MDEC TO ATTRACT RM50 BILLION INVESTMENTS, CREATE 50,000 HIGH VALUE JOBS

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) unveiled its five-pronged Digital Investments Future5 (DIF5) strategy whereby the first two focuses on attracting investments and generating high-value jobs. The third strategy focuses on five key industry sectors, five focus technologies, five emerging technologies and digital global business services. The fourth is to attract 50 Fortune 500 tech companies to land and expand in Malaysia and the fifth is the establishment of five unicorns, which are privately held start-up companies with a value of over US$ 1 Billion.

MDEC, which is Malaysia’s lead agency in digital transformation, denoted that the DIF5 will focus on five key thrusts aimed at attracting investments and advancing Malaysia’s digital economy in line with the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint or MyDIGITAL. The five-year initiative, which will run from 2021 to 2025 following the 12th Malaysia Plan, aims to secure high quality digital investments as it seeks to unlock new drivers of growth in the digital economy. Cumulatively, MDEC has brought in RM345 billion worth of investments via MSC Malaysia since 1996, creating 184,396 jobs, and housing 40 of the Forbes 100 companies in Malaysia.

(The Star, 20/07/2021)


SELANGOR SETS LOWER FDI TARGET ON COVID-19 IMPACT

Selangor has set a lower Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) target of between RM12 billion and RM13 billion in 2021 compared with the past 3 years of between RM17 billion and RM18 billion due to the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Chief Minister of Selangor denoted that until April 2021, the State recorded an FDI value of about RM9 billion despite the current challenging economic situation, compared with the previous year.

(NST, The Star, The Edge & The Sun, 21/07/2021)


INVESTKL PULLS IN RM1.92 BILLION IN 1H21

InvestKL has attracted RM1.92 billion in new investments with 1,207 jobs in 1H21, reinforcing Greater Kuala Lumpur’s appeal as a top location for multinational corporations (MNCs) to set up a regional base. In 1H21, it has secured investments from seven MNCs, contributing to its year- end target as well as the larger 10-year strategic plan to attract 100 of the world’s MNCs and fast- growing companies to set up regional services and technology hubs in Malaysia by 2030. The MNCs coming in this year are involved in various sectors including financial services, food technology, infrastructure and data and software solutions providers.

Over the last decade, the agency under the International Trade and Industry Ministry has succeeded in securing investments from 103 MNCs. InvestKL highlighted that the Greater Kuala Lumpur Live Lab and Fit4Work initiatives have contributed to its progress in 2021. The two initiatives are designed to help revitalise the nation’s innovation capacity and build a pool of globally competitive Malaysian talent to complement the kind of high-value, high-technology and high-growth companies it is aiming to attract. This is aligned with the National Investment Aspiration, which is aimed at achieving a balance between economic development and environmental sustainability.

(The Sun, The Edge, The Star & NST, 22/07/2021)


MAHB SIGNS MOU ON AIR TAXI INFRASTRUCTURE FEASIBILITY STUDY

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Skyports and Volocopter to conduct a feasibility study for the deployment of vertiport infrastructure in Malaysia. Skyports is the world-leading designer and operator of vertiport infrastructure for electric air taxis, while Volocopter is the pioneer of Urban Air Mobility (UAM). The newly formed collaboration will explore the deployment of revolutionary electric air taxi services at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Subang (LTSAAS) as well as other locations nationwide. This will put the country among the leaders in the region in terms of willingness to implement UAM.

(The Sun, The Edge, The Star & NST, 22/07/2021)


NATURE-INSPIRED ERAMA – A GREEN HAVEN FOR FAMILIES

Spread over a 32.61-acre freehold tract in Iringan Bayu, Seremban lies the impressive Erama semi-detached homes, an exquisite property designed for families seeking a tranquil lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Erama is a guarded neighbourhood with perimeter fencing and a guardhouse, all at an affordable maintenance fee. Moreover, owners will enjoy free maintenance fees for two years as a welcoming gift from OSK Property. Erama, with a gross development value of RM207 million, is a low-density development comprising only 322 semi- detached homes. It consists of two subphases, namely Phase 8A with 180 single-storey semi- detached houses and Phase 8B with 142 double-storey semi-detached houses which are due to be completed in 2023. Phase 8A units with a built-up of 1,319 sq. ft. offer a 3+1-bedroom and 2- bathroom layout, with prices starting from RM535,000. The Phase 8B units will have a 4+1- bedroom and 4-bathroom layout with a built-up of 2,098 sq. ft. and prices starting from RM668,000.

(Starproperty.com, 19/07/2021)


MYRA MAKES HOME BUYING A BREEZE WITH HOUZKEY

Potential homeowners of Myra Alam in Puncak Alam now have the chance to make their dream home a reality through Myra’s partnership with Maybank Islamic’s homeownership financing solution HouzKEY. First and second time homebuyers can own their dream home with 100% financing, no down payment required during construction period and lowest monthly payments with the best rates. Buyers can just submit an online HouzKEY application on Maybank’s website.

(The Sun, 23/07/2021)


RETAIL OUTLOOK: RISK OF MORE STORE CLOSURES

According to Retail Group Malaysia, retail growth rate may be slowed by 1% to 2% in 2021, depending on the situation of the country over the next two months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. From an initial projection of 4% growth, the retail industry is now expecting a minuscule expansion, if any, owing to the interminable and unprecedented duration of movement restrictions and retail shutdowns.

(The Edge, 17/07/2021)


SHENG TAI EYES RM1 BILLION FDI WITH MALAYSIA’S FIRST CULTURAL TOWER PLAN IN MELAKA

Sheng Tai International Sdn Bhd announced a plan to transform one of the nine towers at The Sail Melaka project into Malaysia’s first Maritime Cultural Tower and is targeting to attract about RM1 billion Foreign Direct Investments from China. The Maritime Cultural Tower is one of the towers at the RM6.5 billion The Sail Melaka, a strategic development along the Melaka Waterfront Economic Zone (M-WEZ) which is set to be fully completed in 2024. The development will feature five-star and six-star luxury hotels; high-end condotels; business suites; a million sq. ft. luxury shopping mall as well as a cultural square with shop lots overlooking the Straits of Melaka. The 61-storey cultural tower can house up to 1,000 businesses from various industries, including arts and culture, baba nyonya, fashion, food, and education.

(The Star & The Edge, 23/07/2021)


MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL IS EXPANDING IN MALAYSIA; TO OPEN TWO NEW HOTELS IN 2021

American multinational hotel chain operator Marriott International, Inc is set to open Fairfield Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Pahang and Four Points by Sheraton Desaru (Johor) in 4Q21, amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Fairfield Kuala Lumpur is the second property under the Fairfield by Marriott brand to open in Malaysia, the first being Fairfield by Marriott Bintulu Paragon, which opened in December 2019. For Fairfield Kuala Lumpur, Marriott International’s development partner is Johawaki Holdings Sdn Bhd. Johawaki’s wholly owned subsidiary JH Hospitality Sdn Bhd is developing the 14-storey hotel at a cost of RM85 million. The hotel sits on an 8,000 sq. ft. land next to Grand Seasons Hotel. JH Hospitality signed a hotel management agreement with Marriott International for the 186-room business hotel in January 2018. The opening of Four Points by Sheraton Desaru is in a partnership with SKS Group and the hotel’s location is close to major attractions in Desaru, including a 45-hole championship golf course. Marriott International signed an agreement with Continental Management Sdn Bhd, a member of the SKS Group in February 2020 to set up the 311-room hotel by 2021. Under the agreement, SKS will refurbish and convert its existing 311-room Amansari Residence Desaru property to Four Points by Sheraton hotel.

(NST & The Edge, 22/07/2021)


TOURISM MINISTRY PROPOSES REACTIVATION OF ACTIVITIES IN PHASES

The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry is in the midst of proposing to the National Security Council (NSC) to reactivate tourism activities in phases. The proposal entails four tiers with Tier 1 allowing intra-district travel and tourism activities within the district, Tier 2 allowing inter-district travel and tourism, Tier 3 being inter-state travel and tourism and Tier 4 being international travel and inbound tourists. The Ministry had also implemented several initiatives to help ease the burden of the tourism industry. These include the relaxation of compound matters under the Tourism Industry Act 1992 (Act 482) such as a compound payment discount of 40% to all tour operators and licensed tour guides compounded by the Ministry before 30th December 2021. Another initiative is licence fee exemption for tour operators and tourist guides licensed under Act 482 and relaxation of license requirements for tour operators such as rental of business premises by co- sharing office space until 31st December 2021.

The Ministry denoted it had also prepared a framework to revive the tourism sector in three phases in line with the National Recovery Plan to help the government speed up the vaccination programme and subsequently make the Covid-19 Free Destination Programme a success. For the first phase, Langkawi and Kuching had been selected as pilot travel destinations for the Covid- 19 Free Destination Programme. For the second phase, the programme will be expanded to other popular resort islands such as Redang, Perhentian, Pangkor and Tioman as well as other main attractions in various states such as Johor, Melaka, Penang and Sabah, while the third phase involves other main destinations.

(The Star &The Edge, 23/07/2021)


PENANG SHOULD AIM TO BE AN INTERNATIONAL INNOVATION HUB

According to a special investment advisor to the Chief Minister of Penang, Penang should aim to be an international innovation hub apart from being a global manufacturing centre in the electrical and electronics industry. In order to achieve such vision, the State should set up a billion-ringgit industry investment fund to invest in innovating businesses and nurture homegrown entrepreneurs to manufacture globally competitive products.

(The Star, 20/07/2021)


PENANG PLANS 10 HOUSING PROJECTS TO HELP PEOPLE OWN HOUSES

The Penang Government through the State Housing Board (LPNPP) is planning 10 housing projects in five districts of the State to assist the people in owning houses. The State Housing, Local Government and Town and Country Planning Committee denoted that the 10 housing projects will be developed in Jelutong, Perai, Ampang Jajar, Juru, Bukit Mertajam, Butterworth and Bandar Cassia, providing 20,912 units in total. With these 10 projects, total housing supply in the State will reach 220,000 units, including low-cost, low-medium and affordable ones by 2030. The cost of houses would range from RM42,000 to RM300,000 per unit depending on the type. Out of the 10 projects, the study for the first project in Bukit Gedung has been completed and the request for proposal would be out by October 2021.

(The Edge, 23/07/2021)


UEM’S SENADI HILLS HOMES ALMOST FULLY TAKEN UP

UEM Sunrise Bhd’s guarded development Senadi Hills in Iskandar Puteri has seen its first phase of double-storey terraced houses almost fully sold out a year after its launch. Since its launch in July 2020, Phase 1A of Senadi Hills has recorded more than 85% in finalised sales while Phase 1B has a sales rate of 75%.

(The Sun, 23/07/2021)


OVER 500 HOMESTAY, CHALET OPERATORS IN JOHOR RECEIVE ONE-OFF RM1,000 AID

A total of 534 homestay and chalet operators in Johor have received one-off assistance of RM1,000 each to ease their burden in facing the Covid-19 pandemic. The Johor Menteri Besar denoted that the assistance totalling RM534,000 through the Ihsan Johor 3.0 Economic Stimulus Package was expected to help them to continue their businesses. The State Government is aware of the impact faced by the tourism sector as a result of the pandemic which has yet to end. Among those in the list of recipients are budget hotels, home stay operators, tour guides and registered travel agencies in the State.

(The Edge, 17/07/2021)


CONSTRUCTION OF HOSPITAL UNIVERSITI MALAYSIA SABAH TO BE COMPLETED BY END OF 2022

Construction of the teaching hospital, Hospital Universiti Malaysia Sabah (HUMS), which is currently at 30% progress, is set to be fully completed by the end of 2022. Upon full completion, the smart hospital, which will be self-sustainable financially, will offer more than 400 beds with all- inclusive medical facilities. Officially launched in 2018, the HUMS project covering 27.4 acres was initially expected to be completed by 2021 but the timeline was changed to March 2022, before being revised again to the end of 2022.

(The Star, 23/07/2021)


SARAWAK’S GREEN PLAN TO ACHIEVE DEVELOPED STATUS BY 2030

Sarawak has launched a post-Covid-19 development strategy to accelerate economic growth in an environmentally sustainable way in order to achieve Developed State Status by 2030. Under the plan, the State’s economy would double from RM136 billion in 2019 to RM282 billion in 2030, with an average annual growth of 6% to 8%. The plan would also create 200,000 high-paying jobs by 2030, while monthly median household income was projected to increase from RM4,544 in 2019 to RM15,057 in 2030.

(The Star, 23/07/2021)


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