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500,000 AFFORDABLE HOMES FOR PERAK STATE

A total of 50,000 affordable homes will be constructed over the next five years in Perak. The Perak State Government has identified several areas in need of such housing projects, which include the Kinta Valley, Manjung, Kerian and Muallim districts. The government has currently signed a memorandum of understanding with four private housing developers to construct 2,000 affordable homes in Temoh Station (Tapah), Kg Serdang (Manjung), Tanjung Tualang (Kampar) and Tanah Hitam (Kinta Valley) within three years.

(The Star, 26/01/2019)


KPKT WILLING TO COOPERATE IN DEVELOPING CAMERON HIGHLANDS

The Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) has expressed that it is prepared to cooperate with the Cameron Highlands District Council to upgrade highland areas by implementing sustainable development projects. The developments must be “balanced” so that the environmental sustainability in Cameron Highlands is maintained without many changes to the existing forest.

(The Edge Property, 26/01/2019)


OFFICIAL ECRL STATEMENT TO BE MADE SOON

According to the Finance Minister, an official announcement on the status of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project will be made this week. All parties have been advised to exercise caution in discussing “delicate” issue as it involves contracts with China Communications Construction Company and other parties and that they should wait for the official written statement before making their own, often misleading, statements.

(The Star, Sun, 28/01/2019)


MRCB-GEORGE KENT SIGNS FIXED-PRICE DEAL WITH PRASARANA

Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) George Kent Sdn Bhd has signed a fixed-price contract with Prasarana Malaysia Bhd for the proposed Light Rail Transit Line 3 (LRT3) project in the Klang Valley. The contract is for the design, construction, completion, testing and commissioning of the LRT3 between Bandar Utama and Johan Setia in Klang. Construction works have, however, been deferred considerably from 2020 to February 2024.

(NST & The Star, 26/01/2019)


RM1 MILLION WORTH OF REBATES AT PKNS MEGA BONANZA PROMOTION

Selangor State Development Corp (PKNS) has launched the PKNS Mega Bonanza promotion, offering a total of RM1 million worth of rebates to buyers. Discounts of up to 20% are available for residential units in Kota Puteri, including Daffina 3, Daffina 2, Elaisha, and the Azhara project between Antara Gapi and U and U2 Tower in Shah Alam. Ending on February 28, 2019, the discount is open to all Malaysians. In totality, PKNS will be providing a total rebate of up to RM1 million for units in the Enklaf Hijau and Anggun Kinrara Hijau project at Alam Nusantara, Setia Alam and 10 Residences in Section 17, Shah Alam. In addition, buyers will enjoy the zero down payment scheme, while the cost of the sale and purchase deal and memorandum of transfer for selected projects will be borne by PKNS.

(NST & The Star, 26/01/2019)


ECOFIRST “GOING BEYOND” AMPANG UKAY

EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd has formed a joint venture with Lone Pine group (developer of the One Tanjong luxury seafront condominium in Tanjung Bungah, Penang). In December 2018, EcoFirst signed a share sale agreement to acquire a 70% stake in Lone Pine’s Geo Valley Sdn Bhd for RM44 million. Geo Valley is developing a mixed residential and commercial project in Paya Terubong, Penang, which has a gross development value of RM1.25 billion.

(NST, 26/01/2019)


MATRIX CONCEPTS PLANS TO BUILD CBD NEAR SEREMBAN

Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd plans to build a central business district with a gross development value of RM4 billion, which covers 113.7 acres in its Bandar Sri Sendayan Township near Seremban. The project will be built on a “six-in-one” concept basis, which will include hospitality, commercial, shopping malls, a medical centre, residential and a convention centre. The company is seeking a strategic partner to jointly spearhead the development, particularly with the 400-bed medical centre project.

(The Star, 28/01/2019)


EXPANDING THE RUMAH IMPIAN BANGSA JOHOR HOME PROGRAMME

The Sultan of Johor is seeking for the Rumah Impian Bangsa Johor (RIBJ) affordable housing programme to be expanded throughout the whole of the State of Johor in order to benefit all races and low income groups within the state to ensure that the people of Johor “will be able to own homes in high-quality locations at affordable prices”.

(The Sun, 26/01/2019)


“ROAD AHEAD” FOR JALAN BUKIT KUKUS PROJECT UNCERTAIN

The RM545.6 million Jalan Bukit Kukus paired road project has been left in a state of uncertainty with no clear indication as to when the prevailing stop-work order will be lifted. The Department of Safety and Occupational Health issued a stop-work order in October 2018, after a landslide killed nine foreign workers. The completion date of the project has now been deferred from 2020 to 2021. Touted as a “game changer” which would encourage urbanisation within the area, the project is being undertaken by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and two private developers. The MBPP is constructing 2.8km of the stretch costing RM275.6 million and the two developers are responsible for the remaining 1.4km (RM150 million) and 0.7km (RM120 million). Works to be done include: the junction improvement of Lebuhraya Thean Teik, widening of the existing Jalan Bukit Kukus, construction of new roads and an elevated link connecting Jalan Bukit Kukus to Lebuh Bukit Jambul, construction of the elevated road from Jalan Paya Terubong to Jalan Tun Sardon and an intersection of a new paired road to Lebuh Bukit Jambul with a dedicated right turn ramp.

(The Star, 26/01/2019)


SABAH FACING GLUT OF “INAPPROPRIATE” UNSOLD HOUSES

Sabah is facing a glut of unsold houses as they were not built in accordance with the requirement of buyers. Thousands of houses have yet to be sold in Sabah because they do not meet the needs of buyers (such as not being situated in strategic locations), even if the price being offered is affordable and reasonable. Developers need to “all aspects, including the site, access to public utilities and transportation.” Proper planning and research need to be carried out prior to constructing housing projects, which should ideally be placed within suitable areas and built with quality materials to meet the stipulated standards.

(The Edge Property, 26/01/2019)


GOVERNMENT RTO HOMES CAN ONLY BE RESOLD TO KPKT

Houses under the Housing and Local Government Ministry’s (KPKT) “Rent-to-Own” scheme can only be resold to the ministry to prevent speculation. The government is working with all stakeholders to offer quality, affordable homes, to low-income earners and these houses should be reserved for buyers purchasing such homes for their own stay.

KPKT signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Pembinaan Kery Sdn Bhd and TISY Sdn Bhd to offer 2,600 affordable homes and transit homes for unmarried wage earners. TISY Sdn Bhd will be building a mixed development on a 300 acre site in Rawang comprising commercial components and 2,200 units of affordable apartments with facilities. Meanwhile, Pembinaan Kery Sdn Bhd plans to construct the first youth transit homes for single city dwellers on a 2.9-acre site in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur. The company will be offering smaller studio units with a built-up of 500 sq. ft. to young and single wage earners in the city. Set to be priced below RM300,000, both projects are still in their planning stages and are yet to be opened for sale.

(The Edge Property, 28/01/2019)


KPKT’S FIRST HOME OWNERSHIP EXPO TO BE HELD IN MARCH 2019

The first Home Ownership Expo, which will showcase over 20,000 units of “overhanging” properties worth RM22.5 billion (with discounts and packages available for home buyers), will be held in March 2019. Circa 180 developers in Malaysia will participate in this home expo, whereby prospective buyers could expect discounts of at least 10% for these properties. Among these properties, 24% are priced below RM400,000.

(The Edge Property, 28/01/2019 & The Edge Financial, 29/01/2019)


HOUSING POLICY AIMS TO RECONCILE MARKET MISMATCH

The Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) has unveiled the National Housing Policy (Dasar Perumahan Negara / DRN) 2018-2025 with the objective of gathering public and private sector resources to solve the mismatch of demand and supply. The ceiling price for affordable housing is now capped at RM300,000 from RM500,000 previously, which is deemed to be unaffordable for most of those within the middle- and low-income groups. Prices of affordable houses will start from RM95,000 – RM100,000, whereby the fixing of prices for affordable houses will depend on factors such as location and the local mean income.

The latest DRN outlines five focuses, 16 strategies and 57 action plans. The five focuses include quality housing for all; improving accessibility and affordability; cohesive neighbourhoods; improving coordination between housing development and transport; and strengthening institutional capability for the DRN. In 2018 and 2019, 15 action plans have started, including policy implementation, laws, guidelines, governance, community development, maintenance, construction technology improvement and data digitalisation. A sub-policy of the DRN is the National Affordable Housing Policy that draws the standard, main specifications and guide for the development of affordable homes. This includes public and social housing developed by the federal government, state government and private entities to provide sufficient, conducive, safe, affordable and social homes with facilities. Under DRN, three agencies including Perbadanan Prima Malaysia and the Malaysian Civil Servants Housing Programme under the Prime Minister’s Department and Syarikat Perumahan Nasional Bhd under the Finance Ministry will now come under the purview of KPKT.

(The Edge Financial, The Star & The Sun, 29/01/2019)


ENDING DISCRIMINATION BY LANDLORDS

The Malaysian Government is looking at introducing relevant legislation to curb racial discrimination when landlords rent out a property. The government has critically viewed racial discrimination in property-related matters and are planning to introduce an internationally recognised law (Residential Tenancy Act / RTA) to provide protection against any racial discrimination to either parties (tenants or landlords).

(The Edge Property, 28/01/2019 & NST, 29/01/2019)


MINISTRY FOCUSING ON B40 GROUP FIRST, CONDUCTING STUDIES ON M40

The Housing and Local Government Ministry will continue implementing housing development principles and policies that will benefit the majority of Malaysians. The ministry’s current focus is to address the issues faced by the bottom 40% (B40) group, as they are affected the most in the government’s efforts to restore the country’s economy. However, the ministry is also paying special attention to the middle 40% (M40) group and detailed studies are being conducted to collect information and details before an effective action plan is implemented.

(The Sun, 30/01/2019)


AIRASIA GROUP CARRIED 44.44 MILLION PASSENGERS IN 2018

In 2018, AirAsia Group Bhd posted a 14% increase in total passengers carried from 39.09 million in 2017 to 44.44 million. The carrier’s Malaysia operations recorded an 11% increase in total passengers carried in 2018 to 32.33 million, from 29.18 million in 2017. The company’s long-haul unit, AirAsia X Bhd’s Malaysia operations recorded a 6% increase in passengers carried from 5.8 million to 6.17 million.

(NST, The Star, The Sun & The Edge Financial, 29/01/2019)


MRCB SECURES RM323 MILLION HIGHWAY JOB

Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) has secured a RM323 million contract from Turnpike Synergy Sdn Bhd for the Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway (SUKE) privatisation project package CA2. The completion date of the project is scheduled for April 3, 2020, which is 14 months from the date of site possession on February 4, 2019.

(The Sun & The Edge Financial, 29/01/2019)


SSP MRT LINE 41% COMPLETE

At the end of December 2018, construction of the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line, which is scheduled for completion by the middle of 2022, reached 41% completion.

(The Edge Property, 29/01/2019; The Sun & The Star, 30/01/2019)


IBS COULD CONTRIBUTE IN DELIVERING AFFORDABLE HOMES TARGET

Gamuda Bhd will support property developers and the Malaysian Government with the company’s digital robotic Industrialised Building System (IBS) technology to build and deliver new affordable homes for Malaysia, in line with the new National Housing Policy. With full Digital Building Information Modelling technology, costs and wastage are minimised and yet artistic creativity can flourish with maximum delivery efficiency. Gamuda is optimistic that digital robotic IBS technology could assist the government in achieving its ambitious vision of building 200,000 additional affordable homes by the end of 2020.

(The Edge Property, 29/01/2019)


S P SETIA RAISES RM358 MILLION VIA SUKUK TO FUND SEMENYIH LAND

S P Setia Bhd has completed the issuance of RM358.1 million worth of Islamic medium-term notes to part finance the purchase of a project land in Semenyih, Selangor. The sukuk murabahah issued under the sukuk murabahah programme is on a restricted transferability basis and are only transferable within licensed Islamic and commercial banks in Malaysia.

(The Edge Financial, 29/01/2019)


GRAB BOOSTS INVESTMENTS

Grab (Southeast Asia’s leading e-hailing company) has made strong investments in Malaysia with the launch of its Regional Centre of Excellence and research and development centre. This is expected to create 400 new high-value jobs and will bring its total employees in Malaysia to 1,000 individuals. The newly expanded 54,000 sq ft office space will house the company’s “core business strategy and operational functions,” which includes legal, customer experience, financial services and creative services.

(NST, 29/01/2019)


IPAY88 AIMS TO DOUBLE TRANSACTION VOLUME

In 2019, iPay88 Holding Sdn Bhd (regional payment gateway provider) has targeted a 100% increase in transaction volume compared with 52.45 million in 2018, to be driven by continuous growth in online retail. The company is also expected to cash in on new launches of “e-wallets” and new sectors coming onto the digital platform, with mobile phones being the preferred device of use. The company also forecasts a rise in new retail model trends, such as online-to-offline, unmanned stores, augmented reality, and biometric technology (facial recognition), all of which are expected to be more widely used for payment.

(NST, 30/01/2019)


NEW HAUNT FOR THRILL SEEKERS

Spanning 7,000 sq. ft. of space at The Linc in Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, “Hauntu” welcomes guests to check into the Colle Eastern Hotel, which is constructed on the basis of the architectural style of British colonial buildings of Old Malaya. Participants of the breakout game are given roles for storylines that take place within the hotel.

(The Star, 30/01/2019)


AME ELITE SEEKS LISTING TO RAISE FUNDS FOR PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT

AME Elite Consortium Bhd (an industrial property developer and services provider) is seeking for a listing on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia to raise funds for expansion. The company plans to use the gross proceeds from the public issue for future industrial property development and investment projects including land acquisitions and joint ventures, working capital for its i-Park @ SAC development project and to complete the expansion of its precast concrete fabrication capacity.

(The Edge Financial & The Sun, 29/01/2019)


MAHB SIGNS MOU WITH TOURISM MALAYSIA

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd and Tourism Malaysia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a joint international development tourism programme. The MoU looks into possible cooperation between the two parties especially in the area of international tourism promotion. Initiatives planned include the collaboration of airlines, the operation of inaugural and charter flights and high-yield niche tourism promotion. Tourism Malaysia highlighted that the initiative has already succeeded in covering 20 main projects for short and long haul markets in 2018.

(NST & The Star, 30/01/2019)


UNSOLD HOMES REACH NEW HEIGHTS

According to the National Property Information Centre, as of 3Q18, there were 30,115 unsold homes that amounted to RM19.54 billion, which was a y-o-y increase of 9,811 homes or RM18.28 billion from 20,304 unsold homes in 3Q17. However, as of 3Q18, 11,821 properties over RM1 million were unsold, which was a drop of 60,354 homes from 2017’s 72,175 unsold properties. Similarly, for properties under RM500,000, there was a decrease in 2018 to 51,232 unsold homes, down 2,791 homes from 2017’s 54,023. However, the number of unsold homes at between RM500,000 and RM1 million has increased from 18,152 in 2017 to 21,482 as of 3Q18. This shows that while the extreme ends of the scale have shown decreases, unsold homes in the middle of the range are still a concern, which suggests that affordability for the bottom 40% (B40) and middle 40% (M40) income groups is still an issue.

(The Edge Financial, 29/01/2019)


DEVELOPERS SHOULD NOT IGNORE THREE CRITERIA OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING

According to the National House Buyers Association, the number of “overhang” or unsold properties will continue to rise if developers ignore the three criteria that define affordable housing. Apart from the pricing of between RM150,000 and RM300,000, affordable houses should be developed with a desirable size of 800 sq. ft., with at least two bedrooms, so that the units are conducive for family living. The location of properties also plays an important role in attracting potential homebuyers.

(NST, 30/01/2019)


RM1 BILLION FUND TO HELP LOW-INCOME EARNERS OWN HOMES

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has established a RM1 billion fund to help lower income earners purchase affordable homes nationwide. The scheme is meant for Malaysians with maximum monthly household income of RM2,300, with no record of impaired financing for the past 12 months. The fund is available for two years starting January 2, 2019. The maximum financing rate is 3.5% per year, with maximum tenure of 40 years, or up to 70 years of the applicant’s age (whichever is shorter). The maximum property price permitted under this scheme is RM150,000, whereby the properties may only be those from the primary market (homes that are sold by property developers) including homes under construction.

(The Edge Financial, The Sun, The Star & NST, 30/01/2019)


SENAI AIRPORT PASSENGERS GROW 13%

Senai International Airport handled 3.52 million passengers in 2018, a 13% increase from the number of passengers in 2017. The growth was mainly driven by domestic passengers, with a 9% increase to 2.91 million in 2018, from 2.68 million in 2017, whereas international passenger traffic rose 37% to 0.60 million in 2018, from 0.44 million in 2017. Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd aims to handle 3.76 million passengers for 2019, as the company has expanded its portfolio to manage Kerteh Airport in Terengganu.

(NST, The Edge Financial, The Sun & The Star, 29/01/2019)


PENANG’S OVERHANG ADDRESSED

Non-Penangites will now be able to acquire affordable housing units in Penang as a move by the Penang State Government to address the overhang situation. Affordable units that fall under the open market category will be up for sale at market rate and not bound by affordable housing pricing. The income eligibility for affordable housing had been raised by RM2,000 in each category. For a RM150,000 unit, the household income is now RM8,000, compared to the previous RM6,000. Additionally, the household income is RM10,000 and RM12,000 for the purchase of a RM200,000 and RM300,000 unit respectively. The 3% approval fee for the purchase of property by foreigners will be waived in February 2019 as a measure to encourage sales of high-end properties. On Penang Island, foreigners are not allowed to purchase landed properties less than RM3 million and stratified or high-rise units less than RM1 million. On the mainland, foreigners are not allowed to purchase landed properties below RM1 million and stratified or high-rise properties below RM500,000.

(The Star, 29/01/2019)


PENANG GOVERNMENT APPROVES SIX PROJECTS FOR WORKERS’ ACCOMMODATION

To date, the Penang State Government has approved six projects for the development of purpose-built workers’ accommodation in Penang. The six approved projects will provide circa 35,000 beds for the foreign workforce in the state.

(The Star, 30/01/2019)


RM137.3 BILLION IN MIDA-APPROVED INVESTMENTS FOR SARAWAK

As at September 2018, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) has approved a total of 1,120 manufacturing projects with investments worth RM137.3 billion in Sarawak. The projects had generated over 175,000 job opportunities, mainly in the sectors of natural gas, chemical and chemical products, basic metal products, petroleum products (including petrochemicals) and electronics and electrical products.

(NST, 30/01/2019)


INFLATION LIKELY TO RISE TO 2%

The Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) estimates inflation in 2019 to accelerate to 2%, from 1% estimated in 2018. Among the factors deliberated include cost push and demand pull, the increase in minimum wage, and a possible rise in oil prices. In addition, another US Federal Reserve interest rate hike in 2019 will also lead to capital flight from the country.

(The Sun, 31/01/2019)


MALAYSIA’S 2018 EXPORTS JUST OFF RM1 TRILLION MARK

In 2018, Malaysia’s exports nearly reached the RM1 trillion mark, recording 6.7% growth y-o-y to RM998 billion, while imports grew 4.9% y-o-y to RM877.7 billion. This resulted in a record high total trade of RM1.9 trillion, thereby representing y-o-y growth of 5.9%. According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, exports in December 2018 increased 4.8% y-o-y to RM83.3 billion. Re-exports were valued at RM14.1 billion, with an increase of 16.3% and accounted for 16.9% of total exports. Domestic exports recorded an increase of 2.7% to RM69.2 billion. Meanwhile, imports increased marginally by 1.0% y-o-y to RM72.8 billion in December 2018, mainly due to intermediate goods (+RM1.2 billion) and consumption goods (+RM352.9 million). However, imports of capital goods declined at RM2.6 billion. Total trade, which was valued at RM156.1 billion, increased 3.0% y-o-y. The trade surplus was RM10.4 billion, which was an increase of RM3.1 billion (+41.6%) from December 2017.

(The Sun, NST & The Edge Financial, 31/01/2019)


BUSINESS, CONSUMER SENTIMENTS DIP BELOW OPTIMISM THRESHOLD

According to a survey by Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER), the 4Q18 Consumer Sentiments Index (CSI) sank below the threshold of 100 points, recording 96.8 points, while the Business Conditions Index (BCI) slipped to 95.3 points. The CSI was down as sentiment sagged on job and income conditions, while inflationary expectations edged up. The survey revealed that the BCI is down in 4Q18 on the back of declines in sales, production, new local orders, new export orders, capital investment and capacity utilisation.

(The Sun, 31/01/2019)


MITI SEES EXPORTS BREACHING RM1 TRILLION

Following a stronger-than-expected exports performance in 2018, the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) expects Malaysia’s exports value in 2019 to breach the RM1 trillion-mark for the first time. While the global trade outlook is weighed down by an economic slowdown and rising protectionism, MITI projects the country’s exports to grow by circa 5% in 2019, higher than the earlier forecast of 3.9%.

(The Star, 31/01/2019)


SELANGOR EYES RM7.5 BILLION MANUFACTURING INVESTMENTS

In 2019, the Selangor State Government is targeting RM7.5 billion worth of investments in the manufacturing sector, which is a rather conservative forecast due to various global economic uncertainties. As at September 2018, the state managed to attract RM8.25 billion manufacturing investments, 17.9% higher than the state’s RM7 billion initial target.

(The Sun, 31/01/2019)


PLANS TO BOOST LABUAN’S ECONOMIC GROWTH

New development plans are being drawn up for Labuan in 2019. Among plans involved include turning Labuan into a premier tourist destination with a new tourism identity via new tourism products. Among the proposals are the RM8 billion Kuraman Island mega project, Labuan-Kota Kinabalu-Labuan speed passenger ferry services, Formula 1 Boat Race and the Labuan-Menumbok Bridge. The ferry service is expected to begin in June 2019.

(NST, 02/02/2019)


PUTRAJAYA CONSIDERING 99-YEAR LEASES IN KAMPUNG BARU REDEVELOPMENT

The Ministry of Federal Territories is mulling leases of up to 99 years in order to overcome challenges posed by the redevelopment of Kampung Baru on its reserve land status. The redevelopment of the Malay enclave in the heart of Kuala Lumpur has failed to take off due to decades of numerous unresolved issues on ownership, land titles and price valuations. The heritage village has been envisioned to be transformed into a modern “21st century Kampung Melayu”.

(The Edge Property, 30/01/2019)


FT MINISTER REVEALS ALLEGED IRREGULARITIES IN TWO PROJECTS ON GOVERNMENT LAND

The Ministry of Federal Territories has revealed alleged irregularities and abuse of power pertaining to the construction of two buildings to be carried out on government-owned land in Kuala Lumpur. Located on 0.8 acres of land at Lot 33600, Jalan Kuchai Jaya 1, Petaling, which had been earmarked for Kompleks Tun Abdul Ghafar Baba, the development order from authorities had been obtained on April 25, 2017, while the Dewan Shazac Bistari on 0.73 acres of land at Lot 27679, Jalan Gombak in Setapak (part of the Kompleks Yayasan Wangsa Perdana) has yet to receive the development order.

(The Edge Property, 30/01/2019)


STOP WORK ORDER ISSUED FOLLOWING CONSTRUCTION MISHAP AT EX-PUDU JAIL SITE

A stop work order has been issued to Eco World Development Group Bhd after a construction mishap at the ex-Pudu Jail site of the Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) project. An inspection with NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) and DOSH (Department of Occupational Safety and Health) is required, and the developer has to stop construction works at that area until they repair and abide by all orders and necessary safety guidelines.

(The Edge Property, 30/01/2019)


STAMP DUTIES WAIVED FOR PROPERTIES UNDER HOC 2019

Stamp duties on property Sales and Purchase Agreements (SPA) for properties priced up to RM1 million and for loan agreements of up to RM2.5 million, will be waived under the National Home Ownership Campaign 2019 (HOC 2019). The stamp duty waivers are applicable for unsold properties that have been completed or under construction during the six month-HOC 2019 period from January 1, 2019, to June 30, 2019. It is only applicable for properties registered with the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) under HOC 2019. Additionally, the “promotion” is not applicable for price-controlled properties (RM300,000 and below) as this category of properties are already tax exempted.

(The Edge Property & NST, 01/02/2019)


GAG ORDER ON ECRL UNTIL G2G TALKS END

The Malaysian Government has decided that our Prime Minister should be the only person to make announcements on the proposed RM81 billion East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project due to sensitivities surrounding the contract. The government made a decision to adopt the statement made by the Malaysian Prime Minister, whereby the matter is still under negotiations, and discussions that are now at G2G (government-to-government) level, are to be held away from the public glare and spotlight.

(The Edge Financial, NST, The Sun & The Star, 31/01/2019)


TALKS WITH CHINA ON ECRL ONGOING

Malaysia is still negotiating with China over the East Coast Railway Link (ECRL) project, according to the Malaysian Prime Minister. The outcome of the negotiations would be made known “as soon as possible”.

(The Star, 02/02/2019)


BERJAYA CORP UPS STAKE IN BERJAYA LAND FOR RM87.4 MILLION

Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp) is acquiring a 4.61% stake in Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand) for RM87.4 million. Upon completion of the proposed acquisition, BCorp’s shareholding in BLand will increase to 76.89% from 72.28% as at January 29, 2019. The proposed acquisition is slated for completion in 1Q19.

(The Edge Financial & The Sun, 31/01/2019)


BSL SHIFTS FOCUS TO IBS PRODUCTION

BSL Corp Bhd has shelved plans to venture into property development but is keen on manufacturing Industrialised Building System (IBS) parts and components as it was not feasible for the company to enter into the property business, given the state of the market. In early 2018, BSL had announced plans to develop a small scale and affordable housing project in Ipoh to diversify its income stream. The proposed landed affordable housing project would have fewer than 50 units and an estimated gross development value of RM10 million.

(NST, 02/02/2019)


KL HUB TO STRENGTHEN ACCOUNTING PROFESSION

The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants has officially set up a new hub in Malaysia, with the aim of preparing its members in Asia for the future of finance. The new hub is one of three in the world, alongside London and Durham, which would serve 667,000 members and students across 184 countries.

(NST, 01/02/2019)


EPF SELLS WISMA KFC TO S’PORE’S ROYAL GROUP – REPORT

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is believed to have sold the 22-storey Wisma KFC on Jalan Sultan Ismail in Kuala Lumpur for RM130 million to Singapore’s Royal Group. The building (which may be converted into a hotel) occupies a half-acre plot, which has a gross floor area of 342,145 sq. ft. and 268 parking bays.

(The Edge, 02/02/2019)


REVAMPED GIANT SUNGEI WANG OFFERS NEW LOOK, MORE CHOICES

Located at Sungei Wang Plaza, one of the oldest Giant Supermarkets gets a makeover offering a new shopping experience to patrons. The reopening of Giant Sungei Wang offers more imported and local products with the introduction of new sections such as local food corner, Citarasa Malaysia. The revamped store will carry new products and items, such as ready-to-eat food items of Korean ranges, Japanese bento sets, Malaysian food and eight types of mixed rice.

(NST, 01/02/2019)


PARKSON TO CLOSE ITS SURIA KLCC OUTLET

The Parkson group, which has been streamlining its presence in Malaysia over the past year, is closing its outlet in Suria KLCC after two decades. In a notice on its Facebook page, the Malaysian department-store operator denoted that it was having a “moving out sale” at its KLCC outlet until February 17, 2019, emphasising that “everything must go.” The three-level, 126,000 sq. ft. outlet opened in 1998 and was one of Suria KLCC’s earliest tenants.

(The Star & The Edge, 02/02/2019)


MELAKA GATEWAY PROJECT STILL KAJD

The Melaka Gateway project on Melaka Island is still being developed by KAJ Development Sdn Bhd (KAJD) (the master developer of the RM43 billion project). KAJD signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Powerchina on September 1, 2016 to privately develop the 1,350 acre mixed development on the Straits of Malacca, comprising three man-made islands and one natural island. Scheduled to be completed in 2025, the island will feature, among others, an international cruise passenger terminal, a commercial city, liquid bulk terminal and maritime industrial park.

(The Edge Property, 01/02/2019)


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