Editor’s note: PM unveils Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan to empower people, propel businesses, and stimulate the economy

By Sharon Chang

Today is no ordinary Friday, but a day full of anticipation. The whole nation was eagerly waiting for our Prime Minister to make his announcement on the short-term economic recovery plan.

Whether it is meant to be a feel-good factor, or to boost market sentiment and raise confidence of recovery, the RM35 billion aid will give some breathing space for the time being in the present trying situation.

But as always, we have tons of news to share again – in case you missed them.

In a televised address today, June 5 at 3pm, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhiyiddin Yassin announced 40 initiatives worth RM35 billion under Penjana to stimulate the economy, of which RM10 billion will be direct fiscal injections by the government.

Sunway announces Malaysia’s first 50,000 sq. ft urban farming innovation hub to be completed in Q3 2020. It is to serve as a skills-building hub for urban farming professionals, tech companies, researchers, and young talents to collaborate and to create transformative solutions focusing on food and agritech. This comes as part of its initiative into agritech.

Bookchain store MPH closes two more of its Klang Valley outlets, MyTown and Subang Parade, adding to the one which has already been closed at Sunway Geo. Rumour has it that more will follow.

Media Prima has confirmed a possible second job cutting exercise that will affect some 300 staff by September this year to address cost inefficiencies arising from unnecessary work duplication, quoting sources.

AirAsia Berhad is expected to lay off more than 300 employes which will involve 111 cabin crew members, 172 pilots and 50 engineers. Chief executive officer Riad Asmat was quoted as saying that as there are no other options to ensure that the low-cost carrier continues to operate like before, the organisation’s restructuring is a viable alternative at present due to the difficult global economic situation.

On the global front, German-owned luxury car brand Bentley said it would axe around 1,000 jobs in the UK as the market weathers the coronavirus-induced downturn.

Las Vegas casinos threw open their doors after 11 weeks closed due to coronavirus, with downtown roulette wheels and slot machines whirring to life minutes after midnight.

In a published statement, China has issued an alert warning its citizens not to travel to Australia in the latest sign of deteriorating relations as discrimination and violent behaviour against Chinese and Asians are on the rise due to the Covid-19 epidemic.

My closing note for the evening is the much talk about news in town – Samantha Katie James, former Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 who causes a furore with her insensitive remarks about the current #BlackLivesMatter movement. The 25-year old telling people of colour to “relax” and “take it as a challenge”.

Well, my two pennies worth – she is either incognizant or someone with no emotional intelligence.

Have a nice weekend and a pleasant week ahead!

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