With airline companies rapidly depleting cash reserves and any form of subsidies to ensure survival in the current climate, the unsurprising reality is that efforts to go green have taken a step back. However, the pandemic has in a way allowed relevant industry players to pause and ponder on long-term strategies, including but not limited to the sustainability of both airline companies and, importantly, environmental protection.
The domino effect of airlines' massive lay-offs of pilots is a decrease in pilot training applications in Malaysia. One of the many flight training organisations in Malaysia has seen a 30% fall in enrolment at its eastern Malaysia centre and a 15% decrease in its western Malaysia centre. The reason for this is because the investment does not necessarily guarantee its returns.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and in a move to boost economic activity through medical tourism in Malaysia, the government has announced that it will partially reopen Malaysia's borders to medical tourists from designated green zone countries (eg, Brunei, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand), allowing them to fly in via commercial or chartered flights.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court recently dismissed an application by AirAsia Berhad and its long-haul sister airline, AirAsia X Berhad, for leave to commence judicial review proceedings against a financial penalty imposed by the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM). This was the first time that an airline had sought to challenge a penalty imposed by MAVCOM.
On 7 June 2020 the government announced that Malaysia's Movement Control Order would enter a 'recovery phase' beginning on 10 June 2020 and ending on 31 August 2020. As a result, the Malaysian Aviation Commission and the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia recently introduced measures to ease the administrative and regulatory challenges faced by the aviation industry during the Recovery Movement Control Order period.
A contractor and claimant, Econpile, has had verdicts delivered by both the Court of Appeal and the High Court on, among other things, the issue of whether an adjudicator has the jurisdiction to decide on a payment claim when the contract has been terminated and whether the contractor is entitled to commence an adjudication proceeding under the Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act 2012 after the contract has been terminated.
The Ministry of Works has issued a standard operating procedure for the construction industry (Construction SOP), effective for the duration of the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO). The ministry has also published FAQs addressing the common queries arising from the Construction SOP. The Construction SOP previously issued by the Ministry of Works for the Conditional Movement Control Order continues to apply for the duration of the RMCO subject to the amendments highlighted in this article.
Following the prime minister's announcement on 1 May 2020 regarding the reopening of the economy, the construction industry is permitted to operate with effect from 4 May 2020. Such operations will be subject to compliance with the standard operating procedure for construction issued by the Ministry of Works.
As Malaysia transitions into the third phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO Phase 3), the government has moved to allow additional economic sectors to operate during this period. This includes construction projects and services related to construction works. However, construction industry players that intend to resume operations during MCO Phase 3 should take note that they must comply with the third set of frequently asked questions issued by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
In relation to the Movement Control Order (MCO) regarding COVID-19, the Ministry of Works, among others, issued a series of frequently asked questions to clarify some of the issues affecting the construction industry. The Ministry of Works has since confirmed that all works at construction sites are not permitted under the MCO and must therefore be stopped during the relevant period, except for 'critical works'.