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PRODUCER PRICE INDEX DECREASED 0.3% IN AUGUST 2018

The Department of Statistics Malaysia has noted that the Producer Price Index (PPI) for local production slipped 0.3% year-on-year in August 2018 compared with 0.7% recorded in July 2018. The sectors which decreased during this period were agriculture, forestry and fishing (-13.2%), manufacturing (-1.7%) and water supply (-0.5%), while the indices for mining and electricity and gas supply increased by 28.6% and 0.6%, respectively.

(The Star, 29/09/2018)


 

GOVERNMENT TARGETS HIGHER CONTRIBUTION FROM SMES

The Entrepreneur Development Ministry plans to boost the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector’s contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) from the current 37% to 42% in 2019. Although the target was not very encouraging, the ministry is confident that it could be achieved if SME entrepreneurs were to start preparing themselves, particularly when encountering the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0).

(The Star, 01/10/2018)


 

MALAYSIA’S HALAL EXPORTS MAY HIT RM50 BILLION BEFORE 2020

According to Halal Industry Development Corp (HDC), Malaysia’s halal exports may hit the RM50 billion mark this year, which is earlier than the 2020 target as stronger demand has been experienced. This will be at least an 11% growth from 2017’s RM45 billion and higher than Malaysian Islamic Development’s (Jakim) year-end growth target of 10%. The exports value currently stands at RM20 billion in 2018.

(NST, 01/10/2018)


 

11MP OUTLINES TWO MAIN APPROACHES

The Ministry of Economic Affairs Malaysia has outlined two key approaches in reviewing the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) to be tabled in Parliament on October 18, 2018. The approaches include furnishing the progress report for the initial two years of the country being under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government; and the direction and policy of the country’s economy based on the PH manifesto.

(The Edge Financial. 02/10/2018)


 

PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS TO CONTINUE VIA OPEN TENDER

The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government will not cancel all directly negotiated public-private partnership (PPP) projects undertaken by the previous administration. Progressing forward, PPP projects will adopt a “new and clean model” for open tenders, in line with PHs’ policy for transparency, accountability and to get the most value out of public money. The Government recognises the benefits of PPP projects for the Malaysian public and will not take the extreme measure of cancelling all such projects carried out via direct negotiations of the previous administration. The Ministry found that 14 out of 17 PPP projects (predominantly involving land swap deals for the building of public facilities such as housing, schools and fire stations) had not undergone an open tender, but were agreed upon based on direct negotiations during Barisan Nasional’s rule.

(The Sun, The Edge & NST, 02/10/2018)


 

MALAYSIA’S EXPORTS GROWTH SEEN SLOWING IN AUGUST 2018

Malaysia’s exports likely grew at 5.7% in August 2018 from a year earlier, slower than July 2018 (9.4%). Growth estimates has widely ranged between a rise of 2.6% and 9.2%. The country’s imports were forecasted to rise 10.1% in August 2018 from a year earlier, marginally declining from a 10.3% expansion in July 2018. The trade surplus in Malaysia is expected to widen to RM9 billion (US$2.18 billion) in August 2018, from RM8.3 billion in July 2018.

(The Edge Financial & The Sun, 04/10/2018)


WORLD BANK CUTS MALAYSIA’S 2018 GDP GROWTH FORECAST TO 4.9%

The World Bank has cut Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for 2018 to 4.9% from a 5.4% estimate made in April 2018, attributed to the cancellation of several infrastructure projects and lower export growth resulting from a weaker market outlook. This has been the second revision in 2018, with the bank revising up Malaysia’s 2018 GDP growth forecast to 5.4% in April 2017, from the 5.2% estimate in January 2018.

(The Edge, The Sun, NST & The Star, 05/10/2018)


MERU RAYA TO BECOME SMART CITY

The Perak State Government is aiming to turn Meru Raya into a smart city with the aid of the existence of fibre optic infrastructure. Meru Raya was chosen as it was a new city gazetted as a registered cyber centre which had met the requirements set by MSC Malaysia. The government plans to create a city area that utilises technology on a large and diverse scale to achieve value-added benefits that suit the residents, businesses, local authorities and visitors.

(NST, 04/10/2018)


 

NO PERMANENT LAND TITLES

The Perak State Government is not permitted to issue land titles of 999 years or permanent titles to new villages in the state as the matter must first be decided on by the Federal government and National Land Council. As for now, the state government will only issue approvals of a 99 year leasehold tenure for 3,000 holders of Temporary Occupancy Licenses.

(NST, 04/10/2018)


 

URBAN PLANNING SHOULD CONSIDER THE NEEDS OF ELDERLY POPULATION

By 2040, one-fifth of the national population is estimated to be ranging at 65 years of age and above, creating new challenges in urban planning and design in order to address the changing lifestyle demands in the city. The emerging elderly population will create new challenges in the area of amenities and facilities, health services and in efforts of building a suitable urban environment. The ageing society is a new phenomenon in Malaysia, and it is time to consider this issue in the future planning of urban developments. To be gazetted by the end of 2018, the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 is currently under review to incorporate the latest concepts and policies on both a national and global level.

(Starproperty.com, 04/10/2018)


 

NEW MULTI-LEVEL CARPARK IN KLANG TO BE READY BY 2019

President of the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) has expressed the unfeasibility of building a new multi-storey carpark complex in Klang’s Little India due to the unavailability of space. The MPK does however anticipate that parking woes in the area would ease up once the new multi-level parking complex in Jalan Raya Timur is completed. The project is being built by KTM Berhad next to the Klang Komuter station and will be completed in 2019.

(The Star, 29/09/2018)


 

CHINA COMMUNICATIONS CONSTRUCTION LTD (CCCC) TAKING OVER MRL?

Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) has yet to hold talks about the future of the East Coast Railways (ECRL) project with its main contractor, China Communications Construction Ltd (CCCC). MRL, the owner of ECRL, has yet to receive any feedback from CCCC as the Chinese firm was reported to be interested in buying ECRL’s equity interest if the government were to resume the project. MRL has no authority to issue any official statement as the ECRL is now under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance. The ECRL project has been suspended since July 2018 due to the cost of the project burgeoning to RM81 billion, compared with the previous government’s announcement of RM55 billion. ECRL is one of the key components of the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Initiative, which includes rail links connecting Selangor to Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan.

(NST & The Edge, 30/09/2018)


 

SHORTER KL-SEREMBAN TRAVEL TIMES

The Seremban-Nilai-KL Sentral-Sentul Komuter Express by Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTMB) has been reinstated and will cover seven stops with a shorter travelling time between Seremban and Kuala Lumpur. Cancelled several years ago due to low ridership, it has now been restored after a meeting between the Transport Minister and KTMB. The Seremban-Nilai-KL Sentral-Sentul express line can accommodate 1,118 passengers. The train will leave Seremban at 6.50am, which will arrive in KL Sentral at 8.00am, before proceeding to three other stops to arrive at its final destination in Sentul at 8.23am. A ticket price for the entire journey is RM8.00. For return journeys in the evenings, an express return trip leaves the KL Sentral station at 5.55pm to reach Seremban at 7.10pm.

(The Star, 01/10/2018)


 

KOTA BARU-KUALA KRAI HIGHWAY PROJECT STILL ON

Construction of the Kota Baru-Kuala Krai Highway will persist despite the country’s financial challenges, in order to cater to the wider interest of the people. There was no reason for the 73km long, four-lane highway project to be cancelled as its implementation was proceeding smoothly thus far. The 1B Package from Pasir Hor to Kadok involving a 10.5km route has been completed and opened to users from August 2017, whereas the 2A (Kadok-Ketereh) and 2B packages (Ketereh-Kok Lanas) remain under construction.

(The Sun & The Edge, 02/10/2018)


 

MELAKA TARGETS AIR TRAVEL TIES

Melaka is keen to strengthen aeronautical relations with Indonesia and Thailand. The state was determined to have mutual air transport ties between major cities in both countries to the Batu Berendam International Airport (LTAM) in Melaka. Melaka is hoping to introduce more air routes to Thailand and Indonesia from LTAM by the end of the 2018. The state has held discussions with companies such as AirAsia and Malindo Air to service routes to both countries from LTAM.

(The Star, 02/10/2018)


 

MALAYSIA AIMS TO DEVELOP 30 NEW AEROSPACE MANUFACTURING SMES

The government targets to develop 30 new manufacturing small and medium enterprise (SME) players in the aerospace sector by 2020, in addition to the current 20 companies (generating over RM30 million in 2018). The local aerospace industry’s manufacturing segment has shown strong growth since the 1990s and recently surpassed the maintenance, repairs and overhaul (MRO) segment as the top revenue contributor in the aerospace sector. Circa 48% or RM6.6 billion of the aerospace industry’s revenue in 2017 stemmed from the aerospace manufacturing segment, followed by 46% from the MRO segment and the remaining from the engineering and design services segment. SME Corporation companies cover engineering and design services, system integration, and the manufacturing of aircraft parts and components including ground support equipment and MRO activities.

(The Star, 03/10/2018)


GAMUDA LAND AND TM COLLABORATE AT GAMUDA GARDENS

Gamuda Land Bhd and Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), via its business solutions arm, TMONE, signed a strategic collaboration for the deployment of converged telecommunications services at Precinct 1 & Precinct 2 of Gamuda Gardens. The coverage includes Gaia Residences, the first serviced apartment at the township. Through this collaboration, approximately 1,500 residences in the township will enjoy a two-year complimentary unifi high-speed internet service of 100Mbps.

(Starproperty.com, 04/10/2018)


PNB TO INVEST INTO AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) is taking advantage of the country’s property market imbalance to explore the affordable housing market, which has yet to be fully explored by property developers. The current segment of property growth is not balanced with excess supply across commercial and residential categories. In 2017, PNB sold its assets in I&P Group Sdn Bhd and in 2018, PNB has completed the sale of 90 High Holborn in London. PNBs main property company, PNB Development Sdn Bhd, is also executing several offers, including the sale of land in Kota Seri Langat and the purchase of commercial properties owned by Media Prima Bhd.

(NST, 30/09/2018)


 

DEVELOPERS WANTED FOR PROJECT AT MAHB’S SUBANG AEROTECH PARK

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is asking developers to present their proposals which could be incorporated into the masterplan to transform its remaining 30 acres of land in Subang into a comprehensive aerospace hub, to house major aviation players within the next five years. The land is located at one of its clusters known as the Subang Aerotech Park (SAP), which is part of the Subang Regeneration Initiative development that also includes the Business Aviation Nexus and City Airport projects. With the deal scheduled to be concluded within the next two months, MAHB has already received various proposals from local and international industry players which are offering their expertise in build-to-suit facilities. Under the new model, the company will facilitate and engage property developers, which will rent the land plot and “build-to-suit” according to the needs of tenants in 15 months’ time. Those tenants will not only specifically open for manufacturing and maintenance, repair and overhaul services, but also other related sectors.

In March 2017, MAHB announced the construction of Senior Aerospace UPECA’s (a Tier 1 aerospace manufacturer) plant and office that serves as imperative catalysts for the SAP. Developed by Axis REIT Managers Bhd, it will be a build-to-suit project on a 4.1 acre land plot and is expected to be completed by the end of 2018, housing the UPECA manufacturing centre, storage and distribution of aerospace parts. The agreement was made for a lease with a tenure of 49 years, expiring on December 30, 2066.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 04/10/2018)


SIME DARBY PROPERTY TO INDEPENDENTLY TAKE ON MVV

Sime Darby Property Bhd (SD Prop) will be independently involved in the development of the 379,000-acre Malaysia Vision Valley (MVV) project. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between SD Prop, Brunsfield Development Sdn Bhd and Kumpulan Wang Amanah Pencen (KWAP) in May 2017 lapsed in November 2017 and all parties involved have agreed not to extend it. Subsequently, SD Prop has charted out a masterplan and will proceed with the first phase, covering more than 11,000 acres, soon.

(The Star, 04/10/2018)


NHP 2.0 TO HELP SOLVE “M40” AND “B40” HOUSING ISSUES

The second National Housing Policy (NHP 2.0) aims to rectify housing issues which are particularly affecting the B40 (bottom 40%) group. The Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) wants the policy to accommodate the mismatch in demand and supply of affordable housing projects. The NHP, which is drafted to streamline all housing agencies under the ministry’s preview, will offer better financing programmes for the lower income group to own homes. In the policy, there will be financial schemes, assistance and programmes that aim to assist the M40 (middle 40%) and B40 group in their loan applications, deposits and repayment schemes. The NHP 2.0 will focus on homes valued below RM500,000 and will be launched before the end of the year.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 01/10/2018)


DEVELOPER’S THIRD RAWANG TOWNSHIP

Mah Sing Group Bhd is offering affordable landed properties in its third township in Rawang, Selangor, with the recent launch of Aster, which is the first component within the M Aruna development. Aster features two-storey 20’x60’ link homes with a built-up area of 1,666 sq. ft. and is priced from RM506,000. Mah Sing’s presence in Rawang spans approximately 494 acres, covering three townships: M Aruna, M Residence 1 and M Residence 2. The gross development value of M Aruna is RM520 million. Aster is suitable for first-time home buyers, newly-married and young families. Mah Sing is offering early-bird Aster buyers its “furnishing assist plan” whereby the buyer pays RM15,000 for RM60,000 worth of furnishing, which includes built-in wardrobes for three bedrooms, kitchen cabinets, lighting, air conditioning units in the living room and master bedroom, an instant water heater and a smart home system.

(The Star, 03/10/2018)


MYEG BUYS COMMERCIAL SPACE AT EMPIRE CITY FOR RM35.4 MILLION

My EG Services Bhd (MyEG) is acquiring commercial space within the podium level of MyEG Tower at Empire City from Cosmopolitan Avenue Sdn Bhd for RM35.35 million cash. MyEG has also entered into a put option agreement with Cosmopolitan to sell the property back to Cosmopolitan at a sum equal to 66.67% of the purchase consideration within six months from the date of delivery of vacant possession of the property to MyEG. The property will be primarily used for customer service and as a showroom to showcase MyEG’s concession and commercial services.

(The Edge, 29/09/2018)


 

UEM SUNRISE TO LAUNCH ASTREA AT MONT’KIARA IN MID OCTOBER 2018

UEM Sunrise will launch a 240 unit, low density condominium in Mont’Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, in the middle of October 2018. Known as Astrea, the project has a gross development value of RM350 million.

(The Edge, 03/10/2018)


 

DESIGNS WITH MODERN FAMILY IN MIND

Mont’ Kiara will soon have a new residential landmark, Trinity Pentamont. This 41-storey condominium with a gross development value of RM437 million is built on a 2.9 acre freehold site and features 330 penthouse-styled 4+1 bedroom and 5+1 bedroom units sized from 2,057 sq. ft. onwards. Located in “the quiet enclave” of Jalan Kiara 5, Trinity Pentamont will feature a dual entry and exit access via Jalan Kiara 5 and Jalan Kiara 3, and will have good connectivity to the PLUS Highway, Sprint Highway and Jalan Duta-Sungai Buloh highway. Prices for Trinity Pentamont start at RM640 per sq. ft.

(The Star, 02/10/2018)


 

20 MORE STORES OPEN AT MITSUI OUTLET PARK KLIA

The Mitsui Outlet Park (MOP) Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) has broadened its outlet offerings with over 20 new stores, bringing the total to 170 stores. The new stores include: Le Ten Modern Asian Dining, Yome, Kappa, Time Couture, Terranova, Calliope, Living Avenue, MJ Black by Metrojaya, Paul Frank, Tiny Button, Fred Perry, All Denim Outlet and Toy World. MOP KLIA now has the most fashion and lifestyle brands in an outlet shopping mall within the Klang Valley. With the opening of phase two earlier in 2018, MOP KLIA now spans a total gross floor area of 608,483 sq. ft., with several “first time” stores in Malaysia including The Beauty Laboratory by Shiseido and Sacoor One.

(NST, 04/10/2018)


 

JAYA ONE TO OPEN “THE SQUARE” IN DECEMBER 2018

Jaya One will reopen “The Square” (formerly known as “The Palm”) by December 2018 with an integrated concept comprising offices, shoplots and art performance venues. As part of the Jaya One mixed development in Section 13, Petaling Jaya, The Palm was closed in March 2018 for a RM15 million renovation project. The 75,000 sq. ft. “The Square” was previously occupied by eateries and restaurants within eight commercial bungalows with a total gross floor area of 110,000 sq. ft. The Square is expected to encompass 45% offices, 40% F&B outlets and the remaining 15% will be filled by PJ Live Arts, a vibrant neigbourhood performance venue.

The Square will operate around the basis of four championing points (entrepreneurial lead, late-night dining options, pet-friendly and urban farming) and will also house co-working space with Common Ground functioning on two floors (21,000 sq. ft.). The Square will also initiate an urban farming project with home growers. Once fully operational, The Square will be able to accommodate 13 office lots ranging between 500 sq. ft. and 3,600 sq. ft. on the first floor and 15 lots on the ground floor. It has already achieved a pre-committed 75% occupancy rate to date. All the office units are available for rent only, with the monthly rental of the first floor set at RM4.00 to RM5.50 per sq. ft. and are available from December 2018 onwards. The monthly rental for retail shops on the ground floor is between RM8.00 and RM10 per sq. ft.

(The Edge, 04/10/2018)


 

MATRIX CONCEPTS SIGNS AGREEMENT FOR ISLAMIC FINANCIAL DISTRICT PLAN IN JAKARTA

Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd has signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with an Indonesian consortium of PT Bangun Kosambi Sukses (BKS) and PT Nikko Sekuritas Indonesia (NSI) to jointly develop the Islamic Financial District in PIK 2 Sedayu Indo City, in Jakarta, It will encompass 9,884 acres of an integrated development comprising residential houses, apartments, shopping centres, a light rail transit system and a stadium. This development follows the success of PIK 1, which comprises a total area of over 4,942 acres of land.

(The Sun & The Star, 03/10/2018)


 

MALAYSIA EYES 30 MILLION TOURIST ARRIVALS BY 2020

The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry is targeting 30 million tourist arrivals by 2020. This would increase the contribution of tourism to the Gross Domestic Product from 14.9% in 2017, when there were 26.1 million tourist arrivals, to 15.1%.

(NST, 01/10/2018)


 

 

HILTON GARDEN INN HOTELS ON JALAN TAR SOLD FOR RM240 MILLION

Hilton Garden Inn North (formerly the Cititel Express) and Hilton Garden Inn South (formerly the Hotel Empress) on Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur, were sold for RM240 million by Singapore’s Royal Group in August, 2018, three years after it had acquired the properties. Comprising 532-rooms, the properties were sold to Thailand-listed Strategic Hospitality Extendable Freehold and Leasehold Real Estate Investment Trust (SHREIT) at the equivalent of RM451,128 per room, earning Royal Group a profit of RM65 million after deducting its initial investment and refurbishment costs. Royal Group, via Knights Bridge Avenue Sdn Bhd, reportedly acquired Cititel Express from IGB Corp Bhd for RMM37 million in December 2015. Earlier in September 2015, Royal Group’s Gateway Legend Sdn Bhd reportedly acquired Hotel Empress, which is in close proximity to Cititel Express, from Malaco Mining Sdn Bhd for RM45.5 million.

(The Edge, 29/09/2018)


IHH BUYS AMANJAYA SPECIALIST CENTRE IN KEDAH FOR RM101.66M

IHH Healthcare Bhd, via its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary Pantai Hospitals Sdn Bhd, has bought the entire stake in Amanjaya Specialist Centre Sdn Bhd for RM101.66 million. Amanjaya Specialist Centre Sdn Bhd owns and operates a 98-bed capacity multi-discipline specialist hospital known as Amanjaya Specialist Centre, which is located in Sungai Petani, Kedah.

(The Sun & The Edge, 02/10/2018)


MEXTER TO SET UP FERTILITY CENTRE WITH UNIVERSITI MALAYA

Mexter Technology Bhd, in collaboration with Universiti Malaya (UM), will establish a fertility centre to promote, develop and market the latter’s fertility and other medical services. Mexter’s wholly owned subsidiary, LYC Medicare Sdn Bhd (LYCM), has entered into a service and collaboration agreement with UM’s University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) to establish the centre. The parties will market UMMC’s fertility and other medical services via LYCM’s establishment of the LYC Fertility Centre, a service provider to cater to high-end fertility patients and will also promote medical tourism for foreign patients.

(The Star, 02/10/2018)


 

 42% OF RESPONDENTS POSITIVE ON PROPERTY SECTOR POST-GE14

A recent “Consumer Sentiment Survey” shows that 42% of those polled, expressed optimism towards the local property sector in the post-14th General Election era. The result was a marked improvement from 25% in 2015 and 38% in 2H17. The rise in overall positivity comes even as Malaysia continues to face uncertainties attributed to various macro-economic and socio-political issues.

(NST, 29/09/2018)


 

CIDB BOARD: HOUSING PRICES “MAY DROP”

Although construction costs for residential properties are expected to marginally decrease with the Sales and Service Tax (SST) waiver, it is unclear if this will lead to a reduction in housing prices. The Construction Industry Develop­ment Board (CIDB) has executed an overall study and if everyone involved adheres to the tax exemption, construction costs of residential properties are expected to decline by between 3% and 5%. However, CIBD mentioned that this reduction would only translate into lower house prices depending on market conditions and developer, mindsets. Though the tax exemption seems as though it would have a high impact, other costs incurred are relatively high. The group was responding to a statement by the Finance Minister on September 24, 2018 that the SST waiver on construction services would be reviewed if housing prices were not reduced. The group urged all developers to meet the government halfway by taking active measures to reduce housing prices.

(The Star, 29/09/2018)


 

HOUSE PRICES DEPEND ON MANY COST COMPONENTS: UEM SUNRISE

Despite the abolishment of the goods and services tax (GST), there are other costs components contributing to high house prices, according to UEM Sunrise Bhd. These include development costs, premiums and land prices, all of which have to be accounted for. UEM Sunrise wishes to make their homes more affordable, but from a cost perspective, there are various different expensive cost components in the development process.

(The Sun, The Edge & The Star, 03/10/2018)


 

KPKT TO INTRODUCE COMPREHENSIVE DATABASE BY 2019

The Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) is now working on a comprehensive database, which could help first time homebuyers to own a property. The database will include market demand and supply, transaction and property ownership data and become a reference point for property developers to better plan their supply while assisting authorities in distinguishing between property investors (purchasers who own multiple properties) and first-time homebuyers. KPKT is expecting to introduce the database in 2019.

(The Edge, 03/10/2018)


DO NOT LET DEVELOPERS TAKE CONTROL

The Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister has expressed that property developers are behaving more and more like “local councils”, noting that this has given rise to the current form of townships, which are “not centralised” and are dominated and led by private developers. These developers are acting akin to local councils as the latter have not been taking the lead, and this is a “cause for concern”.

(The Edge Financial, 03/10/2018)


 

JPPH PROPOSES HOUSING PRICE AND COST CONTROL COMMITTEE

The Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH) has suggested “keeping house prices in check” by establishing a Housing Price and Cost Control Committee, to monitor costs involved in housing developments. According to a statement by JPPH, development components that require monitoring include infrastructure, building materials, labour and developers’ profit margins. The key components of supply which are often said to affect the cost of housing are land cost and the cost of building materials, which are included in the price of a home.

JPPH also suggests that the Housing and Local Government Ministry’s National Housing Department monitor the minimum and maximum selling price of houses. In the new Application For Advertisement And Sales Permit outlined by the Housing Development Licensing Division of the National Housing Department, there are two items must be included in the application. This includes a list of selling prices for all housing units by type of residence. This will make it possible for the minimum and maximum selling prices to possibly be regulated by the department.

(The Edge, 01/10/2018)


 

GOVERNMENT DEVELOPMENTS UNDER 15% COMPLETION TO BE REVIEWED

All government development projects, prior to commencement, or with a below 15% completion will be halted so that a review can be executed. The Malaysian Deputy Works Minister said that the cancellation is not absolute in nature, but the government will study the feasibility of continuing or postponing these projects. All projects which “benefit the people” will however be continued as there is no reason to stop them. There is only an issue of timing due to the process involving the new government’s takeover and financial issues. If the project is progressing well and has gone past the 15% stage, it will not be stopped. Projects to be reviewed include certain projects that were abandoned halfway or have commenced despite receiving initial payments. An open tender process will be implemented for the continuation of these projects.

(The Edge, 03/10/2018)


NEED FOR EASIER FINANCING SCHEME

It has been suggested that Bank Negara Malaysia should work out easier financing schemes for all property buyers instead of just focusing on first time house buyers and the Bottom 40 (B40) group. Banks should also not just depend on a house buyer’s payslip in approving a loan, as their potential clients may have other sources of income.

(NST, 04/10/2018)


 

DEVELOPERS UNDETERRED BY SALES SLOWDOWN

Property developers acknowledge that unbilled sales are on the decline but say the situation is not so bad and they are still able to record decent earnings. The decline in unbilled sales, they said, is in line with the overall slowdown in the property market over the past few years. Residential properties, for instance, have seen sales come down by 29% to 194,684 units in 2017, when compared with the five years ago figure of 272,669 units in 2012, based on data from the National Property Information Centre. Nevertheless, developers seem undeterred by the downtrend and are positive about future sales. Mah Sing Group Bhd, is maintaining its 2018 sales target of RM1.8 billion and Eastern & Oriental Bhd achieved its historical high unbilled sales of RM1.2 billion in September 2016 on the back of the successful sale of its Tamarind Executive Apartments project and with the expected completion of this project at the end of 2018, a decline in its unbilled sales figure is anticipated. Eco World Development Group Bhd managed to maintain its unbilled sales figures for 2018, compared with 2017. Many developers are more focused on clearing inventories rather than aggressively launching new projects and those “saddled” with unsold stock are waiting to clear their stock before launching new developments as part of their prudent financial management and marketing strategies. Some of them may even be clearing their inventories at a discount, as they are able to get some savings from measures the government has taken to ease house prices, such as the sales tax exemption on some building materials.

(The Edge Financial Daily, 01/10/18)


 

 

PUTRAJAYA TO BE A SMART CITY, WITH WORLD-CLASS SERVICES

The new president of Putrajaya Corp (PPj) plans to transform Putrajaya into a smart city with world-class services. As a city where the majority of residents are working, Putrajaya’s development must be focused on the delivery of services that are in line with the economic and social sectors.

(The Edge & The Star, 02/10/2018)


 

JOHOR GETS FOUR APPLICATIONS TO SET UP IBS PLANTS

Johor has received four applications, including investors in China, to set up industrialised building system (IBS) plants in the state. The investments, estimated to be approximately RM3 billion, will create about 1,000 jobs and result in positive economic spill over effects to the building and construction industry in Johor. Johor already has eight IBS plants including the biggest IBS plant in the region owned by Country Garden Pacificview Sdn Bhd, the developer of the multi-billion ringgit Forest City project in Gelang Patah. The company has invested RM730 million for its IBS plant on an 18 acre site in Gelang Patah and the facility has the capacity to produce about 260 cubic metres of building construction materials annually. The state government is and looking to have four new plants set up in Kluang, Mersing and Segamat to benefit the local economy. The eight existing plants are located in Johor Baru and Muar and cater to the both the local and Singapore markets.

(The Star, 03/10/2018)


 

34 PROJECTS TO BOOST TOURISM IN JB

Thirty four development projects have been proposed by the Johor Baru City Council under the Johor Baru Action Plan 2025 to strengthen Johor Baru’s tourism sector. The proposed plan comprises product development projects, tourism infrastructure and infrastructure projects, destination management project, event development projects and tourism marketing and promotion projects. The proposed action plan was to enhance the role and potential of the city as an urban cultural, heritage and lifestyle hub. The government projected that the number of tourist arrivals in the city will increase from 1.7 million (2017) to 2.1 million with an average expenditure of RM1,050 per capita by 2025.

(NST, 04/10/2018)


 

DEVELOPER TO PROVIDE FULLY-FURNISHED STUDENT ACCOMMODATION IN JB

Mah Sing Group Bhd has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Netherlands Maritime Institute of Technology (NMIT) to provide fully-furnished accommodation for its students. Located just 20 minutes away from NMIT, the accommodation at Meridin@Medini has a two-way shuttle bus service to EduCity and to Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) Johor. Students may also utilise recreational facilities in Meridin@Medini such as a swimming pool, gym, community centre, meeting rooms, tennis court, access to the Meridin Walk Lifestyle Mall and high-speed Internet.

(The Star, 02/10/2018)


 

STATE TO OPEN UNIVERSITY JOHOR IN NEXT THREE YEARS

The Johor State Government optimistically expects to receive its first batch of students for Universiti Johor in 2021. The state government will transform Kolej Yayasan Pelajaran Johor and Kolej Pengajian Islam Johor (state religious education institution), into Universiti Johor. The university is still in the early stages of planning and additional details such as the concept, teaching and learning methods, and operational and administration methods of the university will be identified by the government.

(The Star, 05/10/2018)


 

JOHOR REHDA ASKS STATE GOVERENMAENT TO DROP 15% DISCOUNT RULE

The Johor Real Housing Estate and Developers Association (Rehda) wants the state government to eliminate the 15% discount for bumiputra properties worth RM1 million and above. The move should also apply to commercial and industrial properties as the take-up rate (>5%) by bumiputra buyers is low, despite there being many bumiputra buyers who can afford such properties. The situation has forced developers to hold the units before eventually getting permission from the state government to sell them to non-bumiputra buyers. Holding the unsold bumiputra properties for a long period has negatively impacted developers, with some units taking up to five years to be released. Developers are left without much choice but to pass the costs onto consumers as they would have to bear the financial burden of holding unsold bumiputra units. Under the guidelines by the state government, developers will be eligible to get a release after nine months or if 50% of the project is already completed. Approximately 40% of the units in any housing development project in Johor must be set aside for bumiputra buyers, who are entitled to a 15% discount. To change the status, the developer has to pay 7.5% of the initial 15% discount as a premium to the state government.

(The Star, 02/10/2018)


 

NEW MODE OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT

The state government will look into Penang Forum’s suggestion of an Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) system as an alternative to the light rail transit (LRT). The state government has been briefed by China Railway Construction Corporation on the ART rail-less system for urban passenger transport, similar to other guided busways, and has rubber wheels running on roads.

(The Star, 02/10/2018)


 

GEORGE TOWN: THE ONLY ASIAN CITY PICKED AS UNESCO PILOT PROJECT SITE

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) has selected George Town to participate in two heritage pilot projects, one on intangible cultural heritage and another to create an action plan for local industries. The Penang city was the sole South-East Asian city to be chosen and the other two cities chosen are in Africa and Latin America. The first pilot project will entail drawing up an inventory on intangible cultural heritage in heritage cities. It will utilise local communities so that they can tell their own stories and focus on what the locals consider as important. The second project involves looking into developing local industries in world heritage sites. The two projects are expected to commence in 2019.

(The Edge & The Star, 02/10/2018)


 

CREATE FUND FOR HOUSING FROM TAX REVENUE

The government should consider using a certain portion of taxes collected from the rakyat to set up a specific fund for housing purposes. Penang’s Housing, Town, Country Planning and Local Government Committee proposed that the money from the fund could be used for efforts such as building more affordable homes. If there was a specific fund for housing, the money could be used to address issues related to benefitting the people.

(The Star, 03/10/2018)


 

STATE ASSEMBLYMAN SUGGESTS MAKING PENANG GOVERNOR’S RESIDENCE A TOURIST ATTRACTION

The Penang State Assemblyman proposed to open up the chief minister’s official residence (Seri Teratai) for guided tours and include it in a package tour with two other buildings, Seri Mutiara and Suffolk House. Constructed in 1890, Seri Mutiara is a historical and iconic mansion and the government is confident that there are many people who will be interested to visit the mansion and its garden, where a river runs through its compound.

(The Edge, 03/10/2018)


 

GURNEY WHARF TO BE TRANSFORMED

The Penang State Government is planning to transform “Gurney Wharf” into “the pride of Penangites” with seaside retail outlets, food and beverage outlets, water gardens, and a beach and coastal grove on the 60 acre plot of reclaimed land. The Penang State Town and Country Planning Committee has met the project’s architects and consultants several times to explore more packages. It was reported in 2016 that the proposed seafront public recreation area will be created on a plot of reclaimed land, using concepts inspired by internationally acclaimed parks.

(The Star, 04/10/2018)


PENANG SIGNS RM2 BILLION RECLAMATION DEAL FOR NEW WATERFRONT

The coastal landscape in north Butterworth, which is located between North Butterworth Container Terminal and Jalan Tunku Putra, Teluk Air Tawar, is set to change with the construction of a new waterfront within the next few years. This follows a supplementary agreement signed between the Penang government and Rayston Consortium (Butterworth) Sdn Bhd to reclaim 1,607 acres of the land. The company has been given six months to submit planning approval, including obtaining the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approval. The area will be developed into a mixed development project and will boost the economy of mainland Penang.

(NST, 29/09/2018)


 

SABAH PAN BORNEO HIGHWAY PROJECT UNDER REVIEW FOR RESTRUCTURING

Sabah‘s Infrastructure Development Ministry is reviewing the Pan Borneo Highway in the state. The review looks into restructuring to be done in view of leakages. The ministry also planned to remove Syarikat Borneo Highway (BHP) PDP Sdn Bhd which was appointed as the coordinator for the project and that the task would be taken over by the Public Works Department, which comes under the Sabah Infrastructure Development Ministry.

(NST, 30/09/2018)


 

 SEALINK SELLS MIRI LAND FOR RM26.5M

Sealink International Bhd is selling land of 4.8 acres in Miri to an indirect wholly-owned unit of Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd for RM26.5 million. Sealink’s unit, Sealink Sdn Bhd, signed an agreement with CMS Cement Industries Sdn Bhd, which is acquiring the land located 5.2 km northeast of Miri city, in Piasau. Specifically, the land is earmarked for “industrial purposes” at Piasau Industrial Estate and has leasehold tenure expiring on June 11, 2036.

(The Sun & The Edge, 02/10/2018)


RICS

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Jones Lang Wootton