Highlights:
  1. Special meeting to choose new King on January 24
  2. EPF reduces minimum contribution for employees above age 60 to 4 per cent
  3. Ministry approves RM20 million fund for 3rd national car prototype
  4. Over 60 homegrown brands take centre stage at Design Orchard, Singapore
  5. US-China officials begin trade war talks in Beijing
Special meeting to choose new King on January 24 A special meeting of the Conference of the Malay Rulers to elect the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong and his deputy will be convened on 24 January. The Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal Tan Sri Syed Danial Syed Ahmad said the matter was decided by the rulers in their meeting today at Istana Negara. The meeting also fixed January 31 for the swearing in of the new King and his deputy. The meeting was convened following Sultan Muhammad V (pic) stepping down as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, effective yesterday.   EPF reduces minimum contribution for employees above age 60 to 4 per cent The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) today announced that employers will now make a minimum statutory contribution of four per cent for employees above 60 years old against the present practice of contributing 6.0 and 6.5 per cent. Employees’ share contribution, on the other hand, will now be at zero per cent. The new minimum rate would take effect with the January 2019 salary/wage for contribution month of February 2019. “The move to reduce the statutory contribution rates follows the government’s proposal, during the tabling of Budget 2019, to help increase the take-home pay of employees who continue to work after reaching age 60,” it said. It said the reduction in employers’ share would also encourage employment opportunities for workers above 60 years of age, thus ensuring the population above 60-years-old remain productive and active in the economy. Ministry approves RM20 million fund for 3rd national car prototype The Ministry of Entrepreneur Development (MED) has approved close to RM20 million funds to attract private investors to develop the prototype for the third national car. Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof said the fund was sourced from several existing grants to catalyse the development of the national car project. “The idea is that we become the catalyst for the new national car project. Over 60 homegrown brands take centre stage at Design Orchard, Singapore Orchard will open its doors on 25 January, bringing over 60 local brands together on Orchard Road and enhancing the precinct. The 2.5-storey development comprises a retail showcase on the first level, incubation spaces on the second level and the rooftop, and an events space on the rooftop. Spearheaded by Enterprise Singapore, JTC and Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Design Orchard is part of the Singapore Government’s ongoing efforts to transform Orchard Road into a lifestyle destination, offering a compelling retail experience amidst lush greenery. The project aims to groom new and emerging talents in the lifestyle and fashion sector, and prepare them to take their products overseas. Homegrown retailer Naiise will operate the retail showcase, which will feature 61 new, emerging and established brands. US-China officials begin trade war talks in Beijing US and Chinese officials held a first day of talks in Beijing today aimed at resolving their damaging trade dispute. The two-day talks mark the first formal meeting since they agreed to refrain from any further tariffs for 90 days. The meeting comes amid rising concern about the impact of trade tensions on the global economy. The US delegation is led by Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish. Neither side has given any indication of how the talks are going. The White House said in December the two sides would negotiate “structural changes with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft”. The US has hit $250bn of Chinese goods with tariffs since last July, covering a wide range of consumer and industrial items.