Everyone is now one year older and we are here to help you get wiser in the ever-changing world. The Pakatan Harapan government announced various new policies which begin on the first day of 2019.
FeedMe Malaysia have gathered 15 of those and here is the quick look-through of all the new policies started on January 1, 2019.
1. MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE
It will be increased to RM1,100 starting January 1, 2019 from the former RM1,000 in Peninsular Malaysia and RM920 in Sarawak and Sabah, Malay Mail reported.
However, Pakatan Harapan manifesto promised to raise it to RM1,500 and that it was initially announced that the minimum wage increased to RM1,050, but workers protested against it.
2. Entertainment outlets in KL close at 1am
The controversial law was announced on November 29, 2018 by Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad. He said the move is to promote more family time and money spent in the family rather than at entertainment outlets, FMT reported.
For those outlets that serve foreign tourists, they would have a special license that would allow them to stay open up to 5am.
3. No more plastic straws in Selangor
The Selangor government announced in early December 2018 that all restaurants in the state would not provide plastic straws unless being requested.
Selangor residences are advised to bring their own reusable straws to restaurants as they would no longer place one-time used straws at the counters, The Sun Daily reported.
The move is in line with Malaysia’s Roadmap Towards Zero Single-Use Plastic 2018-2030 where plastic straws will be totally banned by 2030. As of now, there is no extra charge on straws like the state charges 20 sen on plastic bags.
4. Smoking ban in restaurants
Regardless if it is indoor or al fresco restaurants, no one is allowed to smoke 3-metre in the vicinity effective January 1, 2019.
Those who are caught smoking would be slapped with a RM10,000 fine or maximum imprisonment of 2 years. While the food operators who fail to keep their customers in check would be fined RM3,000 or six months imprisonment.
5. RM100 monthly travel pass for train and bus
Malaysians could take infinite public transport rides with a fixed price of RM100 a month.
Announced during the tabling of Budget 2019, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the government would allocate RM240 million to introduce the RM100 unlimited monthly travel pass for RapidKL bus and rail service beginning January 1 to encourage Malaysians to use public transport, NST reported.
RM50 monthly passes would also be available but limited only to RapidKL buses. Lim said that this implementation would be expanded to other public transport companies in stages. Thinking about buying a car? Maybe it is time to uncheck that option box.
6. Bus passengers must wear seatbelts
Transport Minister Anthony Loke announced this on November 20. He also said all new express and tour buses in the country must be equipped with CCTV cameras starting January 2019, NST reported.
7. UTCs close by 7pm
Urban Transformation Centres (UTCs) nationwide would shut their doors by 7pm starting January 1, 2019. If you are unfamiliar with UTC, it is a one-hub station where you can resolve any matter pertinent to the Immigration Department, Road Transport Department (JPJ), National Registration Department (JPN), National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN), and among others.
The Star reported that UTC was previously open until 10pm but its new operation hours have now been shortened to 10am to 7pm.
Friday prayers break starts from 12.15pm to 2.45pm for UTCs in peninsular Malaysia, those in Sabah and Labuan will have their break hours from 11.30am to 2pm. As for Sarawak, Friday prayer breaks will be from 11.45am to 2pm.
8. Bank transaction over RM25,000 must be reported
Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Yunus announced on October 30, 2018 that all banks must report any transaction over RM25,000. The previous threshold was RM50,000,
The bank governor said the move is to combat criminals who launder illegal proceeds. The previous RM50,000 cash threshold report was not on par with international standard and it made it easy to finance terrorist activities, The Edge reported.
However, transfers via bank drafts, cheques, electronic transfers or fixed deposit rollovers or renewals do not fall into the scrutiny.
Some analyst said that the move would encourage the public and businesses to use more electronic transactions and lower the use of cash.