Headlines:

  1. Bank Rakyat allocates RM200m for OGSE vendors
  2. Malaysia recovers US$322 mln of 1MDB assets
  3. E-hailing drivers don’t have to change status of vehicles to e-hailing private vehicles
  4. Malaysia Tourism City project will add 2 million tourist arrivals to Melaka
  5. Amazon casts itself as friend of small businesses
  6. Singapore on track to roll out 5G mobile networks by 2020
  7. Indonesia’s move to shift capital gathers pace

Bank Rakyat allocates RM200m for OGSE vendors
Bank Rakyat today announced a RM200 million allocation to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the oil and gas service and equipment (OGSE) sector through a vendor financing programme. Entrepreneur Development minister Datuk Seri Redzuan Yusof said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Bank Rakyat and Petronas will further improve the vendors’ working capital and cash flow in completing contracts awarded by Petronas. “This strategic alliance will also ensure successful completion of contracts undertaken via sound management of financing facilities offered by Bank Rakyat,” he said. He added that Bank Rakyat, an agency under his ministry, will be providing financing facilities to OGSE vendors of up to RM10 million to eligible SME vendors that have secured contracts from Petronas and complied with the bank’s credit assessment. Meanwhile, Bank Rakyat chief business banking officer Abdul Razak Abu Bakar said the RM200 million is the allocation for the first phase and will be added to if the demand increases.

Malaysia recovers US$322 mln of 1MDB assets
Attorney-General Tommy Thomas said Malaysia has recovered US$322 million (about RM1.3 billion) worth of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) assets since investigations into the state-owned sovereign wealth fund effectively began in May last year. He said in a statement, that a separate sum of SG$50 million (about RM152 million) of funds traceable to 1MDB have been ordered by the Singapore Courts. “The Government of Malaysia is pleased to announce that the United States of America (US) has returned, and will be returning substantial monies to Malaysia, representing the first instalment of funds recovered from asset seizures related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative of the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

E-hailing drivers don’t have to change status of vehicles to e-hailing private vehicles
E-hailing drivers have been given the flexibility of not changing their vehicle category from individual private vehicle to e-hailing private vehicle (AH). Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the move was decided following discussions between the Transport Ministry and the Road Transport Department (JPJ) after receiving complaints from e-hailing drivers, especially those from Grab. Previously, e-hailing drivers had to change the usage code of their vehicles from the individual private vehicle code to the AH code at JPJ as one of the requirements to be an e-hailing driver. However, Loke said vehicles used for e-hailing services should have a public service vehicle (PSV) licence, passenger insurance, e-hailing sticker and e-hailing vehicle permit (EVP) from the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD).

Malaysia Tourism City project will add 2 million tourist arrivals to Melaka
The Malaysia Tourism City (MTC) project in Kuala Linggi, Melaka, is expected to add two million tourist arrivals to the state, says Meridian Bhd. Executive director Datuk Seth Yap Tin Hau said the MTC’s goal is to increase tourist arrivals and prolong overnight stays. “In 2018, the average tourist arrival in Malaysia was 28 million, and 15 million for Melaka, with an average of 1.5 million overnight visitors. “With MTC, we target to increase another two million tourist arrivals and another additional 1.5 million overnight stay tourists in Melaka, thereby creating a multiplier effect on tourist receipt up to an additional RM5 billion per annum,” he said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today.

Amazon casts itself as friend of small businesses
Amazon.com Inc, seeking to portray itself as a job creator fuelling small-business innovation said it helped mom-and-pop companies create 1.6 million jobs in 2018, up from 900,000 the year before. The company released a report May 7, during the US National Small Business Week, for circulation to elected officials as part of a charm offensive aimed at steering the conversation away from its e-commerce dominance and the damage it’s inflicted on competition. Almost 2 million small businesses partner with Amazon, including authors who get royalties on book sales, merchants that sell products on its website and engineers who build for the Alexa voice-activated platform, according to the report.  Amazon will capture nearly half of the US$600bil US shoppers spend online this year, according to EMarketer Inc. Chief executive officer Jeff Bezos has become the world’s wealthiest man, making his company a target for a variety of social movements decrying income inequality and the outsized power of tech platforms. Amazon’s 12-page report goes into detail about the small businesses it is helping to underscore the company’s impact beyond retail-industry disruption such as stores closures and layoffs. The report says Amazon has invested tens of billions of dollars in technology and tools that help small businesses succeed and provided more than US$1bil (RM4.15bil) in loans to businesses in 2018.

Singapore on track to roll out 5G mobile networks by 2020
Singapore’s Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) said the Republic is in the process of rolling out 5G mobile networks by 2020 with the launch of its second public consultation on issues like regulatory frameworks and policies for the next-generation network. IMDA said the feedback received will assist it in facilitating 5G network rollout by the stated timeframe and identify innovative applications and services riding on the new platform. Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran said separately in Parliament that 5G technology and networks will be a “critical part” of Singapore’s digital economy, and the country is “on track” to achieving the target of rolling out 5G mobile networks by 2020.

Indonesian President scouts locations as capital move gathers pace
Indonesian President Joko Widodo arrived in Borneo island to survey possible locations for a new capital, fast-tracking a plan to move the administrative headquarters out of over-crowded and congested Jakarta. President Widodo arrived at Balikpapan city in East Kalimantan on Tuesday and headed straight to one of the locations being considered for the capital, his office said in a statement. The president is scheduled to visit Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan province and review another possible site for the capital on Wednesday, it said. President Jokowi last week revived the decades-old plan to set up a new capital as the population in Jakarta and its suburbs continues to swell, having hit about 30 million people. Building a new capital may take between five to 10 years and cost as much as US$33bil, according to Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro.