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  • MCO Phase 2: Taxis and e-hailing operation hours 6am to 10 pm, food delivery allowed from 8am to 8pm

    The government is implementing the second phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO) from tomorrow (April 1) till April 14 to flatten the Covid-19 curve, and has introduced measures that are tighter than the first phase, which will end today. Here are some transport related measures for MCO Phase 2.

    According to the transport ministry, from tomorrow, stage buses, express buses, trains and their respective terminals will be limited to operations between 6am to 10am, and from 5pm to 10pm. Taxis and e-hailing services will be allowed to operate from 6am to 10pm daily. However, it’s shorter for food delivery services, which can operate from 8am to 8pm at night. Those ordering dinner via delivery, take note of the new hours.

    The MoT says that while the government acknowledges that the transport of essentials such as food and medicine should carry on smoothly, logistic and transport companies are encouraged to operate between 7pm in the evening to 7am to allow for smoother progress during the MCO.

    The second phase of the MCO is not a curfew/full lockdown, but the authorities will introduce stricter enforcement measures. Yesterday, defence minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that a total of 257,287 vehicles were checked at 1,520 roadblocks carried out on Sunday, and added that the number of roadblocks is set to increase in phase two.

    These will include entry points into tolled roads across the country, which have already been increased from 23 at the early stages to 65 at present. The number of roadblocks at toll plaza entry points will continue to increase to 114 in phase two, the senior minister said yesterday.

    Besides the new transport hours mentioned above, phase two will also limit the operating hours for all supermarkets/sundry shops, restaurants doing takeaways and petrol stations, from 8am to 8pm. Remember, stay at home unless it’s heading out for essentials, and stick to the one person per car rule.

  • Daihatsu Sirion Cross leaked: SUV-style Perodua Myvi

    An anonymous reader has sent us images of a brochure of a Daihatsu Sirion Cross, hinting of an impending launch. Now, I’m sure you readers already know that the regular Sirion is a rebadged Perodua Myvi that is sold in Indonesia, and the Cross appears to be a jacked-up SUV-esque version of said car.

    Hatchbacks with more rugged-looking exterior addenda are all the rage these days (see the Honda Jazz Crosstar), and even Perodua itself is in on it with the Axia Style, so it’s no surprise that Daihatsu’s Indonesian arm has gone down this route. The modifications look to be fairly far-reaching, and go beyond simply slapping black plastic body mouldings, roof rails and a raised ride height.

    Those tweaks are present and correct, of course, but the Cross also gets a new front bumper for a sportier look. The blacked-out fascia that starts from under the headlights and covers the grille and centre air intake looks suspiciously similar to the Japanese-market Honda Vezel Modulo X (essentially a more aggressive version of the HR-V), as are the silver lip spoiler and larger corner inlets with horizontal LED strips.

    Click to enlarge

    The Cross also rides on new 15-inch wheels in an identical design to the 17-inch ones on the Toyota Raize. But the biggest difference is at the rear of the car, where the car sports an entirely new tailgate incorporating the number plate recess (which is on the bumper on the regular Sirion/Myvi). A rather massive black plastic piece on the bumper completes the look.

    Beyond that, it looks to be the same exact car as the Sirion, down to the 95 PS/120 Nm 1.3 litre Dual VVT-i engine and a choice of five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmission choices.

    The appearance of this Cross brings with it a number of implications – although PT Astra Daihatsu Motor is capable of local research and development (the new tailgate itself would have required a considerable amount of investment), it has generally left the Perodua-built models well alone. So, is this a step change in the way of thinking there, or can we expect a new Myvi Style in the future?

  • Terengganu to adopt odd/even registration number rotation system for MCO vehicle movement from Apr 1

    The government announced yesterday that phase two of the movement control order (MCO) from April 1 will introduce stricter enforcement measures. There was no update on the standard operating procedure by defence minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob during his press briefing today, but Terengganu police has come up with a new system aimed at limiting the movement of traffic in the state until April 14.

    This will be achieved by reducing the number of private cars on the road through the implementation of an odd and even vehicle registration number-based rotation system, using the last digit of the plate registration number as the basis for the format.

    On April 1, which is tomorrow, only private vehicles with odd numbers (for example, 1223) will be allowed to travel for any purpose (unless individuals have special permission from authorities to do so) on the day. Those with even numbers (say 1332) will be allowed to move about the following day, April 2, and the format will continue to rotate on a daily basis until April 14 (see table below for the full schedule).

    The cops say that any private vehicles with the wrong sequence (odd number on an day for an even number) will not be allowed to move through restrictions or roadblocks, and will be asked to turn around back home.

    There was no mention of any fines or penalties being imposed, just that the said vehicles will not be allowed to continue their journey should they be stopped. The public is also reminded that the one person per vehicle ruling for private vehicles remains.

    The police say that this approach is being put in place to limit the number of vehicles still on the road, as many people in the state are still ignoring the ongoing MCO. It added that the implementation of these directives will continue until new directions were issued.

    At today’s PC, Ismail Sabri praised the initiative being taken by Terengganu to introduce the odd/even number plate rotation model, but added that such a system would need further consideration for incorporation in states and places where there was significantly more traffic, like Kuala Lumpur.

    What do you think of the odd/even number vehicle registration rotation system? Would it work in curbing traffic in high volume areas like the Klang Valley? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

  • Aeon Credit gives one month deferred loan payment

    As a Non-Bank Credit provider, Aeon Credit does not fall under the current Bank Negara Malaysia ruling on the recent six month moratorium on loan repayments due to the Covid-19 crisis. However, Aeon Credit will be giving a one-month deferred payment for all customers except credit cards.

    This deferred payment option begins on April 1 and ends April 30, with payment on outstanding loans resuming May 1. Facilities from Aeon Credit covered by this are objective financing, personal financing, auto financing and motorcycle financing.

    There is a requirement the customer’s account should not be more than 90 days in arrears as of April 1 for the deferred payment to apply. No compounding interest will be charged on loans eligible for deferred payment and application is automatic with no extra charges will be imposed.

    Customers wishing to continue payments as normal can do so online at the Aeon Credit website. For customers who face financial difficulties after the deferred payment period, Aeon Credit is arranging a restructuring/refinancing package which will be available for online application after May 1.

  • Perodua warranty unaffected if issues happen during MCO, failure to perform regular service in this period

    Click to enlarge

    Following similar declarations by Honda and Toyota/Lexus, Perodua has made clear its warranty entitlements during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, which will last till April 14.

    According to the Malaysian market leader, the factory warranty of Perodua vehicles will not be affected should the car experience technical issues before the expiry of the warranty period (or mileage) within the MCO period. Also, the warranty will not be void should owners not perform the car’s scheduled maintenance service in the MCO period. So, if your service is due, don’t worry, it can be done once the MCO is lifted.

    This message, posted on the national carmaker’s Facebook page, is aimed at those under warranty vehicles that perform regular maintenance at Perodua service centres. Any technical issues should be reported to a service centre within 30 days after the MCO is lifted. That date is currently set at April 14 by the government.

  • Cleaner air in China, Italy, United States observed; potential impact of electric vehicles shown – report

    The Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak has seen widespread disruption of manufacturing operations as well as trade and sporting events worldwide, however it appears there is a silver lining of sorts in the wake of significantly reduced movement; satellite data appears to show reduced nitrogen dioxide emissions across the United States, China and Italy, Gizmodo reported.

    “Nitrogen dioxide is produced by fossil fuel burning and therefore often used as an urban pollution tracer,” said Barbara Dix, an atmospheric researcher at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder.

    “Burning fossil fuels directly emits a lot of nitric oxide and a little nitrogen dioxide (often referred to as NOx together), but the nitric oxide is rapidly converted into nitrogen dioxide in the atmosphere. Nitrogen dioxide can easily be measured by satellite,” she added.

    Both Italy and the United States (California pictured, right) have also shown air quality improvements

    California became the first state in the United States to issue a shelter-in-place order effective from March 19, while many cities have made their decision to shut down earlier, according to Gizmodo. Los Angeles marked a clear reduction in pollution owing the the city’s car culture, the website noted, meanwhile in the northeast region, New York City also marked a significant reduction.

    In Europe, Italy has also seen air quality improvements, also with a reduction in nitrogen dioxide emissions over the span of a month, from February 8 to March 7. “The rapid decrease we see in nitrogen dioxide due to Covid-19 is unprecedented. We are now witnessing a global experiment where one emission source is rapidly turned down, while other sources are still up or will decrease more slowly. A lot of atmospheric science will come out of this,” said Dix.

    While the positive impact of the coronavirus outbreak with regards to the drop in pollution isn’t likely to be long-term, it demonstrates what improvements in air quality could take place with the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, notes Electrek.

  • 2020 Honda City awarded five-star ASEAN NCAP rating

    The 2020 Honda City has been awarded a five-star safety rating by the ASEAN New Car Assessment Programme (ASEAN NCAP), with the fifth-generation sedan model obtaining an overall score of 86.54 points.

    In the adult occupant protection (AOP) category, the City managed to score 32.28 out of a maximum of 36 points, with a perfect score (16 out of 16 points) in the side impact test. In other tests, the sedan managed to score 13.98 out of 16 points in the offset deformable barrier (ODB) crash test, and 2.30 out of four points in the head protection technology (HPT) evaluation.

    As for the child occupant protection (COP) category, the sedan was flawless in the dynamic tests (frontal and side impact) with perfect score of 24 out of 24 points. Along with an installation test score of 11.72 points and vehicle-based technology evaluation score of nine points, the City obtained 44.72 out of 49 points in this category.

    Lastly, in the safety assist category, the City was given a score of 13.60 out of 18 points, with a full eight points scored in the effective braking and avoidance test. The report also pointed out that the model will be available with a blind spot visualisation system on selected variants in certain Southeast Asian markets.

    The system, likely Honda’s LaneWatch technology, is fitted on the passenger side of the vehicle to give drivers a view of what’s on the left side of the vehicle. The City tested by ASEAN NCAP is the Thailand-spec SV variant, which comes with four airbags (the range-topping RS variants gets six), a seatbelt reminder system for front occupants and electronic stability control (ESC); this is standard across the range sold in the country.

  • Mk7.5 VW Golf GTI by Mountune52 – 385 PS, 510 Nm!

    Remember the famed Ford tuner Mountune? Well, the company has struck a partnership with wheel maker Fifteen52 – appropriately called Mountune52 – to work on Volkswagen Group vehicles, and it has released its most advanced upgrade kit for the Mk7 and Mk7.5 Golf GTI. Through its new Stage 2+ pack, the Golf GTI’s peak power is raised to a staggering 385 PS and 510 Nm of torque.

    That represents an increase of 75 PS and 35 Nm from the company’s existing Stage 1 upgrade. In stock form, the EA888 2.0 litre TSI engine makes 230 PS and 350 Nm of torque, which means mountune52’s Stage 2+ kit bumps that up by 155 PS and 160 Nm! Equipped with a manual gearbox, the front-wheel drive GTI sprints from nought to 96 km/h in 5.2 seconds.

    To achieve this, the company used the Golf R’s IS38 turbocharger and a remapped ECU. Also included are the mTune handset with performance calibrations, gauge displays, adjustable shift-light, performance timer, data logger (limited to 10 hours), and a fault-code reader. For DSG-equipped cars, the firm also offers a TCU calibration upgrade.

    It seems like a relatively simple mod that doesn’t need additional engine reinforcement or a beefier clutch plate. According to the tuner company, its engineers have rigorously tested the Stage 2+ kit and assure that it’s as durable as they come. For an extra peace of mind, all mountune52 parts come with a 12-month or 12,000-mile warranty.

    Customers can either choose to have this kit installed at home, or get it done by mountune52’s engineers in Hutton, Essex. The latter comes with an engine oil and oil filter change, too. Prices start from £2,099 (RM11k). Anyone keen?

  • Setel app offers up to 10% cashback for credit card top-ups – AmBank, CIMB, Citi, Hong Leong, RHB, UOB

    Here’s a way to minimise contact with commonly touched public surfaces in the season of Covid-19, although you will still need to navigate the fuel pump nozzle itself.

    If you’re a Petronas customer, an option is to use the Setel app to pay for fuel inside the car, without having to walk to the cashier or touch the pump keypad. With your Mesra card linked to the app, there’s no need to bring the physical loyalty card around and swipe it. No more “Aiya, forgot Mesra card” moments.

    Having gone nationwide to over 700 Petronas stations, Setel is now offering up to 10% cashback when users top-up with qualified credit cards. The cashback feature is effective now on qualified fuel cashback credit cards issued by AmBank, CIMB, Citibank, Hong Leong Bank, RHB Bank and UOB, with more coming. This comes as the app crossed its one million users’ mark.

    “Customers that currently benefit from credit card fuel cashbacks have been wanting to get on Setel and they can now enjoy the seamless experience without losing existing privileges. Setel has crossed the one million users’ mark just one month after our nationwide expansion early February 2020, making us one of the fastest growing mobile application in Malaysia,” said Iskandar Ezzahuddin, CEO of Setel.

    “Our daily order in February alone showed a significant increase of 85% from the previous month, a positive indication of Setel’s appeal to customers as a new retail-on-the-go convenience in Malaysia,” he added.

    Delving into the details reveal that the average cashback rate is 5%. It’s up to 10% cashback for the Citi Cash Back Visa, Citi Simplicity and Citi Cash Back Platinum cards; while the HLB WISE card offers up to 8% and the RHB World Mastercard Credit Card/-i gives up to 6%. It’s 5% for the AmBank CARz Card, AmBank Islamic CARz Card-i, CIMB Cash Rebate Platinum MasterCard, RHB Cash Back Credit Card/-i and UOB One Visa Platinum/Classic. The AmBank True Visa Card gives 3% cashback.

  • Proton shares basic car maintenance tips during MCO

    With the Covid-19 pandemic still a threat and the government choosing to extend the movement control order (MCO) to prevent the spread of the virus, Proton is offering vehicle owners some tips on how they can carry out some basic vehicle maintenance during the MCO period.

    One of the most basic components of a car is the battery, which is vital to start the engine and power various vehicle systems. When parked for an extended period of time, the battery will slowly discharge itself as the alternator is unable to charge the battery.

    To prevent this, periodically start your car and keep it running for 10 minutes to allow the alternator to do its job; Proton recommends doing so every seven days. During this process, avoid switching on the air-conditioning or infotainment system in order to minimise power draw from the battery, which can reduce the effectiveness of the charging process.

    While the engine is running, it is also a good time to check the car’s tyre pressures by using a tyre pressure gauge or a tyre pressure monitoring system (as found in the X70). You’ll want the make sure the pressures match those recommended by the OEM, which is normally indicated by a sticker on the driver’s side door frame. If the tyres are underinflated, head to the nearest petrol station to pump them back up.

    Additionally, leaving your vehicle parked in the same spot for several days could result in flat spots forming on your tyres, which can cause the tyre to lose its shape, resulting in vibrations being felt through the steering wheel when driving. To avoid this, move your vehicle forwards or backwards when you’re charging the vehicle’s battery if you do not encounter underinflated tyres.

    If your vehicle is parked in the sun, it’s recommened to lift up your windshield wipers to prevent them from hardening due to the heat transfer from the windscreen glass and prolonged exposure to UV rays.

    Lastly, sanitise any surfaces you’ve touched in your vehicle after each journey by wiping some disinfectant on contact areas like the steering wheel, door handles, window switches, infotainment screen and gear lever.


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Last Updated 28 Mar 2020


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