowed to operate under Phases One and Two

The housing development sector is now allowed to operate under Phases One and Two of the National Recovery Plan. The Housing and Local Government Ministry said the decision was made during the pandemic management technical meeting on July 23 and that the permission to operate applies to housing developers whose Advertising Permit and Developer’s Licence was still valid. In Phase One, activities under the sector that are allowed are those at housing developers’ management office, matters pertaining to vacant possession and house keys, repairs during the defect liability period, and construction work for the Rumah Mesra Rakyat. For states in Phase Two, additional activities that are allowed are sales and marketing activities at developers’ offices, by sales agents, at sales galleries, show units and sub-sale property units. The SOP for construction activities can be found on the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) website. (The Star)

Number of unemployed graduates in Malaysia rose 22.5% in 2020

The number of unemployed graduates increased by 22.5% to 202,400 persons In 2020 compared with 165,200 in 2019, according to data released by the Statistics Department (DOSM). Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin, citing the Graduates Statistics 2020, said it was due to an unfavourable economic environment last year and its consequences to the overall labour market situation. Hence, he said the graduate unemployment rate for 2020 went up by 0.5 percentage points to 4.4% as against 3.9% in the preceding year. “More than 75% of unemployed graduates were actively seeking work whereby almost half were unemployed for less than three months,” he said. Graduates in the report are defined as individuals with the highest certificate obtained from universities, colleges, polytechnics, recognised bodies or equivalent, with the study duration of at least two years. (Malay Mail)

Health DG calls for special task force to look into contract doctors issues

Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says he hopes a special task force can be formed to look into the grouses of contract doctors. The Health director-general said the task force could be led by the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) and the Health Ministry, to look into possible amendments to the Pension Act to enable permanent posts – and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributions – for contract doctors, hopefully within two years. He said the issue that affects the welfare of doctors and healthcare workers was a long-standing problem. He referred to a tweet of his from July 2019, which said: “We are currently underfunded, understaffed, underpaid, overworked, overstretched and with facilities overcrowded with patients.” Dr Noor Hisham said he would like to see an amicable solution reached via negotiation rather than demonstrations during this difficult time with the movement control order still in place. (The Star)

Twitter screenshot from Dr Noor Hisham @DGHisham

Four out of every five adults vaccinated in Klang Valley

Four-fifths of the adult population of the Klang Valley have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, amid a high number of cases. Under “Operation Surge Capacity” yesterday, a total of 219,923 jabs were administered in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. It aims for all adult residents of Klang Valley to have at least one vaccination dose by Aug 1. Altogether, a total of 521,923 Covid-19 vaccine doses were administered all around the country, another daily record. The Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) said in a tweet that this brings the cumulative total number of doses given to 17,839,476. At least 80.6% of the adult population in the Klang Valley have received at least one dose of their vaccination while 28.2% have received two doses. (The Star)

Johor: Allow vaccinated Malaysians returning from Singapore to quarantine at home

The Johor state government joins the growing call for fully vaccinated Malaysians in Singapore to be allowed to quarantine at home instead of spending 14 days at a designated quarantine centre. State Investment, Cooperatives, Entrepreneurship Development and Human Resources committee chairman Datuk Mohd Izhar Ahmad said it was about time this decision was reviewed to give some leeway to those fully vaccinated. An online petition by Malaysians in Singapore has garnered more than 16,800 signatures to date, asking for a review on the duration of the 14-day quarantine. “Giving some leeway or incentives for those who have been fully vaccinated will surely encourage more people to get fully vaccinated,” he said. Thousands of Malaysians in the island republic have either received one or two doses of the vaccine. Currently, a person returning to Malaysia, then going back to Singapore, will need to be quarantined for 28 days (14 days in Malaysia and 14 days in Singapore) at a designated facility. The cost is roughly about RM2,200 on the Malaysian side and S$2,200 (RM6,600) on the Singaporean side. (The Star)

Guocoland places over RM2b bid for Singapore’s Lentor Central MRT site

Guocoland has placed an offer of more than S$784 million (about RM2.4 billion) or S$1,204.47 (RM3,739.84) psf of built area for a plot next to the upcoming Lentor Central MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line in Singapore, reported real estate news portal Mingtiandi on July 25. The developer, which is the property arm of Malaysia’s Hong Leong Bank Group, was the highest bidder for the over 650,000 sq ft, 99-year leasehold plot that is designated for a private housing development project, as announced by Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). However, Guocoland will still need approval for its design proposal under Singapore’s two-envelope land sale system. The transit-oriented development is estimated to yield some 600 housing units and will include a commercial space on the first floor, with a supermarket and childcare facilities. As home prices soar in the city-state, bullish bids are not completely unexpected given the locational attributes of the sites, especially the Lentor Central site. (The Edge)