Cinemas and art galleries to reopen Sept 9 with strict SOPs, proof of vaccination

Cinemas, musicals, music and comedy shows (pre-registered) will be allowed to resume operations from this Thursday (Sept 9) at 30% capacity of the premises comprising fully vaccinated individuals, announced Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. For the arts and culture sector, this news of reopening and allowing for a reduced live audience is a small step in the long road to recovery ahead. Performance arts venues and theatres have been shut since early May due to the Government’s pandemic restrictions and various lockdowns nationwide. “This decision is among the government’s ongoing efforts to stimulate the economic viability of artistes and the creative industry,” said the Prime Minister, adding that the artistes themselves, as well as industry workers, should also be fully vaccinated. Ismail said that among the new leeways allowed for the creative industry are that cinemas are now allowed to operate, but are subjected to only 50% capacity and for those who have completed full doses of their Covid-19 vaccine. Art exhibition programmes and activities in exhibition halls, museums and art galleries (by appointment) are also allowed to resume at 30% capacity comprising those fully vaccinated. (The Star)

Khairy: Covid-19 vaccination for teens to start in Sarawak today with Pfizer shots

Vaccination of teenagers aged 16 and 17 years’ old will begin in Sarawak today as this has been approved through the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV), Khairy Jamaluddin announced this morning. The health minister said the vaccination will also include those between 12 and 15 years’ old considered to be at high risk to Covid-19. “Labuan & Klang Valley will follow shortly. We will be giving the Pfizer vax,” he said. Up until now, Covid-19 vaccination had been limited to those aged 18 and over as the initial clinical trials of the vaccines were conducted only on adults. Khairy previously set teen vaccinations as among his 100-day objectives as the new health minister. (Malay Mail)

HR minister: Over 40,000 cases of loss of employment as at August; Socso monitoring trend

A total of 40,680 cases of loss of employment (LOE) have been recorded in the country as of August this year, with an average of 5,811 cases per month, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan. He said the Social Security Organisation (Socso)’s Employment Insurance System is monitoring the LOE trend on a daily basis, in order to provide protection to workers who have lost their jobs for various reasons. According to Socso, LOE definition includes normal retrenchment and redundancy, voluntary or mutual separation schemes (VSS/MSS), closure of the company due to natural disasters, bankruptcy etc, and constructive dismissal, resignation due to sexual harassment or threats made in the workplace, and resignation after being ordered to perform dangerous duties that are not within the job scope. Socso is tasked with implementing Pemulih programmes, such as the Wage Subsidy Programme 4.0, PenjanaKerjaya 3.0, KerjayaGig and SIP Prihatin 2.0, which are targeted at employers, employees, job seekers and the self-employed. (Malay Mail)

Genting group joins bid for digital banking licence via PUC

Genting Plantations Bhd, the plantation arm of the Genting group, is slated to become a 10% shareholder of PUC Bhd, which has recently formed a consortium to bid for a digital banking licence under Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). PUC said that it has entered into conditional subscription agreements with three companies in relation to its proposed private placement of 375.06 million new shares at 12.5 sen per share, to raise RM46.88 million. In late July, PUC announced that it had formed a consortium with Sabah and Pahang state governments to bid for one of five digital banking licences to be granted by BNM in the first quarter of next year. It is understood that both state governments will each have 20% in the consortium. GPVF’s entry into PUC is seen as a part of a plan by the Genting group to get a piece of the action in the Malaysian digital bank space. It is believed that Genting Digital Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned unit of Genting Malaysia Bhd, is also likely to take up a direct stake in the digital bank consortium. (The Edge)

Sarawak govt gives rental exemption to SMEs impacted by Covid-19 pandemic

The Sarawak government has agreed to give rental payment exemption to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating at 15 ready-built factories at Phase 3 of the Demak Baru Industrial Park for six months from July. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said the decision involved a total rental payment exemption of RM123,750 under the Sayang Sarawakku Special Aid (BKSS) package to help reduce the operational costs of the affected SMEs. “The state government also gives a rental payment exemption amounting to RM2 million until December 31, 2021 to the SMEs operating at the business premises owned by the state’s statutory bodies and government-linked companies (GLCs),” he said. “A rental discount of 50 per cent is also given to 3,200 tenants at the Sarawak Housing Development Corporation (HDC ) schemes and 10,000 registered hawkers renting the market and food stalls under the local authorities until this December 31. Besides that, a discount of up to 25 per cent is given for the water and electricity bills and 30 per cent discount on the quit rent and assessment rates,” he added. (Malay Mail)