Covid-19 vaccine booster shots expected to be administered from early October

The administering of the third or booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine to groups who are vulnerable to Covid-19 infection is expected to start in October, says Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin. He said the groups included senior citizens with comorbidity such as chronic health problems, frontliners, individuals with low immunity, as well as those living and working at long-term care centres. “The dispensing of the third or booster dose does not mean the two earlier doses were ineffective, on the other hand, it is to raise the immune system,” he said. He said many countries have started administering Covid-19 booster dose including the United States, United Kingdom and Singapore to further enhance the immune system of the individuals against the outbreak. “For the time being, we are obtaining information from vaccine manufacturers registered under NPRA, as only NPRA had given approval to Pfizer, AZ (AstraZeneca), Sinovac to dispense two doses only,” he said. (The Star)

Malaysia looking forward to welcoming China in CPTPP as early as next year

As one of the pioneer members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Malaysia is looking forward to welcoming economic powerhouse China into the fold, anticipated to be as early as next year. “The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti), Malaysia is particularly encouraged with the recent move by China to formally apply for accession into the CPTPP.” In February this year, the United Kingdom became the first country outside the Asia Pacific belt to formally request for accession into the CPTPP. Widely regarded as the gold standard for regional trade agreements, CPTPP offers immense economic opportunities for both Malaysia and China. The CPTPP is a trade agreement among Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. (The Star)

Construction work on Gurney Wharf project to start at end-2021

Construction work on the RM176 million Gurney Wharf project here is expected to begin at the end of this year, said Jagdeep Singh Deo. The State Housing, Local Government, and Town and Country Planning Committee chairman said that reclamation works for the project spanning 53 hectares had been completed. He said the project, which has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, is scheduled to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2023. He also said both Phases 1 and 2 of the construction work would be carried out concurrently after the groundbreaking ceremony. The two-phase project will feature a children’s play area, skate park, viewing deck, public toilets, promenade for pedestrians, hawker kiosks, retail areas, surau, landscaping area, recreation park and multi-storey car park. Meanwhile, Chief Minister of Penang Incorporated (CMI) deputy general manager Bharathi Suppiah said tenders would be opened later this month. The open tender would last for six weeks and the contractors would be announced by mid-December. (The Edge)

Cloudy outlook for property tourism

Property tourism, a subcategory of tourism where the tourists’ main or partial intention of going to a country is to visit sales galleries and purchase properties, was relatively vibrant before slowing down pre-Covid-19 pandemic in 2019. Notable developments in this segment include The Estate by Meridian Bhd, The Sail by Sheng Tai International Sdn Bhd and Forest City by Country Garden. According to consultants, two recent announcements will impact the segment, namely the revised Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Programme and the Tourism Recovery Plan (and the opening of local tourism bubbles). The general consensus among property consultants on the revised, stricter MM2H programme is, unsurprisingly, unfavourable. Meanwhile, the Tourism Recovery Plan (and the opening of tourism bubbles, such as for Langkawi) serves as a glimmer of hope for the segment as it jump-starts local tourism, boosts market confidence and may open up the segment to a local audience. (The Edge)

Johor, ECERDC to develop Jemaluang Dairy Valley project

The Johor state government and the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) has signed a collaboration agreement (CA) to develop the Jemaluang Dairy Valley (JDV) project in Mersing Johor. The project is part of the overall strategy in turning the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) into Malaysia’s “Dairy Valley”. It said that the JDV is a key agribusiness project under ‘agrofood@ECER’, an integrated initiative for agricultural and food products. “The JDV project will be modelled after the highly successful Muadzam Shah Cattle Research and Innovation Centre (MSCRIC) in Pahang, another project by ECERDC,” it said. ECERDC CEO Che Mat said the JDV is a component of the larger Dairy Valley initiative to create an efficient and sustainable dairy industry across the ECER, namely in Jemaluang, Mersing, Setiu, Terengganu, West Pahang and Lojing, Kelantan. JDV involves 275 hectares of land in Mersing, and is expected to produce 5.1 million litres of fresh milk annually, when it commences operations in 2023, boosting the national milk production by 11%. (The Edge)

Illegal house renovation among causes of Kemensah Heights landslide, says Takiyuddin

Illegal house renovation has been identified as among the causes of the landslide incident at Jalan Kemensah Heights, says Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan. The Energy and Natural Resources Minister who visited the scene on Sunday (Sept 19), said that several owners had to renovate their houses to accommodate a larger family. “But it had to be carried out in accordance with stipulated guidelines and procedures to avoid an incident like this,” he said. Takiyuddin said a report on the landslide incident was being prepared by the department and it is expected to be completed on Monday (Sept 20). Three bungalows and 12 townhouses involving 27 families were affected by the landslide at Jalan Kemensah Heights here on Friday (Sept 17). Fortunately, no injuries were reported. (The Star)

Remedial works has begun at Kemensah Heights following the landslide that occurred on Sept 17. — LOW BOON TAT/The Star
Remedial works has begun at Kemensah Heights following the landslide that occurred on Sept 17. — LOW BOON TAT/The Star

No entry of foreign workers, including maids, until Dec 31

Private employment agencies that are registered with the Ministry of Human Resources are advised not to make any statements or advertisements that mislead employers on entry of foreign maids into the country. Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said it is generally known that majority of foreign maids in the country are from Indonesia and that the ministry was still in negotiations with the republic to finalise a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the recruitment of Indonesian domestic helpers (PDI). He said as of August 2021, there were a total of 92,481 foreign maids in the country and of this number 64,181 were PDI recruitment. M. Saravanan said any decision to bring in foreign workers, including foreign maids, would be announced by the government after discussions with the National Security Council (MKN), Human Resources Ministry, Home Affairs Ministry, Health Ministry and the relevant ministries. (Malay Mail)