Catching Up

ICYMI: Very Fast Drivers Get A Free Pass But M'sia Still Has No Money

  • VP Hot Takes is our new weekly roundup of tech and digital lifestyle news in Malaysia.
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Government Cancels AES Summonses Owed, Says It Will Be The First Time & Also The Last

This week, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said that as part of the Pakatan Harapan’s 100-day pledge, the Cabinet has decided that summons issued since 2012 will be cancelled, meaning that a total of 3.1 million Automated Enforcement System (AES) summons worth RM435 million, from 2012 to Aug 31, 2018 will be waived.

He mentioned, however, that there would no further discounts beyond September 1, explaining that this would be a one-off deal, and that summonses already paid would not be eligible for refund due to them already paid to concessionaires appointed by the previous government.

Nicholas Ker
I don’t know how I feel about this—we’re a trillion in debt/need donations but can wipe out 435 million? I hope it’s really just a one-time deal.
Justin Lee
I’m glad that the government is keeping their promises and that there won’t be anymore ‘discounts’ in the future.
Dale John Wong
I only expect this to encourage errant drivers to continue with their bad habits. I hope that after this, they’ll stick to their promise, ditch the niceness and clamp down on bad road behaviour for real.
Venxhin Pang
And the Malaysians—who broke the law—celebrate. The gov (new or old) has never approached traffic summons right. They used to give discounts to encourage people to pay. Our enforcement is pathetic.
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Image Credit: Marketing Magazine

WeChat Launches Its E-Wallet Alongside Free Money Packets

Finally launching in Malaysia is WeChat Pay My, the e-wallet component of the Chinese communications app that has become so popular here in Malaysia. With its launch, WeChat officially joins the fast-growing list of active e-wallet providers in Malaysia.

As a means to entice users to its platform, WeChat is also giving out free Money Packets to all its users between August 21 to 28, with amounts ranging from RM3.88 to RM88.88. The Money Packet is WeChat’s own take on peer-to-peer payments, which also comes alongside the Quick Pay QR code payment feature.

Venxhin Pang
The Money Packets are intermittent positive reinforcement (sometimes you get a reward). Good at encouraging persistent behaviour. Named by Jack Ma as a “Pearl Harbour Attack” on Alipay. Would be a game changer...except Boost already has a “shake to get rewarded” feature too.

Image Credit: Free Malaysia Today

Proton & Geely To Set Up Factory In China And Penetrate The Chinese Market

Having seen 24 million passenger cars sold in China in 2017 alone, Proton and partner Geely have signed a deal that will see both automobile manufacturers set up a manufacturing plant in China, with both companies taking up equal equity in the joint venture.

This marks the start for Proton to potentially make headway into various international markets, with the agreement also allowing Proton access to Geely’s automobile technologies. The portfolio of cars to be made for the Chinese market will be based on Geely’s current platforms, and the joint venture will aim to be incorporated in 2019 subject to regulatory approvals.

Dale John Wong
I’m really curious to see just how far this partnership can take Proton. The Chinese market is a treasure trove, and if they play this right, I think Proton could do more than get the “deadweight” monkey off its back. Maybe become a real automobile tour-de-force?

Image Credit: PCA Group

Maxis Launches Cheaper Broadband Plans

With an eye on becoming more competitive, Maxis have launched new fibre broadband plans for consumers and businesses, with prices up to 65% lower than previous plans and speeds going up to 100Mbps.

According to Maxis, this was in line with the Malaysian government’s initiative to encourage faster speeds at more competitive prices for all. Prices for the new plans begin from as low as RM89, with consumer plans coming with unlimited Internet.

Nicholas Ker
Relieved to see this. Internet is arguably the key to continued development and the snail-like speeds available prior to this were simply not good enough. Step in the right direction for me, if they can even roll it out properly.

Image Credit: Selangor Press

Dr. M Cancels ECRL Amid Concerns Over Malaysia’s Money Problems

Citing difficult fiscal conditions, PM Mahathir this week announced the cancellation of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) as well as two pipeline projects. The 600.3km ECRL was projected to complete in two separate phases and link Khota Bharu in Kelantan all the way to Port Klang in Selangor.

Now with the project being cancelled, Malaysia has apparently notified China of its decision but not without the possibility of souring relations between the two nations. The ECRL was a strategic element of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, and it remains to see if any further developments arise out of this decision.

Iylia Aziz
Here we go. Another project gets cancelled, and it’s because of money again. I’m all good if the government wants to cut costs to save the country, but at least be consistent! I don’t get that we allow RM435 mil worth of summonses to slide and then stop other projects because we’re in the financial gutter.

Feature Image Credit: The Vocket

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