COVID-19 Archive

  • 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.

     
     
  • 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.

     
     
  • 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

     
     
  • Taxi drivers coalition appeals to gov’t for more welfare

    Gabungan Persatuan dan Syarikat Syarikat Teksi Semenanjung Malaysia (GPST) has appealed to the government to look into providing more welfare to taxi drivers in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and movement control order (MCO).

    Among the proposals put forth include imposing a zero or a minimum tax rate on taxi companies for the remainder of the year to provide companies time to recover from the fallout, which is claimed to take more than six months.

    Additionally, GPST wants the government to extend assistance to SMEs to include all taxi companies regardless of their paid-up capital. This is because some taxi companies do not fall under the SME category as their paid-up capital exceeds more than RM2.5 million, making them ineligible for such benefits.

    The coalition is also thankful to the government for the one-off payments of RM500 to e-hailing drivers and RM600 to taxi drivers, both announced as part of an economic stimulus package.

    However, GPST is seeking additional subsidies from PERKESO to help employees of taxi companies who are not drivers but have a role to play in the supporting the industry. It adds that at this point in time, employees of taxi companies who are not drivers are to accept minimum salaries rather than being retrenched or laid off.

    In an official statement, the coalition, which represents over 100 taxi companies in the country, said that earnings have dropped by approximately 90% in March. Moving forward, it expects zero or minimal revenue for the next few months from April onwards.

    Given the circumstances, GPST also suggested three possible financial relief solutions for member companies to provide to taxi drivers during the MCO period, which are subject to the conditions stipulated in each driver’s contract.

    These include deferring, discounting, or doing away with taxi rental fees during these trying times. It adds that there will be there will be no repossession of taxis during the MCO period.

     
     
  • VW Msia launches “Welcome Back” service campaign

    Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) has launched the “Welcome Back” aftersales campaign as part of its Volkswagen Cares initiative, targeting Volkswagen owners who are affected by the movement control order (MCO). The company is urging customers to register and book their service appointments on its website, after which a personnel will establish contact to make the necessary arrangements.

    VPCM said the appointment (for service or repair works) must be made within 30 days after the MCO has been lifted, adding that all VW owners who register during this period will receive a free merchandise. Those who are not redeeming their free maintenance service or are not Volkswagen Care Plus (VCP) members are entitled to an additional RM50 engine oil voucher.

    What’s more, the company suggests customers who are entering their fifth year of ownership to sign up for the VCP programme to enjoy its benefits. This includes three 20% service vouchers, two-year roadside assistance, plus a 24-hour on-site battery replacement package.

    As for warranty, the company said it will continue to honour the warranty coverage of all cars that were not able to meet the scheduled service maintenance while MCO is in effect. You may click here to book an appointment for the “Welcome Back” service, and find out how to download the Volkswagen Cares mobile app, here.

     
     
  • Covid-19: Jaguar Land Rover deploy fleet for medical responders worldwide, research expertise from the UK

    Jaguar Land Rover have collectively deployed more than 160 of its vehicles around the world in support of emergency response organisations handling the coronavirus situation.

    In the United Kingdom, 57 vehicles, including 27 units of the new-generation Defender, have been issued to the British Red Cross for delivering food and medicine to people in the country deemed most vulnerable due to social distancing rules being enforced, the automaker said.

    Teams across both Jaguar and Land Rover brands in Spain, France, South Africa and Australia have also loaned vehicles to Red Cross societies in their respective countries, with brand representatives in more markets also offering help to their local teams, the company said. The vehicles are readily available due to the postponement of launch events, the automaker added in its statement.

    “The health and safety of our employees, customers and their families remains our priority. Jaguar and Land Rover will do everything we can to support people in need around the world. Our partnership with the Red Cross goes back 65 years, and we will work hand in hand with them to do all we can during this global health emergency. We will also provide help to those closer to home in our local communities,” said JLR customer experience director Finbar McFall.

    Land Rover’s existing emergency relief efforts in partnership with the British Red Cross include funding of the Disaster Relief Alliance, which supports community resilience programmes in the United Kingdom and around the world, offering financial assistance in times of disaster such as the present coronavirus outbreak. The British Red Cross has provided £200,000 (RM1.07 million) to Asian countries severely affected by the pandemic, said Jaguar Land Rover.

    GALLERY: 2020 Land Rover Defender

     
     
 

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Last Updated 04 Apr 2020