Editor’s note: Easing MCO starting May 4

By Sharon Chang,

I was contemplating whether I should pen my editor’s note. Since it is Labour’s Day but also a Friday, well, as a journalist work does not stop.

So, I am on my laptop again and, also in front of the television – hoping to get some thoughts on what I want to say.

As usual, we’ve got a ton of news today to close off the week.

On April 30, our media colleague, Blu Inc Media, a publishing stalwart with 19 lifestyles titles to its portfolio, ceases operations after four decades in the industry. According to Azliza Tajuddin, its CEO, the business has been under tremendous challenge from digital disruption over the past few years and it is uncertain that they will be able to see any light at the end of the tunnel.

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) expresses regret after public backlash. It said in a statement that it regrets the “confusion and anxiety”, arising from its announcement on changes to the six-month moratorium for hire purchase (HP) loans and fixed-rate Islamic financing.

In a newly released frequently asked questions (FAQs) list, BNM denied that it had also backpedalled on its initial announcement. It stressed that the payment deferment is still automatic for HP and fixed rate Islamic financing, adding that what is required now is an additional step to comply with procedural requirements under the Hire-Purchase Act 1967 (HP Act) and Shariah.

Bursa Malaysia Bhd’s net profit rose 38.2 percent to RM68.73 million in the first quarter ended March 31, 2020 (Q1’20). Its CEO Datuk Muhamad Umar Swift said that amid the exceptionally volatile and uncertain market environment, they saw higher trading activities in both the securities and derivatives markets.

Ride hailing and food delivery provider Grab Holdings Inc., the Singapore-based company, has begun asking its staff to go on voluntary no-pay leave or take reduced working hours to help it avoid cutting jobs.  Grab, last valued at USD14 billion, has 6,000 employees.

And lastly, this morning, our prime minister announced the easing of the partial lockdown starting May 4. The announcement received mixed feelings, some citing that it might be too early to allow almost all economic sectors to re-open which should be done in stages.

Would the public take the opportunity to go out in droves, thus causing another wave of Covid-19 infections?

What are your thoughts?

Goodnight and have a good weekend ahead!


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