BUDGET 2019 HIGHLIGHTS
The Budget 2019 was introduced with the underlying theme, “A Resurgent Malaysia, A Dynamic Economy, A Prosperous Society”. It focuses on institutional reforms, the socio-economic wellbeing of Malaysians and the promotion of an entrepreneurial culture in recapturing Malaysia’s “Economic Tiger” status. In general, Budget 2019 was an expansionary budget, and one which offers a smaller fiscal deficit moving into 2019. The most relevant highlights are provided below:
- RM240 million allocation for a RM100 unlimited monthly public transport pass on both RapidKL rail or bus services and RM50 monthly pass for those who only use RapidKL buses starting January 1, 2019.
- A freeze on any toll hikes on intracity highways.
- Motorcycle toll on the first and second bridge in Penang and the Second Link in Johor will be abolished starting January 1, 2019.
- Kuala Lumpur City Hall to allocate RM20 million to provide additional GoKL free buses on the four existing routes.
- RM500 million allocation for the Public Transport Loan Fund with 2% interest subsidy via Bank Pembangunan Malaysia to be made available to taxi and bus companies, in addition to other public transportation operators.
- RM10 million allocation to upgrade the Autogate Malaysia Automated Clearance System and M-Bike.
- RM20 (Asean travellers) and RM40 (other than Asean travellers) depature levy to be imposed on all outbound air travellers commencing June 1, 2019.
- RM20 million allocation to Malaysia Healthcare Tourism Council (MHTC) to collaborate with reputable private hospitals to enable the branding of Malaysia as a destination for medical tourism.
- RM100 million allocated towards matching grants to the private sector for running promotional and marketing campaigns overseas to increase tourist arrivals to the country.
- 50% of proceeds on tourism tax, estimated at RM50 million to be shared with all states.
- Tax-free incentives within Penang’s Swettenham Pier in the form of duty-free shops.
- Pulau Pangkor declared as a duty-free island.
- The SME Bank will be providing RM500 million worth of loan facilities via the SME Tourism Fund (with a 2% interest subsidy by the government) to assist handicraft makers and homestay operators.
- The Sultan Abdul Samad building is to be redeveloped and restored into an arts, cultural and heritage hub.
- RM2.9 billion allocation to help students from lower income groups in terms of food, text books and cash assistance.
- RM652 million for the upgrading of schools.
- Commencing January 1, 2019, all donations to national schools and public institutions of higher learning (IPTA) registered with the Education Ministry for the purposes of upgrading infrastructure will be tax exempted.
- RM100 million for the re-construction of dilapidated schools.
- RM206 million towards the development and provision of training programmes in Polytechnics and Community Colleges.
- RM400 million allocated to institutions of higher learning via a fund for research.
- RM3.8 billion in scholarships and study loans to be provided, with RM2 billion of the amount reserved for Mara-sponsored bumiputera students.
- RM210 million as part of the Bumiputera Empowerment Agenda to strengthen education and human capital development programmes, which will be managed by Yayasan Peneraju Pendidikan Bumiputera.
- Progressive loan repayment schedule, for those earning at least RM1,000 per month, from 2% to 15% of the borrowers’ monthly income depending on their income level.
- Tax relief for companies that assist in settling all the remaining loans of their employees for the year ending 2019.
- Additional individual tax relief for all additional savings deposited in the PTPTN National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN) ranging between RM6,000 and RM8,000.
- Discounts for students from B40 households who have obtained first class honours degrees.
- Debt write-off for those who are 60 years old and above with a monthly income of less than RM4,000, benefiting up to 350 debtors and costing RM4.2 million.
- RM210 million allocation between the years 2019 to 2021 to support the transition and migration towards Industry 4.0, whereby the government will assist 500 SMEs.
- RM2 billion allocation under the Business Loan Guarentee Scheme (government will provide guarantees of up to 70%) to incentivise SMEs to invest in automation and modernisation.
- RM4.5 billion SME Loan Fund via commercial financial institutions with a 60% guarantee from Skim Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan (SJPP), including RM1 billion for bumiputera SMEs.
- The tax rate for SMEs with a paid up capital of less than RM2.5 million reduced to 17% from 18%.
- RM2 billion worth of credit and takaful facilities to help SME exports.
- RM100 million to upgrade of SMEs capabilities’ in the halal industry via various programmes.
- RM1 billion SME Syariah Compliant Financing Scheme to be available via Islamic financial institutions, whereby the government will provide a profit subsidy rate of 2%.
- RM200 million allocation via “Permodalan Usahawan Malaysia Berhad” for the wholesale and retail industry, and the purchase of business premises to be rented to bumiputera SMEs.
- RM100 million allocated to TEKUN to finance small entrepreneurs.
- RM20 million to initiate the “Buy Malaysian First” campaign.
- RM10 million allocation towards e-Sports.
- RM100 million allocation towards preparing athletes for the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
- RM1.2 billion to ensure the growth of the religion.
- RM150 million allocation for programmes such as building mosques and suraus, and for the “Khaira Ummah” initiative to train more professionals in the huffaz and religious learning modules by utilising Braille.
- RM10.8 billion to repair clinics and hospitals and to purchase medicine.
- A RM10 million yearly allocation to provide further medical treatment to parents of contract officers.
- RM100 million for the Health Protection Scheme (Peka), with a health screening pilot project involving 800,000 people from the B40 group ages 50 and above.
- RM20 million to continue free mammograms, HPV vaccinations and pap smears in government hospitals and clinics.
- RM50 million for rare diseases treatment, Hepatitis C, programme to overcome stunting among children, screening and haemodialysis, and enhanced primary healthcare.
- RM0.40 per litre excise duty on two categories of sugary drinks starting April 1, 2019.
- The Government will collaborate with a private insurance company to introduce a National Health Protection Fund for the B40 low income group.
- Provide free protection for four main critical illnesses up to RM8,000 and a maximum of 14 days’ replacement income, which being treated in hospital.
- Stamp duties excluded on all Tenang Protection Products for two years from January 1, 2019.
Targeted fuel subsidy for RON95:
- Government to provide RM0.30 per litre subsidy (depending on price of petrol) of up to 100 litres for each car with a capacity of 1,500 cc and below and 40 litres per month to motorcycles of 125 cc and below (owners of multiple cars will not receive such benefits).
Civil servant, wages and pension:
- Minimum wage raised to RM1,100 nationwide starting January 1, 2019.
- RM500 one-off payment by year-end for civil servants Grade 54 and below.
- RM500 one-off payment for eligible pensioners receiving less than RM1,000 monthly.
- A bonus of RM250 for pensioners.
- Individual income tax relief for the National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN) increased from RM6,000 to RM8,000.
- Corporate income tax rate for taxable income of up to RM500,000 will be reduced from 18% to 17%.
- Combined tax relief for EPF contribution and life insurance or takaful deduction separated into RM4,000 for EPF contribution and RM3,000 for takaful or life insurance premiums. For civil servants under the pension scheme, the tax deduction will be up to RM7,000.
- Income tax deductions provided for contributions from any parties to any social enterprise subject to a maximum of 10% of aggregate income of a company or 7% of aggregate income for a person other than a company.
- Time limit on carrying forward losses and allowances for tax relief to be a maximum of seven years.
Bantuan Sara Hidup:
- RM1,000 for households with a monthly income of RM2,000 and below, while households earning between RM2,001 and RM3,000 receive RM750, and RM500 for households earning between RM3,001 and RM4,000.
- Additional top-up of RM120 per child of 18 years and below.
- A maximum of four children per family. No age limit for families with disabled children.
- RM60 million allocation to assist in funding specific projects by the state governments to protect and expand existing natural reserves.
- RM2 billion Green Technology Financing Scheme (GTFS) made available at selected commercial banks, where the government will subsidise the interest cost by 2% for the first seven years.
- RM1 billion Sustainable Development Financing Fund provided by Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Berhad to support the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals under the United Nations Development Programme.
- RM1.5 billion to build and complete affordable homes under the People’s Housing Programme, Civil Servants Housing Project, PR1MA and Syarikat Perumahan National Bhd.
- RM1 billion fund to be set up by the Central Bank of Malaysia for those earning under RM2,300 per month in order to purchase affordable houses priced up to RM150,000.
- RM400 million allocated towards improving the living quarters of civil servants.
- To help civil servants acquire homes, the Public Sector Housing Financing Board will extend the loan repayment period from 30 to 35 years for the first loan, and from 25 to 30 years for the second loan.
- Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) “agrees to reduce house prices up to 10%” for houses that are not subject to price controls under new projects.
- For first-time home buyers who purchase residential properties priced up to RM500,000, the total stamp duty incurred on sale and purchase agreements and loan agreements will be exempted up to a maximum capped price of RM300,000 for a period of two years until December 2020.
- For first-time home buyers with household incomes of RM5,000 or less, RM25 million will be allocated to Cagamas Berhad to provide mortgage guarantees to enable borrowers to obtain higher financing from financial institutions, inclusive of downpayment support.
- For merely six months commencing January 1, 2019, all stamp duty charges for first-time purchasers of homes valued between RM300,001 and RM1 million will be waived.
- 10% Real Property Gains Tax will be imposed on companies and foreigners and a 5% rate for Malaysians for the disposals of properties or shares in property holding companies after the fifth year.
- Malaysians owning low cost, low-medium cost and affordable housing with prices below RM200,000 will be exempted from Real Property Gains Tax.
- 4% stamp duty on the transfer of property valued at more than RM1,000,000.
- RM100 million allocated to orang asli communities to provide construction and upgrading of infrastructure for the supply of water, relocation, education, welfare and economic development.
- RM5 million for micro-grants to implement programmes with cooperation from the United Nations Development Program to manage the environment in orang asli communities.
- Reduction of extension levy for foreign workers who have served for 10 years or more from RM10,000 to RM3,500 per worker per annum in order to address the shortage of workers in the agriculture and plantation industry.
- RM45 million allocated for the setting up of EPF i-SURI contribution scheme for housewives, whereby husbands can contribute to their wives’ retirement savings. Husbands can contribute at least RM5 monthly and the government will contribute RM40 a month.
- RM926 million allocated towards building and upgrading roads and bridges in rural regions.
- RM694 million and RM738 million allocated to the supply of electricity and water, respectively, to rural and remote regions.
- RM85 million allocated towards new villages for purposes of upgrading and maintaining basic infrastructure such as roads, community halls and open spaces.
- RM150 million per annum to acquire a casino licence.
- Casino duties increased up to 35% on gross collection.
- RM50,000 per annum on licences of machine dealers.
- Gaming machine duties to be increased to 30% on gross collection.
- The number of special draws to be reduced by 50%.
(The Star & NST, 03/11/2018)
TRADE SURPLUS HITS A 10-YEAR HIGH IN SEPTEMBER 2018
Malaysia’s trade surplus hit a 10-year high of RM15.3 billion in September 2018 as exports expanded 6.7% and imports contracted 2.7%. According to the Department of Statistics, exports grew to RM83 billion y-o-y in September 2018, with re-exports registering a 26.2% increase over the same period. The surplus was largely driven by an expansion in exports of electrical and electronic products (+6.5%) and refined petroleum products (+20.5%), although demand for palm oil and palm oil-based products declined (-11.5%). Total trade increased RM3.3 billion in September 2018 to RM150.8 billion.
(The Edge Financial, The Sun & NST, 07/11/2018)
BANK NEGARA KEEPS POLICY RATE AT 3.25% AMID SLOWER ECONOMIC GROWTH
Amid subdued economic growth, Bank Negara Malaysia decided to maintain the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) at 3.25%, upon discussions at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting. At the current OPR level, the degree of monetary accommodativeness is consistent with the intended policy stance. The MPC will continue to monitor and assess the balance of risks surrounding the outlook for domestic growth and inflation.
(The Edge Financial, The Star, NST & The Sun, 09/11/2018)
FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC INVESTMENTS SURGE 52.47% TO RM61.6 BILLION
In the first eight months of 2018, Malaysia has approved RM61.6 billion in foreign and domestic investments. From January to August 2018, foreign direct investment accounted for RM43.8 billion (of total investments) versus RM24.4 billion between January and August 2017. The top three source countries of foreign direct investors were China, Indonesia and the Netherlands. As for domestic direct investment, Malaysia approved RM17.8 billion, which was an increase from RM16 billion for the same period in 2017. Approved investments involved 411 projects with the potential to generate in excess of 34,000 jobs, mainly within the oil and gas, chemical product and electrical and electronics sectors.
PUTRAJAYA TO ENGAGE STAKEHOLDERS BEFORE IMPLEMENTING P2P HOME FINANCING
The Malaysian Government will engage with stakeholders such as the National House Buyers Association, prior to implementing the peer-to-peer (P2P) home financing exchange platform. The first of its kind scheme offers first-time house buyers the chance to merely pay 20% to own a house, whereas the remainder will be borne by investors via a P2P financing framework.
(NST & The Edge Financial, 05/11/2018)
AIRPORT REIT PLAN GETS BACKING
According to Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), Malaysia’s plan to set up the world’s first Airport Real Estate Investment Trust (Airport REIT) is positive. The Malaysian Government plans to set up the Airport REIT in order to privatise infrastructure assets and hopes to raise RM4 billion from selling a 30% approximate stake in the REIT to private institutions The REIT, however, will only be carried out after the new Regulated Asset Base and user fees structure has been negotiated and finalised.
(NST & The Star, 03/11/2018; The Edge Financial, 05/11/2018)
INNOVATIVE FINANCING SCHEME TO SPUR HOME OWNERSHIP
EdgeProp Sdn Bhd, has launched an innovative property portal which connects first-time homebuyers and institutional investors in a mutually-supportive relationship. The platform, dubbed “FundMyHome.com”, enables buyers to fully own a home by paying only 20% of the property’s price, whereas the 80% balance is contributed by participating institutions, who share the returns from changes in the future value of the homes. For starters, the participating institutions comprise Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. Currently, EdgeProp is in discussions with the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) and Bank Negara Malaysia to finalise the terms & conditions and the framework of the platform. FundMyHome will feature approximately 1,000 homes in the first phase of its roll-out, priced below RM500,000 each. The properties are being offered by nine participating developers (Eco World Development Group Bhd, UM Land Bhd, IOI Properties Group Bhd, Mah Sing Group Bhd, Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor, PNB Development Sdn Bhd, Sunway Bhd, Trinity Group Sdn Bhd and UEM Sunrise Bhd). All homes offered on FundMyHome are either completed or nearing completion, therefore enabling buyers to move in soon after the completion of the buying process.
(The Edge Financial & The Sun, 05/11/2018)
DBKL APPROVES 102 PROJECTS with 74 STILL UNDER PROBE
The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has approved 102 development projects under the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 (KLCP 2020), whereas 74 projects are currently under probe. The projects are being studied under 11 categories in the KLCP 2020, by taking into account factors such as the history of development applications, land prices, plot ratios, building height limits and locations. Projects that are under probe include the construction of affordable and transit homes.
(The Edge Financial & The Sun, 08/11/201)
CONDOR FLIES TO MALAYSIA, CONNRCTING KL AND FRANKFURT
Individuals can now travel directly from Kuala Lumpur (KL) to Frankfurt (FRA), following the operation of Germany’s Condor Airlines. The airline operates the 13 hours and 45 minutes FRA-KUL route three times a week (on Monday, Thursday and Saturday), whereas the return KUL-FRA flight is on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. It is the only direct flight between Germany and KL after Malaysia Airlines Bhd and Lufthansa stopped their services a few years ago.
(The Malaysian Reserve, 05/11/2018)
ANOTHER RAIL TRANSIT CENTRE IN KL
Developed on 1.48 acres of railroad reserve land by Railway Assets, the RM30 million “Abdullah Hukum” train station is now open. Acting as operators, Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) expects 1,000 passengers per day to utilise the KTM Komuter train service and this number is expected to increase to 5,000 passengers a day by 2020.
(The Star, 05/11/2018)
NEW SEPANG-MELAKA RAILWAY LINE
Viva Rail Lines Bhd (Viral) is expected to spend between RM10 billion and RM12 billion to build an electrified railway line between Melaka and Sepang. Covering a distance of 190km, the railway line will link the Melaka International Trade Centre in Ayer Keroh and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang. The RM10 billion allocation includes railway tracks, installation of the electrification, communications and signalling system, and the purchase of trains.
MRCB-GEORGE KENT AWARDED LRT3 CONTRACT WITH REVISED SUM OF RM11.86 BILLION
With a fixed contract sum of RM11.86 billion, MRCB-George Kent Sdn Bhd has received the letter of appointment from Prasarana Malaysia Bhd for the construction of the Light Rail Transit Line 3 (LRT3) from Bandar Utama to Johan Setia. The contract sum of the project includes a contingency/provisional sum of RM400 million, which, if not utilised, will reduce the overall contract sum. The project is scheduled to be completed by February 2024.
(The Star & The Edge Financial, 07/11/2018)
PERAK TRANSIT TERMINAL ON TRACK
Perak Transit Bhd is scheduled to complete its new 12-storey integrated public transportation terminal in Kampar, Perak in 4Q18. With a gross leasable area of circa 400,000 sq. ft., the group is currently in the midst of finalising the tenants at the Kampar terminal which is scheduled to be fully operational in 1Q19.
(The Star, 07/11/2018)
TAIWAN COMPANIES URGED TO EXPAND TO MALAYSIA
The Taiwan External Trade Development Council is seeking for more companies from Taiwan to market their products in Malaysia. The technology, manufacturing and lifestyle sectors are some of the potential areas that Taiwan industry players can explore within Malaysia. Malaysia was Taiwan’s seventh largest trade partner and there is ample potential for further growth in trade.
PRG TO ACQUIRE UP TO 29.9% STAKE IN SINGAPORE-LISTED CAPITAL WORLD
PRG Holdings Bhd plans to acquire up to a 29.9% stake in Singapore-listed Capital World Ltd to further strengthen its property development segment. The two companies have the capacity to collaborate by introducing medical and wellness elements in “Project Capital City” and future development projects, which will enhance the appeal of Capital World Limited’s product offering. Capital World, which is based in Johor, is an integrated property developer that focuses on working with landowners on a joint venture basis to enhance the value of landowners’ land assets. Via the joint ventures, Capital World undertakes the concept, design and implementation of integrated property development projects, while minimising capital outlay for the acquisition of land banks.
(The Star, NST & The Edge Financial, 07/11/2018)
GAMUDA LAND LAUNCHES GL HOME TO FACILITATE HOME OWNERSHIP
Gamuda Land Bhd has launched GL Home (Gamuda Land’s Home Ownership Made Easy) to assist potential buyers in navigating through various financing options to bridge differential sums between prices and end financing loan amounts. The campaign will run until December 31, 2018, whereby participating projects will include Gamuda Cove, twentyfive.7, Gamuda Gardens, Kundang Estates, Bukit Bantayan Residences, HighPark Suites, The Robertson, Madge Mansions, Jade Hills, Horizon Hills, Valencia and Kota Kemuning.
(The Edge Financial, 09/11/2018)
SCIENTEX PLANS TO BUILD 50,000 AFFORDABLE HOUSES
Scientex Bhd is optimistic of building 3,250 affordable houses in Peninsular Malaysia annually over the next 10 years, to achieve its “Vision 2028” of completing 50,000 units. Scientex has delivered 17,500 affordable houses priced RM500,000 and below since 1995.
(The Star, NST, The Sun & The Edge Financial, 08/11/2018)
GAMUDA’S FIRST RSKU BUILT WITH DIGITAL IBS
Gamuda Land has unveiled its first Rumah Selangorku (RSKU) apartment at “Jade Hills” in Kajang, Selangor. Scheduled to grant vacant possession in January 2019, the “Gapura Bayu Apartment” was built on the basis of utilising the digital Industrialised Building System. Located on 11 acres of freehold land, the 714 apartment units have built-ups of 700 sq. ft., 750 sq. ft., 900 sq. ft. and 1,000 sq. ft., with a gross development value of RM132 million. Priced between RM42,000 and RM250,000 a unit, approximately 73% of the apartment units have been sold.
ACOUSTECH ACQUIRES MELAKA SERVICED APARTMENT PROJECT
With a purchase consideration of RM18 million, Acoustech Bhd’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Teras Eco Sdn Bhd has entered into an agreement with Jaya Mapan Sdn Bhd to acquire a block of serviced apartments. The building comprises 306 serviced apartment units (identified as Block C), which forms part of an ongoing mixed development known as “The Green”, whose site spans circa 4.38 acres. The Green comprises two blocks of luxury serviced apartments (Block B and Block C), a 16-storey hotel (Block A), 18 retail lots and 10 units of 4-storey shop offices. Excluding Block C, other components of the mixed development are currently undergoing construction by Jaya Mapan, which will transfer development rights and its interest in the serviced apartment to Teras Eco upon completion of the project.
Scheduled to be completed by 2022, Jaya Mapan will also issue individual titles of the residential units to end purchasers of the Block C serviced apartments.
(The Star, 07/11/2018)
COMPASS OFFICES OPENS NEW WORKSPACE IN KUALA LUMPUR
Compass Offices (Hong Kong-based workspace providers) opened its latest new flexible workspace at Menara Standard Chartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The company’s clientele includes growing start-ups, entrepreneurs, independent professionals and enterprise teams. Founded in 2009, it has expanded to 35 centres with a network in excess of 10,000 workstations in nine cities namely, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Singapore, Melbourne, Sydney, Ho Chi Minh, Manila, Shanghai and Tokyo.
(The Edge Property, 07/11/2018)
AEON GROUP TO GO PAPERLESS BY 2H19
Aeon group is targeting to go paperless by rolling out its e-wallet to consumers by 2H19. This will enable transactions involving the Aeon e-wallet to be viewed in real time on the application itself, as the transaction is completed. The e-wallet was developed at a price tag of RM10 million and the group aims to undergo a complete membership conversion by 2021. The card, which is certified by Bank Negara, will combine all six million Aeon group membership cards under one common platform. The wallet can be used at Aeon and around the world under its Visa flagship.
(The Star & NST, 07/11/2018)
DOMINO’S PIZZA AIMS TO REACH 240 OUTLETS
Domino’s Pizza Malaysia aims to reach 240 outlets in totality by opening 14 in Melaka, Johor and Penang by the end of 2018. The company also plans to open more outlets in popular areas such as Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, to increase delivery efficiency and expand their reach towards smaller and secondary townships. The company will revamp its online experience, prior to adding an e-wallet service to its payment options.
(The Malaysian Reserve, 08/11/2018)
OIB PLANS LAUNCH IN 1Q19
In 1Q19, Oriental Interest Bhd (OIB) will launch Rumah Selangorku apartments within its 35.5 acre “Myra Alam” in Puncak Alam. The apartments will be available in three types (Type B priced at RM100,000, Type C at RM180,000 and Type D at RM220,000). Scheduled to be fully completed by 2023, “Myra Alam” will offer 223 terraced houses, 364 condominium units and 394 Rumah Selangorku apartment units, with a total gross development value of RM300 million. Phase 1 was unveiled in June 2018 whereby more than 40% of its units have been sold, with the project comprising houses with built-ups ranging between 1,542 sq. ft. and 1,865 sq. ft. are priced from RM475,000. OIB will launch Phase 2 in mid-2019, with double-storey terraced homes comprising built-ups exceeding 2,000 sq. ft. priced at circa RM500,000.
AFFIN OPENS 110TH BRANCH IN BANDAR SRI SENDAYAN
Affin Bank Bhd has opened its 110th branch in Malaysia in Bandar Sri Sendayan, Negeri Sembilan. Affin Bank believes that the 4,942 acre Bandar Sri Sendayan development has very promising economic potential and the bank would able to meet various banking needs of its users, while supporting businesses and trading activities within and outside the area.
COWAY MULLS SETTING UP MANUFACTURING OPERATIONS IN MALAYSIA
Coway Co Ltd (a South Korean maker of home appliances) is planning to establish manufacturing operations in Malaysia with the aim of using the country as a launch pad into other South-East Asian markets. The company has 13,000 staff and full-time agents in Malaysia.
(The Star, 07/11/2018)
MTDC IN INDUSTRY 4.0-RELATED TIE-UPS
Malaysian Technology Development Corp (MTDC) is expanding its network and resources with the signing of a Memoranda of Understanding with five Industry 4.0-related partners. The five agencies are in addition to another group known as Myedtech Community, which MTDC signed with earlier, and will be the corporation’s key partners towards its Industry 4.0 initiatives. The five partners are: Malaysian Robotics and Automation Society, Malaysia lnternet-of-Things Association, RESPECT Business and Advanced Technology Solutions Sdn Bhd of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Research Triangle Institute, and Human Life Advancement Foundation.
(The Star, 08/11/2018)
KEDAH GOVERNMENT COMMITTED IN GROWING KULIM HI-TECH PARK
The Kedah State Government will nurture the growth of the Kulim Hi-Tech Park (KHTP) and pave for it to persist as the country’s “leading Technology Park”. Foreign investments in the state have totalled more than RM8.6 billion since 2013, the majority of which is concentrated in KHTP. To date, the technology park has welcomed investors from various countries representing a variety of industries including electronics, fabricated materials and plastic products. As part of plans to grow KHTP, the state government has proposed for the Kulim International Airport to be built close by and act as a logistics hub to cater to the needs of industry players in Peninsular Malaysia particularly those located in Kedah, Perlis and Perak.
(The Edge Property, 08/11/2018)
Tiong Nam Logistics Holdings Bhd has scaled back its warehouse expansion plans in Malaysia (Kulim in Kedah and Seelong in Johor) and Laos. This is to enable the firm to focus on attaining larger clientele in order to optimise existing warehouse capacity. Tiong Nam initially planned to expand its warehouse capacity to 7 million sq. ft. from 5.5 million sq. ft. by 2020. However, it has now decided to expand capacity to circa 5.9 million sq. ft. The occupancy rate for Tiong Nam’s warehouses is expected to reach circa 80% for FY19, due to new multinational corporation customers being involved in the fast-moving consumer goods sector.
NEXTGREEN GLOBAL, IHI, NOMURA IN MOU ON GREEN TECH PARK
Nextgreen Global Bhd, Nomura Holdings Inc and IHI Corp have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore collaboration and investment opportunities involving a 410 acre green technology park in Pahang. The MoU facilitates a joint feasibility study to evaluate potential cooperation in the development and management of power generation and other auxiliary facilities for the second and subsequent phases of the green technology park.
(The Sun & NST, 09/11/2018
JAPAN TO SET UP THREE UNIVERSITIES IN MALAYSIA
Three Japanese higher-learning institutions have revealed plans to establish branches in Malaysia. These include Tsukuba University (one of the oldest and most comprehensive research universities in Japan), Nippon Designers School and the Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. Tsukuba University is scheduled to commence operations in 2020, whereas Nippon Designers School is tentatively scheduled to commence operations in 2019.
(The Star & NST, 07/11/2018)
AEROSPACE HUB SET FOR REVIVAL
Khazanah Nasional Bhd (Khazanah) will lead and develop a project to set up a “world-class aerospace industry hub” in Subang. Khazanah will work with relevant agencies, particularly with Majlis Amanah Rakyat, to produce highly-skilled workers in order to meet demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The project, which was known 21 years ago as the Subang International Aviation and Aerospace Park (SIAP), was envisioned as a regional aircraft component manufacturing and overhaul facility. Previously, several aircraft companies had entered agreements to set up a regional base in SIAP, including: Rolls Royce Plc, Hamilton Sunstrand, Boeing Co., Allied Signal, General Electric and MTU.
SINGAPORE TO FOLLOW MALAYSIA’S LEAD AND ABOLISH TOLL FOR MOTORCYCLISTS AT TUAS
The Singaporean Government will remove the 40 Singapore cents toll on motorcyclists at the Tuas checkpoint, in line with Malaysia’s decision to abolish the RM1.10 toll at Linkedua (Second Link) in 2019. According to the Johor Immigration Department, 40,000 motorcyclists on average utilise the “Linkedua” daily.
(The Edge Property, 05/11/2018)
PENANG TO GET OVER RM10 MILLION FROM ITS SHARE OF TOURISM TAX
The Penang State Government is optimistically expected to receive more than RM10 million (its share of tourism tax collected within the state) from the Federal Government. The state government will review the need to charge visitors the local government fee which was imposed in 2014. Visitors pay RM3.00 per room per night in hotels of four stars and above, and RM2.00 per room per night for three-stars and below hotels.
(The Star, 08/11/2018)
TWO MORE HOTELS FOR PENANG HILL
In 2019, two hotels will be built on Penang Hill, whereby one will be located behind the Convalescent Bungalow, while the other will be built along the slopes near the cafe in Laluan Kuli. The proposed hotel behind the Convalescent Bungalow is now in its design stages, and the construction will be carried out according to guidelines set out in the Penang Hill Special Area Plan. Scheduled to commence construction in 2019, the five-storey hotel will have 200-rooms. Meanwhile, the second hotel is in its planning stage.
(NST & The Sun, 09/11/2018)
FIVE NEW PROJECTS WORTH RM477.5 MILLION APPROVED FOR SARAWAK
To be carried out in 2019, the Malaysian Government has approved five new projects for Sarawak, worth RM477.5 million. Projects involved include the upgrading of route 8101 Jalan Datuk Mohd Musa in Kota Samarahan, costing RM243 million, the building of an access road to the Kuching International Airport (RM129 million) and the construction f flyover at the Jalan Medan Jaya-Jalan Tun Hussein Onn intersection in Bintulu (RM100 million).
(The Edge Property, 06/11/2018 & The Edge Financial, 07/11/2018)