Headlines:

  1. IMF: Malaysia’s economic growth to stabilise in medium term
  2. Malaysia Airlines wins ‘Best Airline in Asia’ award
  3. Malaysian carriers not using Boeing 737 MAX
  4. China grounds 737-Max fleet after jet’s second crash in five months
  5. Both black boxes from Ethiopian Airlines flight recovered
  6. Singapore a hotbed for malicious URLs in SEA

IMF: Malaysia’s economic growth to stabilise in medium term
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Malaysia’s economic growth to stabilise in 2019 and over the medium term. “Domestic demand will remain the main driver of growth, with private consumption and investment supported by an improved business environment and investor confidence. “This would counterbalance the negative drag from the external environment and fiscal consolidation, leaving growth flat at 4.7 per cent in 2019 and close to potential (about 4.75 per cent) over the medium term,” the fund said in a statement today. It added that the Malaysian economy has shown resilience and continues to perform well. ‘A peaceful political transition following the May 2018 elections demonstrated the strength of Malaysia’s institutions. Although vulnerabilities exist, capital outflows have been manageable. The new government has launched multiple initiatives to address governance weaknesses and corruption. Policy priorities are governance reforms and fiscal consolidation while safeguarding growth and financial stability. Structural reforms are needed to boost productivity and help further rebalancing growth towards domestic demand. ‘

Malaysia Airlines wins ‘Best Airline in Asia’ award at ITB Berlin
Malaysia Airlines has scooped the Best Airline in Asia award at this year’s International Council of Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (Patwa) International Travel Awards at ITB Berlin. Malaysia Airlines group chief executive officer Izham Ismail said the award is dedicated to its employees who focus on delivering a world-class travel experience for its passengers every day. “It is testament to our commitment to offering passengers a fantastic experience both in the air and on the ground,” he said in a statement today. As a thank you to its loyal guests, Malaysia Airlines will be offering 25% off on fares to selected destinations including Hong Kong and Sydney.

Malaysian carriers not using Boeing 737 MAX
Malaysia Airlines says it is seeking more technical details about the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from the aircraft manufacturer, following the deadly crash on Sunday of a 737 MAX 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines. The national carrier said it is still too early to make any comments on the crash, as the cause had yet to be ascertained. “We have however, written to Boeing, seeking for more technical details ahead of the delivery of our order expected in 2020,” Malaysia Airlines said in a statement in response to questions from The Star. A check with Malaysia’s other major air carriers – AirAsia and Malindo – also revealed that neither currently operates any Boeng 737 MAX aircraft.

In Beijing, China’s civil aviation regulator has ordered domestic carriers to temporarily stop flying their 737-8 aircraft, after a plane of the same model operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed yesterday on its way to Nairobi, the second tragedy in five moths involving the Boeing jet. That came five months after another 737 Max 8 crash in Indonesia that killed 189 passengers and crew. There were similarities between the two mishaps, since they both occurred during take-off, involving new aircraft that had just been delivered, the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) said in a statement on its website. “In accordance with CAAC’s management principle of zero tolerance for safety hazards, the authority has instructed all domestic carriers to temporarily halt operations involving the aircraft model before 6pm on March 11,” the CAAC said. The grounding of the aircraft would affect more than a dozen Chinese carriers, which have taken delivery of close to 100 of the latest single-aisle plane from the US aircraft maker.

Both black boxes from Ethiopian Airlines flight recovered
In Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian Airlines said the cockpit voice recorder and the digital flight data recorder from the have both been recovered from the crash site. The passenger jet bound for Nairobi crashed into a field just minutes after take-off, killing all 157 people on board. The pilot had alerted controllers of “difficulties”. The airline, Africa’s largest, added that it had grounded its fleet of six remaining Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes pending investigations.

Singapore a hotbed for malicious URLs in SEA; ranks first for business email compromise
Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, recently released its 2018 Security Roundup Report, which depicts a threat landscape that has evolved heavily in both approach and tactic. Singapore was the most vulnerable country in Southeast Asia (SEA), with over 3 million malicious URLs hosted locally and over 15 million victims falling prey to these URLs. Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore were the three SEA countries with the highest numbers of email threats blocked by Trend Micro at 46.2%, 21.3% and 10.9% respectively. Trend Micro detected more than 55 million malware attacks in SEA. Malaysia took top spot at 29.6%, followed by Singapore (19.8%) and Thailand (16.4%). The number of business email companies (BEC) attacks in 2018 increased by 28% globally.