Five Newsbytes to Start The Day – 7 May 2019

World’s first Hasbro-themed water park to open in Melaka
Meridian Bhd, formerly known as Meda Inc Bhd, is planning to team up with M101 Holdings Sdn Bhd – which has signed a licensing agreement with US-based toy and board game company Hasbro Inc – to open the world’s first Hasbro-themed water park in Melaka. The water park within the Malaysia Tourism City (MTC) in Kota Linggi features licensed intellectual properties such as My Little Pony, Nerf and GI Joe, to open in 2022. Occupying 15 acres of the 622-acre MTC, the water park is expected to be built at a cost of RM80 million. Other popular games linked to Hasbro include Battleship, Play-Doh and Mr Potato Head. This theme park is the second partnership between M101 and Hasbro, as M101 will also open the world’s first Monopoly-themed hotel at M101 Skywheel. The MTC development, meanwhile, includes an adventure park as well, scheduled to open by year end. (The Edge)

Mega IPO on the cards from Axiata-Telenor merger
Axiata Group Bhd announced yesterday that it is in talks with Norway’s Telenor Group to merge their operations in Asia. Assets that have been put on the negotiating table are both parties’ mobile service operations and telco towers that spread across Asean and Southern Asia. The merged entity (MergedCo) will be the largest operator in Asean, and will have its operations in Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal. It will be headquartered in Malaysia, including the Tower Co and innovation centre. Axiata’s wholly-owned Celcom Axiata Sdn Bhd will be injected into DiGi.Com Bhd, which will put MergedCo into the market leader position with a combined subscriber base of 20.8 million in Malaysia. (The Edge)

RM200m to build and repair PPRT houses throughout Malaysia this year
The government has allocated RM200 million for new Hardcore Poor Housing Programme (PPRT) projects and repair of PPRT houses throughout the country this year. Deputy Rural Development Minister R. Sivarasa said both initiatives would benefit about 43,000 poor and hardcore poor population in the country. The government has allocated RM86.038 million to build 1,224 new units of PPRT and RM113.962 million for repairing the existing 7,354 units with problems. (Malay Mail)

Photo by Sayuti Zainudin/Malay Mail

Putrajaya mulls expanding Penang airport to cater to 20 million passengers till 2035
The federal government may enlarge the Penang International Airport (PIA) to accommodate a maximum of 20 million passengers instead of the initial 12 million proposed. Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the original proposal was to increase the capacity from 6.5 million to 12 million passengers, but added that this was too small. “Based on technical specifications, we can increase the capacity to 20 million with the existing land available, using certain land on the edges,” he said. Lim also assured the Penang government that Putrajaya’s plan to build an international airport in neighbouring Kulim, Kedah will not negatively affect the island state. The proposed RM1.6 billion Kulim airport will be a private finance initiative so the federal government need not fund its construction. (Malay Mail)

PM: No Cabinet reshuffle
There is no need to restructure the existing Cabinet, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. “There will be no restructure,” said the Prime Minister to the media at an interview held in conjunction with the first anniversary of Pakatan Harapan’s takeover of Putrajaya. When asked what his evaluation of the Cabinet was, he gave them a ‘five out of 10’ rating. “I have been in the government for 22 years and I know how government functions, but these people (ministers) are new; they do not know how a government functions. They are so afraid of being accused of wrongdoing and all these decision-makings by them are more difficult. But they are learning very fast,” he added. He refused to reveal who among the ministers fared well and who did not. There had been talk of a Cabinet reshuffle following perception that most of the Pakatan ministers were not performing up to expectations. (The Star Online)

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