GOVERNMENT ACHIEVES RM3.25 BILLION SURPLUS WITHIN FOUR MONTHS
The government has achieved a RM3.25 billion surplus in its current account by implementing “sound and prudent” financial management practices, according to the Malaysian Finance Ministry. This was achieved over the four-month period from May to August 2018 after Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over the federal government, compared to when there was only RM450 million left in the Consolidated Revenue Account under the old government. Due to the alarming fiscal position of the federal government when PH first took over the administration on May 9, 2018, the government was left with no choice but to implement stringent measures to control the operating expenditure and practice prudent spending. Revenue for the four-month period from May to August 2018 has increased by RM1.70 billion from RM71.88 billion to RM73.58 billion, compared with the previous four-month period from January to April 2018.
PUTRAJAYA RECOGNISES INCOME GAP WOES
The government recognises that income gaps are growing at a more alarming rate than what was previously acknowledged. In its mid-term review of the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP), three out of the six pillars outlined in the economic blueprint are geared at achieving a more equalised distribution of wealth. The second pillar aims at inclusive development and the well-being of the people, the third is targeted at balanced regional development and the fourth focuses on human capital empowerment. Citing the Household Income and Basic Amenities Survey in 2016, the review observed that the minimum threshold within the high-income household bracket was RM10,456 per month, whereas the minimum threshold within the lower-middle household bracket was RM2,614. The RM7,842 difference underscored the huge income gap between the two segments.
(The Edge, 23/10/2018)
KOREAN AND JAPANESE FIRMS EYEING MALAYSIA AS ASEAN PRODUCTION HUB
More and more companies in Korea and Japan are looking into helping transform Malaysia into a production hub for the Southeast Asian market, according to the International Trade and Industry Minister. Within Japan, Malaysia has garnered potential investments of RM2.13 billion, particularly in the sectors of petrochemicals, logistics, medical equipment, E&E, home appliances, and furniture. For South Korea, the potential investments comprise RM711.8 million in the industries of chemicals, E&E and home appliances. In terms of the halal industry, businesses in the two nations have suggested that digital commerce be strengthened. Companies in Japan and Korea have proposed to manufacture their products in Malaysia, to utilise the halal certifications from Malaysia and to market their products globally.
(The Edge Financial, 24/10/2018)
KL CITY PLAN 2020 TO BE GAZETTED BY NOVEMBER 15, 2018
The Federal Territories (FT) Minister denoted that the KL City Plan 2020 will be gazetted by November 15, 2018, based on plans that were discussed with the public back in 2012. A list of developments built in “green areas” will also be attached with the gazetted plan. The KL City Plan 2020 is currently being reviewed, before it is passed back to Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur to be gazetted.
(The Edge, 26/10/2018)
INDUSTRY 4.0 POLICY TO BE LAUNCHED ON 31st OCTOBER 2018
The National Industry 4.0 policy will be launched on October 31, 2018 and is expected to create a platform for the country to transition into a more technologically advanced, open and high-income economy, which is able to compete globally. This policy was developed with four specific goals, such as driving growth in the manufacturing sector’s GDP, increasing national productivity, generating higher skilled employment opportunities and raising innovation and competitiveness. The Asia Centre of Excellence for Smart Technologies (ACES), which was established by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) and German Consultants, TUM International GmbH, will serve as the first Industry 4.0 competency centre in the region. It will be located at the Cybercentre in Pahang Technology Park in Gambang, whereby approximately RM12 million has been allocated towards the centre’s building and facilities. The centre will begin operations in January 2019 and will provide Industry 4.0 certification, advisory, consulting and training services on smart technologies and practices in several locations including Malaysia, the Asean region and Asia-Pacific markets.
(The Malaysian Reserve, 25/10/2018)
GOVERNMENT TO REAFFIRM COMMITMENT TOWARDS WELLBEING OF B40 THROUGH 2019 BUDGET
The 2019 Budget will reaffirm and establish the government’s commitment towards new policies and reforms, such as enhancing the wellbeing of the people, especially the bottom 40% of household income groups (B40). Based on the Report of Household Income and Basic Amenities Survey 2016, the B40 are those with a mean household income of RM2,848. The recently announced National Housing Policy 2.0 (NHP 2.0) will focus on houses which are valued below RM500,000, by providing financial schemes, assistance and programmes aimed to help the middle 40% (M40) who have a mean household income of RM6,502 and the B40. Under NHP 2.0, more than one million units of affordable homes for the B40 group are aimed to be built in the next 10 years. As affordable housing remains a top priority in Budget 2019, more focus will be placed on increasing the accessibility to the lower and/or affordable housing segment by working with developers to construct more houses within the affordable price range.
MINISTRY TO INSPECT HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS TO PREVENT TRAGEDIES
The Housing and Local Government Ministry is currently reviewing specifications for the safety and security features of high structural blocks to prevent any tragedy involving children falling from tall buildings. This will include looking at whether there was a need to increase the height of balcony railings and setting up nets to break any fall. High-rise buildings currently adhere to existing bylaws but the ministry was prepared to further strengthen it to ensure such cases can be prevented in the future. The bylaw of the uniform building 1984 has set that balconies (of tall buildings) must have railings not less than 1m tall.
(The Star & NST, 24/10/2018)
ALL LAND DEALS INVOLVING DBKL TO BE VIA OPEN TENDER
In order to avoid any transaction of land sale and purchases at dubious prices, compared with market prices, all land deals involving the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) will be carried out via open tender, according to the Federal Territories Minister.
(The Edge, 22/10/2018)
LBS BINA CALLS FOR POLICIES TO EMPOWER HOMEBUYERS
LBS Bina Group Bhd LBS) is calling for the government to introduce policies to help first-time house buyers, particularly in securing housing loans. In a statement, the group suggested several measures as part of its wish list for Budget 2019, which would assist in encouraging home buyers and help the nation increase home ownership. The group has encountered many interested home buyers who experienced either loan rejections or were only eligible for “lower-than-expected” loans. LBS believes that middle and lower-income groups will benefit from a special end-financing scheme, to ease the financial burden they face. Secondly, LBS hopes for more flexible end-financing guidelines, to enhance the financing capacity of first-time home buyers. The group also hopes that Bank Negara will consider increasing the tenure of housing loans from 35 years to 40 years. It was also suggested that an exemption on stamp duty could be introduced for loan agreements involving properties under RM500,000.
(The Star & NST, 24/10/2018)
GOVERNMENT COULD CLAIM RM10.02 BILLION IF ECRL PROJECT IS CANCELLED
The Malaysian government could claim back the RM10.02 billion paid to East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) contractors if the project is terminated, according to the Malaysian Finance Minister. The Malaysian government has not decided on the final status of the project and negotiations are still ongoing. Malaysian Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) and China Communications Construction Co (CCCC) have also conducted several technical discussions to look into suggestions to reduce costs of completing the ECRL project, but have yet to reach any agreement. The ECRL is not included in the list of high-impact projects under the Mid-term Review of the 11th Malaysia Plan 2016-2020. According to the Finance Minister, the ECRL project would cost approximately RM80.92 billion to build, whereby the country has paid RM19.68 billion for an advanced payment bond and on works completed as at February 15, 2018.
(The Star, The Sun, NST & The Edge, 23/10/2018)
PKA TO CALL FOR TENDER FOR FEASIBILITY STUDY ON CAREY ISLAND PORT
The Port Klang Authority (PKA) plans to embark on a comprehensive feasibility study for the proposed Carey Island Port development as the authority hopes to shape a competitive and future-proof seaport. The PKA is expected to announce the tender for consultants to participate in the study, which is likely to take place in January 2019.
(The Malaysian Reserve, 23/10/2018)
AIRASIA X LOAD FACTOR, PASSENGERS UP IN 3Q18
AirAsia X Bhd reported a 1% growth in the number of passengers carried to 1.51 million in 3Q18, against 1.50 million in 3Q17. Its load factor was also 1 percentage point higher at 80% from 79%, according to a statement issued by the long-haul low-cost carrier. There was a seasonal increase in the frequency of flights to selected destinations in Australia (Melbourne, Perth and Sydney) in July 2018, due to term holidays there and the flight frequency to Honolulu, Hawaii, was increased to daily flights due to strong demand.
(The Sun, 25/10/2018)
COUNTRY HEIGHTS MOVES DEEPER INTO AUTO LIFESTYLE SECTOR
Country Heights Holdings Bhd (CHHB) has signed its second memorandum of understanding (MoU) which will be valid for a year, with Goldenport Motor Culture Development (Beijing) Co Ltd, to jointly organise an automobile racing event and develop CHHB’s automotive lifestyle centre. Based in Beijing, Goldenport is a motor sport and lifestyle company with knowledge of all track operational processes, technical expertise and data, procedures and methods relating to motorsport track racing in China.
(The Sun, The Star, NST & The Edge, 234/10/2018)
GLOMAC REVISES DOWNWARDS PROPERTY LAUNCHES TO RM780 MILLION
Glomac Bhd has made a downward revision to its property launches to RM780 million in the current year ending April 2019, from the RM1.06 billion initial target, in view of the persistently challenging real estate market. The group will however be deferring certain property launches to the next financial year, whereby the upcoming launches will remain in the mid-market and affordable segments targeted at millennial buyers.
(The Edge, NST, The Sun & The Star, 25/10/2018)
EMKAY GROUP TO BUILD RM70,000 HOMES FOR B40
Emkay Group plans to build affordable houses priced at approximately RM70,000 each for the B40 group in the city centre of Kuala Lumpur. The Group will arguably be the first from the private sector to build homes priced below RM100,000 in the city after numerous years. The houses will cater to those in the B40 group, particularly those who are earning between RM1,800 and RM2,000.
TROPICANA UNVEILED FOURTH PHASE OF TROPICANA AMAN
Tropicana Aman has launched the brand new Dalia Residences semi-detached and zero-lot bungalow show houses. It is situated within the 862 acre self-contained township of Tropicana Aman, which will feature an 85-acre central park, 7km dedicated walking and biking trail, the newly operational Tenby International School and 198 acres of commercial vibrancy. Dalia Residence is the fourth landed residential phase of the township, comprising 166 two-storey semi-detached houses (45’ x 80’), 36 two-storey zero-lot bungalow houses (56’ x 85’) and five two-storey bungalow houses. Due for completion in 3Q20, these sophisticated homes feature the 3S automated home system which enables homeowners to control and monitor lighting, air conditioning and security from one central application which can be paired to smart phones and tablets.
(The Star, 22/10/2018)
KPKT REAFFIRMS NEED FOR CENTRALISED AFFORDABLE HOUSING DATABASE TO PREVENT MISUSE
A centralised database of affordable housing owners is necessary to ensure that such homes developed by the government benefit those in need, according to the Housing and Local Government deputy. There is a serious need to streamline government affordable housing agencies to ensure that the houses are channelled towards people who actually require them.
(The Edge, 26/10/2018)
ASSB TO LAUNCH PHASES THREE AND FOUR OF ALAMANDA PARKLANDS
Amalan Setar Sdn Bhd (ASSB) will launch the third and fourth phases of Alamanda Parklands by early November 2018. Alamanda Parklands is a 67 acre freehold landed housing located between Rawang and Serendah. The 9 phase development has a gross development value of RM410 million, whereby the third and fourth phases comprise 165 double storey terraced houses with a land size of 20’ x 60’ which are priced from RM391,000. The first phase comprised 234 double-storey terraced houses with land sizes ranging from 16’ x 55’ and 18’ x 70’ priced from RM313,020. The second phase offered 126 single-storey terraced houses with a land size of 20’ x 60’ priced from RM299,800.
(The Edge, 26/10/2018)
WCT TO LAUNCH NEW SERVICED RESIDENCE
On October 27, 2018, WCT Holdings Bhd will unveil its newly-completed Sapphire Paradigm development in Petaling Jaya, Selangor. The serviced residence has 29-storeys with 229 residential units. As one of the components of the Paradigm Development in Kelana Jaya, Sapphire Paradigm is close to Paradigm Mall in Petaling Jaya, the New World Petaling Jaya Hotel, the luxurious Azure Residences and the 32-floor MSC-status Ascent corporate office tower.
(The Star, 24/10/2018)
PERAK LAUNCHES FIRST PHASE OF HOUSING PROGRAMME
The Perak state government has launched the first phase of the “Perakku” housing programme with circa 750 units of low- and medium-cost housing in several areas of the state. The scheme comprises low-cost; low and medium cost and affordable housing, which will be executed in stages. The 750 units were the first batch of the state government’s target of 50,000 units under the scheme. Those who are eligible to purchase such homes are required to register with the Perak Housing and Property Board. There are three categories of houses under the scheme, including low cost houses sold between RM70,000 and RM90,000, low medium cost houses sold between RM150,000 and RM180,000 and affordable housing sold for RM250,000 and below.
(The Star, 26/10/2018)
BUYER WANTED FOR MENARA FELCRA
The Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Felcra) is planning to sell Menara Felcra on Jalan Semarak to prevent the company from “getting into financial difficulties”. The building is slated for completion in 2019 and was meant to be financed by the developer, whereby Felcra attains an office tower in return. However, the agreement was reviewed following the change in government in May 2018.
HSBC MALAYSIA HEADQUARTERS ON THE MARKET
Ahead of the completion of its new RM1 billion headquarters in the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd has placed Menara HSBC South Tower (which currently houses its main office) up for sale. The building on Leboh Ampang may fetch between RM100 million to RM120 million, whereby the 20-storey building has a gross floor area of 238,000 sq. ft. and a net lettable area (NLA) of 173,000 sq. ft.
(The Edge, 20/10/2018)
FELCRA PROJECT ON JALAN SEMARAK TO CONTINUE
The mixed development project on Felcra Bhd’s 4.02 acre land on Jalan Semarak will continue despite a slight delay, according to the Economic Affairs Minister. The delay was due to Felcra’s cash flow predicament and that efforts are being undertaken by its management to ensure that the project will proceed. The mixed development project on Felcra’s land on Jalan Semarak comprises a 35-storey office block, a 40-storey serviced apartment block comprising 480 units, a six-storey trade centre and a two-storey convention centre, with a total gross development value of RM1.1 billion. As at September 30, 2018, the project was 41% completed, which was a 96-day delay from the original work schedule.
(The Edge, 26/10/2018)
BATA MALAYSIA UNVEILS EXCLUSIVE KIDS ONLY STORE
Bata Malaysia has unveiled a brand new concept store Bata Kids, focusing solely on the “kids segment” of consumers. Serving as the first of its kind in Asia Pacific, Bata Kids is located on the first floor of Sunway Pyramid. It offers the finest collection of children’s footwear and accessories from brands such as Bubblegummers, Disney’s Marvel, Hello Kitty, Barbie and My Little Pony.
ALIBABA KICKS OFF GRAND 11.11 GLOBAL SHOPPING FESTIVAL
Alibaba Group has started its 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, an annual online shopping event for consumers. For the first time, the Alibaba-owned Lazada is hosting the mega-sale for customers in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, offering the biggest discounts of the year from LazMall and Lazada Marketplace. Highlights of the month-long celebration will include the 24-hour mega sale that starts at midnight on November 11, 2018. In 2018, 180,000 Chinese and international brands are offering fast-moving consumer goods, beauty products, automobile and home decorations to consumers. The “Double 11” festival is the most anticipated event for online shoppers due to its huge discounts of up to 60% on an assortment of goods offered by local and international brands.
(The Star, 22/10/2018)
QSR PLANS TO OPEN 24 NEW KFC OUTLETS IN 2019
QSR Brands (M) Holdings Bhd (QSR Brands) is planning to open 24 new KFC restaurants throughout the country in 2019, following its success of opening 23 new restaurants in 2018. QSR Brands will focus on building additional drive-through restaurants due to a shift in consumer preference and will be working with several developers, one of which is Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd (Matrix Concepts), to build these types of restaurants. Collaborating with Matrix Concepts, QSR has built KFC’s 700th restaurant in Seremban and the group has agreed to continue with this venture via a new restaurant in Impiana Square, Bandar Seri Impian, Kluang.
(The Star, The Sun, NST & The Edge, 23/10/2018)
DUTALAND SECURES CONSTRUCTION, UPGRADING WORKS FOR RM12 MILLION
DutaLand Bhd has secured construction and upgrading works for the Avenue K retail outlet in Kuala Lumpur for RM12 million. DutaLand’s wholly owned subsidiary, Oakland Holdings Sdn Bhd, has accepted the contract from City Properties Sdn Bhd, under which Oakland is responsible for upgrading works of Level 3 and Level 4 of the shopping mall and the construction of landscaping. The contract will commence on October 2018 and is scheduled for completion in February 2018.
(The Malaysian Reserve, 23/10/2018)
MELATI EHSAN UNIT SECURES PJ DEAL
Melati Ehsan Holdings Bhd’s subsidiary, Bayu Melati Sdn Bhd, has been appointed as the main contractor for a mixed development project in Section 40, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. The project was scheduled for completion within 84 months from the commencement date. The development entails the construction and completion of shops, commercial lots and serviced apartments.
In another development, Bayu Melati had terminated its Joint Venture (JV) agreement with Selgate Corp Sdn Bhd for the development of three pieces of freehold commercial land in Petaling Jaya. Upon mutual termination, the JV will be nullified and void, whereby Selgate Corp will refund the initial payment of RM5 million to Bayu Melati.
STAR RESIDENCES KLCC CELEBRATES “TOPPING-UP CEREMONY”
Star Residences KLCC recently commemorated the topping up ceremony of its 58th floor. Star Residences is part of the Star Development, a mixed development offering residential and retail units within a 57-storey tower and two 58-storey towers. The four-acre development is located on Jalan Yap Kwan Seng in Kuala Lumpur with a gross development value of RM3 billion. The developer, Alpine Return Sdn Bhd, is a 50:50 joint venture company between established developers, Symphony Life Bhd (previously known as Bolton Bhd) and United Malayan Land Bhd (UM Land). Construction commenced at the end of 2014 and will be completed by the end of 2019.
HILTON GARDEN INN JALAN TAR SOUTH IS NOW OPEN
Hilton Malaysia newest Hilton Garden Inn Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (TAR) South extension, in one of Kuala Lumpur’s busiest streets in Chow Kit is now open. The new hotel is located next to its sister hotel, Hilton Garden Inn on Jalan TAR North, which offers shared facilities, a fitness centre and an all-day dining restaurant. This new hotel expansion is well equipped with 267 guest rooms along with the brand’s signature bedding, comfy white duvets, HDTV (high-definition television) for guests, an in-room safe and complimentary bathroom toiletries by Crabtree & Evelyn.
(The Malaysian Reserve, 22/10/2018)
HILTON TARGETS MIDDLE-INCOME MARKET WITH GARDEN INN BRAND
Hilton Malaysia plans to utilise its Garden Inn brand to tap into “focused-service hospitality” versus its more commonplace full-service hotels in Malaysia. The Garden Inn brand’s “focused service” assists in catering to the increasing trend of savvy and middle-income travellers. Expectations of guests will be fulfilled via focused service, inviting social spaces and high-end amenities, all of which the Garden Inn brand offers with high quality yet affordable accommodation.
The group’s expansion in Puchong follows its first Garden Inn in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman in Kuala Lumpur, which was launched earlier this year and is owned by the Royal Group Capital Pte Ltd. The Garden Inn establishment in Puchong is specifically dedicated to new-age, savvy business travellers who are always on-the-go, but find it important to connect with their surroundings. The hotel is a part of Millenia City, a masterplan for a fully-integrated township with both commercial and residential properties by Millennium Land Sdn Bhd.
(The Malaysia Reserve, 26/10/2018)
PAVILION HOTEL KL TO OFFICIALLY OPEN ON 1st DECEMBER 2018
Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur managed by Banyan Tree, the first property under the Pavilion Group, will officially open within the heart of the city on 1st December 2018. Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur stands 13 floors above Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, the six-storey shopping centre adjacent to the Couture Precinct extension. The hotel features 325 rooms and suites decked in contemporary décor for the discerning traveller in need of an urban getaway. The hotel also offers a range of meeting and event facilities suitable for all occasions.
(The Edge Financial, 26/10/2018)
LEMBAH KINTA DECLARED AS A NATIONAL GEOPARK
The Lembah Kinta Geopark has been declared as a National Geopark. The 4,824-acre Lembah Kinta Geopark, which stretches through the Kinta and Kampar districts, now comes under the Perak State Parks Corporation and was gazetted as a national geopark back in 2017. The Lembah Kinta Geopark which has a wealth of geological, biological and historical heritage will also be promoted as an eco-tourism, marine tourism and geo-tourism site.
(The Sun, NST, The Star & The Edge, 26/10/2018)
APPROVAL FOR RM130 MILLION SPECIALIST COMPLEX FOR PD HOSPITAL
The Health Ministry has approved the construction of a RM130 million specialist complex for the Port Dickson Hospital in its efforts to upgrade medical facilities within the district. The tender for the complex’s construction has been issued and the project’s contractor will be selected by the health ministry. The project entails an expansion of the hospital, with the inclusion of state-of-the-art facilities, more specialist clinics and four surgical and intensive care units, along with a new ward with a capacity of 132 beds.
PARAMOUNT SELLS KDU PENANG AND GLENMARIE CAMPUS ASSETS
Paramount Corp Bhd is selling KDU Penang University College’s Jalan Anson and Batu Kawan campus properties, and the Utropolis Glenmarie campus for RM420 million. Additionally, Paramount’s wholly-owned subsidiaries, Janahasil Sdn Bhd and Dynamic Gates Sdn Bhd, will enter into a master lease agreement to lease the properties from Dynamic Gates.
(The Star & The Edge, 26/10/2018)
ONLY WORLD GROUP DROPS PLAN TO MANAGE MOVIE ANIMATION PARK STUDIOS
The Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) in Meru, Ipoh, is facing another setback as Only World Group Holdings Bhd (OWG) has decided not to go ahead with its plan to manage the animation theme park. OWG and Perak Corp’s heads of agreement (HoA) for the management contract lapsed on October 22, 2018, following a six-month extension, and both parties executed a mutual termination agreement on October 23, 2018. The HoA was entered into back in January 2018 for potential collaboration to manage and operate MAPS. Animation Theme Park Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Perak Corp Bhd, is the developer, operator and owner of MAPS, which is a joint venture between Perak Corp’s subsidiaries, PCB Development Sdn Bhd and RSG MAPS Sdn Bhd.
(The Sun, 26/10/2018)
RM22.5 BILLION WORTH IN UNSOLD HOUSES IN THE COUNTRY
The Housing and Local Government Ministry recorded a property “overhang” of approximately RM22.5 billion worth of unsold houses nationwide, whereby 73% of them comprised affordable houses priced at RM250,000 and below. The government had discussed the matter with the Malaysia Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) and developers, to organise an exposition on house ownership, as was carried out in 1998-1999.
SELANGOR CAPS AFFORDABLE HOMES AT RM220,000
The Selangor state government has reduced the maximum price tag for ‘Rumah Selangorku’ affordable homes by RM20,000 in a bid to provide more opportunities for city dwellers to own properties. The Menteri Besar announced that the lowered price came under the state’s revised policy called ‘Rumah Selangorku 2.0’, which will now see the range readjusted from RM42,000 and capped at RM220,000, from the previous maximum price of RM250,000. ‘Rumah Selangorku 2.0’ came about following efforts in February 2018 to revisit and improve policies of the affordable housing scheme, which was first implemented back in 2014.
From 2014 to September 2018, a total of 204 affordable housing projects involving 104,460 units had been approved by the Selangor executive council. A total of 6,303 homes have been completed and the keys have been handed over. Approximately 22,336 additional homes are in the process of construction and owners are able to move in within stages between 2018 and 2022. For the next phase, the state government has set a target to build 30,000 additional ‘Rumah Selangorku’ homes from now until 2023.
(NST, The Star & The Edge, 24/10/2018)
BRING BACK HOME OWNERSHIP CAMPAIGN FROM ’98-’99, SAYS DEVELOPER
Glomac Bhd has proposed that the government reintroduces the Home Ownership Campaign from two decades ago, in order to reduce the number of unsold properties. A group of developers have proposed to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government [KPKT] and Ministry of Finance [MoF] to bring back the campaign. Launched twice for three months each in 1998 and 1999, the Home Ownership Campaign waived the stamp duty on properties priced at RM250,000 and below. Certain processing fees such as the memorandum of transfer was also waived to lower the burden on home buyers and to encourage homeownership. This time round, the group has suggested a stamp duty waiver for properties priced at RM500,000 and below, lower interest rates and a longer tenure term for first-time home buyers.
(The Edge, NST, The Sun & The Star, 25/10/2018)
CONSTRUCTION OF DIRECT ACCESS ROAD COMMENCES
Construction works on the direct access road connecting seafront mixed integrated complex, Meridin Bayvue in Sierra Perdana to the Johor Bahru East Coast Highway, commenced in early October 2018 after obtaining approval from local authorities. The new road is expected to be completed by mid 2019 and upon completion the new access will shorten travel time for Meridin Bayvue’s residents and retailers by shortening travel distance between the Johor Bahru East Coast highway and Meridin Bayvue to approximately 12 km.
FOREST CITY TO INCLUDE AFFORDABLE HOMES
Country Garden Pacificview Sdn Bhd (CGPV), the developer of Forest City in Gelang Patah has agreed to review its development plan to incorporate affordable housing. The decision was recently conveyed to the state government by CGPV. The number of units and relevant pricing have yet to be decided.
(The Star, 23/10/2018)
JOHOR ANNOUNCES PROJECT TO BUILD HOMES BELOW RM200,000
The “Rumah Impian Bangsa Johor” affordable housing scheme for Johoreans has been announced under the auspices of the Sultan Ibrahim Foundation, which is an effort by the Johor Royal Family, to ease “the burden on the people”. The non-profit project will include amenities such as a multi-purpose hall, a park, shops and a motel. Prices for single-storey terraced homes will start at RM70,000, whereas double-storey terraced units will be priced below RM200,000. Each home will comprise three bedrooms and two bathrooms. To be eligible for the programme, applicants must be by a “Johorean”, with a household monthly income of less than RM5,000, must not be the eldest or only child and must not own any other property.
(The Edge, 22/10/2018)
JOHOR MOVES TO REVIVE ABANDONED PROJECTS
In a move to help house buyers affected by abandoned private housing projects, the state government will taking over projects and hand them over to state-linked companies. The state government will introduce a new type of affordable home priced at RM250,000 each to cater to the middle-income (M40) group.
There was a need to introduce the new type as the M40 group would not be eligible to buy low and medium-cost houses priced at RM42,000, RM80,000 and RM150,000, under the Johor Affordable Houses Scheme. The RM250,000 house is for those with a household income of between RM8,000 and RM12,000, mostly living in the urban areas. Circa 7% of the 100,000 affordable houses to be built in Johor within the next five years would comprise the RM250,000 houses for the M40 group.
(The Edge, 24/10/2018)
MMAG ACQUIRES FACTORIES IN JOHOR FOR RM10.46 MILLION
MMAG Holdings Bhd’s wholly-owned unit, Ingenuity Microsystems Sdn Bhd, has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Liangsiang Capital Sdn Bhd for the acquisition of four units of one-and-a-half-storey ready built semi-detached factories at Empire Park in Iskandar Puteri, Johor, for RM10.46 million cash. MMAG noted that the properties will be held by the group with intention of fulfilling courier and logistics future storage and warehousing needs for its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Line Clear Express & Logistics Sdn Bhd.
(The Malaysia Reserve, 26/10/2018)
VERTICE CONFIDENT ABOUT INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT IN PENANG
Formerly known as VOIR Holdings Bhd, Vertice Bhd is confident about the successful execution of a mega infrastructure project in Penang. Comprising three major roads and a third link within the Penang Master Transport Plan (PTMP), the project is valued at RM6.3 billion, and will involve the North Coast Paired Road from Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang (Package 1), Ayer Itam-Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Bypass (Package 2), Persiaran Gurney-Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Bypass (Package 3) and the third Link, which is an undersea tunnel from Persiaran Gurney to Bagan Ajam (Package 4). In September 2018, Vertice and Vizione Holdings Bhd secured the contract for the 5.7km bypass for Package 2 worth RM815 million, from Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZC), the main contractor. Works on Package 1 is estimated to begin in early 2020, with the contract likely to be awarded in the 4Q19.
(The Edge, 20/10/2018)
PROGRESS OF AVC PROJECT WELL ON TRACK
Aspen Group Holdings Ltd’s progress of its flagship Aspen Vision City (AVC) project in Bandar Cassia, Batu Kawan, Penang, with a gross development value of approximately RM13 billion, is well on track. The first development, Vervea shop offices, is set to obtain a certificate of completion and compliance by December 2018. The shop office development is situated within Central Island Park, a 25 acre development, which Aspen is jointly developing with IKEA Southeast Asia. The group has invested RM105 million in the first phase of the Central Island Park, including land costs and construction costs comprising softscape and hardscape elements. An additional RM50 million will be invested by the group for the second phase of the AVC project in five years. The development will also house the first IKEA store and a regional integrated shopping centre in northern Peninsular Malaysia. The IKEA store, with a gross built-up area of 1.7 million sq. ft., is scheduled to open in March 2019 and will offer “well-designed and functional home furnishing products at affordable prices.”
(The Edge Financial, 23/10/2018)