Readers’ pick: Top 10 most read articles online

TMR looks forward to delivering more analytical and breaking news stories for its readers in 2021

by TMR / pic by ARIF KARTONO

AS 2020 draws to a close, The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) would like to thank its readers for staying loyal with the newspaper in this challenging year.

From macroeconomics to personal finance articles, TMR looks forward to delivering more analytical and breaking news stories in 2021.

As we usher in the New Year, here is a recap of the 10 most read articles online, based on TMR data:

1) Lower EPF dividend expected due to weak equities

The article, published on Jan 20, highlighted analysts’ expectations on the dividend for 2019, with experts forecasting a distribution of between 5.5% and 6.15%, largely dragged by the poor performance of the local stock market.

2) Travel may only return to normal in 2 years, Lee says

As the world anticipates the reopening of borders closed due to coronavirus, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong predicted that travel could return to normal in two years’ time.

He made the remark in a conversation with Singapore Business Federation CEO Ho Meng Kit at the APEC CEO Dialogues Malaysia 2020 in November.

3) No to EPF Account 1 withdrawal

In this article, economic experts argued that the withdrawal of savings from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) Account 1 is not a viable solution to help cash-strapped individuals manage their economic hardship.

4) Lower EPF dividends imminent

This article, published on Dec 2, said the EPF is expected to declare a slightly lower dividend for Simpanan Konvensional this year, if not flat, mainly due to the introduction of emergency relief measures such as i-Lestari and i-Sinar.

5) The end of Proton Edar?

TMR broke the story on Proton Holdings Bhd’s plan to “sell” over 30 branches in Proton Edar Sdn Bhd’s system to dealers or new investors before trimming the network to only four outlets.

Our caption story on Jan 3 showed hundreds of people at PNB to withdraw their dividend in the ASB

6) Hundreds line up at PNB building

Our caption story on Jan 3 showed hundreds of people at Menara Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) to withdraw their dividend in the Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB).

7) India ban on Malaysian palm oil not economically sustainable

There were sporadic reports of India’s ban on Malaysia’s palm oil in retaliation over former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s remarks on Kashmir and the new Indian citizenship law last year.

However, industry players told TMR that the move to shun palm oil from Malaysia will have a negative impact on India’s economy, as global production of the commodity is expected to remain tight with Indonesia’s higher usage of biofuel.

8) Naza to leave auto business?

Will Naza Group of Cos leave the auto business? The group’s recent move to surrender its Kia and Peugeot distributorships has raised suspicions that the company could be considering exiting the automotive business.

According to people familiar with the matter, at the moment, Naza’s family will only focus on completely built-up units and approved permit businesses.

9) KL bizarrely empty

This is another caption story that showed empty roads in Kuala Lumpur (KL) on the first day of Movement Control Order (MCO) on March 18.

The country’s capital was clearly deserted. Non-essential services had been directed to cease operation. Streets were visibly empty — a sight that no one would expect to witness in Malaysia’s modern history.

10) Scrap HSR if line ends in JB

As Malaysia and Singapore are expected to conclude negotiations on the KL-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project today, transportation experts believe Malaysia should ditch the project altogether if it only ends in Johor Baru (JB).

Singapore’s Transport Ministry had previously stated that if, by Dec 31, Malaysia does not proceed with the project, it will have to bear the agreed costs incurred by Singapore in fulfilling the HSR bilateral agreement.