PM: Relaxation of rules for those fully vaccinated to be revealed soon

An announcement on the easing of restrictions for those who have been fully vaccinated will be made soon, says the Prime Minister. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said he chaired a National Security Council (NSC) meeting yesterday to discuss the matter, which also covered benefits for the economic sector. The Prime Minister said as more people got vaccinated, this would directly lift the load off the healthcare sector and lead to more economic and social sectors being able to open safely. The NSC meeting also discussed the National Recovery Plan, he added. “I hope that with cooperation of all parties throughout the country, more states will be able to move on to the next phase. We have to be optimistic and move forward so that the country’s recovery can be carried out safely and systematically,” he said. (The Star)

Labuan, Perlis and Sarawak to enter Phase 3 of NRP on Aug 4

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced this evening that three states, Perlis, Sarawak and Labuan, will enter Phase 3 of the National Recovery Plan (NRPP) starting August 4. Muhyiddin said all three states have shown good performance and met all the necessary indicators under the NRP. “Alhamdulillah, it is with pleasure that I announced three states that show very good performance will move to Phase 3 of NRP, namely Perlis, Sarawak and the Federal Territory of Labuan effective Wednesday, August 4, 2021,” his Facebook posting read. He also added that more protection via vaccination would allow the economic and social sectors to open safely and lessen the burden on the healthcare system. (Malay Mail)

Retailers want clear guidelines on reopening

Retailers want clear guidelines to allow them to reopen their businesses as soon as possible following the recent launch of the retail industry vaccination programme (RiVAC). Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) president Shirley Tay welcomed the start of the programme but said there must be clear standard operating procedures to ensure the smooth running when retail businesses are allowed to reopen. Tay said several retail associations recently issued a joint memorandum with proposals to the government for swifter reopening of retail businesses. Among them, she noted, was allowing businesses to reopen if 70% of the employees, who are in attendance at any given time, are fully vaccinated. She said it was also proposed that only customers who are fully vaccinated be allowed into retail outlets. This, she said, should also apply to shopping malls, over and above the present SOP imposed on customers. Based on the Health Ministry’s statistics, she noted that infections at malls were extremely low, representing only 0.8% of total Covid-19 cases. (The Star)

Kedah inks deal to build Kulim airport by 2026

Kedah has signed a deal with a developer to build the new Kulim airport by 2026, with the company to spend RM6 billion in the first phase which will include land acquisition. A special purpose vehicle will also be created with developer ECK Group holding an 80% stake, with the rest being held by KXP AirportCity Sdn Bhd, a company owned by the state. An agreement was signed by ECK’s managing director Khor Eng Chuen and menteri besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor as KXP AirportCity chairman. Sanusi said the project would boost the state’s economy and provide close to 20,000 new jobs for locals. Sanusi said a new highway will also bypass Seberang Perai via an expressway from Bandar Baharu in the south to Sungai Petani, allowing easy access to the new airport. There will also be a new rail link connecting Tasek Gelugor to Sungai Petani with a stop at the Kulim Hi-Tech Park. The airport is slated to be located on a 1,700ha site near Sidam Kiri near Sungai Petani and is expected to handle 15 million passengers per year once complete. (Free Malaysia Today)

‘ESCAPE Cameron Highlands’ will help revive domestic tourism industry

The development of ESCAPE Cameron Highlands, a new world-class tourism destination in Malaysia, will kickstart the revival of the country’s domestic tourism industry which has been greatly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic since last year. Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said this unique project introduces a world-class brand that is 100% Malaysian, created by a Malaysian-born company, Sim Leisure Group that has built some of the greatest parks around the world. Not only will ESCAPE Cameron Highlands host their signature rides and attractions, I was informed that it will also feature European themed architecture and games, synergising with Cameron Highland’s European heritage and its cooler, temperate climate. This novel destination stands to offer something truly unique, reconnecting us with nature,” she said. Nancy said going by the success of existing ESCAPE parks in Penang and Petaling Jaya, Selangor the ministry was confident that ESCAPE Cameron Highlands would continue to receive praise and support from tourists. Nancy said the opening of destinations such as ESCAPE Cameron Highlands would also directly support the ministry’s initiatives such as the Stimulus Recovery Plan, with three underlying main cores which are restoring confidence to travel, reviving domestic tourism and maximising resources. (The Edge)

MPs to be called up over protest

All individuals, including MPs, involved in the rally near Dataran Merdeka will be called up, says the Kuala Lumpur police chief. Comm Datuk Azmi Abu Kassim said police would record the statements of all those involved. Asked whether those involved would be issued compound notices for being involved in the rally, Comm Azmi said police will investigate and the investigation paper will be referred to the deputy public prosecutor for further action. Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and a group of lawmakers were stopped by the police from marching towards Parliament. On another matter, Comm Azmi said police were looking for 47 individuals involved in the “Keluar dan #Lawan” rally, based on video footage and photos of the protest. He said police were in the midst of identifying these individuals. (The Star)