Local News, Malaysian Fuel Prices

February 2020 week three fuel price – petrol, diesel up


It’s Friday, so time again for the weekly fuel price update, and the coming week will see the price of all fuels going up. In the case of RON 95 petrol, went down four sen last week from its capped ceiling price of RM2.08 per litre, it has gone back up by two sen. The Euro 4M-grade fuel will be priced at RM2.06 per litre over the coming February 15 to 21 week. The same goes for RON 97, which goes up by two sen to RM2.36 per litre.

As for Euro 2M diesel, it will be six sen higher than last week, at RM2.14, which is still below its RM2.18 per litre ceiling price. This means that Euro 5 diesel – typically 10 sen more – follows suit and goes up by six sen to RM2.24 per litre.

The finance ministry said that should global crude oil prices rise, the government will continue to maintain the ceiling price of both RON 95 petrol and diesel at RM2.08 per litre and RM2.18 per litre respectively.

These prices remain effective until February 21, when the next fuel price update is announced. This is the seventh edition of the current weekly fuel pricing format for the year and the 58th edition in total for the format, with runs from Saturday until the following Friday.

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Local News

Toyota Mobility Foundation launches City Architecture for Tomorrow Challenge with MDEC in Kuala Lumpur


The cities of today are evolving at a rapid rate, and with increases in population in them, this has placed significant pressure on infrastructure and resources. As a result, many cities globally are utilising or developing innovative methods to solve challenges such as urbanisation and congestion.

In our local context, Kuala Lumpur has the necessary mobile infrastructure in place but it’s clear that there are still more opportunities for innovative solutions to be part of its ecosystem, and this can be accomplished by leveraging data and technology.

It is with this in mind that the Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) launched the City Architecture for Tomorrow Challenge (CATCH) in Malaysia’s capital city. Working together with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporate (MDEC), CATCH is the region’s first global challenge that aims to attract innovators around the world to submit novel and cutting-edge solutions.

These are aimed at raising efficiency in urban planning as well as driving forward the future of mobility, with the hope that Kuala Lumpur will take the lead in developing next-gen urban development and city mobility management initiatives for the region.

The eight-month global call for innovation is open to all participants, including start-ups, academic and research institutions, corporates, or even the general public. The challenge here is to conceptualise and develop solutions that are dynamic, intelligent and data-driven to design future city infrastructures, with Kuala Lumpur being the focal point.

Participants can join the challenge via CATCH’s official site, and ideas that are accepted will get to proceed to the next stage of the challenge, with the semi-finalists set to be announced on April 2020. From there, they will undergo proof-of-concept (POC) development before the finalists are revealed on June.

The finalists will then need to develop their minimum viable product (MVP) concept and incubation programme, which will then be trialled from June to September, with the overall winner being announced at the end.

Along the way at every stage of the challenge, grants totalling US$1.5 million will be provided, with up to US$5,000 being awarded to those who make it to POC development. The grant is largened to US$150,000 during MVP development and testing, while the grand winner is awarded US$500,000 to scale up their implemented solution in Kuala Lumpur.

To help participants develop their solution more effectively, several other partners from the priate and public sectors have agreed to share valuable data points of a commuter’s journey. These include Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), the Royal Malaysia Police, Land Public Transport Agency (SPAC), Grab, MapIT MSC, MRT Corp and Prasarana Malaysia. They can also expect support from the challenge organisers and relevant partners.

“TMF was set up to address mobility issues around the world using a unique approach driven by sustainability, innovation and partnership. CATCH was designed in partnership with the Malaysian government to encourage data-driven but human-centred interventions to improve city planning and the mobility ecosystem,” said Shin Aoyama, president of secretariat, TMF.

“Through CATCH, the global pool of talented start-ups, academics and the world’s brightest minds can develop their next-gen urban digitisation ideas and accelerate Kuala Lumpur’s evolution into a city of the future. The programme is in line with MDEC’s efforts to drive forward the country’s digital economy, catalyse next-gen innovation through Malaysia’s Global Testbed Initiative and reinforce the country’s position as the Heart of Digital ASEAN,” added Surina Shukri, CEO of MDEC.

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Cars, Lexus, Local News

Lexus UX SUV teased for Malaysia – launching soon?

Lexus Malaysia has teased the arrival of the UX in a post on its official Facebook page, with the words “something exciting is coming your way” written in the caption. The UX is the Japanese luxury carmaker’s smallest crossover that competes against the likes of the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

The UX measures 4,496 mm long, which makes it 144 mm shorter than the NX, but the 2,639 mm wheelbase is just 21 mm less than its larger SUV sibling. The model is underpinned by the Global Architecture – Compact (GA-C) platform, Lexus’ version of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) used for the C-HR.

If you remember, the UX was first previewed in Malaysia during the 2018 Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show (KLIMS). On display was a left-hand drive UX 200 variant, which is powered by a 2.0 litre Dynamic Force naturally-aspirated and direct-injected four-cylinder petrol engine. The mill serves up 169 hp and 205 Nm of torque and is mated to a 10-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission.

Not present at the event but also available is a UX 250h hybrid that pairs this engine to an electric motor to produce a total system output of 181 hp, with another motor mounted at the rear providing all-wheel drive – referred to as E-Four.

A third option is the fully-electric UX 300e, which first made its debut in November last year. For now, it isn’t known which engine will be offered when the UX is officially launched here, but we reckon the UX 200 to be the most likely variant that customers will get.

Unlike its rivals, the UX is a lot more expressive in its design, as it sports sharp headlamps with arrow-shaped LED daytime running lights flanking the signature Lexus spindle grille. Prominent fenders, squared-off wheel arches, a low-slung roofline and full-width LED taillights are some of the other cues that make up the exterior styling.

Inside, the UX draws inspiration from its sedan stablemates like the LS and ES, with a sweeping dashboard design and a freestanding centre display measuring up to 10.25 inches, controlled by the Remote Touch interface. The display car at the time also showcased Japanese traditional craftsmanship as per Lexus’ convention, as seen with the sashiko leather quilting and decorative trim inspired by washi paper.

Safety-wise, the UX is available with the Lexus Safety System+ suite of driver assists, including Pre-Collision System autonomous emergency braking, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) that allows the car to accelerate, brake and stay in its own lane semi-autonomously, Adaptive High Beam System (AHS), Road Sign Assist (RSA) and a Parking Support Brake System.

GALLERY: Lexus UX 200 at the 2018 Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show

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Cars, Local News, Proton

2020 Proton X70 CKD – 7DCT vs 6AT servicing costs


If you haven’t heard, the 2020 Proton X70 CKD was recently launched in Malaysia, now packing a new seven-speed wet dual-clutch transmission instead of a six-speed torque converter automatic that was found in the previous fully-imported CBU units.

Pricing starts from RM94,800, and you can find out everything that’s new with the popular C-segment SUV in our comprehensive launch report. We reckon many of you will have questions about the new 7DCT, particularly how it feels, so there’s also our written and video review to look at.

Another question that is probably on the minds of potential buyers is just what impact the new transmission will have on the X70’s maintenance cost, considering it is technically a more complex piece of kit than the 6AT. Well, we’ll answer that question right here.

Pulling the figures from Proton’s official service schedules for the CKD and CBU versions of the SUV, and putting it into neat tables, you can see that the locally-assembled model is comparatively cheaper to maintain over 100,000 km or five years.

Going into detail, the serviceable items for both versions are largely identical, but the X70 CBU requires a transmission oil change much sooner at the 60,000-km/36-month mark. By comparison, the X70 CKD’s change comes at the 90,000-km/54-month mark.

The difference in maintenance costs is largely due to the cost of the transmission oils used, with X70 CBU owners needing to pay RM500.96, while it is RM353.45 for the X70 CKD. The latter requires four litres of Shell Spirax S5 DCT10 transmission oil, while the former uses eight litres of Geely ATF 3292 by Fuchs Petrolub.

Proton X70 maintenance costs: CKD (top), CBU (bottom)

On a year-to-year basis, the maintenance costs between the CKD and CBU models are largely identical, with the exception of the third and fifth year. In the third year, X70 CKD owners will pay less but this is reversed in the fifth year due to the delayed transmission oil change for the 7DCT.

In any case, owners of the X70 CKD will no longer have a service bill above RM1,000 every 10,000 km/6 months from now on, so it is less likely you’ll be surprised by a huge bill at the service centre. But anyway, all scheduled service costs are available on the Proton website and MyProton mobile app.

There you have it, the new X70 CKD is cheaper to maintain compared to the previous CBU model despite being equipped with a more advanced transmission, even if the difference isn’t by a huge margin for those in the market for such a model.

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Local News

Govt proposing heavier sentence for drunk drivers, driving under the influence – up to 20 years jail


It is being proposed that drivers who are found guilty driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), and driving dangerously causing death, face up to 20 years jail, said minister in the prime minister’s department (law) Datuk Liew Vui Keong, reported by Bernama.

He said that the cabinet has by principle agreed with the suggestion of the transport ministry to impose a heavier sentence on such drivers.

“I leave it to the transport ministry to take steps to make it law in the Dewan Rakyat. Those who are careless or drunk have to take responsibility and be given the appropriate punishment if found guilty,” he told the media in Putrajaya yesterday.

On January 29, transport minister Anthony Loke said the Road Transport Act 1987 will be amended to give a heavier sentence to those who drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and drive dangerously resulting in death. He was reported saying that it involves amendments to three sections in the act, which are sections 41, 44 and 45.

Currently, DUI cases are charged under Section 41(1) that allows for jail of at least two years and maximum 10 years, and a fine not less than RM5,000 and maximum RM20,000.

Asked about the suggestion by some parties that drunk drivers that cause death be charged under Section 304 of the Penal Code for causing death without intent, Liew said that road offences are under the Road Transport Act 1987 and it depends on the court’s judgement after reviewing the prosecutor’s case.

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Cars, Local News, Proton, Proton X70 SUV

2020 Proton X70 – no AWD variant due to low demand


When the Proton X70 was launched in December 2018, buyers were offered four variants to choose from, which included an Executive AWD option for those who required all-wheel drive. However, looking at the revised variant line-up of the recently-launched 2020 X70 CKD, you’ll notice that the all-wheel drive model has been dropped entirely.

While the variant count remains the same as before at four – Standard 2WD, Executive 2WD, Premium 2WD and Premium X 2WD – the locally-assembled SUV is now front-wheel drive only. So, why did the national carmaker decide to proceed with this move?

The short answer is that there is just not that many customers interested in an all-wheel drive variant. Up until now, around 29,000 units of the X70 CBU have been delivered, and from that figure, around 50% of buyers opted for the then range-topping Premium 2WD variant.

By comparison, only 5% of buyers went with the Executive AWD option, and when there’s a lack of demand, a drop in supply is usually warranted. In the case of the X70 CKD, the low demand for all-wheel drive with the CBU version prompted the national carmaker to forgo an all-wheel drive option altogether.

Given that the previous Premium 2WD was the only variant that came with Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) – it can be presumed that customers preferred to have a host of safety and driver assistance features over an all-wheel drive system.

Those who are for all-wheel drive would welcome its sure-footedness, while detractors will bring up the additional running/maintenance cost that typically comes with the added complexity of such a system. On the latter, the difference in maintenance costs over 150,000 km/7.5 years for the 2WD and 4WD variants is only RM129.68 following Proton’s service schedule for the X70 CBU.

Of course, some would prefer to have ADAS and all-wheel drive in one package, but as Proton doesn’t offer a variant with both features, we’ll never know if there’s any market appeal should it be introduced to the market. What are your thoughts on the matter? Would you be interested in an even higher-spec X70 with both AWD and ADAS? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

2020 Proton X70 CKD Infohub

GALLERY: 2020 Proton X70 CKD official images

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Local News

DUKE Jalan Kuching link partial closure for LTdL 2020


The concession holder for the Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway (DUKE) has announced a partial closure of the Jalan Kuching interchange (northbound) to make way for the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) 2020 cycling event.

The closure will be for one hour from 1.40pm to 2.40pm on February 10 (Monday afternoon) to give way to the fourth leg of the cycling event, which will see riders head to Genting Highlands from Putrajaya. The cyclists will pass Jalan Kuching to Selayang.

The closure will affect traffic from Jalan Duta and Sprint on the DUKE heading to Jalan Kuching and Selayang (exit 3302) and traffic from KL city entering DUKE via the intersection (exit 3302).

The concessionaire is advising motorists to use alternative routes – Sri Damansara Link via the Segambut toll plaza for those heading to Kepong/Selayang, Jalan Ipoh exit via the Batu toll plaza for those heading to Jalan Ipoh/Kepong/Selayang, and Karak Link via the Sentul Pasar toll plaza for those heading to Batu Muda/Gombak/Batu Caves.

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Local News

Road closures in KL city for Thaipusam until Monday


Several roads in Kuala Lumpur will be closed in stages over five days in conjunction with Thaipusam celebrations this year, the New Straits Times reports.

The chariot processsion departed the Sri Maha Mariamman temple at Jalan Tun H.S. Lee at 10pm last night, as is expected to arrive at Batu Caves at 3pm today, said city traffic enforcement and investigation department chief assistant commissioner Zulkefly Yahya.

The procession will follow the route the covers Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, Jalan Sultan, Jalan Pudu, Jalan Tun Perak, Jalan Leboh Ampang, Jalan Ampang, Jalan Munshi Abdullah, Jalan Dang Wangi, Jalan Raja Laut, Jalan Ipoh, Jalan Perhentian, Jalan Ipoh, Jalan Ipoh Batu 5, before arriving at Batu Caves.

The return trip for the procession from Batu Caves will commence at 4pm on Sunday, and is then expected to arrive at the Sri Maha Mariamman temple on Jalan Tun H.S. Lee at 5am the following day, Monday.

The procession back into the city from the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple in Batu Caves will pass through Jalan Ipoh Batu 5, Jalan Ipoh, Jalan Perhentian, Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Ipoh, Jalan Raja Laut, Jalan Dang Wangi, Jalan Munshi Abdullah, Jalan Ampang, Jalan Leboh Ampang, Jalan Tun Perak, Jalan Sultan, Jalan Hang Kasturi, Jalan Hang Lekir and then arriving at its destination on Jalan Tun H.S. Lee.

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Cars, Local News, Mazda

Mazda MX-30 to arrive in Malaysia Oct 2020; CX-30 Kulim CKD assembly to commence in 2021 – report


The Mazda MX-30 is due to arrive in Malaysia in the fourth quarter of this year, according to a report by AmInvestment bank on Bermaz, the importer and distributor of Mazda vehicles in Malaysia.

This will arrive on our shores as a fully imported (CBU) model, though being a fully electric model, the MX-30 could also be one of the four models to come from CKD assembly between now and 2021 as any locally-assembled hybrid or fully electric vehicle is fully exempt from excise duties, the report said; this also enables Berjaya Auto to set the MX-30 at a reasonable price point while covering its margins, according to the report.

The MX-30’s entry into the Malaysian market is projected with an eye on the expansion of Mazda’s CKD model line-up in the country, as Berjaya Auto’s manufacturing associate Inokom is set to invest a total capital expenditure of RM200 million towards increasing the total production capacity of its Kulim manufacturing plant from 30,000 units to 80,000 units annually, according to the AmInvestment Bank report.

The other model likely for local production is the CX-30, with AmInvestment Bank stating that channel checks indicate that the crossover – recently launched in Malaysia in CBU guise – could commence CKD assembly at the Kulim plant in 2021.

Unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show last year, the Mazda MX-30 is the Japanese marque’s first fully electric vehicle that is nearly the same size as the internal combustion-engined CX-30, measuring 4,395 mm long with a 2,655 mm wheelbase, 1,795 mm wide and 1,570 mm tall. The MX-30 is built on the same SkyActiv-Vehicle Architecture which underpins the Mazda 3 and CX-30, though with reinforcements around the battery and floor to increase stiffness.

Dubbed e-Skyactiv, the MX-30’s EV powertrain is comprised of a single electric motor driving the front wheels with 141 hp and 264 Nm of torque. This is fed by a 35.5 kWh battery that supports both AC and DC charging, the former accepting a maximum input of 6.6 kW via a Type 2 connection. This offers a range of 209 km, while a range-extender version with a rotary engine is set to debut later on, the company said.

The rotary engine was selected for the range extender role due to its compactness, lack of weight and quiet operation, said Mazda, and this will run of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). This offering of powertrain options mirrors that of the BMW i3, which was introduced with both options, though the range extender has reportedly been sent to the retirement queue.

GALLERY: Mazda MX-30

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Cars, Local News, Proton

2020 Proton X70 CKD details: 4 variants, AWD dropped, new ventilated seats and power boot


Click to enlarge

With the 2020 Proton X70 set to be launched soon, many are curious about just what is new with the locally-assembled (CKD) version, especially in the specs department. Well, here are a couple of leaked images of the CKD X70 as well as a slide listing down the variants and features, as seen on The Ajerul‘s Facebook page.

There are four variants and they are the Standard 2WD, Executive 2WD, Premium 2WD and Premium 2WD X. This means that the Executive AWD, currently the sole variant with all-wheel drive, has been dropped, possibly due to low demand. Before we dive into the specs, let’s see what’s new, visually.

It’s clear that the CKD X70 looks pretty much similar to the CBU version that we’re familiar with – this isn’t the Boyue Pro with the new face. The easiest way to spot a CKD is by the new Proton logo on the grille, which is a round one with the tiger head zooming out from one side. The rear end with the trademark Proton script looks identical, as are the lighting at both ends.

Click to enlarge

Nice colour, isn’t it? This looks like a new grey colour (Honda’s Polished Metal-style?) that should prove to be popular. The current CBU colours are Snow White, Armour Silver, Jet Grey, Cinnamon Brown and Flame Red.

The other two images are close up shots of the SUV’s interior. As expected, the steering wheel boss now features Proton’s new round logo, and the gear selector is also new. Now with a prominent P button, the lever controls the new seven-speed wet dual-clutch transmission, which replaces the CBU’s six-speed torque converter automatic. We’ve already sampled this new gearbox, and you can learn more about it here.

That’s all from the images. We move on to the leaked slide, which details the CKD X70’s variants and specs. Once again, there are four – Standard 2WD, Executive 2WD, Premium 2WD and Premium 2WD X. The new items are comfort and convenience features.

Click to enlarge

A recline function for the 60:40 split-folding rear seats is now available across the board, while the Executive 2WD onwards get a powered tailgate and front ventilated seats. The latter would be rather valuable in our hot climate. The powered tailgate gets a foot sensor from the Premium onwards – this means that you can open the hatch with your hands full – just stand there and swipe or “kick” (we’ll see how Proton’s version work) below the bumper.

That’s all for the new kit. The Premium X is essentially the Premium with the panoramic sunroof. A big glass roof is appreciated by some, but not everyone fancies it – X70 customers can now choose if they want it.

The engine – a 1.8 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 184 PS – remains the same, but peak torque has been given a bump to 300 Nm from 1,750 to 4,000 rpm, which is 15 Nm more than the previous 285 Nm from 1,700 to 4,400 rpm.

The increased torque comes as part of a revision of the engine, internally referred to as Generation 3 (the one in the CBU X70 is known as the Generation 2). There aren’t any mechanical changes, save for updated emissions equipment that can be tuned to meet new Euro 6d regulations. The DCT has a maximum torque rating of 330 Nm, so 300 Nm is within limits.

As used in Geely and Volvo models, this DCT is claimed to have class-leading efficiency – Geely says it actually benchmarked Volkswagen’s dry clutch DSGs (which provide lower driveline losses than Wolfsburg’s wet clutch units) here, with an overall efficiency figure of 94.6% and a maximum figure of 97%. The latter number is close to a good old-fashioned manual gearbox, and is also much higher than Aisin’s eight- (88%) and six-speed (89%) autos. Full story on the new gearbox here.

Not long now. What do you think of the new features of the CKD X70 such as the DCT, ventilated seats and powered tailgate?

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