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Published by info, 2022-01-15 00:52:16

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KDN:PP19510/07/2019 (035094) JANUARY 2022 RM3 WM RM4 EM WWW.MALAYSIACHINAINSIGHT.COM Media Partner
MALAYSIA-CHINA INSIGHT

PM Ismail Sabri: Create new hope to
build a better nation in 2022

Faced with challenges and tribulations, preparations to face any outbreak in the Above pic: Prime Minister of Malaysia YAB Dato' Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob
including the onslaught of the COVID-19 country.
pandemic and floods, Datuk Seri Ismail that he will prioritise, adding that he will The prime minister said the government
Sabri Yaakob tonight called on Malaysians Ismail Sabri said as 2021 was nearing its personally lead poverty eradication will also continue to give its focus on issues
to create new hope to build a better nation end, Keluarga Malaysia was tested with initiatives undertaken by the government concerning development and rural
in 2022. massive floods that resulted in 48 deaths. through poverty units set up at the central, development in the Peninsula, Sabah and
state and district levels. Sarawak.
Inviting Malaysians to join him and the “However this tragedy had also highlight-
government towards this purpose, the ed the spirit of Keluarga Malaysia which is
prime minister said all parties should togetherness among the people regardless
celebrate similarities and set aside of race, religion and position.
differences to continue the national
development agenda. “I want to thank all security agencies,
government staff, non-governmental
“With the arrival of 2022, a new chapter organisations, volunteers and all individuals
will begin in our lives. I pray the year 2022 who worked hard to help and coordinate
brings renewed hope to Keluarga Malaysia rescue, relief and post-flood missions.
(Malaysian Family),” he said in his New Year
message aired by local television stations “The same goes for the assistance and
tonight. contributions from the corporate sector,
including GLC (government-linked compa-
Recalling the COVID-19 situation this year, nies) and GLIC (government-linked invest-
Ismail Sabri said the pandemic had seen a ment companies). You are all unsung
daily record of 24,599 cases and 393 heroes. Syabas and congratulations,” he said.
fatalities on Aug 26.
Meanwhile, the prime minister said in
However, various proactive measures terms of social aspects and the well-being
implemented by the government and the of the people, the government was focused
people yielded results after cases began on meeting the housing needs of Keluarga
dropping to the figures numbering about Malaysia’s young generation.
3,000 daily cases currently.
He said this also involved Artificial
However, he said looking at the increase Intelligence technology with the Smart Safe
in current cases in countries such as the City concept to be introduced in stages
United States, France and the United starting in major cities nationwide.
Kingdom, apart from the emergence of
new variants such as Omicron, the govern- “This is the economic direction that will
ment has taken several measures as part of be taken in 2022,” he said.

Ismail Sabri said issues concerning pover-
ty and income divide were also agendas

Above pic: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun (L) and Chinese Ambassador Ouyang in which he said the publication of the and a friendship lasting more than
Yujing (R) attend the ceremony to launch the Malay edition of the first volume of Malay edition of this book will help 1,000 years.
"Xi Jinping: The Governance of China" in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysians better understand the
thoughts of Xi Jinping, general secre- The publication of this book is the
Malay edition of "Xi Jinping: e tary of the CPC Central Committee. latest achievement in people-to-peo-
Governance of China" launched in ple exchanges and a new testimony to
Kuala Lumpur Xu said that the first, second and the long friendship between the two
third volumes of Xi's book comprehen- countries, said the ambassador, noting
The Malay edition of the first volume Xu Lin, deputy head of the Publicity sively and systematically present the it will further promote exchanges on
of "Xi Jinping: The Governance of Department of the Communist Party development process of Xi Jinping governance experiences, enrich the
China" was launched in the Kuala of China (CPC) Central Committee and Thought on Socialism with Chinese connotations of the comprehensive
Lumpur Convention Center on director of the State Council Informa- Characteristics for a New Era, and are strategic partnership between China
Tuesday. tion Office, delivered a video speech, "keys" to understanding China and the and Malaysia, and strengthen bilateral
CPC. ties.

Speaker of the lower house of The launching ceremony, co-organ-
Malaysia's Parliament, Azhar Azizan ized by China's State Council Informa-
Harun, attended the event and tion Office, China Foreign Languages
delivered a speech. Publishing Administration and the
Chinese Embassy in Malaysia, was
Azhar said that under the leadership attended by some 150 political
of President Xi, nearly 100 million leaders, government officials, acade-
people had been lifted out of poverty micians, and reporters, among others.
in China within less than 10 years,
which is an amazing accomplishment. The Malay edition of the first volume
of "Xi Jinping: The Governance of
This book, Azhar noted, will help China" was jointly translated and
more Malay readers understand Presi- published by the China Foreign
dent Xi's policies and thoughts on the Languages Publishing Administration
governance and development of the and Malaysia's Institute of Language
country. and Literature (Dewan Bahasa dan
Pustaka).
Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia
Ouyang Yujing said in his speech that So far, the first volume of "Xi Jinping:
China and Malaysia are good neigh- The Governance of China" has been
bors whose relationship is marked by translated and issued in 36 languages.
mutual trust and that both countries Enditem.
have enjoyed win-win cooperation

02 JANUARY 2022

Ouyang: Stand together for 30 years, Start New
journey with a shared future——Commemorating the
30th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Dialogue Relations

This year marks the 30th anniversary of increased from less than 8 billion US Above pic: Chinese Ambassador Ouyang Yujing 150 million doses of COVID vaccines,
China-ASEAN Dialogue Relations. Last dollars to 684.6 billion in 2020, which has provide ASEAN with another US$1.5 billion
month, Chinese President Xi Jinping and grown by more than 80 times. ASEAN’s bourhood in geographic sense, but also of development assistance in the next
Brunei’s Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah trade with China accounts for less than 3% connection between our souls. In a word, it three years, buy up to US$150 billion
co-chaired the China-ASEAN Special of its trade with the world in 1995, and indicates that China’s affection toward worth of agricultural products from ASEAN
Summit to Commemorate the 30th now this figure jumps to more than 20%. ASEAN is as deep as that among families. and support a program for 300 young
Anniversary of China-ASEAN Dialogue Today, our total two-way investment has Families have a shared future, enjoying scientists from ASEAN to come to China for
Relations. Malaysia Prime Minister Dato' exceeded 31 billion US dollars. Before the blessings and enduring misfortune togeth- exchanges in the next five years. China
Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and leaders from pandemic broke out, the number of our er. Families often visit each other and always keeps its promises and would never
other ASEAN countries attended the mutual visits exceeded 65 million annually, honor kinship and fidelity. Families pay lip service. We mean what we say.
Summit. During the Summit, leaders with nearly 4500 flights every week celebrate good fortune together and give a
summarized the achievements and experi- between our two sides. hand while the other being in trouble. As Malaysia is a witness, a participant and a
ences of China-ASEAN relations over the President Xi stresses, China was, is, and will contributor of China-ASEAN relation. China
past 30 years, and jointly drew up a At the starting point of the next 30 years, always be ASEAN's good neighbor, good and ASEAN can not reach where we are
blueprint for the future 30 years. Both how should China and ASEAN keep friend and good partner. China will today without Malaysia. Among the five
sides issued Joint Statement of the deepening and substantiating the Compre- unswervingly take ASEAN as a high priority founding members of ASEAN, Malaysia is
China-ASEAN Special Summit to Commem- hensive Strategic Partnership for the in its neighborhood diplomacy, unswerv- the first one to establish diplomatic tie
orate the 30th Anniversary of China-ASEAN greater benefit of more than 2 billion ingly support ASEAN unity and ASEAN with the People’s Republic of China after
Dialogue Relations, further deepening the people from 11 countries? Chinese Community building, unswervingly ASEAN was established. We shall never
development and cooperation. The most president Xi Jinping puts forward that we support ASEAN centrality in the regional forget that it was in Kuala Lumpur where
noticeable highlight of the Summit is the can build a peaceful home, a safe and architecture, and unswervingly support China and ASEAN began their dialogue
establishment of China-ASEAN Compre- secure home, a prosperous home, a ASEAN in playing a bigger role in regional relations 30 years ago. Malaysia, at the
hensive Strategic Partnership, which is a beautiful home as well as an amicable and international affairs. same time, has also benefited from sound
significant milestone in the history of home, which charts the correct course for China-ASEAN relationship. In the early
China-ASEAN relations. upgrading China-ASEAN relations. The Chinese side has put forward a series 1990s, Malaysia’s export volume to China
of practical cooperation proposals during was less than US$700 million. In 2020, this
President Xi Jinping speaks highly of In Chinese Culture, the word “home” has the Special Summit. China will provide number has grown up to US$74.7 billion,
China-ASEAN relationship, pointing out special meaning. Not only it means neigh- 1,000 items of advanced and applicable increasing more than 100 times in 30
that it has grown into the most successful technology to ASEAN, donate an additional years. China has been Malaysia's largest
and vibrant model for cooperation in the trading partner for 12 years in a row and
Asia-Pacific and an exemplary effort in largest investor in manufacturing for five
building a community with a shared future consecutive years.
for mankind. “The most successful and
vibrant model” means China-ASEAN A single flower does not make a spring,
relationship is unique, which squares with while hundreds of flowers in blossom bring
the facts. spring to the whole garden. China will not
be prosperous without ASEAN, and
Over the past 30 years, with the principle ASEAN’s development needs China as well.
of mutual respect, win-win cooperation, China is going to continue practicing the
mutual assistance, inclusiveness and principles of amity, sincerity, mutual
mutual learning, China-ASEAN strategic benefit, and inclusiveness and the policy of
partnership has grown in leaps and bounds forging friendship and partnership with
with fruitful results in concrete coopera- our neighbours. Let us work hand in hand
tion. China and ASEAN are each other's to build a peace, safe, prosperous, beauti-
largest trading partner, most dynamic ful and friendly home, to build a closer
cooperative partner and most profound China-ASEAN community with a shared
strategic partner. The following data may future, and to write another exciting
reflect the sound momentum and great chapter of our relations for the next 30
vitality of our relations. Over the past 30 years.
years, our bilateral trade volume has

China’s Ambassador hands
over ood relief donation
to Malaysian Red Crescent
Society (MRCS)

Red Cross Society of China has lend a helping hand to Malaysian flood Above pic: China’s Ambassador Ouyang Yujing hands over flood relief donation to MRCS secretary-
donated US$100,000 (RM419,500) for victims in pulling through this difficult general Hakim Hamzah (Bernama)
flood relief efforts to Malaysian Red period of time.
Crescent Society (MRCS). caused flooding and landslides in least 41 people reported dead so far.
“China believes that Malaysia will several parts of the country with at
The donation was handed over by overcome the flood and rebuild
the China’s Ambassador to Malaysia damaged homes very soon,” he said,
Ouyang Yujing to MRCS secretary-gen- according to a statement by the
eral Hakim Hamzah at the MRCS Chinese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
National Headquarters, here on
Friday. Ouyang, on behalf of the Chinese
government and its people, also
Ouyang hoped this gesture, which extended sincere condolences to the
reflected the true friendship between flood victims in Malaysia.
the peoples of China and Malaysia, will
Torrential rains in Malaysia have

03JANUARY 2022

PM Ismail Sabri: Govt forms special
task force for post ood, second
wave of ood

The government has agreed to set up a Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said among Above pic: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob lends a hand to an Malaysian Air Force
special task force for post-flood activities matters to be discussed and decided by the personnel in cleaning up the flood-affected areas in Taman Nanding in Hulu Langat.
and in preparation for the second wave of task force would be on coordination of the
floods, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail implementation of process involved in the without polluting the environment, he his gratitude to volunteers, non -govern-
Sabri Yaakob. cleaning of houses and buildings that were added. mental organisations (NGOs) and members
affected by the floods, and on the mecha- of the security forces, as well as agencies,
He said the task force would be chaired by nism to be used to ensure the Bantuan Apart from that, he said, the government involved in the post-flood activities
Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Wang Ihsan (BWI) could be channeled to was also collecting data on the total losses throughout the country.
Mohd Zuki Ali. the victims fast. incurred in the floods in Selangor.
Also to Malaysians who have not stopped
“This post-flood work needs proper “I also call on the relevant agencies and “We are still in the process of cleaning up, providing various assistance to the flood
coordination as I do not want delay in the departments that manage cash assistance still studying (losses). Data is being collect- victims , he added.
implementation process, including in to simplify the process of providing ed, there will be an economic impact, but
providing assistance to flood victims. assistance and eliminate bureaucratic we do not know to what extent and we will “Our priority is to speed up work of clean
red-tapes. They (flood victims) are already wait for a report from the relevant their houses so that they (victims) can
“We also need to be prepared for the in hardship, do not inconvenience them,” ministry,” he said. return home. If we do it together, this
second wave of floods, if it happens,” he he added. process, will be faster,” he added.
told a press conference after visiting areas Meanwhile, the prime minister expressed
affected by the floods in Hulu Langat, He said the task force would also find
including in Taman Sri Nanding and solutions for solid waste management as a
Kampung Dusun Tua, where cleaning work result of the destruction caused by the
was in progress, here today. floods.

Ismail Sabri said the task force, which The government, through Environment
would comprise the relevant agencies, and Water Ministry (KASA), had provided a
including the Malaysian Armed Forces mobile incinerator which could dispose of
(ATM), would hold its first meeting as early solid waste in situ without smoke and
as tomorrow.

Above pic: Minister of Communications and Multimedia Tan Sri Annuar Musa benefit of the people. would be looked into for improvements.
Minister of Communications and On flood aid, Annuar said the federal
Annuar: Govt to improve communication,
create early warning system for disasters Multimedia (KKMM) Tan Sri Annuar Musa government led by Prime Minister Datuk
said the matter will be discussed in detail Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is among the
The government will set up a task force system and create a faster and effective by the KKMM secretary-general and the fastest and most proactive in responding
to improve the existing communication early warning system for disasters for the relevant agencies, including the Meteoro- to the flood disaster that hit the country.
logical Department (MetMalaysia) and the
Department of Irrigation and Drainage In fact, he said the KKMM’s Operasi
(DID). Bantu Hingga Selesai (Ops BAHIS) was
among the best initiatives seen to have
“The Cabinet is of the opinion that the helped and made a deep impact on the
communication system and information flood victims.
delivery to the people need to be
improved. “The flood disaster has opened the door
to all quarters to improve their commit-
“That is why we strive to have a better ment as a Malaysian Family to work
system including by adopting the concept together and alleviate the burden of the
of SMS blasting so that we can send early victims,” he said.
warning quickly and accurately to the
people in disaster-affected areas,” he told On the issues on implementation of 5G
a press conference after delivering the technology, Annuar gave assurance that
2022 New Year’s message for KKMM at the issues would be tackled objectively
Angkasapuri here today. without bias.

In the message, Annuar also acknowl- The proposal on the implementation is
edged that there were some weaknesses being fine-tuned before it can be tabled to
in the existing methods of information the Cabinet.
delivery during disasters.
“InsyaAllah, it will all be settled this year
Nevertheless, he said complaints and and we can move forward to improve the
criticisms received for the weaknesses quality of information technology, includ-
ing the 5G, in the country,” he added.

Radzi: Textbooks damaged in
oods to be replaced for free

Students whose textbooks were to floods involving 14,422 students nation- Above pic: Senior Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin
damaged in the floods would get a replace- wide.
ment for free, said Senior Education
Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin. “MOE has enough stock to replace the
damaged books to enable students to
He said the ministry would ensure that follow the PdP session beginning next
efforts to replace the damaged textbooks week,” he said in a video posted on his
would be done immediately to enable the official Facebook page today.
teaching and learning (PdP) sessions to run
smoothly and in an orderly manner. He said the ministry had been receiving
many inquiries regarding textbooks that
“Based on the Ministry of Education’s were damaged as a result of the floods
(MOE) record up till today, a total of that hit several states recently.
263,662 copies of textbooks damaged due

04 JANUARY 2022

Flood victims touched by
Prime Minister’s wife visit

Flood evacuees at several relief centres Most of the flood victims housed at the Above pic: Datin Seri Muhaini Zainal Abidin and his daughter Datin Nina Sabrina Ismail Sabri
in Selangor were touched by the visit of relief centres did not expect Muhaini and visited flood evacuees at several relief centres in Selangor.
Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Muhaini Nina Sabrina to turn up and some were
Zainal Abidin and their daughter Datin moved to tears over the concern shown by who had lived in the area for more than 14 Rendah Agama Dusun Nanding, which is
Nina Sabrina Ismail Sabri. them. years said she did not expect the floods to housing 177 families, was being used as a
be this bad and cause huge losses to them. collection centre for flood donations.
Muhaini and her eldest daughter Nina Meanwhile, despite being hit by the
Sabrina who were present without security worst floods so far, the residents of Taman Meanwhile, the relief centre at Sekolah
control and protocol mingled with the Sri Nanding, Hulu Langat continue to be
victims as well as presented donations of strong and positive in facing the challenges
basic necessities to them. that befell them.

It is understood that Muhaini and Nina A check by Bernama found that most of
Sabrina visited relief centres at Shah Alam the houses in the area were covered with
City Council Kekwa Hall in Section 17, Shah mud and the residents were having difficul-
Alam; Sekolah Rendah Agama Sementa ty doing the cleaning work due to the lack
and Sekolah Rendah Agama Dusun of water and electricity supply.
Nanding.
Nik Nor Azilawati Nik Mohamad Din, 40,

KKR: Post- ood infrastructure
repair expected to cost
RM1 billion

Repair works on damaged infra- infrastructure are safe,” he told Above pic: Public Works Department (JKR) Engineers together with Malaysian Armed Forces work
structure due to the recent floods reporters during a visit to Hulu Langat on laying a temporary bridge at Sungai Lui.
nationwide are expected to cost some which was hit by massive floods two
RM1 billion, the Works Ministry (KKR) weeks ago. Wan Uzir, together with Public Works as a temporary solution for its
said. Department director-general Datuk residents there.
Wan Uzir said the ministry is also Mohamad Zulkefly Sulaiman today
Works Ministry secretary-general taking precautionary measures for a was at Kampung Tanjung Pauh, Hulu The bridge will reconnect 12 families
Datuk Wan Uzir Wan Sulaiman said possible second wave of floods. Pauh in Hulu Langat near here to check who had been cut off when the
damaged infrastructure like roads, on the construction of a Bailey bridge permanent bridge over Sungai Lui
bridges and slopes under the ministry “Our worry is the second wave of collapsed on Dec 18.
must to repaired quickly to ensure floods. The recent floods had resulted
access and connectivity. in a lot of damage and the second
wave can bring about further damage.
“In line with the recommendations
of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail “Among the precautionary steps
Sabri Yaakob, repair work cannot be taken by the Works Ministry is working
delayed further and must be carried together with the Forestry Depart-
out quickly. ment to ensure that forest slopes are
not damaged.
“Our main focus is to ensure that
affected access is reopened and to “We have already identified ‘injured’
make sure that slopes and other slopes and we have taken steps to
prevent landslides,” he said.

Flood victims surprised by early cash aid payments

Senior citizen, Tijah Jantan, is used According to Tijah the floodwaters “We returned home yesterday. The Meanwhile, A. Letchumi, 54, said
to having her house in Kampung rose quickly and she did not have time house is clean but it is not safe she would use the funds received to
Sementih here, inundated because it is to move her things to a safer place. because the main door cannot be buy electrical items because when her
built in a low-lying area and situated Nevertheless, she was grateful that properly closed. We were not able to house was flooded she only managed
next to a swamp but the difference besides the cash aid, she also received sleep because we were worried about to save important documents and
this time was the early cash aid which other necessities like beddings, the safety of our family members. I other items to the upper floor because
she received even before her house blankets, basic foodstuff and electrical thought I needed to cough out my own she did not expect to be a flood victim.
was completely cleaned. items from non-governmental organi- money to install new doors but
sations (NGO) and volunteers. unexpectedly we were pleasantly “I really need to decide what are the
Tijah, 60, said she could not believe surprised by the financial aid. priorities. Besides the BWI, I am also
it when she was told that her name Tijah was among the 600 household hoping to receive the RM500 aid for
was on the list of recipients to receive heads in the Temerloh district who For K.Gunasundari, 36, the mone- the purchase of electrical items so that
the RM1,000 compassionate aid (BWI) received the BWI from Prime Minister tary assistance was greatly appreciat- my savings can be used to buy other
payment from the federal government Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and ed because this was the first time his things,” she said.
and RM500 from the Pahang state Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan house in Taman Setia Lanchang was
government, because she was not Rosdy Wan Ismail. inundated. He was at his wit’s end
placed at a relief centre (PPS) but thinking of how to clean his house
chose to stay with a relative instead. Also present was Chief Secretary to which was covered with mud when he
the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali. returned home last Dec 23.
“It is easier this time. Previously, we
had to wait for months before we Another recipient, housewife Norliza “We used to watch our neighbours
receive the cash aid,” she told Berna- Baharin, 48, who also resides in at the end of the lane being evacuated
ma when met at the Malaysian Family Kampung Sementih said the money because our home is located on higher
Flood Relief Programme at Dewan she received would be used to repair ground. Spending four nights at the
MPT Datuk Bahaman in Lanchang here her damaged home like replacing Sekolah Kebangsaan Lanchang PPS
today. doors and ceilings and re-wiring of the was truly an experience.
house.

05JANUARY 2022

PM Ismail Sabri: Floods: 85.7 per
cent of households have received
compassionate aid

A total of 44,573 or 85.7 per cent of the The government had announced the
52,024 heads of households affected by the Keluarga Malaysia (The Malaysian Family)
recent floods have received the RM1,000 flood aid or BWI of RM1,000 for the head of
Bantuan Wang Ihsan (BWI) as of 1 pm every affected household, compared to
today, said Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. RM500 previously.

The prime minister, in a Twitter post, said The payment has been distributed since
those who have yet to register can contact Dec 27 last year, just 10 days after unusually
the Disaster Command Centre (PKOB) and massive floods hit several states including
district officer concerned to get the federal Selangor, Pahang and Negeri Sembilan.
government aid.
Above pic: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob

PM Ismail Sabri: Payment for initiatives to help ood
victims starts tomorrow

Payment for aid initiatives to ease the bution for the purchase of essential goods (of recipients), or at the community hall bureaucracy. Assistance should be made
burden of flood victims will start on Jan 10, amounting to RM2,500; vehicle repair and so on or to be credited into the easy,” he said.
with the Prime Minister’s Department’s discount; rebate of RM500 for the recipient’s account. We leave it to each
Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) to purchase of electrical goods and home district to discuss with the ICU in matters Ismail Sabri said this at a press confer-
channel the money to the district and land repair assistance of between RM5,000 and of payment. ence after presenting RM1,000 compas-
offices before being distributed to those RM15,000 for damage caused by the sionate aid (BWI) from the federal govern-
involved, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri disaster. “I want this payment to be expedited … ment and RM500 contribution from the
Ismail Sabri Yaakob. there are no forms that need to be filled in Pahang government to 478 flood victims in
“There are three methods of payment, because the list (of flood victims) is ready. Bera district, including 45 victims of the
He said the payment covered the contri- namely to be given directly to the house Our principle is not to have a complicated second wave of floods, at the Bera district
council convention hall here today.

Above pic: Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari affected by the floods that hit the state last Meanwhile, he said as of yesterday a
month, said Menteri Besar Datuk Seri total of 908 units in eight districts have
MB Amirudin: Selangor approves over Amirudin Shari. been identified for repair or to be built
RM40 mln immediate allocation new.
for post- ood recovery works He said it was approved during the
Selangor State Executive Council meeting “We have identified a total of 876 houses
The Selangor government has approved million to rehabilitate and strengthen yesterday, adding that an allocation that need to be repaired, while another 32
an immediate allocation of over RM40 rivers, slopes as well as road embankments amounting to RM9.18 million was also houses need to be replaced. The state
approved to fund 13 projects under the government will review the full list that is
Tengku Zafrul: BKM 2022 to bene t 9.6 state Department of Irrigation and being finalised and will announce
mln recipients with RM8.2 bln allocation Drainage. assistance to these families soon,” he said.

Above pic: Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz Amirudin said this also involves efforts to In addition, he said houses that were
strengthen river banks, build river bunds, swept away by floods would be recon-
purchase mobile generator sets and install structed with the cooperation of the
more flood warning systems in key areas Selangor Zakat Board and the federal
among others. government.

He said this during a special post-flood On post-flood cleaning operations, he
press conference here today. said it was expected to complete by end of
the month.
Apart from that, he said a total of
RM31.7 million was approved by the state “The first phase of flood-related waste
government for critical projects such as collection will be fully completed by Jan 14,
clearing landslide debris under the state to be followed by two weeks of cleaning up
Public Works Department so that roads rubbish carried by the floods in affected
that were closed could be reopened. areas and clogged drains,” he said.

He said all these rehabilitation and repair with the BKM registration initiative by the
works were expected to be completed Inland Revenue Board (IRB) in Jalan Duta
within a month or two. here today.

The Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (Malay- He said that to ensure eligibility, the data
sian Family Assistance or BKM) programme will be cross-checked against data from
is expected to benefit more than 9.6 other government agencies, such as those
million recipients in 2022 with an alloca- from the eKasih data bank, Social Welfare
tion of RM8.2 billion, said Finance Minister Department assistance, recipients of the
Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz. Employment Insurance Scheme under the
Social Security Organisation, and zakat or
This represents an increase from 8.6 Baitulmal aid recipients in the Klang Valley,
million recipients with an allocation of among others.
RM7 billion under the Bantuan Prihatin
Rakyat (BPR) initiative in 2021, he said. As of Jan 7, 2022, the IRB had received a
total of 1,429,262 new BKM applications
“The government wants to ensure that and updates.
those who are eligible and still not in the
government database can register and Of this, 355,071 were new applications
apply. while 1,124,191 were requests for
updates.
“Applicants for the 2021 COVID-19
Special Assistance (BKC) and BPR who did The BKM registration is open from Jan 1
not qualify because they received the to Jan 31, 2022, and nearly 95 per cent of
Prihatin Special Grant will be automatically new applications and updates to-date
brought into the BKM system for us to were made online.
check their eligibility and to reduce the
exclusion error (based on data from BPR
2021),” Tengku Zafrul said in conjunction

06 JANUARY 2022
Khairy: Daily cases expected to
reach 30,000 if Omicron wave
not curbed

The Health Ministry (MOH) foresees that susceptible, exposed, infectious, and Above pic: The Health Ministry Khairy bin Jamaluddin Abu Bakar
daily COVID-19 infections will reach 30,000 recovered (SEIR) model using the infectivi-
cases if measures are not taken to curb the ty rate (Rt) of 0.95, 1.2 and 1.6 respectively. appointments made through the MySe- ProtectHealth website to register for the
Omicron wave. jahtera application or short message clinic’s waitlist.
Khairy said although Omicron variant service (SMS),” he said.
As such, Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said infections were not as severe as the Delta To date, 30 per cent of the adult popula-
the decision to temporarily suspend the variant so far, should the number of cases However, individuals can contact the tion and 52 per cent of senior citizens in
permission for umrah travel was one of the increased to 30,000, hospital admissions Private General Practitioners Vaccination the country have received their booster
measures that had to be taken to prevent would also surge, though the patients are Centres (PPV-GP) listed on the shots, he said.
the spread of the variant. only under categories one and two.

“Based on the MOH’s simulation, if we On the administration of booster doses,
do not take preventive measures such as he said four integrated vaccination centres
the temporary postponement of umrah (PPVs) with a much bigger capacity would
travel and quarantine procedures, we will start operating on Jan 15 at the Kuala
see cases surge from this month until Lumpur World Trade Centre (WTCKL),
February to over 15,000 a day,” he told a Axiata Arena Bukit Jalil, Ideal Convention
press conference here today. Centre (IDCC) Shah Alam. and Soka Gakkai
in Klang.
He said the expected figure was the
result of MOH’s projections through the “The booster dose will be given through

More than 22.86 million adults in Malaysia fully vaccinated

A total of 22,864,655 individuals or individuals or 98.9 per cent of the 2,849,786 individuals or 90.5 per cent dose and 201,716 as booster dose.
97.7 per cent of the adult population group have received at least one dose have been given at least one dose of This brings the cumulative number of
in the country have completed their of the vaccine. the vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccination as of vaccine doses administered under the
yesterday. For the adolescent population, 87.6 Meanwhile, a total of 208,327 doses National COVID-19 Immunisation
per cent or 2,758,498 individuals aged of the vaccine were dispensed yester- Programme (PICK) to 58,055,878,
Based on the Health Ministry’s between 12 and 17 years have day, with 2,768 doses administered as including 6,627,119 booster doses.
COVIDNOW portal, 23,155,545 completed the vaccination, while the first dose, 3,843 as the second

M’sia, S’pore govts to
reevaluate risks before
proceeding with air land VTL

The governments of Malaysia and variant Omicron. Above pic: Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong
Singapore will reevaluate the current “In the next few weeks, a risk assess-
risks before deciding whether to ment will be made to enable both suspension of ticket sales. resume, will be determined within 48
proceed with the 50 per cent quota of parties to consider whether to Previously, the daily quota for the hours before the postponement of the
the vaccinated travel lane (VTL) land proceed or not with the 50 per cent of expiry date on Jan 21.
and air scheme. the quota,” he told reporters at a land VTL scheme was set at 1,440
ceremony to celebrate the 11 million passengers for each way. He was also quoted as saying, if the
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr TEUs (twenty feet equivalent units) VTL by air resumes on that date, total
Wee Ka Siong said in the original achieved by Port of Tanjung Pelepas Wee was earlier reported to have flight ticket sales would likely be
discussion, the two countries had for 2021, here today. said the decision whether the VTL via reduced by up to 50%.
previously agreed to continue the So far a total of 37,783 travellers air between Malaysia and Singapore
daily VTL with the total ticket sales have been recorded using the VTL via will continue to be postponed or
reduced to 50 per cent of the allocated air from Singapore to Malaysia, he
quota from Jan 21. added.
The Ayer Hitam MP said this to
On Dec 23, the two countries decid- reporters when asked about the latest
ed to temporarily suspend the sale of status on the VTL following the
bus and flight tickets under the VTL to
curb the spread of the new COVID-19

Quarantine: Umrah pilgrimscan opt for private or govt-run centres

Umrah pilgrims have the option of centres depending on the availability pilgrims, namely at the Higher Educa- hotels in Kuala Lumpur are Royal
dealing directly with private quaran- of rooms on the day of arrival. tion Leadership Academy (AKEPT) and Hotel, Swiss Garden Hotel in Bukit
tine centres in hotels listed by the Institute Aminuddin Baki in Nilai; Bintang, IBIS Kuala Lumpur City
National Disaster Management “For this option, the quarantine cost Institut Latihan Islam Malaysia (ILIM), Centre, Furama Hotel in Bukit Bintang,
Agency (NADMA) or undergoing will be borne by the government, Institut Semarak Felda and the Judicial Mercure Hotel, Kuala Lumpur Shaw
quarantine at government-run centres. including meals and airport transfer,” and Training Institute (ILKAP) in Bangi; Parade, IBIS Style KL Fraser Business
he said. and the Police Training Centre Park, AnCasa Hotel, Cosmo Hotel, KIP
Minister in the Prime Minister’s (Pulapol) in Kuala Lumpur. Hotel and Arena Star Hotel.
Department (Special Tasks) Datuk Dr He said the statement was issued as Other than that, Dr Abd Latiff said 19
Abd Latiff Ahmad in a statement today the government was aware that many hotels in Negeri Sembilan, Kuala In Selangor, the hotels are the
said for quarantine placement at umrah pilgrims were worried about Lumpur and Selangor were also listed Sama-Sama Hotel, Grand Dorsett
government-run centres, a person the additional cost of undergoing as quarantine stations for umrah Hotel in Subang, Crystall Crown Hotel
under surveillance (PUS) and are quarantine. pilgrims. in Petaling Jaya, Sunway Clio Hotel,
tested negative for COVID-19 by the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in Puchong,
Ministry of Health (MOH) will be The minister said the quarantine The hotels in Negeri Sembilan are Oriental Crystal Hotel, Summit Hotel in
placed in hotels or public training period was set by the MOH and there Klana Resort in Seremban, while the USJ and Pegasus Hotel in Shah Alam.
were six public training centres listed
as quarantine centres for umrah

07JANUARY 2022

Khairy: No need for
quarantine upon arrival for
fully vaccinated travellers who
had COVID-19 before

Travellers who had been infected with had been infected with COVID-19 before, Above pic: The Health Ministry Khairy bin Jamaluddin Abu Bakar
COVID-19 and have completed their the government takes the approach that
vaccination do not need to undergo travellers with a history of infection should infection which comes into effect tomor- Malaysia.
quarantine upon arrival in Malaysia but be fully vaccinated and show proof of row (Jan 13). “Only individuals with negative results
they are still required to take the RTK vaccination.
Antigen (Ag) test at the international He said Malaysia is still practising border would be allowed to continue their
checkpoint. “Travellers also need to provide evidence control procedures including testing and journey. All related documents should be
of the pandemic infection 11 to 60 days quarantine on travellers who arrived in the brought along to show to flight and health
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin before departing Malaysia through printed country and those tested positive using authorities when requested,” he said.
however said travellers who have not or digital laboratory test results. RT-PCR would not be allowed to enter.
completed their vaccination or have not Meanwhile, for travellers who have not
been vaccinated, need to undergo “Travellers who have a history of being He said for travellers undergoing been infected with COVID-19, the current
seven-day compulsory quarantine upon hospitalised for COVID-19 infection should isolation at their own homes or hotel for SOP still applies and any development on
arrival in the country as well as taking submit a Fit to Travel letter from a medical COVID-19 infection but were not warded in the situation and new decisions on travel-
COVID-19 detection test. practitioner of the hospital,” he said in a hospitals, would need to have professional lers would be announced from time to
statement today. RTK Ag screening two days before leaving time.
“Based on scientific data and evidence as
well as the experience of other countries Khairy said the matter was among the
on managing the entry of travellers who latest standard operating procedure (SOP)
for travellers with a history of COVID-19

No expired vaccines supplied vaccination centres (PPV). product will only be approved after the
to PSV, PPV MOH’s senior director of pharmaceutical evaluation results confirm that it meets
the regulatory requirements. This also
The Ministry of Health (MOH) is expiry date of COVID-19 vaccines received services Norhaliza A. Halim said the applies to all other registered pharmaceu-
constantly monitoring the supply and by vaccine storage centres (PSV) and monitoring was done by using the Vaccine tical products,” she said.
Management System (VMS) as well as the
existing inventory system available at the Norhaliza said the NPRA had approved
facilities involved with the implementation the shelf life extension for the Comirnaty
of the National COVID-19 Immunisation (Pfizer) vaccine from six to nine months,
Programme (PICK). CoronaVac (Sinovac) vaccine manufac-
tured in China (from nine to 12 months)
“Based on checks, no expired vaccine and the CoronaVac (Sinovac) vaccine
stocks have been supplied to PSV or PPV,” manufactured by Pharmaniaga Lifescience,
she said in response to viral social media Malaysia (from six to 12 months).
posts claiming that the COVID-19 vaccine
given had passed its expiry date. She said the NPRA also approved the
shelf life extension for the Convidecia
Norhaliza explained that the shelf life of vaccine from six to 12 months on Dec 17
pharmaceutical products including last year.
COVID-19 vaccines was determined based
on the real-time stability test conducted by “The ministry is committed to ensuring
the manufacturers for a specific storage that all pharmaceutical products, including
temperature. the COVID-19 vaccines, have been evaluat-
ed in terms of quality, safety and effective-
She said a vaccine’s shelf life would differ ness by the NPRA and approved by the
if there was a change in its storage temper- Drug Control Authority.
ature.
“The assessment of benefits and risks of
A new vaccine expiry date would be the COVID-19 vaccines that have been
given based on the shelf life extension granted conditional registration approval is
application submitted by the manufacturer carried out on an ongoing basis based on
to the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory the latest data from time to time,” she said.
Agency (NPRA) for evaluation, she added.

“The shelf life extension of the vaccine

Travellers from countries with
travel restrictions allowed to
enter Sabah with conditions

The Travellers arriving from countries and those who did not meet the criteria to public to comply with the standard operat- total to 239,355 with one death reported
that are subject to temporary travel enter Sabah must obtain special approval ing procedures (SOP) to curb the spread of in Kota Belud.
restrictions or have a travel history within from the Internal Affairs and Research COVID-19 during the Christmas celebration
14 days from those countries are allowed Office by referring to the eligibility require- or family holiday. e-Health Declaration Form (eHDF):
to enter Sabah but must comply with the ments. https://phednp.wbcsite.com/website
conditions set by the state government. He said Sabah recorded 168 new cases of
“Apart from that, they will also be COVID-19 today, bringing the cumulative
For one, Sabah Local Government and required to take RT-PCR test upon arrival at
Housing Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun the first entry point to Malaysia, to under-
said they had to take a COVID-19 RT-PCR go mandatory quarantine for 14 days at
test two days prior to departure from the the designated quarantine station regard-
countries. less of their vaccination status,” he said in a
statement here tonight.
“They (travellers) are also required to fill
in the e-Health Declaration Form (eHDF) Meanwhile, Masidi also advised the

08 JANUARY 2022

Moody’s: Malaysia’s 2022 exports outlook positive

Malaysia’s export sector outlook is RM18.9 billion in November from amid easing of COVID-19 restrictions. remained robust, as the global shortage of
expected to be positive in 2022, with trade October’s record of RM26.2 billion, mainly Exports of electronics and petroleum semiconductors continued to power
primed to lead the country returning to the due to a 38 per cent yearly increase in demand.
pre-pandemic growth in the middle of the imports as domestic conditions improved products drove growth.
year, Moody’s Analytics said. “Exports of electronics and related goods “The chip shortage is expected to extend
in 2022, supporting Malaysia’s manufac-
However, it said the Omicron variant and turing sector,” it said.
extreme weather may pose a risk to supply
chains. Meanwhile, the rating agency said the
country’s crude oil exports are likely to be
“Vaccinated travel between Singapore choppy in coming months as global econo-
and Malaysia has already been paused and my contends with increased travel restric-
the reopening of international travel will tions due to Omicron and Organisation of
most likely be delayed,” it said in its Asia the Petroleum Exporting Countries+
Pacific Economic Preview report for Jan 3-7 (OPEC+) production target negotiations.
week.
As for palm oil export, the crop saw
It said although widespread lockdowns exports jumped 90 per cent yearly, driven
are unlikely, much will depend on the by an increase in value and volume.
efficacy of vaccine against this new variant.
“However, flash floods in December
To recap, Malaysia’s November trade 2021 and a migrant worker shortage will
figures surprised on the upside, with likely curtail supply in the coming months,
exports soaring 32.4 per cent year-on-year, and China, palm oil main consumer, is also
followed a 25.5 per cent increase in facing factory shutdowns in key cities as it
October. pursues its strict zero-COVID policy,” it
added.
The trade balance, however, narrowed to

Maybank Asset Management
partners T. Rowe Price to launch
China Equity Fund

Maybank Asset Management Group first-of-its-kind fund where we seek to This strategy is managed by Wenli for investors seeking sustainable
Bhd’s (MAMG) subsidiary, Maybank uncover the hidden gems of China’s Zheng, Hong Kong-based portfolio businesses and potential excess return
Asset Management Sdn Bhd, has economic transformation. manager who has over 13 years of opportunity through bottom-up
launched the first-of-its-kind China investment experience at the global fundamental research.
Equity Fund which focuses beyond the “By extending our reach beyond the asset manager, it said.
100 largest Chinese stocks. top 100 stocks into a universe of over “We are pleased to partner with
5,500 untapped stocks, this unique Meanwhile, Elsie Chan, head of Maybank Asset Management to offer
Maybank Asset Management had pivot provides us with an uncon- distribution for Asia ex-Japan at T. this unique investment strategy for
partnered with global investment firm strained All-China investment Rowe Price, said China is a deep investors in Malaysia to complement
T. Rowe Price to offer T. Rowe Price’s approach to pick the best and most market with over 5,500 onshore and their investment portfolios and pursue
premier China-focused equity strategy valuable upcoming companies, offshore-listed companies, offering a the attractive but overlooked opportu-
to Malaysian investors via the MAMG coupled with our environmental, huge opportunity set to investors. nities amid China’s economy upgrade,”
China Evolution Equity Fund, the social, and governance (ESG) funda- she added.
group said. mentals to ensure business sustaina- “It remains a fertile hunting ground
bility," he said.
In a statement today, MAMG chief
executive officer Ahmad Najib Nazlan The fund will leverage T. Rowe Price’s
said the group is presenting yet dedicated China equity investment
another innovative product for Malay- strategy, and focus on the under-ex-
sian investors to kick off the new year, plored 98 per cent of the opportunity
with MAMG China Evolution Equity set, to identify the future winners on
Fund. the right side of China’s new phase of
economic growth which focuses on
“We are the first asset management quality and innovation.
company in Malaysia to offer this

MITI: Importation, inspection guidelines of Metal Scrap, Waste
Paper to be implemented on Jan 10

The implementation of the Guide- by all major manufacturers and
lines for the Importation and Inspec- importers in complying with the
tion of Metal Scrap and Waste Paper Guidelines during the interim period.
will come into force on Jan 10, 2022,
said the Ministry of International “MITI calls upon the industry to
Trade and Industry (MITI). continue to support the overarching
objective of the guidelines in comply-
In a statement, MITI said the interim ing with our international commit-
measure for the implementation of ment. This is as prescribed through the
the Guidelines for the Importation and United Nations Sustainable Develop-
Inspection of Metal Scrap for HS code ment Goals (SDG) which, under goal
7204 (ferrous scrap), 7404 (copper 12, is to ensure sustainable consump-
scrap), and 7602 (aluminium scrap) tion and production patterns as well as
would, therefore, continue to be in upholding the environment, social
enforced until Jan 9, 2022. and governance (ESG) principles,” it
said.
“MITI commends the commitment

09JANUARY 2022

Sarawak navigates through challenges to end 2021 on a high note

The end of the 12th Sarawak state Above pic: GPS, the coalition of four state-based parties coasted to a two-thirds landslide win Sarawakians were also economically
election marked the climax of significant during the recently concluded state election, sweeping 76 of the 82 seats at stake. affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but
events that took place in the Land of the the GPS-led state government cushioned
Hornbills as 2021 concluded with Malay- Sarawakians especially, the year would measures, managed to keep its COVID-19 the impact with continuous financial and
sians witnessing new state-based political also be remembered for its tragic and grim cases and fatalities low. welfare aid to safeguard the people’s lives
coalition Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) start. and livelihood.
given the mandate to govern the state for However, these efforts proved not strong
the next five years. As the nation ushered in the new year on enough to keep more aggressive COVID-19 The Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang
Jan 1, tragedy struck in Sri Aman when a variants from entering the state as cases (BKSS) aid package which was first
The much-awaited state polls were family of nine died after the began soaring in the first three months of introduced in 2020 specifically to assist
shelved for about six months after the Yang four-wheel-drive that they were travelling the year. Sarawakians affected by the enforcement
di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah in plunged into the Batang Lupar river, near of the Movement Control Order (MCO)
Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah the Triso ferry landing point. From just 1,117 infections reported continued in 2021 and as of December, aid
proclaimed an emergency order for throughout 2020, the number of new worth amounting to over RM5 billion had
Sarawak from Aug 2 this year to Feb 2, Two adults, three teenagers, three cases spiked as the relevant authorities been disbursed.
2022. children and an infant were killed in the 3 grappled to contain the deadly virus. As of
pm incident in which the driver is believed Dec 20, the overall number of cases As 2021 neared its end, Sarawakians
His Majesty, however, revoked the order to have lost control of the vehicle, causing totalled 250,916. were given more reasons to cheer.
on Nov 3 after consultation with the Yang it to veer and slide into the river. The
di-Pertua Negeri of Sarawak Tun Abdul Taib victims were on their way to Kuching from At its peak, the number of daily cases On Dec 14, the Dewan Rakyat passed the
Mahmud, paving the way for the election Kapit, via the Jalan Beladin-Meludam breached the 5,000 mark but once the Federal Constitution Amendment 2021 Bill
to be held on Dec 18. route. vaccination programme kicked off, daily that gives recognition to the demands and
figures saw a reversing trend beginning special status of Sabah and Sarawak upon
The election saw a record 349 candidates That tragedy turned out to be a precur- September, and by December the state joining Malaysia in the Federal Constitu-
from GPS, nine opposition parties and sor to further anxious times in the state. In began recording only double digits in new tion in line with the provisions in the
independents contesting. the previous year, Sarawak, through daily infections. Malaysia Agreement 1963, hence strength-
diligent monitoring and strict preventive ening their position in the Federation of
One concern raised was the possible As experienced throughout the nation, Malaysia.
confusion of party symbols used in the
election, with both GPS and PBK using One other significant event took place in
their respective hornbill symbols, although Sarawak on Oct 23 when the state hosted
both designs could clearly be told apart. the official launch of Keluarga Malaysia
(Malaysian Family), a concept based on the
It ultimately proved to be a non-issue, for values of inclusivity, togetherness and
GPS at least, after the coalition of four gratitude introduced by Prime Minister
state-based parties coasted to a two-thirds Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob after taking
landslide win, sweeping 76 of the 82 seats office in August.
at stake.
A year that began tragically saw Sarawak
There was a familiar name missing taking the bull by the horns as the state
though this time in GPS’ candidate line up successfully navigated its way through a
in the form of Tan Sri James Masing, the challenging public health crisis and
influential PRS president and deputy chief economic uncertainties and witnessed a
minister who died on Oct 31 from heart huge state election win for GPS that
complications. His party went on to win all promises continued political and economic
11 seats it contested in the state polls. stability for its people.

The state election may have turned out
to be a momentous end for 2021, but for

Sabah Maju Jaya Roadmap to drive economic development
impacted by COVID-19

In the face of the economic slowdown as South Korea on July 26 for the opening of on Dec 3 said oil royalty was expected to Ongkili dubbed it as a major legal victory to
a result of COVID-19 outbreak, the Sabah the manufacturing plant which is expected contribute RM1.2 billion, followed by sales claim the rights of Sabah and Sarawak
state government, led by Gabungan Rakyat to start operating in 2023. tax from petroleum products (RM1.1 through MA63.
Sabah (GRS) has taken measures to spur billion), enabling a surplus budget of over
growth by introducing Sabah Maju Jaya According to Hajiji amid the COVID-19 RM110.68 million for next year. Like the rest of the country, Sabah is still
(SMJ) Roadmap. outbreak, Sabah managed to attract fighting to contain the spread of the
RM11.2 billion worth of investments, Sabah will also receive an allocation of COVID-19 outbreak and as of Dec 14, a
The five-year development plan launched especially in the industrial and tourism RM5.2 billion from the federal government cumulative total of 237,122 cases were
by Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor on sectors, indicating that the state economy to build and upgrade water, electricity, recorded with 227,760 recoveries.
March 29 outlines three main thrusts is recovering. road, education and health infrastructure
based on the SMJ slogan where S refers to through Budget 2022 tabled by Finance As of Dec 11, Sabah had provided
the three main economic sectors covering Besides that, the state government has Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku vaccination against the deadly virus to 2.39
agriculture, industry and tourism; the identified a potential area for economic Abdul Aziz on Oct 29. million of its people of which 75.67 per
letter M refers to human capital and the growth at the Sabah-Kalimantan border cent were its adult population while the
well-being of the people; while the letter J through the development of Serudong (in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri rest were adolescents.
refers to green infrastructure and sustaina- Kalabakan, Sabah) -Simanggaris (in Yaakob in his speech at the Malaysia Day
bility networks. Kalimantan, Indonesia) area in anticipation celebration on Sept 16 in Sabah promised Apart from the pandemic, the flood issue
of major developments that will take place to pay close attention to issues related to is another thorn on its side.
The SMJ Roadmap has 584 initiatives with Indonesia’s plan to move its capital to the interests of Sabah and Sarawak
covering 304 core initiatives and 280 East Kalimantan. through the Special Council of the 1963 On Sept 15, massive floods hit Penam-
enablers and the state does not have to Malaysia Agreement (MA63), making the pang affecting 937 residents, in addition to
wait long to reap the benefits from the On Dec 7, the state government signed celebration more meaningful for incidents of flash floods in several areas
roadmap as it has received an investment the Commercial Cooperation Agreement Sabahans. including Kota Kinabalu.
from a South Korean company. (CCA) with Petroliam Nasional Berhad
(Petronas) to drive efforts in developing its This commitment was honoured when Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri
SK Nexillis brings in an investment worth economy affected by the pandemic. the bill to amend the Federal Constitution Bung Moktar Radin gave an assurance that
RM4.2 billion to the Land Below the Wind relevant to MA63 was approved unani- he would solve the flood problem as well
by setting up its first overseas copper foil Hajiji also announced the establishment mously at the Dewan Rakyat thus giving as work to address the water supply
manufacturing plant at the Kota Kinabalu of SMJ Petroleum Sdn Bhd to enable the recognition to the demands and special disruption that has been plaguing the
Industrial Park (KKIP), which is expected to state’s commercial participation in the oil status of Sabah and Sarawak upon joining people of Sabah.
create 400 job opportunities in the state. and gas industry as well as coordinate all Malaysia in the Federal Constitution.
state government-linked companies to This year also witnessed the launch of
K.K.I.P Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of the state ensure the terms and conditions of the Hajiji said the decision was important to three packages under the Sabah Eastern
government and operator of the Kota CCA are implemented in the interest of its pave the way for the full restoration of the Zone Pan Borneo Highway for the Sanda-
Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP), entered people. agreement, while Minister in the Prime k a n - K i n a b a t a n g a n - B e l u r a n - Te l u p i d
into a lease agreement with SK Nexilis Minister’s Department (Sabah and alignment covering 58 kilometres involving
Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a unit of SK Nexilis Hajiji, who is also Sabah Finance Minis- Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Maximus a cost of RM877 million on Nov 6, which is
ter, when tabling the state’s Budget 2022 expected to be completed in October
2024.

10 JANUARY 2022

Above pic: Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa of Malaysia will continue to drive the constantly be engaged in delivering
digital economy forward towards the digital mandate.
Annuar: Malaysia can enhance making Malaysia a globally competi-
collaborations towards increased tive digital nation, anchored on “I am confident that with the
adoption of high technology innovation, sustainability and shared announcement of the new Malaysia
prosperity, and firmly establishing the Digital initiative this morning at the
Malaysia can enhance collabora- Malaysian companies and their country as the digital hub of ASEAN Malaysia Pavilion and all the unique
tions towards increased adoption of international tech counterparts today (the Association of South East Asian value propositions that we can offer,
high technology and innovation, smart would allow Malaysian companies to Nations). the world will find Malaysia fertile
manufacturing, and all matters expand their global footprints, and ground for growth and serve as the
integral to the Fourth Industrial Revo- bring about a collaborative transfer of “Key to the achievement of this perfect platform from which business-
lution (IR 4.0), Communications and technology and knowledge that will vision would be collaborations. es can grow into the wider ASEAN
Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar strengthen Malaysia’s digital technolo- Effective collaborations will lead to region and beyond,” he said.
Musa said. gy ecosystem, he added. successful innovations,” he said at the
Malaysia Ecosystem and Industry Meanwhile, he also congratulated
The signing of 13 Memorandums of “With the Malaysia Digital Economy Celebration here tonight. Malaysian tech companies Durioo and
Understanding (MoUs) between Corporation (MDEC), the Government The R&D Studio on their unique
The Malaysian companies that propositions while adding value to the
signed the MoUs include Aerodyne offerings on global platform.
Group, CALMS Technologies and Soft
Space, with international partners, Apart of 13 MoUs exchange
National Bonds Corporation of UAE between the businesses, “Crafting
and Qatar Financial Centre Authority. Batik Girl”, an artbook about the
making of the award-winning animat-
He said these companies are poised ed short film, “Batik Girl” by The R&D
to be global leaders in their respective Studio and the Durioo stable of
sectors, Aerodyne Group , for products and services was also
instance, was ranked third globally in a launched at the event here tonight.
report by Drone Industry Insights in
2019, and has been at the forefront of “Batik Girl is the embodiment of
the drone industry. Malaysian animation history, carrying
the legacy of entertainment that
“This only goes to show that the Malaysian parents or their children are
pandemic did not stop these Malay- so well-versed in and fond of.
sian companies from seeking opportu-
nities, domestically and globally, “The success of Batik Girl and the
signalling the resilience of our development of its artbook is also a
businesses and the ongoing global testament to Malaysia’s growing
interest in Malaysia’s digital technolo- digital creative content industry, which
gy innovations,” he said. is currently worth almost USD2 billion
or RM8 billion…I am confident
Annuar said the government and Durioo’s approach will bear fruit and
MDEC were working hard to ensure its products will become great hits,”
tremendous opportunities and also Annuar said.
made sure that the government would

Melaka to get Rm1 bln investment
for nation’s rst electric car
assembly plant

Melaka is set to receive an investment is interested to build an assembly plant in Above pic: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali said the plant will be constructed on 200-
totalling RM1 billion by Bumiputera Melaka, together with local companies by hectare land at the Elkay Lipat Kajang Industrial Area in Jasin.
company, Fieldman EV Sdn Bhd to develop utilising Changan’s technology.
the country’s first electric car assembly among the local automotive industry. industries, had set up a subsidiary,
plant. “The state government welcomes this He also believes that the plant would Fieldman EV, in 2018 to hunt for renewable
cooperation which will provide long-term energy resources that can be brought into
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md benefits by further strengthening the enable the transfer of EV technology which Malaysia.
Ali said the plant will be constructed on development of the automotive industry in is expected to further boost Melaka’s
200-hectare land at the Elkay Lipat Kajang Melaka,” he told reporters at Kompleks economy. Fieldman EV has made a long-term plan
Industrial Area in Jasin. Seri Negeri in Ayer Keroh today. (2018-2026) to spearhead the develop-
Established in 2010, Fieldman Sdn Bhd, ment of electric car technology and assem-
He said the company also obtained In an earlier event, Fieldman EV’s execu- which is involved in the palm oil, plastic bly in Melaka.
exclusive rights to distribute electric tive director Razmi Shah Othman handed manufacturing and commodity trading
vehicles (EVs) in Malaysia and the South- over an electric car and electric rickshaw to
east Asian regional market for right-hand the state government.
drive vehicles from China’s automotive
company, Changan Automobile Corp. Sulaiman said the factory would also
provide 5,000 new job opportunities as
“Fieldman EV intends to launch EVs and well as create a downstream industry

Proton records third consecutive year of sales growth in 2021

National carmaker Proton Holdings is estimated to be 20.6 per cent, and
Bhd’s total sales rose by 4.5 per cent for the whole of 2021, market share is
year-on-year in 2021 to 114,708 units estimated to be at 22.7 per cent,” it said.
for the domestic and export markets --
its highest closing figure since 2014. Proton Edar chief executive officer
Roslan Abdullah said the company is
This marked the third consecutive proud about being the brand with the
year of sales volume growth for the highest export volume in 2021 as it
company, it said in a statement today. shows that Proton is gaining traction
overseas.
“The achievement is particularly
noteworthy as the overall Total Indus- “While increasing shipping costs are
try Volume (TIV) for Malaysia is a growing concern, our planned activi-
estimated to have shrunk by 4.6 per ties in 2022 means we expect exports
cent to just over 505,000 units. sales growth to accelerate in the
coming years,” he said.
“Proton’s market share in December

11JANUARY 2022

Health DG: Traders using nails to secure food packaging
can be ned, jailed

Food traders who use nails, staples or According to Dr Noor Hisham, there were the food operators and traders involved Facebook page, which went viral yester-
other similarly dangerous materials to other safer methods of packaging food, under the Food Act 1983 and other day, was due to a user whose mobile
secure food packaging can be charged in instead of using nails, staples or other relevant regulations, he said. phone had the automatically translated
court, said Health director-general Tan Sri materials that could cause serious injuries feature activated (Facebook text transla-
Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. if they were accidentally consumed. Apart from that, 45,351 eateries were tion).
inspected nationwide last year and, of the
He said any trader convicted of the “At the same time, the public, especially total, 697 or 1.5 per cent were closed for “This caused the word ‘air kosong’ to be
offence could be fined not more than parents, are advised to check the food various offences. automatically translated to ’empty water’
RM10,000 or jailed not more than two given to their children before consump- in the user’s phone,” he said.
years or both under Regulation 36 under tion,” he said. Consumers can contact the state health
the Food Hygiene Regulations 2009. departments or district health offices or He said screenshots of the English
He added that Regulation 37 (2) of the browse through the moh.spab.gov.my or translations which went viral did not
Besides, Dr Noor Hisham added that a Food Regulations 1985, states that no www.facebook.com/bkkmhq websites if reflect the original posting in the Malay
heavier punishment could be imposed if person shall keep, carry, spread or use any they find any food packaging secured with language.
the materials were found in the food. toxic, noxious or harmful substance so as nails, staples as well as regarding other
to expose them to the risk of contamina- issues related to food safety. To avoid confusion, he advised the public
“Section 13 of the Food Act 1983 states tion by such substances. not to rely entirely on the automatic
that any person who prepares or sells any In a separate statement, Dr Noor Hisham translation function as it did not provide
food that has in or upon it any substance In addition, Regulation 36 of the Food explained the translation of ‘air kosong’ accurate explanations.
which is injurious to health commits an Hygiene Regulations 2009 states that food (plain water) to ‘empty water’ on the MOH
offence and shall be liable, on conviction, handlers must ensure that the food
to a fine not exceeding RM100,000 or to packaging is free from any contamination,
imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 including materials such as nails that could
years or both,” he said in a statement harm customers or consumers.
today.
According to Dr Noor Hisham, the Food
He said the Ministry of Health (MOH) had Safety and Quality Division analysed 546
taken note of the use of nails to secure food samples from 2019 to 2021 and, of
food packaging as had gone viral on social the total, 19 were found contaminated
media recently as well as the views of with physical materials, such as stones,
various parties concerned about the plastics, sand, hair, insects and worms.
dangers of such packaging methods.
Enforcement actions were taken against

Above pic: Nanta(R2) said the government will continue to take proactive steps to balance the rise overcome the sudden rise in chicken prices increase in the cost of chicken feed at the
of chicken and egg prices in the market. in the market. global level and labour shortages due to
restrictions on the entry of foreign workers
Nanta: Chicken and egg prices Nanta said the implementation of for the sector.
will rise even higher if there SHMKM which was scheduled to end on
is no govt intervention Dec 31 2021 had been extended another Nanta said the government also provided
35 more days effective Jan 1 until Feb 4, soft loans to the country’s poultry industry
The price of chicken and eggs will go up continue to take proactive steps to balance 2022, while the ceiling price for chicken to overcome the surge in chicken prices in
even higher if there is no government the rise of chicken and egg prices in the has been fixed at RM6.10 per kilogramme the market with an allocation of RM262
intervention, says Domestic Trade and market. (kg) ex-farm, RM7.80 per kg wholesale and million to help farmers affected by rising
Consumer Affairs Minister Alexander RM9.10 per kg retail. fertilizer and pesticides prices.
Nanta Linggi. Among the steps already taken were
extending the Malaysian Family Maximum Apart from that, the Agriculture and “Of that amount, a total of RM200
Therefore, he said the government Price Scheme (SHMKM) until Feb 4, impor- Food Industries Ministry (MAFI) also million is provided as agro-food loans at
including the Domestic Trade and Consum- tation of frozen round chicken and provid- imports 10,000 metric tonne frozen round zero interest rate with a six-month morato-
er Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) has and will ing soft loans facility to chicken breeders to chicken or 5.5 million chickens a month. rium on repayment through Agrobank and
the TEKUN Niaga financing facility for the
“With the increase in supply in the benefit of agro-food producers to address
market, the problem with a supply high production costs at the farm level.
shortage of chicken is eliminated and at
the same time create healthy competition “With the provision of the soft loans, it
which in turn will control and balance the can help farmers and breeders to absorb
price of chicken in the market,” he said in the high operating and production costs,
his post on Facebook here today following thus control the increase in chicken
his statement regarding the increase in prices,” he said.
chicken and egg prices in the market when
SHMKM ends on Feb 4. Nanta explained that the issue of rising
chicken prices which involved operating
He said the statement was not a fabrica- costs influenced by the world market was
tion but based on information received indeed very challenging and demanded
from the engagement session held on Jan 6 the cooperation of the various ministries
with MAFI, Veterinary Department, and agencies.
Finance Ministry, Agrobank representa-
tives and the Federation of Livestock “Nevertheless, the KPDNHEP will contin-
Farmers’ Associations of Malaysia (FLFAM). ue to monitor the prices from time to time
and we wish to assure that appropriate
He said each party had presented the steps will be taken to safeguard the
factors for the increase in the cost of welfare of the consumers and traders,” he
poultry farming operations, including the added.

Razarudin appointed as new Deputy IGP the work of the Royal Malaysia Police in
maintaining security and public order,”
Bukit Aman (Federal Police) Narcotics Ismail Sabri Yaakob on the recommenda- Hamzah said.
Criminal Investigation Department director tion of the Police Commission.
Datuk Razarudin [email protected] Rasid has Razarudin, who hails from Dengkil,
been appointed as the new Deputy Inspec- The appointment is in line with Clauses 4 Selangor, has served for 36 years in the
tor-General of Police, effective Dec 26. and 5 of Article 140 of the Federal Consti- Royal Malaysia Police (RMP), starting on
tution, he told a press conference after Dec 27, 1982.
Razarudin, 58, replaces Datuk Seri presenting the appointment letter to
Mazlan Lazim who will retire on Dec 25. Razarudin here today. Prior to his latest appointment, he had
held important positions in the RMP
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah “Razarudin has an excellent track record among them head of the Penang Criminal
Zainudin said the appointment had in crippling and fighting criminal activities Investigation Department, Perak Serious
received the consent of Yang di-Pertuan throughout the country. Crimes Investigation Department (D9) Staff
Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Officer and then the Perak Deputy Chief of
Al-Mustafa Billah Shah after receiving “I believe his new partnership with Police before being entrusted to lead the
advice from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Acryl state contingent.
Sani Abdullah Sani will further strengthen

12 JANUARY 2022

MIDA: Malaysia’s approved
investments in 2021 to
surpass three-year feat

Malaysia is expected to post a strong investments through 4,599 projects in the Above pic: MIDA Chief Executive Officer Datuk Arham Abdul Rahman
number for its approved investments for manufacturing, services and primary
the year 2021, which will be announced on sectors in 2020, RM211.4 billion in 2019, “MIDA is also aiming to profile Malaysia automation and digitalisation levels to
March 8, surpassing the performance of and RM201.7 billion in 2018. as a regional digital hub with a holistic enable the transition of brick and mortar
the past three years, said the Malaysian business ecosystem that converts invest- hubs into smart factories to enhance
Investment Development Authority As for 2022, Arham shared that MIDA ments into sustainable economic pillars. flexibility and optimise productivity and
(MIDA). remained optimistic to get good numbers We want to mitigate environmental growth remotely.
but it would be challenging to beat 2021. impact, expedite socio-economic develop-
MIDA chief executive officer, Datuk ments, extend domestic linkages, promote “MIDA strives to ensure that Malaysia
Arham Abdul Rahman said Malaysia has He opined that this was because Malay- new growth clusters and offer inclusivity,” remained welcoming of investors by rolling
displayed a strong resilience in the face of sia was able to attract a few notable he said. out measures to ease the challenges of
unprecedented challenges because the projects with very high-value amounts last operating businesses in the country while
pandemic offered the country a unique year, such as those of Risen Energy Co Ltd’s Arham noted that MIDA will be focusing encouraging and facilitating the adoption
opportunity. solar project with an investment of on pursuing more high-quality, capital-in- of technology, innovation and research by
RM42.2 billion. tensive projects and those that support companies,” he said.
“Our resilience and efforts in imple- the sustainable development agenda of
menting various outreach and investment In the pipeline for this year, he said that the nation. To reflect this, he said that MIDA has
promotion programmes paid off. Within MIDA has 477 projects with proposed lined up targeted trade and investment
the first nine months of 2021, foreign investments of RM33.3 billion in the manu- Looking towards 2022, he said MIDA missions (TIM) and Specific Project
direct investments (FDI) contributed facturing and services sectors within its encourages companies to accelerate the Missions (SPM) to capture investments in
RM106.1 billion, accounting for nearly 60 purview. adoption of digitalisation and intensify high technology, innovation and
per cent of the total approved invest- research and development (R&D) activities research-driven industries that will
ments. Among them are aerospace, electronic to discover new technologies. complement the Malaysian industrial
vehicles (EV), machinery and equipment, ecosystem.
“The remainder 40.3 per cent or RM71.7 integrated circuit (IC) design, advanced “We stress on accelerating the adoption
billion, were channelled from domestic electronics, advanced materials, fine and adaptation of advanced factory
direct investments (DDI), thanks to the chemicals, renewable energy such as solar
existing and new aspiring local companies photovoltaic (PV), optics and photonics,
meeting the growing industrial needs of display technology, petrochemical,
different multinational companies pharmaceutical, medical devices, as well
(MNCs),” he said at an appreciation and as food security.
networking session with the media on
Thursday. “We are looking to leverage on the
recovery momentum experienced in 2021
Malaysia had approved RM164 billion to spur Malaysia’s investment growth in
2022.

Govt sets ceiling price for Sinovac, Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines

The government has set the maximum Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk sector were still high and fluctuating. “This will allow the public to compare
retail and wholesale prices for two Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said the ceiling It said that the maximum price was based prices and purchase the COVID-19 vaccines
COVID-19 vaccines, namely CoronaVac price would come into effect on Jan 15 at affordable prices,” it said.
produced by Sinovac and Covilo produced under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteer- on the price of importing the vaccines
by Sinopharm. ing Act 2011. along with their current market values. The ministers also stressed that strict
measures will be taken against individuals
The maximum retail price for CoronaVac “The enforcement of this order will be “The maximum retail price would not or companies that fail to comply with the
Suspension for Injection SARS-CoV-2 carried out by the Health Ministry’s include the service charge or charges on regulations set under the Price Control and
Vaccine (Vero Cell), Inactivated with Pharmacy Enforcement Division,” they disposal items incurred during the admin- Anti-Profiteering Act 2011.
registration numbers MAL21036010ARZ said. istration of the vaccines,” the statement
and MAL21046125ACSZ is RM77, while the read.
wholesale price is set at RM62 per dose. Vaccination against COVID-19 is free
under the National COVID-19 Immunisa- The list and prices of the COVID-19
For COVILO Suspension for Injection tion Programme (PICK) for residents, but vaccines will be continuously reviewed and
COVID-19 Vaccine (Vero Cell), Inactivated they can also get the vaccine of their own improved or eliminated based on an
with registration number choice for a fee at private hospitals and assessment of the current market situation
MAL21076098AZ, the maximum retail clinics that have been authorised by the and demand.
price is RM61 and the wholesale price is MOH.
RM49 per dose. The joint statement said it was compul-
According to the joint statement, the sory for private health facilities which have
In a joint statement today, Health government found that the prices of obtained approval from the government to
Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Domestic COVID-19 vaccines offered in the private offer private purchase vaccination services
to display their prices.

Muhyiddin: Malaysia is certainly open for business

Malaysia is certainly open for business borders may largely remain closed for now, stellar and acknowledged globally,” he Malaysia to greater heights, bouncing back
although its borders largely remain closed let me make this clear – Malaysia is continued. “As MPN chairman, tasked with stronger than before the pandemic, he
for now, said National Recovery Council certainly open for business.” spearheading the recovery efforts said.
(MPN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. post-pandemic, the council will be putting
Muhyiddin said Malaysia’s value propo- together a road map for recovery called Therefore, he hopes that more business-
During a lunch meeting with more than sition for investors is solid, the investment the National Recovery Plan 2.0, which es will invest in Malaysia, and for Malay-
30 international industry leaders in Dubai, ecosystem is robust, the ease of doing continues on from the earlier National sian companies to venture not just into the
he highlighted some challenges and oppor- business is improving and the country’s Recovery Plan exit strategy in four phases United Arab Emirates (UAE) but across the
tunities the country is facing at this stage pandemic recovery is underway. which had been concluded in December Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
of the pandemic. 2021.”
“Additionally, our physical and digital “Let us forge a shared destiny for a more
“It is clear that the opportunities to infrastructures are being constantly The National Recovery Plan 2.0 will seek meaningful future ahead of us, not just
rebuild our economies and societies to upgraded, our talent pool is wide and to chart the path of recovery which is during the pandemic but eventually in the
something better than the pre-pandemic deep, the strength of our institutions is inclusive and systematic that will propel endemic and beyond,” he added.
era are abundant,” he said. “While our rock-solid, our economic fundamentals are

Recovery of Tourism Sector and 13JANUARY 2022
Sustainability
when using the applications. Although
By Hanis Hazwani Ahmad & Adilah Azhari there are advantages and disadvantag-
es in digitalisation, digital tourism can
The 2022 Budget presented by the addition, entrepreneurs should plan a entrepreneurs under MOTAC. continue to be adapted for the
Honourable Minister of Finance shows strategy by practicing digitisation to In the budget, the government has sustainability of the country’s tourism
that the tourism industry has a bright help revive the tourism industry and, industry. Digital tourism can still be
opportunity towards an immediate in turn, be able to address the health allocated RM1.6 billion to spur further improved in the future.
and holistic recovery phase. Many crisis that we have experienced for up tourism recovery post-pandemic.
large companies in the tourism indus- to two years. Industry players must wisely manage Mind therapy
try were forced to go bankrupt due to these funds more systematically and
the pandemic. Not to mention, With the support of this budget, prudently. This is to bear the cost of In addition, tourism industry entre-
companies that run small- and medi- entrepreneurs can restructure their expenses and losses during this preneurs should ensure that tourists
um-scale businesses were also affect- company’s finances more firmly and pandemic period. It is recommended adhere to established standard
ed. stably. More innovative ideas can also that entrepreneurs keep a ‘cash operating procedures (SOPs). Tourism
help industry entrepreneurs to survive reserve’ or ‘emergency fund’ to activities cannot only help generate
Next, many lost their livelihoods in the tourism sector in the long run continue to survive in a pandemic profit but also be a mind therapy for
when their companies went bankrupt and achieve sustainability. situation and to go through the recov- the tourists themselves to relieve the
due to their not being able to afford ery process phase. work stress and fatigue caused by the
the cost of expenses, including Entrepreneurs need to keep a cash pandemic.
employee salaries, in this pandemic reserve or emergency fund to contin-
situation. ue to sustain in a pandemic situation However, entrepreneurs and tourists
and to go through the recovery should not be idle in tourism activities
Budget support process phase. Besides that, entrepre- because we have not yet won and
neurs should be able to manage the helped to curb the spread of the
Tourism industry entrepreneurs budget support in moderation. epidemic. With the success of the
should take the initiative from the Langkawi travel bubble, entrepreneurs
budget support from the government Budget support by the government should take this initiative accordingly
to boost tourism activities and comes through the PENJANA Tourism as this could affect the tourism indus-
indirectly increase national income. In Financing, BPMB Rehabilitation try and their own economy in the
Scheme, financing assistance, special future. Evidently, statistics show that
assistance, and matching grants to the number of tourists to Langkawi
exceeded 30,000 and generated more
Digital platforms than RM15 million in tourism income.

Naturally, the tourism industry is With the anticipation that Malaysia
open to rebranding tourism by using will reopen its borders to international
digital platforms according to their travel by Jan 1, 2022, a boost of
respective creativity. The use of foreign tourist arrivals is expected to
websites, digital marketing and sale of spur the tourism recovery.
travel packages through apps can help
increase a company’s profits. Howev- On the other hand, entrepreneurs
er, entrepreneurs must be transparent should track new market trends and
and honest in marketing on digital the drivers of demand and commit to
platforms. Often there are also cases building more resilient and inclusive
of fraud by putting wrong information tourism sectors, leveraging renewed
or offering fake packages to make a interest in sustainability. Resilience
profit easily and deceive consumers. comes through focusing on the
environment, people and technology
The people must also be careful to prepare for climate change and
crises.

Innovation and collaboration

The road to recovery for tourism and
travel will require innovation and
collaboration. Although the pandemic
is far from over, we must plan to build
forward better. This can be engaging
across government, private sector,
civil society and other partners and
preparing for changing business
models and governance structures to
meet new and different demands. This
also includes the move to a greener
tourism system.

Hence, communicating actions to
rebuild investor and consumer confi-
dence will be important in the short
term. In the long term, strengthening
sustainability and resilience, and
sharing benefits more equitably will
also be important.

Together, these approaches can
revitalise the tourism sector, harness-
ing its market-creating power to
support economies, create jobs and
drive development outcomes that put
people and communities first.

14 JANUARY 2022

More promotion, clari cation on RFID needed

The The government’s announcement have to have cash because cashless top-up more promotions to be made by PLUS on Nadzim Johan questioned whether there
to implement toll payment using the Radio is not possible. RFID for the benefit of consumers. was an urgent need for RFID to be imple-
Frequency Identification (RFID) technology mented with majority of the people
on the main stretch of the North-South “So RFID provides an easier option On the negative reaction from some currently going through a difficult phase of
Expressway (PLUS) from Juru, in Penang, to because the top-up can be done on smart- netizens over the government’s move, life due to COVID-19.
Skudai, in Johor, effective Jan 15 received phones either using a debit or credit card, Mohd Yusof said a similar situation
mixed reactions from various parties. or online banking. It also has a direct occurred during the transition from cash He said although PLUS had clarified that
top-up feature using e-Wallet,” he added. payment system to Touch ‘n Go at toll Touch ‘n Go and Smart Tag could still be
For Federation of Malaysian Consumer plazas. used, it was still ‘bad news’ for some
Associations (FOMCA) deputy president He welcomed the move to implement people.
Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman, the imple- the RFID in stages as not all highway users “It did not take long for the public to
mentation is in line with the government’s currently had access to RFID tags due to accept the change (from cash payment to “Even though it is just an announcement
intention to modernise toll payments and the lack of information on the system. Touch‘ n Go). It shows our people are and the existing payment method is still
reduce congestion at toll plazas. prepared to accept changes. running, it is making some people to
“The option given to motorists to use become more stressed,” he told Bernama.
“We see Singapore, which does not have Touch‘ n Go and Smart Tag for a certain “As more and more people use the
tolls, travelling is faster because there is no period of time is appropriate until facility, the response will be more positive. He also raised the questioned how those
need for motorists to stop, scan or touch everyone has access to RFID. Then, PLUS Many people do not agree now because in the rural areas may have problems to
the card and so on, like what we are doing can gradually eliminate the existing not many people use it,” he added. install RFID on the vehicles, as well as
now,” he said when contacted by Bernama. payment methods and switch to RFID technical issues, such as the transfer of
completely,” he said and suggested for However, Malaysian Muslim Consumers current balance in Touch ‘n Go and Smart
According to PLUS, toll payment via RFID Association (PPIM) activist leader Datuk Tags to RFID.
was first introduced in 2018 at selected
expressways as an initial step to the imple- “There must be a guarantee that there
mentation of toll transactions without the will be no additional costs on the users,” he
presence of toll plazas through the said and hoped that PLUS would provide
multi-lane free flow system or MLFF. more information on the implementation
of RFID.
However, Mohd Yusof said the current 20
RFID routes at nine PLUS toll plazas still According to the RFID website, RFID is
had bars and the situation caused highway currently used by 1,269,957 users nation-
users to have to slow down. wide.

He said the value-added facility offered Deputy Works Minister Datuk Arthur
by RFID, which could be made online, Joseph Kurup told the Dewan Negara
should have been well-received by the recently that the ministry was targeting 60
public. per cent usage of RFID) technology for toll
payments by the end of 2022 and that the
“As many people say, to top-up Touch‘ n use of Touch ‘n Go and SmartTAG cards
Go is a hassle. You have to stop at conveni- may be stopped by the end of 2023.
ence stores or petrol stations, and you

RCEP mega trade pact enters into
force for 10 participating countries

The Regional Comprehensive Economic tary of the agreement.” fair, and rules-based multilateral trading supply chains and promote micro, small,
Partnership (RCEP) agreement enters into Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and system, it added. and medium enterprises’ participation in
force today for 10 participating countries, value chains and production hubs.
paving the way for the creation of the Philippines are the other signatories yet to The agreement provides new market
world’s largest free trade area. ratify. access commitments and streamlined, The 15 RCEP participating countries have
modern rules and disciplines that facilitate an estimated gross domestic product
The countries are Australia, Brunei, The mega trade deal accounts for trade and investment, the secretariat said. (GDP) of US$25.8 trillion, accounting for
Cambodia, China, Japan, Laos, New US$12.7 trillion, over a quarter of global about 30 per cent of world GDP.
Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and trade in goods and services, and 31 per It also promises to deliver business and
Vietnam, according to the ASEAN Secretar- cent of global foreign direct investment employment opportunities, strengthen
iat. inflows.

“The RCEP agreement will also enter into The ASEAN Secretariat said it remains
force on Feb 1, 2022 for South Korea,” the committed to supporting the RCEP process
secretariat said in a statement. “As for the in ensuring its effective and efficient imple-
remaining signatory states, the agreement mentation that ultimately contributes to
will enter into force 60 days after the global post-pandemic recovery efforts.
deposit of their respective instrument of
ratification, acceptance, or approval to the In fact, the entry into force of the agree-
secretary-general of ASEAN as the deposi- ment is a manifestation of the region’s
resolve to keep markets open, strengthen
economic integration and support a free,

Wang: RCEP rollout a major victory for multilateralism, free trade

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin noting that China will work with all parties Wang, adding that the RCEP's commitment in the post-pandemic era.
to take an active part in the RCEP's institu- to high-level opening-up concerning trade As one of the first countries to complete
The entry into force of the Regional tion building while making positive contri- and investment in services will facilitate the procedures for RCEP ratification, China
Comprehensive Economic Partnership butions to regional prosperity and global the smooth flow of various economic has always upheld the multilateral trading
(RCEP) agreement is a major victory for economic recovery. factors, while further developing the system and promoted regional economic
multilateralism and free trade, a Foreign Noting that the RCEP is the world's largest industrial, supply and value chains in the region. integration to boost regional trade and
Ministry spokesperson said Tuesday. free-trade pact, he said that the RCEP's investment with firm determination and
coming into force will unleash huge poten- The RCEP has simplified administrative concrete actions, said Wang.
Spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the tial for trade growth in the region and procedures and reduced trade barriers,
remarks at a daily news briefing when represents a major step forward in and this will give a strong boost to He added that China will work with all
asked to comment on the RCEP's rollout, promoting global trade and investment higher-quality and deeper regional parties to actively participate in the RCEP's
liberalization and facilitation. economic integration, said the spokesperson. institution building, jointly promote the
overall implementation of the agreement,
"In addition to tariff reduction, the RCEP The entry into force of the RCEP is a and make positive contributions to
has also set a benchmark for economic and major victory for multilateralism and free promoting regional prosperity and global
trade rules in the Asia-Pacific region," said trade, said Wang, adding that openness economic recovery.
and integration are the trend of the times

15JANUARY 2022

UN Chief calls for global
solidarity to stop infectious
diseases

United Nations Secretary-General the lessons of recent health emergen- Above pic: United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres
António Guterres on Monday called cies like SARS, avian influenza, Zika,
for global solidarity to stop infectious Ebola and others,” said the secre- and rapid response plans in every health coverage.”
diseases. tary-general. country – especially the most vulnera- The first International Day of Epidem-
ble,” he said.
In his video message for the Interna- “And it reminded us that the world ic Preparedness, marked on Dec 27,
tional Day of Epidemic Preparedness, remains woefully unprepared to stop “It means strengthening primary 2020, was called for by the UN General
which falls on Dec 27, the UN chief localised outbreaks from spilling health care at the local level to prevent Assembly to advocate the importance
said that building global solidarity across borders, and spiraling into a collapse… ensuring equitable access to of the prevention of, preparedness for
would “give every country a fighting global pandemic,” he said. lifesaving interventions, like vaccines and partnership against epidemics.
chance to stop infectious diseases in for all people and… achieving universal
their tracks”, according to Xinhua. Noting that infectious diseases
remain “a clear and present danger to
COVID-19 continues to demonstrate every country”, Guterres maintained
how quickly “an infectious disease can that COVID-19 would not be the last
sweep across the world”, pushing pandemic for humanity.
health systems to the brink and
upending daily life for all of humanity, Even as the world responds to this
the UN chief said. health crisis, he spelled out the need
to prepare for the next one.
“It also revealed our failure to learn
“This means scaling-up investments
in better monitoring, early detection

Sinovac booster dose can activate cellular immunity
against Omicron variant

Preliminary results of a study Omicron variant, they are able to Susan Bueno said, it was most likely COVID-19 Sinovac vaccine has worked
conducted by the Pontifical Catholic produce gamma interferon which is that partial recognition of these well so far to control the variants that
University in Chile (UC) showed that capable of killing the dangerous virus,” variants had contributed to the effec- have emerged,” she said.
the COVID-19 Sinovac vaccine booster he said. tiveness of the vaccine among the
dose could activate cellular immunity population, despite the variants being The statement also informed that
against the Omicron variant, on Meanwhile, UC ’s Academic and widespread in Chile. researchers in Chile in collaboration
subjects who were given two doses of Scientific director for the CoronaVac with the Catholic University, the
the same vaccine previously. Scientific-Clinical Study in Chile, Dr “Population data shows that the University of Chile, the La Jolla
Institute for Immunology in California
The objective of the study led by (USA) and Sinovac in China were also
Millennium Institute on Immunology in the midst of conducting a study on
and Immunotherapy director Prof Dr the antibody response against the new
Alexis M. Kalergis, was to assess variant.
whether the immunity activated by
the Sinovac vaccine booster dose is The new deadly Omicron (B.1.1.529)
able to recognise the Omicron variant. COVID-19 variant of concern (VoC),
identified in South Africa and also
Dr Alexis, in a statement released by detected in Europe and Asia has raised
Pharmaniaga today, said those who concern worldwide given the number
have received the COVID-19 Sinovac of mutations and reports that it might
vaccine booster dose had T cell levels spread even faster and evade antibod-
that are activated against the Omicron ies from prior infection of the virus or
variant in a similar way to the original vaccination.
strain.
The Sinovac COVID-19 booster shot
“This shows that the vaccine contains has recently been approved by the
antigens that are found in the Omicron Drug Control Authority and currently
variant. The results show that when T available in selected private health-
lymphocytes come in contact with the care facilities.

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