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Weekly SME News Highlights (Apr 12-19)

Welcome to MISHU’s News Highlights, where we share bite-sized pieces of news relevant to SME owners in Malaysia. We understand how time-consuming it can be to run a business, so we’ve extracted relevant details to get you updated at a glance.

1. No more smoking in Sweeden, while in Malaysia…

This article calls for more concerted efforts from the Malaysian government and public to achieve a smoke-free Malaysia, citing success in Sweden. 

Sweden has become the first country in the world to achieve a ‘smoke-free’ status, where less than 5% of the population smokes. This was achieved through a combination of measures, including higher taxes, restrictions on smoking in public places, and education campaigns – Sweden has managed to influence a smoke-free generation where only around 3% of its youths smoke.

Meanwhile, in Malaysia, around 20,000 people in the country die from smoking each year, with about 20% of adults being active smokers. 

2. Government offers e-hailing licenses 

The Malaysian government has teamed up with ride-hailing giant Grab to help drivers obtain Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licenses to legally operate e-hailing in Malaysia. 

The partnership is aimed at helping more than 100,000 Grab drivers obtain the necessary licenses, which require them to undergo training and pass a test. 

Of the 2,295 total candidates from Grab Malaysia, 300 received their licenses, with 210 of them being people with disabilities.

3. Motorcyclists involved in 60% of fatal accidents

Malaysia’s Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong revealed that 59% of road fatalities in the country involve motorcyclists. He cited the lack of safety gear, reckless riding, and poor road conditions as some of the reasons behind the high number of accidents.

As Raya celebrations are upon us and many of our staff will be travelling back to their hometowns, please share this article with them as a reminder to practice basic road safety, whether driving cars or (especially) riding motorcycles!

4. Tentative plans for second 5G network

Anwar’s government is planning to introduce a second 5G network from January 2024 to challenge DNB’s lock on the market, ‘four sources’ familiar with discussions told Reuters, declining to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Malaysia’s 5G roll-out by state agency Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) has seen repeated setbacks because of industry concerns over pricing and transparency, as well as worries that a single government-run network would result in a nationalised monopoly.

5. Travel preferences between Malaysians and Singaporeans

A recent study by Yahoo and Southeast Asia consumer research company Milieu Insight on 1,000 respondents each from Singapore and Malaysia has found some interesting (and actionable) differences between travellers from the two regions.

Some highlights from the study:

  • 61% of Singaporeans prefer to relax and take things slow for their next trip while 65% of Malaysians prefer exploring as much as possible
  • 83% of MAlaysioans say they have a travel budget to stick to, compared to 68% of Singaporeans
  • 33% of Malaysians were interested in arts, history and cultural immersion vs 17% of  Singaporeans
  • 80% of Malaysians more inclined to join local activities such as culinary workshops vs 58% of Singaporeans

Read the rest here.

And that’s it for this week! If you have any questions about how the news above could affect your business specifically, we’re just a call away.

Otherwise, hope you found this useful and see you next Wednesday.

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