Latest Stories

  • MCO: Arrests up by 51% on Sunday, as more take the opportunity to be out simply because it’s the weekend

    Just as things were improving, along comes a weekend to bring those numbers up again. We’re talking about arrests related to movement control order (MCO) offences, and Sunday saw 554 people being detained for violating the order, a 51% increase over the 368 arrests made the day before.

    Senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said yesterday’s numbers represented the first increase after four days of declining arrests, The Star reports. He said that many people were still considering Sunday a holiday as they would normally and were taking the opportunity to go out for no good reason.

    “I was informed by the police that many are using Sunday as an opportunity to go out, and many did go out. Please don’t assume that it is alright to go out on Sunday, because it is not alright. Unless there is an immediate or critical need, everyone should stay at home,” he said.

    Ismail Sabri said that authorities put up 743 roadblocks nationwide on Sunday, and had inspected 203,051 vehicles. Of the 554 individuals that were arrested, 489 individuals were remanded and 65 were allowed bail, with 213 being charged in court yesterday. He added that since the start of the MCO until yesterday (April 5), the police had made a total of 6,048 arrests.

    In Petaling Jaya, police arrested 12 people who failed to give reasonable excuses as to why they were out during the MCO. Among those detained was a 33-year-old foreigner who became violent with the cops after he was stopped at a roadblock near the PJS2 toll plaza.

    According to Petaling Jaya OCPD ACP Nik Ezanee Mohd Alias, the man did not give a reasonable excuse for being out during the MCO, and began shoving and shouting at a police officer before threatening to start a fight. He said that those arrested will be investigated and could face a fine of not more than RM1,000 or serve a prison sentence not exceeding six months or both.

    In phase two of the MCO, the government has announced that supermarkets, grocers, restaurants providing takeaways and petrol stations are all limited to 8am-8pm operating hours, and the same goes for food delivery services. Public transport operation hours are now from 6am to 10am and 5pm to 10pm daily, while taxis and ride-hailing vehicles will be permitted to operate from 6am to 10pm.

    With public compliance now said to be at 99%, there’s no reason to let up on the effort. Please continue to heed the call to stay at home, and if you do head out, keep travel distances short and be mindful of the 10 km limit for the radius of travel. Also, remember to bring your utility bills as proof of residence that you’re not far from where you are, and adhere to the one-person-per-car rule. Most importantly, no joyrides.

  • Goodyear connected tyres concept – 30% shorter stopping distance with tyre-to-vehicle communication

    Tyre manufacturer Goodyear has been running road tests and other field trials for its tyres embedded with sensors, which transmit information regarding the tyres’ characteristics, the company said. This is particularly important with the evolution of road vehicles towards autonomous operation, the company said.

    Initial studies have shown that connected tyres – ones embedded with sensors – can reduce the loss of stopping distance between a new and used tyre by 30%, it said. The tyre manufacturer’s connected, intelligent system continuously measures and records tyre-derived information, which is then paired with other sets of vehicle data and connected to Goodyear’s proprietary, cloud-based algorithms, it said.

    The data measured in real time includes tyre wear, load, inflation, temperature and road surface conditions; with the data transmitted to the vehicle, it can then adjust and respond accordingly to these measurements and optimise the vehicle’s performance as a result, says Goodyear.

    “Consider someone driving on a slick, curvy road in wet conditions. The driver adjusts his movements by slowing down, tapping the brakes or avoiding sudden steering. But what about when nobody is behind the wheel? The tyre is the only part of the vehicle that touches the ground and it can communicate vital information to the vehicle, enhancing safey and performance,” said chief technology officer Chris Helsel.

    Though these connected tyre technologies have yet to become available to consumers, Goodyear has so far elapsed a 4.8 million km equivalent in data collected from road tests and other field trials, and these connected tyre are being continuously tested with automakers and other automotive suppliers. The information collected will go towards developing custom products and solutions for improved road safety for eventual use by consumers, said Goodyear.

  • Geely on track to hit sales target despite coronavirus

    With all the doom and gloom surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, businesses are bound to find it difficult to attract customers, and the numerous social distancing measures put in place around the world certainly isn’t helping matters.

    But while most carmakers are only beginning to grapple with extended plant closures, over in China where signs of a recovery are starting to show, Geely appears to be optimistic that the outbreak will not have an enormous effect on its output.

    Even with a significant short term impact on sales, the company is still confident of delivering a targeted 1.4 million vehicles in 2020, Geely Auto vice president Daniel Li told CNBC. “It’s 40,000 cars more than the year before,” he said.

    The company is also ramping up production to meet 40,000 vehicle orders over the coming weeks, having stockpiled “good inventories of key components, batteries and raw materials” since the end of last year in preparation for a strong sales season. “In March, we have seen some good signals for recoveries from our dealer shop visits and also the orders we have received,” Li added.

    This comes after Geely reported a 35% drop in profits to 8.19 billion yuan (RM5.05 billion) in 2019, as sales slid some 9.3% to 1.362 million vehicles. Li attributed this to “significant challenges” in the Chinese market, exacerbated by the pandemic at the end of the financial year. Despite the reduced profits, the company increased dividend payouts from 22% to 27%.

    Geely has a big year ahead, with a number of new product launches that include the Icon and Haoyue SUVs and the production version of the Preface concept, alongside facelifted models, the Geometry C electric hatch and the Lynk & Co 05 and 06. The company will also reveal its first vehicle built on its new pure electric modular architecture (PMA), while Lynk & Co is due to kick off European sales in the second half.

  • BHPetrol appoints Leslie Ng Chie Shean as CEO

    Boustead Petroleum Marketing (BHPetrol) has appointed Leslie Ng Chie Shean as its new chief executive officer, effective April 1, 2020, succeeding Tan Kim Thiam, who retired from the position on December 31, 2019, in this role.

    With the new appointment, BHPetrol acting CEO Azizul Azily will resume his duties as general manager of supply, retail and government and public affairs, BHPetrol said in its statement. Ng takes to the role of CEO with an extensive career in the oil and gas industry, specifically in the retail petroleum sector, the company said.

    “This includes 26 years with Shell during which he held various leadership positions, both in the domestic market and in the Asia Pacific region, helming two of Shell’s largest downstream businesses of retail and lubricants,” it said.

    Ng is well-versed in key areas such as new market entry, business development, network expansion, marketing, strategy, B2B/B2C sales, retail sales and operations, distribution as well as business IT and automation, the statement continued.

    Before joining BHPetrol, Ng was CEO of oil and gas, property and retailing divisions at Cambodia-based Blue Ocean Group. Additionally, he was also a freelance consultant for oil and gas companies in areas such as petrol stations and lubricants, organisational transformation, market entries as well as marketing and acquisitions.

  • Papadakis Racing unveils Toyota Supra with 1,033 hp!

    Someone had finally done it. Papadakis Racing has taken the A90 Toyota GR Supra‘s B58 3.0 litre inline-six engine and cranked it to make approximately 1,033 hp, but the manic race car will specifically be used to compete in the 2020 Formula Drift championship.

    Now, the engine used for this build is based on the factory B58 unit, but gets modified with race-grade hardware and software, which includes a AEM Infinity ECU, a new valvetrain from Supertech Performance, full AEM fuel injection system (includes injectors, fuel pump and filter), larger turbocharger from BorgWarner, race-spec turbo manifold, and race-grade electronic and wiring harness.

    The factory crankshaft is maintained, but the rods and pistons have been beefed up. All in, the engine produces 1,033 hp and 1,231 Nm of torque, figures which were achieved using E85 Ignite Red 114 Ethanol as fuel. The engine build took four months, all of which have been chronicled in video form.

    Like most of its race cars, this Supra gets a Gforce GSR four-speed Dogbox transmission with straight-cut gears (often used in Nascar vehicles) and a custom flywheel, which sends power to the rear wheels. Also in place is a carbon-fibre driveshaft.

    “It’s rare that a new engine platform comes out that has the potential that this one does. What has motivated me as a builder is doing this for the first time, without instructions. It’s exciting to achieve something that hasn’t been done before and I hope other builders and creators find that inspiring,” founder Stephan Papadakis said. His racing team is also the most successful drift team, having won three Formula Drift Championship titles.

    Besides that, Papadakis Racing also stripped the car down to the bones, including the removal of sound insulation and paint. It gets a championship-compliant Pro Level roll cage, fully adjustable suspension from RSR, and a revised steering position (with a new AEM dash logger) optimised for drifting, wider front and rear track width, and a modest ducktail spoiler.

    The 2020 Formula Drift Championship is set to begin on April 10 in Long Beach, California, and this Supra drift machine will be piloted by Fredric Aasbø, a talented 34-year-old professional drifter and stunt driver who hails from Norway. You may watch the series of builds, below.

  • Proton confirms vehicle warranty unaffected by MCO

    Here’s another confirmation on vehicle servicing and warranty in the times of the movement control order (MCO), which was enacted by the government to flatten the Covid-19 curve and break the coronavirus’ chain of transmission.

    Proton has announced that all vehicle warranties expiring during the MCO period will be extended by 1,000 km or 30 days following the final day of the MCO, whichever comes first. As of today, the phase two of the MCO that we’re currently in ends on April 14, although there has been chatter on an extension.

    As for servicing, if the vehicle misses its recommended service period that falls within the MCO period, it will not affect the car’s warranty. This is unavoidable on the customer’s part as all service outlets are closed. Owners are advised to service their vehicle within 30 days of the end of the MCO period to keep their warranties intact.

    “Customers are advised to contact a Proton service outlet to book a service appointment within 15 days of the end of the MCO period,” the company said in a statement. So, you don’t have to worry about warranty and servicing during the MCO, but go get it done after the order lifts.

  • PLUS advises Penang Bridge users to have sufficient TnG balance – no top-up services offered at toll plazas

    With the movement control order (MCO) still in effect, PLUS Malaysia is advising Penangites to remain at home and to only travel if absolutely necessary in order to minimise their risk of exposure to the virus. Of course, this applies not just to those living in Penang but the whole of Malaysia as well.

    However, for those who need to travel from the island to the mainland, the company is reminding users of the Penang Bridge to ensure they have enough balance in their Touch ‘n Go (TnG) card. This is because the company is observing social distancing and will not offer top-up services at the crossing’s toll plazas.

    “We urge highway customers to always ensure that they have sufficient balance in their Touch ‘n Go card. For easier reloads, they may do so at numerous top-up zones such as bank ATM machines, convenience stores and petrol stations which are conveniently located around the island and the mainland. Self-service kiosks are also available at various points along the PLUS highway,” said Zakaria Ahmad Zabidi, CEO of PLUS.

    “Above all, the best move to curb the spread Covid-19 are to stay home and practise social distancing. By ensuring your Touch ‘n Go card has sufficient balance for toll transactions, eliminates the need to physically interact with our customer service assistant and at the same time, ensure social distancing is observed,” he added.

  • Covid-19: Geely sourcing ventilators for hospitals in M’sia; Albukhary Group offers financial, material aid

    The Albukhary group of companies has come forward to provide assistance in the forms of direct cash, medical equipment, vehicles, key services and support as well as various other forms of aid in in the battle to contain and eradicate the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, The Malaysian Reserve reports.

    The group’s efforts are coordinated through the Li Shufu Charity Foundation (LSCF) in China in order to contribute aid to various stakeholders in Malaysia, the Albukhary group said, adding that some of the aids have been disbursed and deployed beginning last week. Li Shufu is chairman and founder of Geely.

    The group’s relationship with the Geely group – strategic partner of Proton – enables the sourcing of key medical equipment critically required by Malaysian hospitals, it said. The LSCF and Geely are sourcing ventilators for delivery to the ministry of health at hospitals throughout the country, which are expected to arrive this month. These will be joined by other protective equipment, the group said in a statement.

    Two companies within the group, DRB-Hicom and MMC Corp made a cash donation totalling RM2 million to the Malaysian government’s Covid-19 fund, the report noted. According to The Malaysian Reserve, the donation was presented to prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on March 24.

    “Various companies within the Albukhary Group have come forward to provide a variety of aid, including medical equipment (ventilators, personal protective equipment and the like) to the Ministry of Health (MoH), as well as meals and food to government hospitals, media frontliners and university students,” said the Albukhary group.

    Additionally, the group has also loaned Proton X70 SUVs to the ministry of health for transporting healthcare personnel, and drones to the armed forces for monitoring and surveillance purposes, it added.

  • Going out to get your favourite food is a no go – IGP

    Malaysians love food and will go out of their way to find it. Apparently, this practice hasn’t stopped even with the movement control order (MCO) in place, because quite a few people are still attempting to satisfy their food cravings.

    As Bernama reports, this persistent behaviour has drawn the ire of the inspector-general of police, Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador, who said that going out for the sake of buying one’s favourite food is a lame excuse. He said that stern action can be taken on those who use such a line as a reason for being out when questioned at a roadblock.

    He urged the public to remain at home and comply with the MCO, and repeated that cooperation from all quarters was crucial to ensure that the Covid-19 infection chain could be broken. He added that being out unneccesarily increased the risk, and anyone can be infected by it, regardless of their skin colour, race, religion or status.

    “Now is the time for people to ‘sacrifice’ by refraining themselves from leaving their home as they could be at risk. Just be patient. Once the situation improves, we might see less rigid restrictions,” he said, adding that whether or not there would be a further extension to the MCO would all depend on public compliance with it.

    In a related incident, 24 people were detained in Penang in the wee hours of the morning for flouting the MCO, all because they had a craving for nasi lemak and were trying to satisfy that fix, the New Straits Times reports.

    Police personnel patrolling around the area stumbled upon the group at the back of a house at Mukim 3, Sungai Pinang at 2am. They were patronising a nasi lemak stall operated by a 23-year-old, who had no licence to operate the business. The cops detained everyone, including the nasi lemak stall operator.

    Eleven of them were remanded until today, while the rest have been remanded until tomorrow (Tuesday). According to southwest district police chief Superintendent A. A. Anbalagan, the seller claimed that he operated the stall since last year but did not possess any business operating license from the local council. The police also said that he violated the MCO for operating his stall beyond the hours allowed.

    So, folks, we all have to eat, yes, but make those travel distances to bungkus your food short if you really have to go out to get breakfast, lunch or dinner. Be mindful of the 10 km limit for the radius of travel and adhere to the one-person-per-car rule. If you can, just stay at home and makan. Most importantly, skip that illegal supper.

  • Nissan cuts output in Thailand due to Covid-19 effect

    Nissan has temporarily reduced production output in Thailand as a result of the coronavirus outbreak that has affected the entire world and most businesses.

    With declining demand for new cars, Nissan will suspend production at Plant 2 in Samut Prakan from today till May 3. Production at Plant 1 will go on, but will be adjusted to meet current demand levels. Adjustments will also be made at associated operations, including engine assembly and stamping, Nissan said in a release, reported by the Bangkok Post.

    At Nissan’s offices, staff are already asked to work from home. The Japanese carmaker has five subsidiaries, including two production bases, 180 showrooms and service centres in Thailand. This move is in-line with the guidelines set by the kingdom’s public health ministry.

    “Our goal is to resume normal business operations as soon as possible, but ensuring the safety and well-being of all our employees, their families and Thai society is our priority right now given the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Ramesh Narasimhan, president of Nissan Thailand.

    He added that Nissan is expanding measures to safeguard employees, customers and the community from the outbreak and is confident of sufficient supply to meet domestic vehicle demand. Unlike car dealerships in Malaysia under the current movement control order (MCO), the brand’s dealership network in Thailand remains open, with extra precautions.

    Rival Ford has already suspended production in the Land of Smiles, as announced last month. Before the Covid-19 pandemic erupted, Nissan was tipped to introduce the Kicks crossover with the e-Power range extender system in Thailand in March.

    GALLERY: 2020 Nissan Almera VL, Thai-spec


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Last Updated 04 Apr 2020


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