Headlines:

  1. Malaysian flying car to be revealed this year
  2. Takeover of highways to take six months
  3. Trump, Kim summit to cover two days
  4. US Fed rethinks its inflation target
  5. Evian unveils limited edition bottle for International Women’s Day

Malaysian flying car to be revealed this year
Malaysia’s first flying car, to be driven by local technology, is expected to be unveiled this year, Entrepreneur Development Minister, Datuk Seri Redzuan Md Yusof said a prototype of the car already exists. “This year is a realistic target because we have the technology. It is all about the speed of implementation,” he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur. “We are providing the catalyst and ecosystem to stimulate the people to think beyond what we do today,” he said. He said the project is also to utilise the country’s capabilities in the aerospace, drone, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and automotive sectors. “Malaysia has the skill set to excel in the field of aerospace, drone, UAV and the national car. We need to use our skill set because the bottom line is we want to be a producing nation,” he said. He pointed out that the flying car project is different than the third national car project announced by Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Takeover of highways to take six months
The government expects the acquisition exercise of four tolled highways to take up to six months to fulfill legal, regulatory and financial requirements.  Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said on initial projections estimate commuters will save as much as RM180mil per annum immediately with the switch from toll to congestion charge. He added that the Government and taxpayers would save RM5.3 billion in compensation to the toll concessionaires to continue freezing toll rate hikes. The four highways involved are Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP), Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat (SPRINT), Lebuhraya Shah Alam (KESAS) and SMART Tunnel (SMART).

Trump, Kim summit to cover two days
The White House said US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet for dinner in Hanoi on Wednesday before their talks the next day. The dinner in Hanoi extends Trump’s diplomatic mission to get North Korea to give up nuclear weapons into a two-day affair. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told White House reporters that Trump and Kim would greet each other one-on-one before the dinner. No details were available about the scheduling of what is expected to be the main event on Thursday, where Trump will pursue his attempt to end the half-century standoff with North Korea and persuade Kim to scrap his nuclear capability. Kim arrived in Vietnam today after a marathon train journey. Trump was due to touch down in Air Force One later in the day.

US Fed rethinks its inflation target
US Federal Reserve officials are considering whether to allow inflation to rise above their 2% target more often as they grapple with the likelihood that interest rates are likely to remain much lower than in the past. The discussions are preliminary but are heating up now because the Fed formally kicks off a month-long review of its policy framework with a national listening tour beginning this week in Texas. Animating the review is the uncomfortable prospect that the Fed’s benchmark short-term rate could peak at or slightly above the current range between 2.25% and 2.5%. Such low rates leave the Fed less room than in the past to cut rates in a downturn and increase the possibility they might be pinned near zero for longer in future recessions. In each of the last three downturns, the Fed lowered its benchmark by roughly 5 percentage points.

Evian unveils limited edition bottle for International Women’s Day
For International Women’s Day, evian welcomes for the first time a young French painter, Inès Longevial, to design its iconic annual Limited Edition (pic). For the design of the evian® Limited Edition, Inès Longevial took inspiration from the 15-year long journey of evian® through the French Alps. “The ink stroke symbolizes the journey of the natural mineral water through the rocks of the French Alps, while the flowers represent the blossoming nature on the surface — a source of pleasure” says Inès Longevial. This collaboration not only celebrates creativity and aesthetics but also tells the story of evian®. As part of the iconic annual Limited Edition this year, six key influencers across Asia Pacific were also invited to be part of the local campaign, to be inspired by Inès’ artistic celebration of femininity and nature, as well as to inspire a theme of their own. The influencers included Rosalyn Lee for Singapore, Issa Pressman for Philippines, Amber Yo  for Taiwan, Binko Bhapfah for Thailand, Marianne Tan and Afa Lee for Hong Kong.