Malaysia Airlines and its partners have today launched a new initiative that will help the much-affected travel industry and offer a great boost to local hotels and restaurants across Malaysia.

MHholidays is offering free flights and accommodation for kids with every holiday package booked from now until 2 September 2020. That makes family trips so worthwhile with extra savings for your next holiday.

You can be rewarded with up to 60% off your next holiday package.

Their holiday packages are all-inclusive with return flights, baggage, in-flight meals and hotel stay, so you can enjoy these extra benefits with your kids!

There are great hotels to choose from as well.

Some of the participating hotels under the promo include InterContinental Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai in Kota Kinabalu, Hard Rock Hotel Penang, Thistle Johor Bahru Hotel, Berjaya Langkawi Resort and Swiss-Garden Beach Resort in Kuantan.

In a statement from Malaysia Airlines Group Chief Marketing Officer, Lau Yin May said  “We are also delighted to have a myriad of four to five-star hotel partners across Malaysia, who are willing to collaborate with MHholidays to offer great deals for this campaign, making this the ideal time for customers to plan their travels right up until next year.”

There are those that will be concerned about travelling at present but MHholidays have that covered too.

They have worked hard with their partners so that their hotels adhere to the Ministry of Health’s safety regulations such as providing sanitisers in hotel rooms, staff social distancing, compulsory face masks and more. This ensures that the environment within the vicinity is clean and safe so you can have a worry-free stay.

Customers can start booking from now until 2 September 2020 to enjoy the package offer of complimentary flight and accommodation for a maximum of one child aged between three and 11 years old or an infant aged two years and below.

For terms and conditions, travel periods and further information on the comprehensive list of hotels that you can stay in, visit

InvestKL confident of attracting MNCs

InvestKL is confident it can attract at least 10 multinational companies (MNCs) into the country this year, a feat that would surpass the investment promotion agency’s target of cumulatively bringing in
100 foreign investors to Malaysia by 2020.

From 2011 to 2019, InvestKL’s record stood at 91 MNCs, bringing in total investments worth RM13.95bil and  creating 12,500 jobs, chief executive officer Muhammad Azmi Zulkifli said.

“Last year was one of our best years in terms of performance. We brought in 13 MNCs, accounting for RM2.3bil in investments and creating 890 high value jobs and this was on the back of a strong economic cycle. We saw a very good representation of companies from Europe, US and Asia. That’s very encouraging and we will be building on the momentum of 2019,” he told StarBiz.

Azmi said the “strong momentum” of 2019 was evidenced in early 2020. “Fast forward to today, we are going
through a pandemic – an unprecedented one.

“But are we still optimistic of attracting 10 MNCs this year? Yes, we are.”

“With 10 companies, it will bring our accumulated MNCs to 101. We believe we can achieve it because a  number of discussions are still carrying forward from some years back.”

Muhammad Azmi noted that discussions with foreign investors could take “several years” before coming into fruition.

“Even during the movement control order (MCO) these discussions, as well as engagements with MNCs, are still continuing and a number of them are saying that they’re going ahead with their plans. So that’s why we’re

InvestKL is an investment promotion agency under the International Trade and Industry Ministry. It is tasked to attract large global multinationals to establish regional business services headquarters in Greater Kuala Lumpur and strategically grow their business in Asia.

Separately, Azmi said the various initiatives granted by the government in the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA), announced on June 5, was timely.

“The stimulus is timely to really put Malaysia out there; to signify that we are interested and that we want you to come into Malaysia and perhaps look at some activities that you can relocate into Malaysia.

“At the same time, it also helps to stimulate the economy for local companies that want to expand, reengineer their activities or even repurpose their plants.”

Azmi acknowledged that while the Penjana initiatives were focused a bit more on the manufacturing sectors, it would still bode well for agencies such as InvestKL in attracting foreign investors.

“The initiatives ensure that Malaysia continues to attract the right type of manufacturing activities.”

“We embarked on the Industry 4.0 initiative back in 2018 and we must continue to stay on track in that perspective.”

“That’s because the facets of industry 4.0 includes automation and Internet of Things, which caters to the higher knowledge-based, skilled workers that Malaysia has.”

“With Penjana, the government is consistent in ensuring that we are helping businesses, helping the people and also making sure that cash is in the hand of the people to stimulate the economy as a way forward.”

To tackle the rise in COVID-19 infections in the country, the government implemented the MCO on March 18. On May 4, a conditional MCO was enforced to allow businesses to re-open for the economy to recover.

As the number of infections started to drop, Malaysia entered into a recovery MCO phase from June 10 to Aug 31.

Muhammad Azmi said one of the plus points coming out of the pandemic and the MCO is that companies and even the government have accelerated their digitalisation activities.

Malaysia set for recovery in 2021

In line with the reopening of the economy which saw nearly 70% of the workforce returning to work in various sectors, Malaysia has the capacity that is set to spur an economic recovery in 2021, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said.

“We must rise again and record a positive Gross Domestic Product growth as opposed to the negative GDP forecast for this year in line with the global economic growth,” he said in an exclusive interview for a Bernama TV documentary on “Malaysians United Against Covid-19”.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had forecast a 3% contraction in the global economy for this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he noted, adding that Malaysia’s economy, like those of other countries, would be affected.

Recently, IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva was reported as saying the global contraction might be even worse than the 3% forecast it made last month.

Tengku Zafrul said that to weather the economic downturn due to the pandemic, the government was implementing the 6R approach — Resolve, Resilience, Restart, Recovery, Revitalise and Reform.

The first phase, Resolve, refers to the government’s resolve to curb the deadly virus by imposing the Movement Control Order (MCO) effective March 18. The MCO was announced at a time when the country’s Covid-19 graph was showing a high number of new cases and urgent measures were required to flatten the curve.

The second R, Resilience, refers to building resilience through the RM250 billion Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package unveiled on March 27 and the additional RM10 billion allocation announced on April 6. The focus, Tengku Zafrul said, was on the affected people as well as the micro and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“The third R, Restart, was the move to reopen or recharge the economy in stages, while the fourth R, Recovery, is the country’s present recovery phase.

“We are currently formulating a short-term economic recovery plan, to be announced in early June,” he said.

Yesterday, Tengku Zafrul elaborated to reporters that the upcoming plan would see some of the measures introduced earlier being extended, as well as several new initiatives being introduced to boost the economy.

For the fifth phase, Revitalise, the minister told Bernama that a plan focusing on the medium term would be announced in either October or November this year.

Finally, Reform involves planning for the long term to reform the structure of the country’s economy. “This will focus on the 12 Malaysia Plan, which will be unveiled in January 2021,” he said.

In a bid to stimulate the economy, the government has established a Special Prihatin Grant (GKP) amounting to RM2.1 billion. Tengku Zafrul said more than 640,000 micro enterprises had applied for the GKP during the registration period from May 1 to May 15.

“We are in the process of sifting through the applications. Each successful applicant will receive (a one-off financial assistance of) RM3,000 from the government. The grant is aimed at helping the micro SMEs in terms of cash flow and they do not have to repay the money,” he said.

He cautioned against being complacent during the pandemic. “As long as we do not have a vaccine, we need to follow the standard operating procedures set by the government. I am confident we can function well amid the new normal,” he said.

Tengku Zafrul also noted that the new normal might be a permanent one in view of changes in consumer behaviour.

Shangri-La Group Welcome Guests Back with “Shangri-La Cares” Commitment

Shangri-La Group Welcome Guests Back with

Enhanced Hygiene Protocols Under “Shangri-La Cares” Commitment

Hong Kong, 17 June 2020) Shangri-La Group announced today that it is introducing the “Shangri-La Cares” commitment which elevates its already rigorous hygiene and safety protocols for all properties worldwide. As people look to travel in the future, health, safety and sustainability will remain top of mind, particularly as the world continues to react and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Shangri-La Cares” reinforces the Group’s commitment to caring for people, as well as its distinctive Asian hospitality as it begins welcoming guests back to hotels and resorts. 

“The health and safety of our colleagues and guests is of utmost priority. At Shangri-La, it is in our nature to look after people, to anticipate their needs and go above and beyond to ensure they have a memorable experience. We remain humble and true to our founding ethos with this commitment that will ensure we do our best to take care of people” said Lim Beng Chee, Chief Executive Officer of Shangri-La Group. “To meet new challenges and evolving customer expectations, we are focusing on enhanced hygiene protocols, elevating our standards and safeguarding our guests and colleagues’ well-being. We would like to convey our heartfelt care by creating a safe environment where everyone feels comfortable and trusts in our ability to ensure their safety and health – so that they can focus on moments that truly matter,” he added. 

With this in mind, Shangri-La Group has rolled out a pilot programme at select hotels which have been operating throughout April and May, to refine additional health and safety protocols and to expand on already rigorous operational protocols with respect to the pandemic situation. All new procedures and protocols form the cornerstone of an ongoing commitment which will be introduced globally in June 2020 to ensure guests have complete confidence and peace of mind during their stay.

Implementing Enhanced Cleanliness Protocols and Procedures

Shangri-La has followed recommendations laid out by the World Health Organization or more stringent local directives where appropriate, to ensure its operational protocols are comprehensive. Concrete measures have been adopted at all hotels and resorts to combat the risk of COVID-19 so that guests can feel safe when staying at or visiting its properties. These protocols include: 

  • Increased frequency and full attention to deep cleaning of all high-touch surfaces and areas used by guests throughout the hotels;
  • Use of medical grade sanitisers and disinfectants which are approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency;
  • Increased cleaning frequency of air filters and air-conditioner systems to ensure optimal air quality;
  • Safe dining, meetings and events with extra precautions to respect physical distancing and enhanced food safety practices.

Enabling Our People

Caring for people is the bedrock of Shangri-La’s service value. To reinforce the strong culture of health and safety, the Group has enhanced training, learning and development resources for colleagues on essential preparatory and prevention measures. This includes direction on cleaning and sanitisation frequency, ultimately enabling them to better serve guests and safeguard their own well-being. This training is certified by long-term partner and global hygiene solutions provider, Diversey. As a leading global hygiene and cleaning company, Diversey specialises in developing cleaning and hygiene technologies across industry sectors, such as health care, hospitality, retail and food services.

Colleagues will also be equipped with personal protective equipment where necessary. Shangri-La will continue to build awareness on sanitation standards, as well as developing programmes for colleagues on stringent personal hygiene practices to ensure a safe work environment. 

Elevating Our Standards

As the situation continues to evolve, Shangri-La Group has been reviewing and elevating its standards and practices to prepare for a “new normal”. This includes enhanced operational guidance, safety and sanitation protocols on infection prevention and outbreak readiness programmes that are developed in close cooperation with Diversey. The Group has rigorous processes in place to verify the effectiveness of cleaning and disinfection protocols and will monitor compliance with regular inspections and reporting tools. These measures will be updated based on the local requirements to ensure they meet evolving customer needs and expectations.

For more details about Shangri-La Cares, please visit:

Discover Your Shangri-La

Dining Experience with the reopening of our popular outlets for your dining pleasure!

Kuala Lumpur, 11 Jun 2020 – With Malaysia entering the Recovery Movement Control Order

(RMCO), Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur is prepared to welcome back guests for dine-in. Our newly reopened facilities may look and feel a little different, but you can continue to expect the same warm service and exceptional food. Guests are advised to strictly follow our precautionary measures in place to ensure the safety of all guests and staffs at all times.

At Lemon Garden Cafe, we’ve introduced the all new A La Carte Menu where your dishes will be prepared a la minute by our Chefs manning the live stations.  Be one of the firsts to try out our Eat-All-You-Can menu with live cooking stations offering unlimited local and international options at only RM158 nett per person..

Lemon Garden is open Daily, from 6:00pm to 10pm – with last order by 9pm.

At Shang Palace, we have just reopened  our doors to serve an all new A La Carte Menu consisting of your favourite Cantonese dishes – Dim Sum, Barbeque, Soups, Seafood, Poultry & Meat, Vegetables, Desserts, with Noodles & Rice. Also, choose from three variations of Set Menu offering various combinations of dishes – with minimum of 2 persons per reservation.

From now until 25th June, Rice Dumplings are available for purchase from Shang Palace. Choose from three variations of dumplings – (1) Hong Kong Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Abalone, As-sorted Nuts and Supreme Spicy Sauce, (2) Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Salted Chicken, Egg and Preserved Vegetables and (3) Sweetened Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Red Bean Paste and Walnuts.

Special discounts are available with bulk orders:

15% OFF with 10-19 pieces purchased.

20% OFF with 20-29 pieces purchased.

25% OFF with 30 pieces and above purchased.

Shang Palace is open for Lunch, 11:30am to 2:30pm with the schedule as follows:

First Week – 10 June till 12 June (Closed on Saturday and Sunday)

Second Week – 15 June till 19 June (Closed on Saturday)

Third Week – 21 June till 26 June (Closed on Saturday)

Note: Operating Hours for the weeks to follow will be stated accordingly.

At Lemon Garden 2Go, coffee, sandwiches, desserts, quick lunches and breakfasts are available Daily, from 9am to 4pm.

Creating A Good Working Environment

What goes into creating a positive work environment? Well, if you asked anyone a decade ago what they valued in a work environment, they might have described someplace tucked away – perhaps isolated in an office cubicle, or even in the seclusion of their own homes. Prioritizing factors such as solitude and privacy, most of them would likely grapple with understanding today’s phenomenon of flexible working.

Today, our culture of working just isn’t the same anymore. With job roles straying from singular disciplines and managers abandoning the long-held treasured notion of skill-compartmentalization, companies both large and small have organically shifted into a new era of connective and intersectional entrepreneurship. So if our understanding of what a modern business is has drastically expanded and complexified, our definition of what a positive work environment is must change too.

In embracing this newfound approach of entrepreneurship, read on below to understand the five largest components of building an ideal work experience:

  • Proper digital channels

Stable and fast internet connection is a staple in any given productive work environment. With recent technological advances paving the way for untethered access to information, compounded by the rate of our ever-booming globalization, data-gathering and sharing, marketing, internal and external communications, among many other critical processes, are increasingly shifting into the digital sphere. In building a digitally-conducive environment, your workspace must be equipped with the right virtual softwares, digital platforms, broadband connection, and electronic devices.

  • Comfortable workspace

While this might seem readily apparent and straightforward for most people, this aspect is still commonly overlooked by those looking to nurture an ideal work environment. A productive workspace should be comfortable and aesthetically calming – free of distractions and clutter, as the goal is to provide a focused and clear headspace for your employees. With this being said, some particularly beneficial factors to consider are ergonomic furniture, ample natural light, spaciousness, and quietness.

  • Collaboration-centric

Given that the majority of modern job roles no longer exist in vacuums compartmentalized away from each other, and instead, emphasize the need for inter-departmental discussion and support, a positive work environment should lend itself to collaboration. Therefore, in creating a productive working atmosphere, there should be sufficient open spaces dedicated to fostering synergy amongst your employees. One might consider abandoning the structure of cubicles entirely, and implementing open-format workspaces to boost collaboration and reduce silos.

  • Work-life balance

We hear the term ‘work-life balance’ all the time, but what does it really mean? It means creating a community that nourishes and champions a healthy lifestyle within and beyond the office walls. Gone are the days where working 13-hour days ranked you as employee of the month – instead, employers should take measures to prioritize the overall lifestyle of their employees by integrating other pivotal aspects of life, such as fitness, the arts, socializing, and more. Not only will this boost spirits and morale, but it also bolsters team cohesiveness and productivity.

  • Training and development

A positive work experience encourages employees to become the best version of themselves. It puts forth the notion that learning is a journey – and facilitates individuals in their pursuit of new skills, interests, and talents. In other words, employers should invest in their employees. Aim to provide opportunities that enable your team members to either upskill and/or reskill their talents. After all, employees are more likely to value a company that helps them grow and develop.

Common Ground – Malaysia’s largest coworking space and community – serves as an example of why we should move on from outdated, traditional workplace models. From curating weekly events across lifestyle and professional areas, to offerings dozens of workshops on their learning platform Common Minds, the company provides individuals with a comprehensive system that advocates for them beyond the office walls.

People do their best work in environments that suit them best – and in keeping up with the ever-changing dynamics of the business landscape, Common Ground understands that a rented office space on its own hardly suffices at nurturing a conducive work experience. The real work and reward is in all the other details.

Visit Common Ground for more information

A Business Continuity Plan

A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is a vital part of mitigating business risks – a structured plan that an enterprise puts in place to ensure that your business can continue running with minimal disruption during an unexpected scenario.

A viable solution to supporting employees is incorporating the use of flexible workspaces, such as our spaces, in your BCP.

Here are the seven important steps in setting up the right BCP for your business.

Step 1: Identify failure scenarios and business continuity measures

A business continuity plan is not just a disaster recovery plan. It covers the business areas that are crucial for the continuity of processes like:

  • Human Resources
  • Facilities
  • Technical & IT System
  • Vendors & Partners

Step 2: Set up a business continuity management team

A BCP is highly complex and must include and involve all business area and departments.

Step 3: Do a business impact analysis

Analyse the impact of all potential risks & disruptions to business processes.

Step 4: Define strategy from end to end

Develop corresponding strategies to account for each possible scenario. Each strategy should be assigned a priority and plan of action.

Step 5: Craft and implement the solutions

Document the BCP with company-wide communications, dissemination and training of employees.

Step 6: Test periodically

Test the viability of the plan under different scenarios – this test phase is crucial to finalizing the BCP.

Step 7: Keeping the BCP alive

During the life cycle of the BCP, new risk factors may come up. It is important to continuously maintaing and update the plan where necessary.

Visit our BCP Solutions page for more information.

GoCar Malaysia and Shell Malaysia Join Forces to Support Healthcare Frontliners

In a gesture of support for the Malaysian government’s efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve, GoCar Malaysia and Shell Malaysia are joining forces to make travel easier for the healthcare frontliners. From now until 14 April 2020, GoCar is offering 200 Nissan Almera located at 127 Shell stations across Peninsular Malaysia for free, and Shell is giving RM 30 vouchers to fuel the journeys of our Malaysian healthcare frontliners during this time.

This initiative aims to help healthcare frontliners including doctors, nurses, physicians, pharmacists, laboratory technicians and administrative staff, commute easier, and safer, from their place of stay to hospitals, clinics, and quarantine centres. Registrations can be done via the GoCar’s website upon verification of healthcare personnel status online. Once successful, registrants will receive a GoCar promo code worth RM 483 that can be used to book a Nissan Almera followed by a Shell Fuel e-voucher worth RM 30, delivered via email, on a first come first serve basis.

Alan Cheah, the CEO of GoCar Malaysia shared insights behind this collaboration. “At GoCar, we strive to act fast to give back to the community in any way possible, now more than ever. We are excited to work on this with one of our biggest partners, Shell Malaysia who shares and supports the same value too. As our frontliners continue working tirelessly for us, we are doing our part to keep them safe by helping them travel in isolation in GoCars with Shell supporting the necessary petrol needed.”

Since the outbreak began, GoCar saw the need to ramp up frequency for cars to be cleaned and disinfected. Cheah explained, “It is our main priority to ensure our cars are continuously cleaned for all GoCar members to use, especially in a time like this. This also means we have to monitor our own frontliners’ well-being closely and make sure they are safe on the job. Aside from taking body temperature and monitoring their health daily, all on-ground staff are given a comprehensive  cleaning kit consisting of face masks, hand gloves, hand sanitisers, disinfectant sprays, and antibacterial fabric sprays to be used while on duty. They have also been placing and replenishing anti-bacterial wet tissues in each car for the convenience of all GoCar members to use whenever needed.”

Shairan Huzani Husain, Managing Director of Shell Malaysia Trading Sdn Bhd and Shell Timur

Sdn Bhd said, “Shell Malaysia is pleased to join forces with GoCar to offer a more convenient and safe way for our healthcare frontliners to travel. With our wide network of Shell stations across the country, we are able to make these GoCars easily available to our frontliners at 127 stations nationwide, and at the same time fuel their journeys to where they must go. We are all striving to do what we can to heed the nation’s call to flatten the COVID-19 curve, and Shell is undertaking this initiative to ensure our nation’s health frontliners are able to  go well in their journeys to the battleground of this pandemic.”

Shairan added, “While Shell continues to show support towards the healthcare frontliners, the well-being of our site staff and customers remain as a priority. Thanks to our own frontliners, Shell is able to give customers a peace of mind when they are at our stations”

Shell has been implementing several safety measures and prevention guidelines such as hourly sanitisation, social distancing markers as well as tracking and monitoring the health of all site staff at its stations nationwide. At the same time, Shell has contributed care packages to various hospitals and launched a nationwide donation drive with BonusLink. Next, the company is working on providing face masks to Shell Fleet Card customers and their drivers as well as to commercial truckers.



Malaysia needs to introduce a Covid-19 law to help the economy to recover

Since March 18, Malaysians have been #StayingAtHome or #DudukDiRumah under the movement control order (MCO) declared by the government to help stop the Covid-19 pandemic. The speed at which this disease spreads is like nothing we have seen before. Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said on March 27, We are a nation at war with invisible forces. The situation we are now facing is unprecedented in history…. This unprecedented situation of course requires unprecedented measures”.

It is time for Malaysia to enact an unprecedented law: the Covid-19 law. This law would provide for temporary measures to aid businesses, especially SMEs (small and medium enterprises), that are adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

While we are observing the MCO by staying home, many contractual obligations are still running, including payment of salaries, rental of business premises, commitments to deliver (non-essential) goods and services, construction contracts, booking of events in hotels and event halls for which deposits have been paid, and loan repayments and hire purchase payments for machinery and equipment.

The government has taken various positive steps to assist SMEs through stimulus packages announced on March 27 and April 6, particularly in subsidising salaries, allowing rental waivers or deductions, and, through Bank Negara Malaysia, instituting a six-month moratorium on loan repayments. However, there are other contractual obligations that SMEs have to fulfil. Hence, I expect that after the MCO is lifted, there will be many claims for breach of contracts. If the claims are successful and the defaulting parties are unable to pay the compensations or damages adjudged, there will be many bankruptcies, which is absolutely undesirable in the tough years ahead. A Covid-19 law could grant relief to parties genuinely affected by the pandemic, giving them time to breathe and recover until they can meet their contractual obligations.

Many SMEs are gravely affected by this crisis, and it is not an exaggeration to say they are on the brink of collapse because they are running out of cash. The effect of having many SMEs close down is massive: About 98% of all businesses in Malaysia are SMEs, and SMEs contribute about 40% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), amounting to more than RM500bil. More importantly, SMEs currently provide jobs to 70% of Malaysia’s workforce. We cannot let SMEs, the backbone of the country’s economy, collapse.

It is the government’s duty to intervene. Singapore has tabled the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill for debate in its Parliament. Policymakers are calling the law a “legal circuit breaker”. In a free market economy, governments are generally reluctant to intervene with contracts entered into in the business community, thus upholding the sanctity of contract. However, during a crisis like this, and looking at the magnitude of effects caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, governments should introduce laws to save the economy.

Malaysia could use Singapore’s law as a reference point. The “legal circuit breaker” could cover several types of contracts, such as:

Construction-related contracts: The supply chain in the construction industry has been badly affected by the MCO. Many countries have imposed movement controls or lockdowns, causing shortages of materials. Manpower is also a huge concern, and many foreign workers are not able to enter Malaysia or leave their home countries due to travel restrictions.

A Covid-19 law should allow delays during the effected period to be disregarded and extensions granted. For example, housing developers who have signed sales and purchase agreements with purchasers under prescribed Schedule G or Schedule H agreements (which do not have a force majeure clause) should be allowed an extension to deliver vacant possession to purchasers. Being penalised for 10% a year liquidated damages is unfair. Likewise, employers in construction contracts should not slap contractors with damages if construction work is delayed due to the MCO.

Tenancy and lease of non-residential properties: Tenants who are genuinely unable to pay rent as a result of Covid-19 may seek relief by serving their landlords with notice. The Covid-19 law should prohibit the landlord from commencing legal proceedings against the tenant for a prescribed period of time, being the period affected by the pandemic, for this type of contract.

This does not mean that tenants no longer need to pay the rent during the affected period, it just means that payment is deferred to a time deemed appropriate by the law without the risk of being evicted or the tenancy being terminated by the landlord.

To reduce the burden on the landlord, the law should also allow the landlord to utilise the security/rental deposit to cover the outstanding rent for this period. The deposit should be topped-up by the tenant after an appropriate period of time.

Tourism, hospitality and event contracts: In this area, it is common for people to make advance bookings; many are made as long as one year ahead, for example, conference halls for international events, hotel banquet rooms for wedding receptions, etc. The hotel or event company usually collects a deposit to confirm the booking.

For events planned during the MCO period, it would be unfair for hotels or event companies to forfeit the deposit when an event is cancelled. It is not that the client chooses not to hold the event, the MCO forces the decision. If the event can be postponed to a later date, the deposit should be kept and utilised in the future.

Loan and hire purchase agreements: Bank Negara Malaysia has announced a moratorium on loans for six months. This is a great move that has been welcomed by the business community. A Covid-19 law, however, could step further to regulate the mechanisms of the moratorium and recovery process after the six-month moratorium period.

In Singapore, the threshold for individual bankruptcy and a company’s winding-up will be increased and the time period of statutory notice also increased to six months if the Covid-19 law is passed there. In another words, it would be harder to make a person or company bankrupt during this tough time.

Under existing laws, many risk becoming bankrupt due to the cash flow issue. This could even happen to good companies with a lot of potential. A Malaysian Covid-19 law could avoid such legal massacres.

Legality of online virtual meetings: During the MCO period, many companies are holding online meetings as staff are working from home. Legal issues remain to be tested whether companies or organisations can hold online general meetings. Even after the MCO is lifted, mass gatherings would still be discouraged so companies and organisations should be allowed to hold general meetings online. This is the new normal we have to learn adapt to now.

Legality of witnessing the signing of legal documents online: Many legal documents in Malaysia – especially those involving the transfer or charge of properties – require signatures to be witnessed by a lawyer. In the new normal, the Covid-19 law should allow the act of signing to be witnessed by the lawyer watching online.

The concern arises whether the document signed during an online session is the same as the final document received by the lawyer. Such concerns can be addressed by the lawyer doing a verification after the document is received. If we are heading into an era where court hearings can be conducted online, witnessing requiring a physical presence should be relaxed.

It is timely to enact a Covid-19 law when Parliament next meets to save SMEs and the economy as a whole. Many SMEs will not be able to survive if contractual obligations have to be met during this Covid-19 crisis – and even after the MCO is lifted, businesses will need time to recover from it. Let us give them time to rebuild. Given such assistance, SMEs will emerge stronger and better in the future, which would be good for the country in general.




Foreign tourist spend reach RM86.14bil in 2019

Foreign tourists

KUALA LUMPUR: Foreign tourist receipts (expenditures) grew 2.4 per cent to RM86.14 billion from 26.10 million people who visited the country last year.

Tourism Malaysia said foreign arrivals had increased by one per cent from 25.82 million tourists recorded in 2018.

“The Asean region remained the biggest contributor, contributing a total of RM43.72 billion, followed by West Asia tourists with the highest per capita expenditure of RM10,214 each, an increase of 2.7 per cent from RM9,947 in 2018,” it said in a statement on last Friday.

The top three distributions of tourist receipts went to shopping (33.6 per cent), accommodation (24 per cent) and food and beverages (13.3 per cent).

Foreign tourists malaysia

Tourism Malaysia said shopping receipts had expanded to 33.6 per cent share in 2019 from a 33.4 per cent share recorded in 2018.

In terms of per capita expenditure, it rose 1.3 per cent to RM3,300 while the average length of stay (ALOS) climbed by 0.9 nights to 7.4 nights.

Tourism Malaysia said top 10 international tourist arrivals for 2019 were Singapore (10.16 million) Indonesia (3.62 million) China (3.11 million), Thailand (1.88 million), Brunei (1.22 million), India (735,309), South Korea (673,065), Japan (424,694), the Philippines (421,908) and Vietnam (400,346).

Tourist arrivals growth was seen from South Asia (22.2 per cent), East Asia (5.9 per cent), Americas (4.3 per cent) and Europe (0.3 per cent), while declines were recorded for Asean (1.3 per cent) and West Asia (2.1 per cent) markets.

Markets showing increase in average lengths of stay included West Asia (9.8 nights), Europe (8.8 nights), Americas (8.2 nights), East Asia (6.5 nights), South Asia (6.4 nights) and ASean (4.9 nights).