Highlights:

  1. Lombok hit again by 6.2 earthquake
  2. MIEA optimistic of property market gaining confidence this year
  3. Government studying proposals for improvements for next GE
  4. Best of Kampung Durians in Malaysia Fest, Singapore
  5. 11 Street adopts new revolution in line with e-commerce
  6. Pantene to champion transgender cause in Thailand

Lombok hit by another strong quake
A magnitude 6.2 earthquake rocked Indonesia’s Lombok today. Officials said the quake’s epicentre was on land and so there was no risk of a tsunami. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recorded the latest quake at 5.9, with a depth of 10km. Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) puts the official death toll from Sunday’s quake at 131 on Wednesday, although some Indonesian officials put the number at 347. A humanitarian crisis is also looming in Lombok, where thousands have been left homeless and in desperate need of clean water, food, medicine and shelter. Officials said about three-quarters of Lombok’s rural north had been without electricity since Sunday, although power had since been restored in most areas. Aid workers have found some hamlets hard to reach because bridges and roads were torn up by the disaster.

MIEA anticipates a ‘confidence’ gaining property market through 2018
Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) President Eric Lim Chin Heng said that the Malaysian property market is set to gradually improve in the years ahead through to 2020. “The property market may have bottomed out last year with transaction volumes hitting the lowest point since 2012, amounting to 311,824 transactions in 2017. We envisage that the market will continue experiencing ‘confidence gaining growth’ as fundamentals improve under the new government. Real estate investors, who have been playing an important part in the property market’s growth, have been on the side lines for many years now and are looking forward to coming back to the market. “We also foresee the implementation of new policies by the government to boost the property market. Two major events include plans to introduce and manage the supply of affordable housing and the forthcoming budget which will be a test for the new government in tackling the woes of the property industry”, Lim said.

Proposed improvements for next general election being studied
The Election Commission is scrutinising the proposed improvements for the next general election. Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin told the Dewan Rakyat today that the Institutional Reforms Committee (IRC) had submitted proposals for the improvements after looking at the views of various quarters. “The proposed improvements will involve amendments to the Federal Constitution and laws related to elections. Updating and studying the existing process require an appropriate time frame,” he said.

FAMA brings best ‘durian kampung’ to Malaysia Fest 2018, Singapore
The Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) is currently offering 20 per cent off for fresh fruits at Fruits Empire, one of the sales concepts introduced at Malaysia Fest 2018. It brings in 15 tonnes of seasonal as well as fresh fruits worth RM100,000. On top of the best hybrid durians like Musang King and all, there’s also the top durian kampung or non-cloned durians from northern Perak including the hilly areas such as in Bukit Gantang. “Durians from hilly areas are the best,” FAMA Corp chief executive officer, Zainal Abidin Yang Razalli said. FAMA is also bringing in mangosteen, pulasan, cempedak, rambutan and guava, along with fresh vegetables, ulam and maize. Under FAMA Pavilion alone, there are 28 entrepreneurs with potential sales amounting to RM2 million this time. The organisers hope to attract at least 100,000 visitors.

The New Revolution on 11street
11street, one of the leading online marketplaces in Malaysia, is seeing a new revolution that will further enhance the user shopping experience and make significant contributions to the digital economy in Malaysia. The transformation comes on the heels of a strategic partnership between 11street and PUC Ventures Sdn. Bhd. This partnership aims to tap into a broader digital world with the ease of integration and interoperability across platforms that cater to the country’s growing e-commerce sector. Presently, there are 15.2 million online shoppers in Malaysia who spend an average of RM321.15 annually. However, the online shopping user penetration rate is expected to rise from 51.4% in 2018 to 63.0% in 2022. To add to that, the e-commerce industry revenue is expected to show a compound annual growth rate (CAGR 2018 – 2022) of 17.9%, resulting in a market volume of over a trillion by 2022. CEO of 11street, Cheong Chia Chou said: “As everything in our world becomes digitalised, there is a need for a stronger e-commerce ecosystem where a customer’s physical digital journey can be fully integrated. Businesses are pushed to ride the wave of this rapid industry expansion to ultimately grow their businesses at a larger scale for better profitability and presence. The online marketplace in Malaysia can certainly be expected to grow at a swift speed in the coming years and the revamped 11street is reiterating our commitment to further contributing to the digital segment in our future plans.” Upgrading the online shopping experience is more pertinent than ever with the growing user penetration and an internet penetration of 85.7% amongst Malaysians. 11street’s goal is to create a seamless and integrated customer shopping experience as well as to emphasise business development for their sellers that will increase their capability and capacity of running their businesses.

Pantene latest shampoo brand to champion transgender cause in Thailand
Pantene is the latest shampoo brand to champion transgender people in Thailand, with a new campaign by GREYnJ United. The agency said it wanted to “celebrate the beauty of people from all walks of life, without gender boundaries” with the work telling the everyday life stories of a hairdresser, delivery driver and catwalk model “stripped of all bias and stereotypes”. The work is said to challenge common perceptions by asking the question about those sympathetic characters who appear on screen: “What do you see?” The ad, which will run online only until September, is backed by a social media campaign with the hashtag ‘#SeeBeautyNotGender’ on Facebook and Instagram.