Education Minister: Schools will reopen in stages from Oct 3

Schools will reopen in stages from Oct 3 onwards, says the Education Minister. Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin said the nationwide reopening of schools would start with exam year students in Forms Five and Six. He, however, stressed that schools in Phase One states under the National Recovery Plan (NRP) would not be allowed to open. Schools in Phase Two would be allowed to open for exam year students while schools in Phase Three could open in full, he said. Radzi’s ministry previously proposed to reopen schools from September 1, but the plan to proceed despite prevailing high Covid-19 cases in the country had led to parents and educators expressing concern over the potential risks of doing so. “Based on the latest information we have, the ministry has decided to delay the reopening of schools from Sept 1 to Oct 3,” he said, adding that further details would be announced soon. (The Star)

Haircuts, car washes among 11 activities now allowed under Phase One of NRP

The government has released a new list of allowed activities and businesses permitted to operate from Monday (Aug 16) in states under Phase One of the National Recovery Plan (NRP). Under the list released on Sunday (Aug 15), those who wish to use the businesses must have completed their vaccination regimen. Individuals would be considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving the second dose of either the Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Sinovac vaccines, and 28 days after being jabbed with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson or CanSino vaccines. The 11 economic activities will be allowed are:

  1. Car wash services
  2. Electrical and electronic goods sales
  3. The sale of home and kitchen appliances
  4. Furniture sales
  5. The sale of sports equipment
  6. Car accessory sales
  7. Car dealerships
  8. Sales centres
  9. Morning markets and Farmers markets
  10. Jewellery stores and
  11. Hair salons and beauty centres, limited to basic hair cutting services.

In a statement on Sunday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said ithat these SOPs will include the wearing of gloves, the limiting of time between workers and customers and no usage of fitting rooms. “Only those with complete digital vaccination certificates are allowed to access these businesses for their services,” said Muhyiddin. He added that all non-essential industries such as manufacturing, construction, mining and quarrying will be allowed to operate again from Aug 16 in all phases, in accordance with the vaccination rate of staff. He also said that another 11 economic sectors will be reopened in Phase Two. (The Star)

Dr Adham: 31.9% of Malaysian population fully vaccinated

A total of 31.9 per cent or 10,425,300 of the country’s population have completed two doses of Covid-19 vaccination as of yesterday (Aug 14), said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba. The Health Minister, through an infographic shared on his official Twitter account, said a total of 16,868,615 people or 51.7% had received the first dose. This brings the cumulative number of doses administered under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) to 27,293,915. In terms of percentage, 72.1% of the country’s adult population had received the first dose while 44.5% had completed both doses. PICK was launched on Feb 24 to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, which hit the country last year. (Malay Mail)

FDI is ‘essential factor’ to help property market recover

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is an essential factor if the local property market is to recover, experts say. Foo Gee Jen, group managing director of CBRE | WTW says that FDI is a catalyst for property. “Once it is there, we will see an increase in high-value assets and properties. We need new investments, especially from foreign investors,” he said. “Massive additional new infrastructure investments are not necessary, only a government that is supportive and responsive to the needs of the business community on an all-inclusive basis,” said Foo. Stanley Toh, executive director at LaurelCap Sdn Bhd told the business weekly that the property market “should recover once confidence returns to the market”. “We are currently lagging behind two to three years when compared with other countries. Historically, when FDI comes in, it creates a feel-good factor and we see a boost in the property market,” Toh explained. Many “business decisions related to real estate” have been shelved owing to “the current political scene in Malaysia” he added. (The Edge)

Pan Borneo Highway project almost 70% complete

The Pan Borneo Highway (LPB) project in Sarawak is now 69.6% complete, said Senior Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof. He said based on the contract, the full completion date was targeted to be in Sept 2022; however, due to various constraints including implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO), delays could not be avoided. “We had several limitations such as supply chain problems and rising costs of building materials… In addition, there were challenges in complying with the different SOPs specially set for each division in Sarawak, which has made it difficult to complete the project in time,” he said. “When the LPB is ready, the people of Sarawak, in particular, will be able to enjoy a more comfortable ride and an efficient road network system,” he said, adding that the highway project could pave the way for a highly skilled workforce in the construction sector. (The Edge)

DPM, ministers arrive at Perdana Putra for special Cabinet meeting

Several ministers have been seen arriving at the Prime Minister’s Office in Perdana Putra since 9.30am today. Among them are Senior Ministers Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was seen arriving at Putra Perdana at 10am. Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is expected to hold a special Cabinet meeting at 10am Monday before leaving for Istana Negara, where he has an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong. He is widely expected to tender his resignation during the audience. (The Star)