MBAM Requests for Extension for E-Card Registration, Immigration to flush out illegal immigrants from midnight
The Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) has appealed to the government for an extension for the e-card registration until 15 February 2018 to coincide with the closing date of the rehiring programme. The association said it would seek the assistance of the Immigration Department of Malaysia to resolve issues pertaining to problems and delays in registering for the e-cards.
In a related development, the Immigration Department said it would launch a large-scale operation to flush out illegal immigrants in the country at midnight tonight following the passing of the deadline to register for the Enforcement Card or E-card. As of 8 am today, a total of 155,680 illegal immigrants working for 26,957 employers had applied for the E-card and 140,746 of the cards were issued. This is only 23 per cent of the 600,000 cards targeted by the Immigration Department. Director-General of Immigration Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said that after the deadline passed, the department would arrest illegal immigrants and prosecute their employers under sections 56(1) and 55B of the Immigration Act 1959/1963, including those employing immigrants with student passes.
Singapore malls take lead in bumping up food space to counter online hit
Singapore’s shopping centres, intent on keeping units filled and luring back patrons, are renting space to eateries far beyond industry norms in what observers say is a glimpse of how malls are coping with the online onslaught on brick-and-mortar stores. Singapore, with Asia’s highest retail space per capita, has seen vacancy rates and rents near their weakest in at least six years —which place its malls among the worst-performing of the region’s bigger economies. Malls globally have long been countering Internet shopping by adding features not easily replicated online, such as cinemas and schools, but the impact of changing consumer trends is more pronounced in Singapore due to an oversupply of retail space. To make up for lost revenue, Singapore mall operators have doubled the space for food and beverage (F&B) tenants compared with a decade ago to as much as 40%, analysts said, even though it is costly to refit units to accommodate kitchens, while rents can be lower than for fashion stores, for instance.
Malaysia’s May producer prices up 8% on year
Malaysia’s producer price index (PPI) rose 8% from a year earlier, led by costlier mining-related inputs. The Statistics Department said the PPI’s mining and manufacturing segments rose 16.9% and 7.6% respectively. The agriculture, forestry and fishing segment climbed 6.4%, the department said. According to the department, the PPI’s electricity and gas supply segment rose 3% while the water supply portion was up 0.3%. In monthly terms, May PPI, however, fell 0.2% from the preceding month, the department said. In April, the PPI increased 7.5% from a year earlier, according to the department.