MORE STABLE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE BY THE MIDDLE OF 2021

According to the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy), Malaysia’s unemployment rate is expected to be more stable by the middle of 2021. The unemployment rate in January 2021 was 4.9%, lower than the rate registered in May 2020 which was 5.3%.

(The Edge Markets, 21/03/2021 & The Sun, 23/03/2021)


12MP TO EMPHASISE ON CLOSING GAP BETWEEN STATES

While emphasising fairness, the Federal Government is also committed to closing the gap between more developed States and the less developed ones in determining allocations under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP). Under the first rolling plan of 12MP, a total of 1,039 development projects with an allocation of RM5.01 billion have been approved for Sabah. Major development projects being carried out in the State include the Sabah Pan Borneo Highway, the Sapangar Bay Container Port expansion project, the upgrading of 50 dilapidated schools and the Sabah rural road project.

(The Edge Markets, 22/03/2021; The Sun & The Star, 23/03/2021)


FEBRUARY 2021 CPI INCREASED 0.1% YEAR ON YEAR

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded a slight increase of 0.1% in February 2021 to 122.5, against 122.4 in February 2020, driven by the index of miscellaneous goods & services (1.6%); food & non-alcoholic beverages (1.4%); alcohol beverages & tobacco (0.7%); health (0.7%); furnishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance (0.3%); recreation services & culture (0.1%) and education (0.1%). Nevertheless, transport declined by -2% to 111.6, compared with 113.9 in February 2020. Similarly, housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels declined by -0.8%, followed by clothing & footwear (-0.4%) and restaurants & hotels (-0.3%).

(The Sun, The Star, NST & The Edge Markets, 25/03/2021)


PAHANG TO STOP GIVING LAND TO DEVELOPERS WHO FAIL TO DELIVER

According to the Pahang State Government, stern action including stopping the granting of new land has been taken against housing developers who fail to develop the land given. The action was taken as there were housing developers who asked for land to be developed with housing projects, but before developing these, they submitted applications to get new sites.

(The Edge Property, 20/03/2021)


APEX COURT RULES HOTELIERS CANNOT USE 10% SERVICE CHARGE TO HELP PAY MINIMUM WAGE

The Federal Court ruled that hoteliers cannot use the 10% service charge paid by customers to meet the minimum wage requirement, and must instead pay their employees the charges collected in addition to their salaries. Service charge, being monies collected from third parties, does not belong to the hotel. When it is paid by a customer as part of the bill, ownership in those monies does not vest in or transfer to the hotel. Ownership of the monies is immediately transferred and lies with the employees who are eligible to receive those monies.

(The Edge Markets, 24/03/2021)


PERAK PLANS TO BUILD NEW AIRPORT, EXTEND RUNWAY AT EXISTING AIRPORT

The Perak State Government is planning to build a new airport and extend the runway at the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport to meet the needs of medical tourists and demand from domestic investors. However, the materialisation of plans would depend on the government’s financial capability due to high expenditure costs.

(The Edge Markets, 25/03/2021)


MMC ACQUIRES TRADEWINDS’ 50% STAKE IN RETRO HIGHLAND FOR RM250 MILLION

MMC Corp Bhd is acquiring Tradewinds Corp Bhd’s 50% stake in Retro Highland Sdn Bhd for RM250 million, in a related-party transaction. Retro Highland has been appointed by Kuala Lumpur City Hall to redevelop four of the council’s housing projects in Cheras under the Quality Sustainable People Housing development. In consideration, Retro Highland will be awarded approximately 77.80 acres of leasehold land located in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, which Retro Highland is entitled to develop as a mixed-use development of residential and commercial components thereon.

(The Edge Markets, 22/03/2021)


UEM SUNRISE TO LAUNCH PROPERTIES WORTH RM1.2 BILLION

UEM Sunrise Bhd plans to launch circa RM1.2 billion worth of properties mainly in the Central region, which will include two new mid-market high rise residences, “KAIA Heights” in Seri Kembangan at a Gross Development Value (GDV) of RM350 million and a new development with a GDV of RM382 million in Taman Pertama, Cheras. In the Southern region, the developer plans to introduce more attainable products that will extend its product outreach to the local market, which will be in the form of high rise residences in “Senadi Hills” at 1,400 sq. ft. Additionally, affordable landed homes with a built-up area of 1,000 sq. ft. and priced at RM150,000 per unit will be launched in “Gerbang Nusantara”.

(The Edge Markets, 24/03/2021; The Sun & The Star, 25/03/2021)


S P SETIA EYES MONETISATION OF LANDBANK

S P Setia Bhd is looking out for potential buyers of its landbank following several years of expansion on this front. The developer’s planned corporate move would allow it to raise funds for its other strategic developments as it sets a sales target of RM3.8 billion for 2021. To date, the developer has a total of 8,528 acres of land bank in Malaysia, Australia, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Vietnam, China and Japan.

(The Star, 25/03/2021)


ANEKA JARINGAN SECURES RM29 MILLION PILING JOB

Aneka Jaringan Holdings Bhd has secured a RM28.9 million sub-contract for piling works at a new logistics hub in Shah Alam from Nakano Construction Sdn Bhd. Slated for completion by 15th March 2022, the new hub will comprise two four-storey warehouses, a two-storey cafeteria, two guardhouses, a refuse chamber, a Tenaga Nasional Bhd substation and utility buildings.

(The Edge Markets, 25/03/2021)


SPRITZER ACQUIRES LAND IN PERAK FOR RM76 MILLION

Spritzer Bhd signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement with Trong Oil Palm Estates Sdn Bhd for the purchase of eight agriculture land lots known as the Temerloh Division and 39 agriculture land lots known as the Trong Division, in which the total land area will be 1,227 acres for RM76.11 million. The property is situated near the township of Trong, Perak, and is planted with oil palm trees of different ages between 7 years and 32 years.

(The Edge Markets, 25/03/2021 & The Sun, 26/03/2021)


SCIENTEX TO DELIVER 50,000 AFFORDABLE HOMES BY 2028

Scientex Bhd’s property division has targeted to deliver 50,000 affordable homes by 2028 to benefit more than 300,000 Malaysians. The company had acquired a total land bank of 5,868 acres spread over 25 prime locations in Peninsular Malaysia. Out of the total land bank, the company has 180 acres of prime freehold land in Tasek Gelugor, Penang, offering a total of 2,332 affordable double-storey terraced houses.

(The Edge Markets, 20/03/2021 & The Star, 22/03/2021)


GLOMAC LAUNCHES LATEST PROJECT “PRIMROSE” IN SAUJANA KLIA

Glomac Bhd is launching the latest phase of its affordable landed residential development called “Primrose” in Saujana KLIA. The 123 double-storey terraced houses come with four bedrooms and three bathrooms with built-ups ranging between 1,560 sq. ft. and 2,288 sq. ft. Slated to be completed in 2023, the houses are priced from RM498,800 for an intermediate unit.

(StarProperty, 24/03/2021)


MAH SING’S “M PANORA” IN RAWANG OPENS FOR PREVIEW

Mah Sing Group Bhd opened the sales gallery of its “M Panora” in Rawang, which will comprise 396 double-storey super link homes (24 ft. by 65 ft.) with indicative prices starting from RM650,000. The homes will come in four-bedroom and three-bathroom layouts with built-ups of between 1,770 sq. ft. and 2,026 sq. ft. Its first phase of 247 units will be officially launched in 3Q21, while Phase 2 (149 houses) will be launched at a later date. The strata freehold landed residential development sits on 45.38 acres and has a gross development value of RM300 million.

(The Edge Markets, 24/03/2021)


S P SETIA TO LAUNCH “ACORUS 2” LANDED HOMES AT SETIA ECOHILL 2

S P Setia Bhd is launching “Acorus 2” double-storey terraced homes located within “Setia EcoHill 2” township on 27th March 2021. Priced from RM466,000, the project will offer 62 houses with a land area measuring 20 ft. by 65 ft. and a built-up of 1,401 sq. ft.

(The Edge Markets, 25/03/2021)


MYRA ALAM’S PHASE 3 TERRACED HOMES OFFER CUSTOMISABLE SPACE

Myra Alam’s third phase of Type F and Type D terraced houses in Puncak Alam allow buyers to personalise their home by converting extra space into additional rooms. With 49 units available, Type F units have a land size of 20 ft. by 70 ft. Priced from RM554,000, the built-up measures 2,002 sq. ft. for intermediate and end lots and 2,104 sq. ft. for corner lots. Type D units come with a built-up of 2,294 sq. ft. for intermediate and end lots, and 2,396 sq. ft. for corner lots on a 22 ft. by 70 ft. land. There are 16 houses available and prices start at RM569,000.

(The Sun, 26/03/2021)


ECOFIRST UPBEAT ABOUT SUNGAI BULOH TOD PROJECT

Ecofirst Consolidated Bhd is anticipating quick sales of its Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) project in Sungai Buloh, Selangor. Priced at RM269,100, a buyer can own a 450 sq. ft. unit with premium designs. Two other types are RM370,760 for a 650 sq. ft. unit and RM445,740 for an 850 sq. ft. unit. The development comprises two blocks of 1,340 residential units and another block of 252 units under the National Affordable Housing Policy.

(NST, 22/03/2021)


GLOMAC’S 121 RESIDENCES RECORDS 75% BOOKING RATE

Glomac Bhd’s “121 Residences” development in Bandar Utama, Selangor, has achieved a booking rate of 75%. Built on a 3.1-acre leasehold plot, the two-tower development offers 834 SOHO units (built-up of 450 sq. ft.) and serviced apartments (built-up of 750 sq. ft.), priced from RM333,000.

(The Edge Property, 25/03/2021)


PARKSON’S STORE COUNT TO SHRINK

Parkson Corp Sdn Bhd will shut down two of its department stores in 2021 while mulling the closure of a third store. One of the stores set to close is the 18-year-old Parkson Plaza OUG in Kuala Lumpur when the lease comes to an end in the middle of 2021 and the other outlet is a non-performing store. In Penang, Parkson 1st Avenue may also shut in the middle of 2021 due to declining patronage.

(The Edge Property, 20/03/2021)


FOUR YEARS FOR RETAIL INDUSTRY TO RECOVER TO 2019 LEVELS

The local retail sector could take up to four years to recover to 2019 levels even if a potential surge in sales from “revenge shopping” materialises. According to Retail Group Malaysia, the recovery is highly dependent on the Malaysian Government’s ability to reduce the number of daily positive cases and government policies on movement restrictions and social distancing. The Covid-19 outbreak has also impacted the salary of numerous individuals, coupled with cautious consumer spending due to the soft economy, with the average spend per person registering a decline. The reduction of domestic tourist spends also “exacerbated” the situation.

(The Edge Property, 20/03/2021)


MINISTRY KEEN TO WORK WITH JAPANESE RETAILER

The Malaysian Government is keen to work with the Japanese retailer, Don Don Donki to promote Malaysian products in Japan and other countries. The discount chain is present at 160 locations in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Hawaii, Bangkok, Taiwan and Malaysia. The Malaysian store is spread across three floors in the Lot 10 shopping complex in Kuala Lumpur.

(NST, 22/03/2021)


TROPICANA GARDENS MALL ACHIEVES 68% PRECOMMITMENT

Tropicana Corp Bhd’s Tropicana Gardens Mall has achieved a 68% precommitment or circa 185 tenants. Approximately 45% or 123 tenants have already commenced trading. The one million sq. ft. mall is part of the Tropicana Gardens integrated development comprising serviced apartments and an office block, which is the headquarters for Tropicana Corp.

(The Edge Markets, 23/03/2021)


FOODLAB SEEKS TO WORK WITH FOODPRENEURS

Foodlab, a social enterprise that provides kitchen space with basic commercial equipment, seeks to work with foodpreneurs to leverage each other’s strengths in creating a presence for their brands in both offline and online spaces. The key proposition is the proactive role the company plays in helping its foodpreneurs connect to business clients. This includes supporting them in marketing, packaging and essential business assistance in accounting, sales tracking and business registration.

(NST, 23/03/2021)


BIGGEST STARBUCKS RESERVE OPENS IN TROPICANA GARDENS MALL

The largest Starbucks Reserve store in Malaysia has opened its doors in Tropicana Gardens Mall to give patrons a taste of branded coffee. It is located on the ground floor and spans over 6,200 sq. ft.

(StarProperty, 23/03/2021)


BERJAYA FOOD PLANS UP TO 12 MORE STARBUCKS STORES

Berjaya Food Bhd has set aside as much as RM60 million to open up to 25 Starbucks outlets in 2021. Berjaya Food had opened 13 outlets since the beginning of 2021 and plans are afoot for 10 to 12 more, including the first store in Perlis, by the end of 2021.

(NST, 24/03/2021)


FLAGSHIP OUTLET TO CLOSE AFTER 27 YEARS

The Tex-Mex restaurant chain “Chili’s” will shut down its first outlet in Malaysia at the affluent Bangsar suburb of Kuala Lumpur after serving customers for almost three decades. The flagship outlet at Bangsar Shopping Centre will close on 31st March 2021 after 27 years.

(The Star, 25/03/2021)


WESTPORTS, NORTHPORT UNIT JOINTLY ACQUIRE BOUSTEAD CRUISE CENTRE

Westports Holdings Bhd and Klang Port Management Sdn Bhd are to jointly acquire Boustead Cruise Centre Sdn Bhd (BCC) from Boustead Holdings Bhd for RM230 million. BCC currently provides port facilities and services to cruise ships and navy vessels at its 69.8-acre site in Pulau Indah. In addition to the jetty used to accommodate cruise ships and navy vessels, BCC also owns two parcels of land with a five-storey terminal building and six parcels of adjacent land measuring 58.1-acres that have yet to be fully developed.

(NST & The Star, 20/03/2021)


DRIVING GROWTH WITH ROBOTIC SYSTEM

MR DIY Group (M) Bhd has launched a robotic e-commerce warehouse in Seri Kembangan, Selangor. The 65,000 sq. ft. warehouse is equipped with programmable robots that can fulfil online purchases faster compared to a manual system, resulting in a 200% increase in operational efficiency.

(The Star, 23/03/2021)


PRIVATE JET TERMINAL STILL A PROPOSAL

Malaysia’s first dedicated business jet terminal in Subang is still in the proposal stage due to differing views between the Selangor State and Federal Governments. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic two years ago, the Selangor State Government had proposed to turn the current Subang Skypark into a private jet terminal and build a new terminal as a replacement but were unable to obtain a response from relevant federal agencies.

(NST, 23/03/2021)


YONG TAI SECURES DEAL FOR GOLD MINING ON 247-ACRE SITE IN PAHANG

Yong Tai Bhd has been appointed as the sole and exclusive mining operator to perform and undertake exploration and exploitation works on an area covering 247-acres located at Bukit Kenderak, Pahang. The mining agreement is valid until 11th May 2025 for the initial term and the group may apply for an extension of the mining lease for an additional period of five years if the gold deposits in the land are not exhausted. YTB will begin exploration works within six months from the date of the mining agreement with an option to extend another three months.

(The Edge Markets, 24/03/2024 & The Sun, 25/03/2021)


DUTALAND IS DEVELOPING A 5-ACRE RECREATIONAL PARK IN HARTAMAS

Dutaland Bhd group is developing a new recreational park on a five-acre plot in the Hartamas area. The planned green community space is opposite the palace and adjacent to the Hartamas Shopping Centre. The recreational park, Laman Tuanku, will also have a 2-storey pavilion and car park. Land clearing works have begun and the park is expected to be ready by 2022.

(The Edge Markets, 25/03/2021)


ONE-STOP CENTRE IN THE HEART OF IPOH

Perak Community Specialist Hospital’s one-stop Heart Centre in Ipoh is now fully operational. The centre is equipped with the latest equipment to provide improved services to the community. It has the state-of-the-art Philips Azurion 7 image-guided therapy system that offers effective treatment options using advanced catheter-based procedures. This allows doctors to perform a wider range of minimally invasive diagnostics and interventional cardiovascular procedures in a patient-focused environment. The not-for-profit hospital, formerly known as Perak Chinese Maternity Hospital, was opened in 1904.

(The Star, 26/03/2021)


IPOH TO BE MALAYSIA’S 4TH SMART CITY BY 2030

Ipoh will be Malaysia’s fourth smart city after Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Petaling Jaya by 2030, but will be adhering to a different concept of ‘People, Infrastructure and Environment’. The Ipoh Smart City Action Plan would be implemented through strategic cooperation between Ipoh City Council (MBI) and PlanMalaysia and several agencies, to give a fresh dimension to the development direction, apart from creating new benchmarks related to city development in the State. The Ipoh Smart City Action Plan targets seven domains that may serve as solutions to 24 challenges and potentials identified for Ipoh City, which include Smart Living, Smart Environment, Smart Governance, Smart People, Smart Digital Infrastructure, Smart Economy and Smart Mobility.

(The Edge Markets, 23/03/2021)


IBM TO SHUT DOWN CYBERJAYA GLOBAL DELIVERY CENTRE ON 31ST MAY 2021

IBM will be shutting down its Global Delivery Centre located in Cyberjaya, Selangor, on 31st May 2021, as part of IBM’s continual review of the most efficient way to source their products and services. Meanwhile, operations at IBM’s head office located in Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, will continue to operate as usual.

(The Edge Markets, 23/03/2021)


IRDA PLANS TO RAISE INVESTMENT TARGET

According to the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), investor interest in Iskandar Malaysia’s mega-development in Johor remains strong despite the Covid-19 pandemic. IRDA is optimistic to achieve a total cumulative committed investment of RM383 billion as outlined under its comprehensive development plan 2006-2025. Since Iskandar Malaysia’s inception back on 4th November 2006, the economic growth corridor has attracted RM380 billion in cumulative committed investment until 31st December 2020. In 2020, circa RM24 billion worth of investments were recorded.

(The Star, 22/03/2021)


JOHOR ISSUES TERMINATION NOTICE FOR ROAD PROJECT

Johor has issued a termination notice to the contractor of the Senai-Desaru Expressway (SDE) directional ramp to the Bandar Penawar project worth RM79 million, over delays in taking possession of the construction site. Initially scheduled to commence work on 6th January 2021, the project involves a 1,546m directional ramp and widening of the Bandar Penawar-Kota Tinggi road.

(NST, 24/03/2021)


EKOVEST’S ISKANDAR MALAYSIA LAND BUY FROM IWH FALLS THROUGH

Ekovest Bhd’s proposed acquisition of 96.28 acres of freehold land in Pulai, Johor, from Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd for RM1.11 billion has fallen through. The scrapping of the deal is also an indication of the impact of Covid-19 on the property market.

(The Edge Markets, 22/03/2021)


GOVERNMENT EXPANDS MARKETING STRATEGY TO DRAW OVERSEAS VISITORS

The Johor State Government is planning to draw international tourists to the State in 2021. The government is expanding its marketing strategy to Singapore, Indonesia, China, South Korea and the Middle East. In 2020, the main focus of the government was skewed towards domestic travel.

(The Star, 26/03/2021)


PENANG, SRS CONSORTIUM TO IMPLEMENT PSR RECLAMATION WORKS

The Penang State Government will establish a joint-venture company with SRS Consortium to carry out reclamation works under phase one of the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project. Preliminary survey and soil investigation works at Island A will commence on 29th March 2021 and would take three months. The first phase of the project spans 1,200 acres out of the total 2,300 acres of land in Island A, PSR.

(The Edge Markets, 25/03/2021, The Star, The Sun & NST, 26/03/2021)


BATANG LUPAR BRIDGE A VITAL LINK FOR SARAWAK COASTAL AREAS

The Batang Lupar bridge will be a key component in Sarawak’s coastal road network upon its completion in 2024. Once the bridge is completed, the State will be able to open up new areas for development and agriculture. Scheduled to be completed on 6th January 2025, the 4.8km bridge comprises a two-lane single carriageway with a 600m-long cable-stayed main span, 1.2km approach span from Sebuyau and 3km approach span to Triso.

(The Star, 24/03/2021)


IOI CORP OFFERS TO RELINQUISH 12,355 ACRES OF DISPUTED LAND IN SARAWAK

IOI Corp Bhd has offered to relinquish its interest over 12,355 acres of land, in a breakthrough in the IOI Pelita land dispute with local communities in Tinjar, Sarawak. The intended relinquishment of interest by IOI Pelita would be on remaining land (out of the total land area of 22,239 acres) which has not been planted with oil palm by them. The Sarawak State government has also made a far-reaching and unprecedented offer to declare the 12,355-acre a Native Communal Reserve, and subsequently grant the communities with communal and individual land titles, which give better legal rights and protection than native customary rights.

(The Star, 20/03/2021)

 


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