MALAYSIA MOOTS ROADMAP TO BOOST ASEAN-CHINA TIES
Malaysia has suggested three key factors to form the foundation for the future of ASEAN-China cooperation in order to pave the way for economic recovery once the Covid-19 pandemic has subsided. The key factors include open trade and investment, strengthening the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership as an essential tool for Asean economic revival, and facilitating cross-border travel bubbles as it is vital for the recovery process.
MALAYSIA SHOWING BRIGHTER SIGNS OF ECONOMIC RECOVERY
Malaysia’s economic recovery prospects have become brighter with an increase in foreign capital inflow driven by positive developments under the National Recovery Plan. This positive indicator has set the tone and direction for a stronger economic recovery for 4Q21. A total of RM7.7 billion was recorded in terms of foreign investor capital inflow in August 2021, which is the highest value recorded since June 2020.
(The Star & The Edge Markets, 12/09/2021)
MALAYSIA PLANS TO LIFT GOVERNMENT DEBT CEILING TO 65% OF GDP
Malaysia’s Cabinet has proposed raising the government’s statutory debt ceiling to 65% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as part of measures to deal with the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Cabinet has also proposed boosting the size of the government’s Covid-19 fund to RM110 billion from RM65 billion. The Ministry of Finance Malaysia has also directed banks towards looking into waiving interest payments for low-income borrowers that have received moratoriums on their loans.
(The Star, 14/09/2021)
SHORTAGE OF 3D WORKERS IN THE CONSTRUCTION SECTOR
The construction sector in Malaysia is facing a serious shortage of 3D (dirty, difficult and dangerous) workers, thereby causing certain major projects to fall behind schedule. Relying heavily on foreign workers from Indonesia, Bangladesh and India for the job, contractors found it hard to catch up with their respective schedules although the construction sector had been allowed to operate with full force during the recovery phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. One such major project is the ongoing Pan Borneo Highway Project whereby some Work Package Contracts might not be completed by September 2022.
(The Edge Property, 11/09/2021)
LINK ROAD EASES TRAFFIC CONGESTION, SHORTENS TRAVEL TIME
The opening of a 500 metre stretch of road at Jalan BK 6, Bandar Kinrara in Puchong, Selangor, has reduced congestion in the area. The newly completed link also shortens motorists’ route to Lebuhraya Bukit Jalil and allows them to avoid traffic congestion outside Enggang Apartments at Jalan Kinrara 6F and Persiaran Puncak Jalil.
(The Star, 11/09/2021)
KERJAYA PROSPEK SECURES RM126 MILLION JOB
Kerjaya Prospek (M) Sdn Bhd has accepted a letter of award worth RM126.1 million from Sunrise Alliance Sdn Bhd to undertake building works for a proposed residential development at Bandar Putra Permai, Selangor. Works are expected to commence on 15th December 2021 and will take 27 months to complete.
(The Star & NST, 11/09/2021)
SIGNATURE INTERNATIONAL TO SELL LAND FOR RM54.6 MILLION
Signature International Bhd plans to sell three contiguous plots of vacant freehold land collectively measuring 28.7-acres in Bandar Baru Enstek, Negeri Sembilan to Ace Logistic Sdn Bhd for RM54.6 million. The deal is deemed as a related party transaction due to the common directorships and major shareholdings in Chin Hin Group Bhd, Signature International Bhd, and Ace Logistic Sdn Bhd.
(The Edge Markets, 13/09/2021)
GAGASAN NADI CERGAS TENDERING FOR JOBS OVER RM1.7 BILLION
Gagasan Nadi Cergas Bhd aims to take on more construction jobs by tendering for projects over RM1.7 billion in 2022. The group’s upcoming projects include the Rumah Selangorku (RSKU) housing project in Serendah; Rumah Idaman in Bukit Jelutong and Elmina Shah Alam; and two high-rise affordable housing projects for Paramount Corp Bhd in Selangor. For the group’s current projects in their property development segment, the Antara Residence had recorded a sales rate of close to 70% with construction targeted to be completed in 2022, while the Selindung Ulu Yam development was 90% sold.
(The Edge Markets, 13/09/2021; The Sun & NST, 14/09/2021)
BLUMONT GROUP DISPOSES VACANT LAND IN MALAYSIA
Blumont Group has disposed of a 84,637 sq. ft. vacant land in Malaysia to Armani Alliance Sdn Bhd for RM20.0 million. Located at No. 8 Jalan Lompat Galah 13/36, Seksyen 13, 40100 Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia, the property is a commercial land with a 99-year lease expiring on 22nd January 2102.
(The Edge Singapore, 15/09/2021)
LAND & GENERAL BULLISH ABOUT SALES
Land & General Bhd expects encouraging property sales for FY21. The property developer will resume the launching of “Astoria Ampang Phase Two” and “Sena Parc” for Phase One C and B in Senawang, Negeri Sembilan in FY22.
TMCB TO SIGN QAZAQ TRADE HUB DEAL
Tanah Melayu Capital Bhd (TMCB) will sign an agreement with the Ministry of Trade and Integration Kazakhstan to establish the Qazaq Trade Hub in Malaysia. The hub serves as the first of its kind in Southeast Asia and will function as a one-stop centre that will boost trade and investments between Malaysia and Kazakhstan. It will be a primary platform for Kazakhstan to engage with other countries in Southeast Asia to bolster commercial opportunities and business activities.
PRG HOLDINGS TO LAUNCH FINAL TOWER OF EMBAYU @ DAMANSARA WEST
PRG Holdings Bhd plans to launch the last tower of the affordable property development project “Embayu @ Damansara West” in the next two months due to the positive response for the previous towers. Slated for completion in December 2022, Tower A and B at “Embayu @ Damansara West” have collectively achieved a booking rate of 80%. Sitting on 6.5-acres of land, “Embayu @ Damansara West” offers 650 residential units with built-ups from 1,000 sq. ft and are priced from RM450,000 each.
(The Edge Markets, 13/09/2021 & NST, 14/09/2021)
CREST BUILDER SECURES CONTRACT
Crest Builder Holdings Bhd has accepted two letters of the award with a combined contract value of RM6.5 million from Pembinaan Tuju Setia Sdn Bhd. The awards are for the execution and completion of the supply, delivery, installation, testing, and commissioning of fire protection services works and extra voltage services works related to main building works for the proposed “121 Residence” project in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
(The Star, 15/09/2021)
AIMS TO RIDE ON DATA CENTRE DEMAND
AIMS Group (carrier-neutral data centre services provider) is well-positioned to ride on the growing demand for data centres and cloud services, which are the backbone of the digital economy. AIMS expects that the increase in business demand will also result in industry growth, which means that more investors will look to invest in data centre space. The data centre and co-location market in Southeast Asia is tipped to expand at a compounded annual growth rate of 12.9% to reach US$3.4 billion by 2024.
(The Edge Markets, 12/09/2021 & NST, 13/09/2021)
PASUKHAS SECURES RM77 MILLION BUILDING AND EXTERNAL WORK CONTRACT
Pasukhas Sdn Bhd has secured a building and external work contract worth RM77 million from Famous Ambience Sdn Bhd to complete the construction of a commercial smart building on Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur. Slated for completion in November 2022, the three-storey building will have two basement levels and a banquet hall.
(The Edge Markets, 15/09/2021)
YONG TAI GETS BACKING FROM NEW CHINA PARTNERS
Yong Tai Bhd has received backing from its new partners from China to resume development of its 100-acre land “Impression City” in Melaka, following delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The property developer has entered into a collaborative agreement with various parties including Opustique Infinity Ltd, Cheng Ho International Trade Centre and Culture City Centre Sdn Bhd and Oriental Impression City Development Sdn Bhd, which would lead to the recommencement of Impression City’s development.
(The Edge Markets, 15/09/2021)
BIG POTENTIAL IN ASSEMBLY BUSINESS
Sime Darby Bhd sees great potential in the assembly business following its selection to house German sports car manufacturer Porsche AG’s first assembly plant outside Europe. The facility in Kulim, Kedah is expected to commence operations in 2023.
PORT DICKSON TARGETS 1 MILLION TOURIST ARRIVALS BY THE END OF 2021
The Port Dickson Municipal Council is targeting the arrival of one million tourists to the district by the end of 2021 following Negeri Sembilan’s expected move to Phase Four of the National Recovery Plan (PPN). The projection is deemed achievable as Port Dickson recorded approximately 150,000 visitor arrivals after the tourism sector reopened during Phase Three of the PPN since 4th September 2021.
PANGKOR MAY WELCOME TOURISTS FROM 1ST NOVEMBER 2021
Pulau Pangkor is expected to reopen to domestic tourists from 1st November 2021 under a travel bubble programme. However, the final decision would be made by the National Security Council and Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia.
(The Star, 12/09/2021; NST & The Sun, 13/09/2021)
ILLEGAL HOME-SHARING WORRIES HOTELS
With domestic tourism allowed in the Klang Valley after moving into Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan, hotels are ready for fully vaccinated guests but are concerned about unregulated home-sharing businesses hampering recovery efforts. As for the Klang Valley’s budget and business hotels’ capability to operate, most hoteliers were in deep financial trouble with no capital to restart and would need time to get their business back on track.
(The Star, 14/09/2021)
MOTAC TARGETS 200,000 DOMESTIC TOURISTS TO LANGKAWI
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC) is targeting approximately 200,000 domestic tourists to Langkawi between September 2021 and December 2021. Circa 30,000 tourists are expected to visit the resort island in September 2021 following its reopening under a tourism bubble pilot project beginning 16th September 2021.
(The Star, 16/09/2021)
LEVELLING UP TO STAY COMPETITIVE
The eSports industry is among few sectors, both locally and globally, that has not taken a beating since the Covid-19 pandemic and movement restrictions started in 2020. This is because gaming events can still be held virtually, and players can participate from the comfort of their homes. Some plans, however, have had to be put on hold because of the pandemic. For instance, Selangor Esports City (South-East Asia’s largest eSports development centre) which was originally scheduled to be built in Shah Alam by the end of 2021, has been delayed. The project was aimed at developing the local eSports scene and is a collaboration between several key national eSports stakeholders which include the Malaysia Electronic Sports Federation (MESF), Esports Selangor Association (ESS) and Universiti Malaysia of Computer Science and Engineering (UNIMY), with technology partner Serba Dinamik Group Bhd.
(The Star, 11/09/2021)
NAPIC: SIGNIFICANT GROWTH IN PROPERTY MARKET IN 1H21
Malaysia’s property market recorded 139,754 transactions worth RM62.01 billion in 1H21, an increase of 21% in volume and 32.1% in value compared with 1H20. According to the Ministry of Finance’s National Property Information Centre (NAPIC), the volume of transactions across the sub-sectors depicted upward movement. The residential, commercial, industrial, agriculture and development land sub-sectors recorded year on year growths of 22.2%, 28.5%, 29.4%, 13.9% and 21.3%, respectively. The value of transactions moved in tandem with residential, commercial, industrial, agriculture and development land sub-sectors, recording growths of 34.7%, 28.4%, 19.8%, 33.1% and 40.6%, respectively.
(The Edge Markets & The Star, 15/09/2021)
MPKJ AWAITING APPROVAL FROM MOHA TO REZONE LAND FOR MARKET COMPLEX
Kajang Municipal Council (MPKJ) is waiting for the Ministry of Home Affairs Malaysia’s (MOHA) approval to rezone a 1.33-acre land designated for a police and fire station in Bandar Sungai Long into a permanent market complex. MPKJ had planned to relocate around 100 traders from the 25-year-old Bandar Sungai Long morning market who are currently operating from Persiaran SL 1 and Laman Niaga Komuniti Bandar Sungai Long on Jalan SL ⅔.
(The Star, 11/09/2021)
MELAKA WINS INTERNATIONAL HERITAGE AWARD
Melaka has won the Jean-Paul L’allier Prize For Heritage award organised by the Organisation of World Heritage Cities through its Historic City of Melaka project, carried out since 2012 at RM10.4 million. The project served as a model for the Melaka Historic City Council to provide detailed planning for world heritage sites, formulate improvement plans and indirectly establish relations between State governments, city councils, State agencies and local communities to work together to improve the image of heritage cities without compromising integrity.
PARTNERSHIP TO HELP “FOODPRENEURS”
Maybank Islamic Bhd has collaborated with Cookhouse Malaysia (shared kitchen provider) to develop more halal-certified food and beverage entrepreneurs. This will enable small and medium enterprises to rent dedicated commercial-grade kitchen space with modern facilities at a cost-effective price.
MORE REQUIRE HELP TO PAY RENT
Almost one-third of Klang Valley households surveyed by the Crisis Management Centre are struggling to maintain a roof over their heads. Of the 478 households surveyed, 31.5% were unable to pay their rent. The remaining 46.1% were deprived of access to food while another 21.5% required funds for childcare necessities and 0.9% struggled to pay their bills. However, the centre found that social media and community awareness pertaining to shortage of food supply was more prominent than focus on rental woes.
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DECLINES BY 0.8% IN THE STATE OF JOHOR
Unemployment in Johor has declined to 3.8% (67,800 people) in 2Q21, compared with 4.6% (81,200 people) in 2Q20. Johor also recorded a 0.4% increase in its labour participation from 67.2% in 2Q20 to 67.6% in 2Q21.
(The Star, 13/09/2021)
QES TO ACQUIRE BATU KAWAN INDUSTRIAL LAND FOR EXPANSION
QES Mechatronic Sdn Bhd has signed a conditional sales and purchase agreement with Penang Development Corp to acquire an 87,120 sq. ft. tract at Batu Kawan Industrial Park in Penang for RM4.79 million. The land will be used for expansion of both their manufacturing and distribution divisions.
(The Star & The Edge Markets, 15/09/2021; NST, 16/09/2021)
ROYAL PENANG HOTEL TO CLOSE FOR RESTRUCTURING EXERCISE
The Royal Penang Hotel on Jalan Larut, Penang will close after 14th November 2021 for a restructuring exercise due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The closure of the hotel will not affect operations at Penang Plaza, which is situated adjacent to the hotel.
(The Star, 16/09/2021)
DOE ACCEPTS APPEAL BOARD’S DECISION ON EIA CANCELLATION
The Department of Environment (DoE) respects the decision made by the Appeal Board to revoke the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approval for the controversial Penang South Islands reclamation project, which was previously known as the Penang South Reclamation project. If the developer still intends to proceed with the proposed reclamation project, a new EIA must be submitted for approval according to the relevant procedures set out under Section 34A of the Environmental Quality Act 1974.
PENANG HILL BIOSPHERE RESERVE ON UNESCO CONSERVATION LIST
The Penang Hill Biosphere Reserve (PHBR) is Malaysia’s latest biodiversity conservation and protection area on Unesco’s list, Malaysia’s third after Tasik Chini in Pahang and Crocker Range in Sabah. The PHBR spans an area of 12,481 hectares and encompasses terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems. It includes 7,285 hectares of terrestrial ecosystem and 5,196 hectares of marine ecosystem which covers Penang Hill, Penang National Park, Penang Botanical Gardens, Teluk Bahang Dam and Ayer Itam Dam. It also includes six permanent forest reserves, namely Bukit Kerajaan, Teluk Bahang, Laksamana, Penara Hill, Highlands and Pantai Acheh as well as several water catchment areas on Penang island.
(The Star, 16/09/2021)
SARAWAK TO CREATE 195,000 HIGH PAYING JOBS BY 2030
Sarawak is expected to create 195,000 high-paying jobs and 1.5 million employment opportunities by 2030 under its Post Covid-19 Development Strategy. The strategy focuses on the State’s overall socio-economic development through equitable distribution of wealth via jobs and creation of business opportunities.
(The Star, 15/09/2021 & NST, 16/09/2021)
KELINGTON SECURES RM420 MILLION JOB FROM US COMPANY
Kelington Group Bhd has secured a RM420 million job from a United States company that has a manufacturing hub in Sama Jaya Free Industrial Zone in Kuching, Sarawak. Slated to commence work in the middle of September 2021 and expected to be completed by 31st December 2022, the job scope includes construction work for their Sarawak expansion project.
(The Edge Markets, 14/09/2021; The Star & The Sun, 15/09/2021)