Finance Minister: Govt on track to revive economy through Budget 2022

Malaysia is on track to revive its economy in 2022 through an expansionary budget announced last Friday, said Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz. In an interview with Bloomberg, Tengku Zafrul said the government has planned to minimise the economic scarring brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, bringing the economic growth to a medium-term trajectory. Under the largest ever budget worth RM332.1 billion, the government has introduced tax proposals under Budget 2022 including the prosperity tax, a review of real property gains tax, as well as imposition of service tax on delivery services to boost its coffers. He also brushed aside the perception that the introduction of the prosperity tax might not be a business-friendly move, saying that the market would somewhat adjust to the announcement. Tengku Zafrul said Malaysia’s fiscal and monetary policy were still accommodative and the government is looking to reduce the fiscal deficit to 6.0% of GDP in 2022 from 6.5% this year. (Malay Mail)

Bank Negara maintains OPR at 1.75%

Bank Negara has maintained the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) at an all-time low of 1.75%, which was in line with economists’ expectations. The central bank said economic activity in Malaysia weakened in the third quarter amid the imposition of nationwide containment measures to curb the resurgence in Covid-19 cases. However, in line with the relaxation of restrictions, the latest frequency indicators show that economic activity has recovered from the trough in July. “Going into 2022, the growth momentum is expected to improve, supported by expansion in global demand, higher private sector expenditure in line with the resumption of economic activity and continued policy support,” it said. The OPR has been retained at 1.75% since July 7, 2020. Economists believe Bank Negara is likely to keep the OPR unchanged at 1.75% in the next six to nine months. (The Star)

MOH: Ivermectin not effective for severe cases of Covid-19

A clinical study conducted locally concluded that the anti-viral drug Ivermectin cannot be used in current Covid-19 treatment as it does not prevent severe cases of Covid-19, says the Health Ministry. The I-Tech study by the Institute of Clinical Research (ICR) revealed that those who had Ivermectin, experienced three times more adverse events with the most common adverse effect being diarrhoea, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. “The Health Ministry continues with prior advice that Ivermectin only be used within clinical trials settings with monitoring. Until further supportive evidence becomes available, practitioners are cautioned not to recommend Ivermectin, including sharing illegal advertising or sale of Ivermectin for treatment of Covid-19,” said Dr Noor Hisham. (The Star)

Emergency lifted, EC to set Sarawak election date

he Election Commission (EC) has been officially notified by Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has consented to lift the Emergency in Sarawak on Wednesday. EC secretary Datuk Ikmalrudin Ishak said the state legislative assembly would dissolve on the date the Emergency in Sarawak was revoked or annulled. “The EC will meet soon to discuss holding the Sarawak state election,” he added. The Sarawak legislative assembly was due to dissolve automatically on June 7 following the expiry of its term, but the state election was suspended due to the nationwide Emergency which ended on Aug 1 and the subsequent Emergency in Sarawak from Aug 2 to Feb 2, 2022. (The Star)

Universiti Teknologi Petronas is Malaysia’s top private university in the Emerging Economies Rankings 2022

Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) has emerged as the top-ranking private university and second among universities in Malaysia, according to the Times Higher Education (THE) Emerging Economies Rankings 2022. UTP vice-chancellor Professor Tan Sri Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib said the university is now ranked 60th, jumping two places from its previous 62nd position. The university has stood out by scoring the highest for research in the nation and has improved significantly for citation and international outlook scores. The 2022 edition of the THE Emerging Economies Rankings includes 698 universities from countries classified by the London Stock Exchange’s FTSE Group as “advanced emerging”, “secondary emerging” or “frontier”. On another note, UTP is ranked 72nd in the QS Asia University Rankings 2022. (The Edge)

UTP Petroleum Engineering Programme Ranks 21st In The World And 1st In The  Nation - PR Newswire APAC
Aerial view of UTP campus (Source: PR Newswire Asia)

DBKL: KL car free morning programme to resume Nov 7

After being put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kuala Lumpur Car Free Morning (KLCFM) programme will be reactivated on Nov 7 with a pre-registration concept. Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) said for a start, the bi-monthly event would be held as a simulation programme to suit the new SOP set by the National Security Council. According to DBKL, the simulation programme which will be held in November and December would use the seven-kilometre stretch in the city centre, involving Jalan Raja, Jalan P. Ramlee, Jalan Dang Wangi and part of Jalan Raja Laut, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Ampang and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. “The programme involves activities such as walking, running, skating or cycling for two hours from 7 am to 9 am and during the period, the roads involved be closed to public and private vehicles,” it said. The pre-registration can be done via the KL Car Free Morning and DBKL websites and Facebook pages, it said adding that participants who successfully registered will be notified by email. (The Edge)