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FIVE LEADING UK TECHNOLOGY FIRMS TO INVEST IN MALAYSIA

Five leading UK technology organisations will invest in Malaysia, due to Malaysia’s implementation of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and cybersecurity. Ideagen, which is a global technology company based in Nottinghamshire, will open a Centre of Excellence in Kuala Lumpur, generating up to 70 technology jobs. The investment coincides with the launch of Q-Pulse 7, the company’s electronic quality management software. AuditXPRT, which is based in London, has made Kuala Lumpur its South-East Asian hub. The company is planning to set up an apprenticeship programme to recruit and train people in machine learning and AI. In addition, UK technology innovator, Mitra Innovation, is working in collaboration with a Malaysian partner to enhance the Malaysian ecosystem. This partnership will assist in modernising technological capabilities of organisations via innovation and embracing AI to improve cybersecurity. BAE Systems Applied Intelligence is expected to continue to develop its Global Engineering Centre in Kuala Lumpur. As for Sage, Britain’s largest technology company, it will deliver accounting, payroll and enterprise management solutions to SMEs. Heriot-Watt Univer­sity, a Scottish university with a campus in Putrajaya, is launching a new three-year Data Futures Scholarship Programme in collaboration with MDEC. The scholarships will increase the recruitment of students to meet the growing demand for data professionals in Malaysia and also create a collaboration platform for industry partnerships.

(The Star, The Sun & NST, 01/05/2019)


 

MINISTRY TO DISCUSS REDEVELOPMENT OF OLD HOUSING

The Housing and Local Government Ministry will discuss with the state government regarding the redevelopment of housing, especially flats, which are more than 30 years old. The requirement for the checking or redevelopment of old houses had been included in the national housing policy.

(The Star, 29/04/2019)


 

PUBLIC HOUSING WILL BE INSPECTED EVERY FIVE YEARS

All landed and multi-level properties at government housing schemes nationwide will be “monitored and inspected every five years”. The Malaysian Housing and Local Government Minister mentioned that this was provided for under the new National Housing Policy 2018-2025, which was formulated to ensure the safety of residents. Under the new housing policy, the government was also empowered to conduct rebuilding works on flats that were 30 or more years old and are deemed to be unsafe. The ministry was working with the state government to find out the number of such flats that were in existence.

(NST,30/04/2019)


 

NEW BRIDGE TO BE OPEN BY HARI RAYA 2019

The RM36.7 million bridge in Kampung Pulau Setelu, linking Gua Musang to Jeli, will be open by Hari Raya. Construction of the bridge across Sungai Nenggiri commenced in January 2017 and is currently in its final stages. It is expected to be fully completed in May 2019.

(NST, 29/04/2019)


 

WCE RESPITE FOR MERU-MENORA TUNNEL

The Meru-Menora Tunnel stretch of the nation’s foremost highway could soon experience some respite. PLUS Malaysia Bhd, which operates the North South Expressway, has grappled with the issue for years, and has yet to have plans for the expansion of the stretch. Upon completion, the West Coast Expressway (WCE) will offer the best alternative for road users to avoid the Meru-Menora Tunnel stretch. Located in Jelapang, Perak, the 800 metre stretch underneath the Keledang Range was opened in 1986 and comprises two lanes for each direction. The south-bound stretch of the tunnel is prone to accidents that would cause massive congestion with hours of delay for motorists. The 223km long WCE, which is being built on the west coast of the peninsula, is set to resolve the issue of increasing traffic congestion. With a high traffic volume of 1.9 million vehicles, the northernmost stretch of the WCE was intended for motorists who wish to avoid the Menora Tunnel, which is the reason why the WCE spanned all the way towards Taiping.

(NST, 27/04/2019)


5 WEST COAST EXPRESSWAY INTERCHANGES MAY OPEN BEFORE RAYA

Construction of the West Coast Expressway (WCE) is nearly 60% complete, with five interchanges expected to be ready prior to Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2019. The five interchanges span 77.9km from Klang to Kapar in Selangor and Hutan Melintang to Beruas in Perak. The New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) interchange to the New North Klang Straits Bypass (NNKSB), spanning 4.5km, is 96% ready, followed by the NNKSB interchange to the Kapar interchange spanning 9.7km (89% ready). In Perak, 88% of the Hutan Melintang interchange to the Teluk Intan interchange (19.1km) has been completed. The Kampung Lekir interchange to Changkat Chermin interchange (28km) is 85% complete, while the Changkat Chermin interchange to Beruas interchange (16.6km) is 85% ready. The WCE is 233km long, beginning from Banting, Selangor, to the Changkat Jering toll plaza on the North South Expressway (NSE) in Taiping, Perak. Construction of the highway began in 2014 with 21 interchanges. It is linked to the NSE, NKVE, South Klang Valley Expressway, KL-Kuala Selangor Expressway, Shah Alam Expressway and NNKSB.

(NST, 29/04/2019)


 

PROPOSED KULIM AIRPORT WILL HAVE NEGATIVE IMPACT ON PENANG

The proposed Kulim airport will have a negative impact on Penang, particularly towards the Penang International Airport (LTAPP). This view was based on reports prepared by consultants who conducted feasibility studies on the proposed airport in neighbouring Kedah. The Penang government is firm about its view that the Transport Ministry should once again study this matter and that detailed studies need to be undertaken to ensure that the proposed development will be holistic and benefit all parties. The proposed Kulim airport, estimated to cost RM1.6 billion, is among seven high-impact projects and programmes approved by the federal government for Kedah. It will complement existing facilities in Kedah and boost development in the Northern Corridor Economic Region.

(NST, The Sun, The Star & The Edge, 30/04/2019)


 

AWC SECURES RM17.1 MILLION SUPPLY CONTRACT FOR MRT2 PROJECT

AWC Bhd has secured a RM17.1 million contract for the designing, manufacturing, supplying, assembling, testing and commissioning of Harsco Model RGH 10C Rail Grinding Vehicle works, for the Mass Rapid Transit 2 (MRT2) project. The contract is expected to be completed by September 30, 2022.

(The Sun, 01/05/2019)


 

NEW SHAH ALAM BUS TERMINAL TO BEGIN OPERATION ON MAY 1, 2019

The new Shah Alam intercity bus terminal in Section 17 will become operational on May 1, 2019, whereby operations will be moved from its current temporary facility in Section 13. Terminal 17 in Jalan Jenulung 17/21 was expected to begin operations in July 2018 but it was delayed for almost a year due to technical reasons. Phase two will include the building of 30 food stalls and a multi-level parking facility and works are expected to start by the end of 2019.

(The Star, 30/04/2019)


 

DESTINI TEAMS UP WITH TWO FIRMS TO BID FOR RAIL CONTRACTS

Engineering solutions provider Destini Bhd is collaborating with Lion Pacific Sdn Bhd and SVPR Consulting Services Sdn Bhd to undertake rail related projects in Malaysia. Destini’s wholly owned subsidiary, Destini Rail Sdn Bhd, entered into a Joint Venture (JV) Shareholders’ Agreement with the two firms in respect of a JV company, DLP Rail Sdn Bhd. Works that the JV company intends on bidding for include engineering solutions and services, civil works, rolling stock, system and track works, asset management and maintenance services for rail projects. Destini Rail and Lion Pacific will each hold a 40% stake in the JV Company, while SVPR will hold the remaining 20%.

(The Sun & The Star, 03/05/2019)


DEAL SIGNED TO DEVELOP MALAYSIA’S FIRST “AI PARK”

Malaysia is to develop its first Artificial Intelligence (AI) Park, which will serve as a platform for the development of AI solutions such as speech recognition, robotics and smart city technology. It is also planned to be a regional epicentre for data management, research and development and commercial ecosystem. An agreement was signed between Malaysian company, G3 Global Bhd (G3) and its Chinese partners, SenseTime Group Ltd and China Harbour Engineering Co Ltd (CHEC), regarding the setting up of the AI Park, with investments amounting to US$500 million (RM2.07 billion). The location of the park has yet to be identified.

(The Star, 27/04/2019)


 

PM: DIGITAL IBS WILL BOOST EFFORTS TO BUILD AFFORDABLE HOMES

Digital technology used in the Industrialised Building System (IBS) method of construction will assist in the government’s push to build more affordable housing. The Prime Minister denoted that digital IBS, which involves the use of robotics, will not only benefit the housing sector, but would also “upskill” the local workforce. The technology has the potential to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign workers, thus preventing yearly capital outflows. Use of the digital Industrialised Building System, will assist the government in meeting its target of one million affordable homes over a period of 10 years.

(NST, The Star, The Edge & The Sun, 03/05/2019)


 

LABU TO HOST BILLION-RINGGIT GREEN DATA CENTRE

A billion-ringgit green data centre with a supercomputing technology facility will be built near Labu, Negri Sembilan, to host mission-critical applications and data of Japan’s leading enterprises, information technology, telecommunication and automobile companies. The project, by Japanese owned Regal Orion Sdn Bhd, is expected to be completed by October 2020. The entire project, which is situated at Bandar Baru Enstek, would cost RM1.2 billion. The company had acquired a partially-completed data centre facility for RM69 million in 2018 and relevant works for the completion of the building in 2020 are being carried out.

(The Star, 02/05/2019)


MFM TO SELL JALAN TUN RAZAK PARCEL

Malayan Flour Mills Bhd (MFM), is seeking bids for its parcel of land on Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, that industry experts estimate will fetch RM108 million. 23 years ago, the one acre plot was purchased for RM21.73 million or RM500 per sq. ft. With a 1:6 plot ratio, the development will have a total gross floor area of approximately 261,000 sq. ft.

(The Edge, 27/04/2019)


 

ELMINA VALLEY FIVE HOMES – 90% SOLD

Sime Darby Property’s Elmina Valley Five (EV5), the latest in its Elmina Valley (EV) series at the Elmina City Township, registered a sales rate of 90% since the launch of EV5’s first phase on March 23, 2019, and second phase on April 27, 2019. Phase 1 of EV5, which comprises 168 units, was sold-out upon launch, while Phase 2’s 205 units that were launched on April 27, 2019, registered a sales rate of 83%. Phase 2 of EV5 offers double-storey link homes with built-up areas from 2,404 sq. ft. and prices starting from RM850,399. Homes in EV5 are the first in “City of Elmina” to be equipped with “FittingsPlus+”, which include built-in air conditioning piping, instant water heaters, booster pump and an external water filter.

(The Edge, 30/04/2019)


 

YFG TERMINATES KUANTAN PR1MA HOMES CONTRACT

YFG Bhd has terminated a RM127 million contract to build PR1MA homes in Kuantan, Pahang. The notice of termination was served to the developer, Seri Ceka Sdn Bhd (SCSB), as the required contract was not formalised within the stipulated three-month time period, due to project funding issues encountered by SCSB. In January, the company was awarded a contract to build 666 semi-detached single storey PR1MA homes and 74 units of shop lots in Kuantan for RM127 million.

(The Star, 03/05/2019)


 

PERAK CORP & RAPAT SETIA TO DEVELOP GATED HOUSING PROJECT IN MERU RAYA

Perak Corporation Bhd’s wholly-owned subsidiary, PCB Development Sdn Bhd (PCBD), has signed an agreement with Rapat Setia Sdn Bhd (RSSB), to develop a piece of land into a gated and guarded housing development in Bandar Meru Raya, Hulu Kinta, Perak. Development of the land, measuring approximately 23.4 acres, which is owned by PCBD, will comprise 303 housing units, which include single-storey link terraced houses (191 units), single-storey corner unit link terraced houses (36 units), double-storey link terraced houses (68 units) and double-storey corner unit link terraced houses (8 units). RSSB will start construction no later than two months after obtaining required approvals. The project is expected to be completed within 24 months.

(The Star, 03/05/2019)


 

SETIA ECO GLADES’ REEF OF TROPIC LINKED HOMES FULLY BOOKED

The official launch of freehold, double-storey linked homes at Setia Eco Glades, Cyberjaya, was fully booked on April 27 and 28, 2019. Known as “Reef of Tropic”, the collection is Phase C1 of the Setia Eco Glades township by S P Setia Bhd. It comprises 152 double-storey linked homes which are planned for completion by the middle of 2022. Priced from RM700,000 and ranging from 1,770 sq. ft. to 2,000 sq. ft. in size, each 20’ x 70’ unit offers “a modern tropical design with a fully extended layout”.

(The Edge, 03/05/2019)


 

KIMLUN BAGS RM204.4 MILLION JOB TO BUILD TWO APARTMENT BLOCKS IN SELANGOR

Kimlun Corp Bhd has secured a RM204.4 million contract to build two blocks of apartments in Selangor. Kimlun’s wholly-owned Kimlun Sdn Bhd secured the job from Rexpoint Resources Sdn Bhd. Construction works are expected to be completed by end of January 2022.

(The Edge, 30/04/2019)


MALL OCCUPANCY DIPS BELOW 80%

In 2018, shopping complexes recorded a decline in average occupancy rate to 79.3%, from 81.3% in 2017, according to the National Property Information Centre’s (NAPIC) National Property Market Report 2018. According to the report, the decline was due to negative take-up in several states especially Selangor and Pahang, which saw “32,665 sq. m. and 10,831 sq. m. of space unoccupied, respectively”.

(The Edge, 01/05/2019)


 

SUNSURIA TO PARTNER WITH CHINESE FIRMS FOR SMART LOGISTICS PARK

Sunsuria Bhd has entered into agreements with China’s Sinotrans Ltd and IAT Automobile Technology Co. (IAT), to set up a smart logistics park and an Asean automotive design hub, respectively. In the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sinotrans, the parties will collaborate on establishing and operating a smart logistics park and business in Malaysia. Sunsuria also signed a Strategic Cooperation Agreement (SCA) with automotive design and engineering firm, IAT, to establish the Asean Automotive Design and Innovation Center (AADIC). Apart from conducting R&D in automotive design and technology, the centre will serve as the main operations centre for obtaining a car-sharing operations licence in Malaysia and importing modified electric vehicles from China.

(The Star & The Edge, 29/04/2019)


 

AXIS REIT TO ACQUIRE RM200 MILLON WORTH OF INDUSTRIAL PROPERTIES

Axis Real Estate Investment Trust (Axis REIT) is targeting to acquire RM200 million worth of property assets mainly under the warehouse and manufacturing facility segment, by the end of 2019. It is focusing its strategy on grade ‘A’ logistics facilities and manufacturing facilities, with long leases from tenants with strong covenants. Currently, the REIT has accepted a few offer letters, particularly to acquire two freehold manufacturing facilities in Iskandar Puteri, Johor, for RM55.8 million and a leasehold manufacturing facility in Bayan Lepas, Penang, which will be announced at a later date. Axis REIT is currently undertaking due diligence for the acquisition of properties and the acquisitions are targeted to be completed by 1H19.

(The Edge, 01/05/2019)


MINISTER OF HEALTH OFFICIATES ADVENTURE PARK AT SETIA ECO HILL 2

Setia EcoHill 2 welcomes a new extension to its township, the Adventure Park, which was officiated on April 27, 2019. Approximately RM3 million has been invested into the park, which stretches 17 acres, with its highest peak recorded at 120m above sea level. Around 95% of the trees at the original Bukit Tempurung area has also been conserved while building the park. Adventure Park provides a suitable environment for outdoor activities for the community and features three trails. Activities include hiking, jogging, mountain biking, bird-watching. For the convenience and safety of visitors, 60 parking bays are allocated with and monitored by a 24-hour CCTV, in addition to security enforcement.

(Starproperty.com.my, 01/05/2019)


 

PROPERTY OVERHANG CONTINUES TO INCREASE

The level of residential property “overhang” in the country continued to rise in spite of fewer launches in 2018. According to the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH) in its Property Market Report 2018, the year-on-year (y-o-y) residential “overhang” in Malaysia increased to 32,313 units valued at RM19.86 billion in 2018, an increase of 30.6% in volume and 27% in value. High-rise units formed the bulk of the “overhanging” units, representing 43.4% (14,031 units) of the total. Most of them were concentrated in Perak (2,905 units) and Kuala Lumpur (2,692 units). Unsold, under-construction units also rose to 80,984 units, an increase of 30.9%. The number of new launches in 2018 recorded 66,040 units, which was a contraction of 14.9% compared with 77,570 units in 2017. Kuala Lumpur and Selangor showed a decline of 56.1% and 9.9%, respectively. Johor recorded an increase of 17.3%, compared with 2017. Sales performance was moderate at 34.6% across the board. Construction activities also exhibited a downtrend in 2018, with completed units contracting by 0.7% (93,547 units), compared with 2017 (94,198 units). JPPH denoted that the residential sector had registered 197,385 transactions worth RM68.75 billion, an increase of 1.4% in volume and 0.4% in value. Despite showing an increase in market activity, the commercial property sector also experienced an increase in “overhanging” units. There were 23,936 transactions valued at RM29.51 billion in 2018, an increase of 8% in volume and 16% in value.

(The Star, The Sun & NST, 01/05/2019)


 

WZ SATU GETS RM101.8 MILLION SUBCONTRACT JOB UNDER GEMAS-JB DOUBLE TRACK PROJECT

WZ Satu Bhd’s unit was awarded with a RM101.84 million subcontract job for the construction of bridges at Section 4 from Renggam to Kulai, for the electrified double track project from Gemas to Johor Bahru. The group’s wholly-owned subsidiary, WZS BinaRaya Sdn Bhd, has accepted the letter of award from SIPP-YTL JV. The contract period commences April 30, 2019, with works expected to be completed on or before January 21, 2020.

(The Edge, 30/04/2019)


 

NEW KFC OUTLET TO CATER TO 7,000 STUDENTS

The first ever KFC drive-thru restaurant in Bandar Universiti Pagoh (BUP), is expected to meet the demands of more than 7,000 students currently studying in universities around the area. The 0.9 acre proposed site for the restaurant is expected to be completed by June 2020 and is at the centre of four universities in Pagoh, which include Universiti Tun Hussien Onn Malaysia, International Islamic University Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Politeknik Tun Syed Nasir. The project is a partnership between Sime Darby Property Berhad and QSR Brands (M) Holdings Bhd which aims to spur the local economy, while also providing for job opportunities.

(The Star, 29/04/2019)


 

MATRIX CONCEPTS TO JOINTLY DEVELOP PROJECTS IN KLUANG

Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd will jointly develop mixed development projects with an estimated gross development value of RM1.2 billion in Kluang, Johor, with Koperasi Kemajuan Tanah Negeri Johor Bhd. Matrix Concepts’ wholly owned subsidiary, Matrix Concepts (Southern) Sdn Bhd (MCS), has entered into a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with the co-operative which owns 407.6 acres of agriculture land in Kluang. The two parties intend on proceeding with mixed development projects across 309.5 acres of the land, in which construction works will be funded by MCS.

(The Sun & The Star, 03/05/2019)


 

GOVT URGED TO REVIEW RM1 MILLION THRESHOLD FOR FOREIGN BUYING OF PROPERTIES

Johor Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) is urging the government to consider reviewing the current threshold of property acquisition by foreigners. According to the Johor Rehda chairman, the minimum threshold of RM1 million per unit, which was imposed in 2014, should revert to RM500,000. The measure was introduced by the previous administration to stabilise domestic prices from excessive speculation, in order to enable local interests to acquire quality properties valued less than RM1 million per unit, especially residential units.

(The Star, 29/04/2019)


 

EXPRESSWAY PROJECT TO FINALLY GET OFF THE GROUND ON SEPTEMBER 1, 2019

After years of delays, construction of the elevated highway from Air Itam to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway will commence on September 1, 2019. The highway is a vital road for approximately 300,000 Penangites living in the most densely populated part of the island. It will have three interchanges, thereby allowing motorists to get on and off from Jalan Thean Teik, Jalan Yeap Chor Ee and Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah. It is expected to be completed in three years. Several roads in Kampung Pisang in Air Itam are also undergoing road widening works to complement the upcoming bypass. This and two other road projects are part of the island traffic dispersal system of the proposed Penang Undersea Tunnel, which is a 6.5km tunnel beneath the seabed between Gurney Drive on the island and Bagan Ajam in Butterworth. The other two projects involve the 12km North Coastal Paired Road between Tanjung Bungah and Teluk Bahang and the 4.2km bypass connecting Gurney Drive to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway, which are expected to be ready in 2022.

(The Star, 27/04/2019)


PENANG CM SUGGESTS ALTERNATIVES TO KULIM AIRPORT PLAN

The Penang Chief Minister has put forward three proposals to address concerns over plans to build an airport in Kulim, Kedah. Instead of building a new airport, the Penang International Airport could alternatively be expanded. Though the current plan in place involves the expansion of the airport to cater for a passenger load of 12 million, this plan could possibly be revised to cater to 25 million to 30 million passengers a year, which is sufficient for the northern region. Another alternative is to build a new airport in Seberang Prai to cater to the needs of Penang, Kedah and Perlis. Additionally, Penang and Kedah could jointly own and operate the proposed Kulim airport, so that passenger and cargo traffic could be divided between the Kulim and Penang airports.

(The Sun & The Edge, 03/05/2019)


 

5 PUBLIC HOUSING SCHEMES IN PENANG IDENTIFIED FOR URBAN REGENERATION

For urban regeneration purposes, Penang has identified five public housing schemes, involving a total of 5,469 units, three of which are situated on the island and two on the mainland. The five projects include the Mahsuri, Rifle Range and the Taman Free School Flats on the island, and the Mak Mandin and Jalan Siakap Flats on the mainland.

(NST, 01/05/2019)


 

AFFORDABLE HOMES SHOULD BE STANDARDISED NATIONWIDE

There should be a national cap on what constitutes affordable housing prices, such as those defined under low and low-medium-cost homes, according to the Penang state Housing Committee chairman. The maximum prices of such homes should be standardised nationwide and states should not be allowed to set different ceiling prices. Some states have raised their ceiling prices for low and low-medium-cost homes to RM60,000 and RM100,000, respectively. But many states including Penang maintain these at RM42,000 and RM72,500.

(The Star, 27/04/2019)


 

PAN BORNEO HIGHWAY SARAWAK: SEVERAL STRETCHES OF ROAD TO BE OPENED IN JULY 2019

Several road stretches of the Pan Borneo Highway in Sarawak, which have been upgraded from a two-lane carriageway to a four-lane carriageway, will open in July 2019.

(The Edge, 01/05/2019)


 

HARVEY NORMAN GOES TO MIRI

Harvey Norman, the Australian-based retailer’s latest brick-and-mortar outlet will open in Miri, Sarawak, on May 3, 2019, offering special deals and promotions in conjunction with its launch. This will be the retailer’s second outlet across the South China Sea, with the first one launched in Kuching in June 2017. The Miri Times Square outlet spans over 40,000 sq. ft. and covers a comprehensive range of products across electrical and electronics, furniture and bedding. Harvey Norman also plans to open four more stores in 2H19 in Tebrau and Southkey (Johor), Ipoh and Kota Baru. The retailer is also eyeing several locations in Sabah and Sarawak, with an upcoming outlet in Kota Kinabalu.

(The Star, 02/05/2019)


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Jones Lang Wootton