NHC REVIEWING PUBLIC, AFFORDABLE HOUSING ISSUES

The National Housing Corporation (NHC), which is formed by 15 government agencies and approved by the Cabinet on 19th  August 2021, will be conducting extensive studies on issues related to public and affordable housing schemes. The NHC aims to consolidate the various government agencies to form a targeted and systematic approach in tackling the issues and challenges on public and affordable housing schemes faced nationwide, such as reaching out to the B40 (lower income) communities, and regulatory framework and implementation.

(The Edge Markets, 16/10/2021)


GETTING CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS BACK ON TRACK

The Ministry of Works Malaysia will soon hand over 120 letters of acceptance for construction projects nationwide. This includes improving infrastructure in terms of connectivity, comfort and safety. The progress of the Kota Bharu-Kuala Krai expressway project involving a 6.2 kilometres route from Ketereh to Kok Lanas was 76% completed and would be fully completed by May 2022. Package 2B has been given a time extension as it has been facing challenges due to the current pandemic and the  monsoon season.

(The Edge Markets, 16/10/2021 & The Star, 17/10/2021)


POLICIES ENDORSED FOR DEVELOPMENT IN MALAYSIA

The National Physical Planning Council has endorsed the 4th National Physical Plan and National Coastal Zone Physical Plan to ensure strategic, inclusive and sustainable development in Malaysia. The National Physical Plan was drawn up to pave the way forward for the country’s physical development in terms of economic, environmental and social aspects. The plan outlined 3 core developments, 11 directions, 39 strategies and 120 actions covering all aspects of physical planning. The National Coastal Zone Physical Plan is a strategic plan on land usage, outlining measures such as conservation and resource management along the coastal areas of the peninsula and Labuan. The plan was formulated by accounting for geo-disaster threats such as coastal erosion and climate change that will affect socioeconomic development and the environment.

(The Star, 22/10/2021)


RM220 MILLION BRIDGE TO LINK SELANGOR AND PERAK

To be built from January 2022 and slated for completion in May 2025, a 2.04 kilometres bridge with an allocation of RM220 million will be built across Sungai Bernam to link to Sungai Air Tawar, Selangor and Pekan Hutan Melintang, Perak. The project will shorten  travel from  40 minutes to 10 minutes using normal routes and will be a catalyst for local economic growth.

(The Edge Markets, 19/10/2021 & NST, 20/10/2021)


COMINTEL’S UNIT SECURES SUBCONTRACT FROM BINASTRA

Comintel Corp Bhd’s wholly-owned subsidiary Total Package Work Sdn Bhd has accepted a revised letter of award from Binastra Construction (M) Sdn Bhd worth RM96.64 million. To commence as per the main contractor’s work programme and to be completed within 18 months from the commencement date, the sub-contract includes the supply of labour and material for concrete, formwork, reinforcement bars and fabric steel reinforcement works in respect of the development of Plot 8 in Damansara Perdana, Selangor.

(The Edge Markets, 18/10/2021)


AGESON SELLS LAND IN PERAK TO CHINA COMPANY FOR RM278 MILLION

Ageson Holdings Sdn Bhd has entered into  a sale and development agreement with China’s ZheJiang GuoRong Digital Economy Group Ltd to dispose of 168 acres  of  land  in  Batang Padang, Perak, for RM278 million. The plot is part of a larger mixed development comprising 475 acres of land, which comprises of government agencies and administration units, industrial, commercial  and residential  development components.

(The Sun & NST, 22/10/2021)


HYBRID-WORK MODEL A TOP PICK

About 70% of employers who responded to a poll conducted by the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) indicated that they will operate in a  hybrid  fashion  in  the  post-lockdown period. The hybrid work model is a combination of the work-from-home (WFH) and normal/fixed hour arrangements. Only 15% of the respondents said they  would  fully  implement  the  WFH model after the lockdown. The MEF Quick Poll also indicated that only 27.7% picked the normal/fixed-hours model, while flexible working hours received 20%, followed by shift work at 19.1%. The MEF conducted the poll among its members but did not say how many employers were  surveyed.

(The Edge Markets, 19/10/2021 & The Star, 20/10/2021)


SUNWAY MALLS TO LAUNCH E-COMMERCE PLATFORM ON 27th OCTOBER 2021

Sunway Malls will be rolling out its e-commerce platform on 27th October 2021 to complete its physical and digital mall presence. The platform, called Sunway eMall.com, comes at a time when online presence has gathered strong traction due to Covid-19. The Sunway eMall.com will complement its current combined 4.5 million sq. ft. of physical retail space of seven malls. The group’s physical malls have shown signs of good recovery with the complete reopening of the retail sector. As of October 2021, preliminary indicators have shown 80% traffic normality compared to the pre-pandemic period of 2019, with shoppers making a strong return to Sunway Malls at the beginning of 4Q21.

(The Edge Markets, 19/10/2021)


KELANTAN TO DEVELOP MALAYSIA’S FIRST IBS INDUSTRIAL PARK

Kelantan will be the first State in Malaysia to develop an Industrial Building System (IBS) industrial park, which will serve as a one-stop reference centre to increase the capacity and capabilities of industrial buildings, especially on the East Coast. Slated for completion in two years, the IBS industrial park is an initiative under the IBS excellence programme in Kelantan and will be developed on a 200 acres plot in Sungai Bagan, Machang, which had been donated by the Kelantan State Government.

(The Edge Markets & The Star, 17/10/2021; NST, 18/10/2021)


CLASSIC SCENIC ACQUIRES INDUSTRIAL LAND, FACTORY IN PERAK

Classic Scenic Bhd’s wholly-owned subsidiary Finesse Moulding (M) Sdn Bhd has acquired a 519,627 sq. ft. industrial land and a factory erected upon it in Bidor, Perak from VE Surpass Frame (M) Sdn Bhd for a total of RM12.5 million.

(The Edge Markets, 20/10/2021)


LANGKAWI IS ALL SET TO BECOME A GATEWAY FOR INTERNATIONAL TOURISTS

Langkawi is ready to become Malaysia’s gateway for foreign tourists under the proposed international tourism bubble pilot project. Langkawi Development Authority had discussed the proposal with the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry and the National Security Council. As of the middle of October 2021, Langkawi has recorded over 51,400 visitor arrivals and the number is optimistically expected to reach 100,000 by end of October 2021.

(NST,  17/10/2021)


PANGKOR HOTELS RECORD 78% IN OCCUPANCY RATE

Hotels in Pangkor have recorded a 78% occupancy rate, making it the highest number of rooms booked in the Perak State since the reopening of State borders. This was followed by Taiping and Ipoh with 56% and 50% occupancy rates, respectively. Other areas like Manjung, Tapah, Tanjung Malim and Kuala Kangsar have recorded about 46% occupancy rate.

(The Star & The Edge Markets, 17/10/2021; The Sun & NST, 18/10/2021)


DOMESTIC PASSENGER COUNT ROSE 74% MONTH ON MONTH IN SEPTEMBER 2021

Malaysia’s domestic passenger movements in September 2021 rose to 362,000, up 74% from August 2021, due to the Langkawi  travel  bubble  and  the  progress  of  the  National  Recovery Plan. Due to the surge, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd experienced a 55% increase in total passenger movements for Malaysia at  458,000  passengers  in  September  2021,  which comprised 362,000 from the domestic segment and 96,000 from the international segment.

(The Edge Markets & NST, 19/10/2021)


OPTIMAX EYES EXPANSION INTO SABAH

Optimax Holdings Bhd (an ACE Market-listed private eye specialist service provider) is drawing up plans to establish a more substantial presence in Sabah and Sarawak. The company plans to expand its Ambulatory Care Centres (ACC) in Sabah, either by fully owning these centres or through minority equity participation with resident doctors. The company has 12 ACCs and one specialist hospital nationwide. The company has also identified a potential ACC location in Bahau, Negri Sembilan. Renovation works are expected to be completed in 1Q22.

(NST,  20/10/2021)


PENINSULAR DEVELOPERS UPBEAT ON 1H22

Property developers in Peninsular Malaysia, which reported a reduced number of property launches and sales in 1H21, are pessimistic on the market and the industry for  2H21,  but optimistic on prospects for 1H22, according to the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) Property Industry Survey 1H21 and Market  Outlook  2H21  and 1H22. A total of 15,076 units are planned to be launched in 2H21, of which 9,319 are strata residential units and 5,549 landed residential units. A total of 89% of survey respondents with future launches expect their sales performance for the first six months to be 50% or below. Terengganu, Perak, Kedah, Perlis, and Negri Sembilan plan to launch residential units within the RM250,001-RM500,000 price range, while Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Penang are launching residential units in the RM500,001-RM700,000 bracket.

The survey indicated that a total of 11,601 units were launched in 1H21, of which 98.5% (11,422 units) were residential. This was an 8.21% decline from 12,640 units in 2H20, of which 12,628 were residential. Total sales performance contracted 39% in 1H21 with 4,540 units of property sold (comprising 4,405 residential units), compared to 45% in 2H20 with 5,742 units sold (comprising 5,736 residential units). In 1H21, 82% out of 180 respondents reported  that they have less than 30% of unsold residential units, with 43% of those units priced between RM250,001 and RM700,000 compared with 51% in 2H20. A total of  58%  of  respondents reported that they have unsold completed residential units over the last one to three years, with the top three reasons being end-financing loan rejection, unreleased bumiputra units and mismatched pricing.

Respondents with the increased cost of doing business have risen to 72% from 51% in 2H20. They reported a 17% increase in the overall cost of operations. Similarly, respondents who were ‘highly and severely affected’ have increased to 55% in 1H21 compared to 42% in 2H20. Material and labour cost topped the list of factors affecting developers’ cash flow within the period under review, followed by compliance cost and financing cost.

(The Edge Markets, 21/10/2021; The Sun & The Star, 22/10/2021)


JOHOR TO SOLVE OVER 70,000 UNSOLD, UNOCCUPIED, ABANDONED HOUSING ISSUES

The Johor State Government will look for the best method to solve the issue involving more than 70,000 unsold, unoccupied or abandoned houses around the City. Among the factors contributing to the problem are new homeownership policies and conditions such as Malaysia My Second Home Programme. Among  the efforts that would be undertaken by the State Government include working alongside real estate companies and introducing rental programmes to the younger generation.

(The Edge Markets, 18/10/2021)


HAILY SECURES RM24.5 MILLION HOUSING CONSTRUCTION JOB IN JOHOR

Haily Construction Sdn Bhd has secured a contract worth RM24.5 million from Meridin East Sdn Bhd for the construction and completion of a terraced residential project in Plentong, Johor Bahru. The project comprises a total of 155 double-storey terraced houses, one single-chamber TNB sub-station, two double-chamber TNB sub-stations and one main switch station. While the date of commencement has not been set as it is pending instruction from the architect, the project is scheduled for completion within 15 months.

(The Edge Markets, 18/10/2021)


IIB, COMMON GROUND TO DEVELOP CO-WORKING SPACE IN JOHOR

Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB) will collaborate with Common Ground Works Sdn Bhd to build a RM2.5 million Common Ground Iskandar Space at Medini, Iskandar Puteri. The co-working space is expected to be ready in January 2022, forming part of IIB’s initiatives towards building a “Digitech” community, providing a landing pad for digital start-up companies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

(The Edge Markets, 21/10/2021)


ECOMATE TARGETS RM16.2 MILLION FROM 8TH  NOVEMBER 2021 LISTING

Ecomate Holdings Bhd (Muar-based furniture specialist) aims to use parts of the RM16.2 million proceeds from its ACE Market listing on 8th November 2021 to purchase machinery and equipment to increase its production capacity. Of the total proceeds, Ecomate will utilise RM6 million to acquire machinery and equipment and RM2 million for the construction of its third factory that is expected to house three additional production lines and one block of a four-storey detached hostel.

(NST,  16/10/2021)


JOHOR HOTELIERS, THEME PARK OPERATORS UPBEAT

The hotel industry in Johor expects business to get a whole lot better in the coming months as hotel operators have been getting a lot of enquiries for reservations with the lifting of the interstate travel ban. Their business had suffered from the closing of the Malaysia-Singapore border in 2020 as well as a ban on the interstate and inter-district travel starting May 2021, resulting in several hotels, from three-to five-star ranked hotels, closing down for good. Most of these operators are now more optimistic with the lifting of the interstate travel ban but they are moving forward cautiously and making sure all the relevant standard operating procedures are adhered to while doing business in the new normal.

(The Sun & The Star, 18/10/2021)


JOHOR BAHRU, MUAR HOTELS SEE BIG INCREASES IN OCCUPANCY RATES

Hotel occupancy rates in Johor Bahru and Muar have increased up to 80% at several establishments since interstate travel was allowed on 11th October 2021. The average occupancy rate at Desaru Coast near Kota Tinggi was about 65%.

(The Star, 20/10/2021)


PENTAMASTER INVESTING RM120 MILLION IN NEW PLANT

Pentamaster Corp Bhd is investing RM120 million in a 500,000 sq. ft. plant in Batu Kawan, Penang to increase production capacity as demand for automation solutions soar. Slated to commence construction in January 2022 and scheduled to commence operation in early 2023, the new plant will be built on a 12 acres site to expand its five core business areas which include the industrial, medical device, logistics, smartphone and automotive sectors.

(The Star, 18/10/2021)


NEW TECH AND INNOVATION HUB FOR NORTHERN REGION

To build a strong and sustainable ecosystem in Penang’s industrial and economic landscape, Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) will be establishing a technology and innovation hub called the NCER (Northern Corridor Economic Region) Technology Innovation Centre (NTIC). To be built in Bayan Lepas and completed by 2023, the centre will have a newly developed programme under the NCER Single Campus initiative that focuses on activities related to research, design, technology, innovation and commercialisation.

(The Star, 20/10/2021)


PENANG HOTELS WELCOME BACK HOLIDAY GUESTS

With many domestic holiday destinations beginning to see the return of tourists in big numbers, the Country’s path towards economic recovery for this sector appears to be moving on the right track. Many hotels in Penang registered an average occupancy of 70% after the interstate travel ban was lifted earlier this week, whereas some of the beach hotels were even registering up to 90% occupancy this weekend.

(NST,  16/10/2021)


SANDAKAN AIRPORT EXPANSION PROJECT TO BE COMPLETED BY THE END OF 2021

The Sandakan Airport expansion project costing RM80.9 million is expected to be completed by the end of 2021, whereby physical progress of the project stood at 73% as of 19th October 2021. The project scope involves the extension of the runway from 2,133 metres to 2,500 metres, construction of a new connecting taxiway, widening of the aircraft parking areas and upgrading of the flight navigation equipment.

(The Edge Markets, 19/10/2021)


BERTAM ALLIANCE SECURES RM25 MILLION CONTRACT IN SABAH

Bertam Alliance Bhd has secured a contract worth RM24.98 million from BBSB Holdings Sdn Bhd for the proposed construction of an office complex for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in Sabah. Scheduled to commence work on the project by 1st November 2021, the project is slated for completion on 9th January 2024.

(The Edge Property, 16/10/2021)


SABAH GOVERNMENT PLANS PORT DEVELOPMENT IN KUDAT

The Sabah State Government plans to develop a new port in Kudat to boost the local economy and increase the State’s income. The port development in Kudat is also seen as having the potential to create a new township due to its strategic location.

(The Edge Markets, 19/10/2021)


SIBU TO BECOME SARAWAK CENTRAL REGION’S CENTRE OF DEVELOPMENT

Sibu plans to achieve its vision to become the centre of development in the Central Region of Sarawak by 2030 and the mission to lead the Central Region towards sustainable economic, social, cultural and educational development through a smart partnership between the government, the private sector and the community. With a total area of 827,830 hectares, Sibu Division comprises three districts namely Sibu, Selangau and Kanowit.

In the Sibu district, the projects to be implemented include the upgrading of the Kong Yit Khim Road as a dual carriageway linking Durin Bridge and Lanang Bridge and a new 9 kilometre road linking Kemuyang to the Teku Pasai-Siong Road. Those projects include the RM100 million road project linking Sibu Jaya to Kong Yit Khim Road which is currently under construction and would connect Sibu with the hinterlands to make it a more vibrant town in the future.

Apart from infrastructure development, the Sarawak State Government has completed the RM11.7 million Rantau Panjang Phase I upgrading works and is now undertaking development of an additional 8.5 hectares for the Rantau Panjang Phase II project which is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. Another ongoing project is the construction of the Sibu Industrial Park which covers an area of 60.7 hectares in Sungai Bidut, which was designed for general industries to cater to the demand of the local small-medium enterprises (SMEs). The industrial park is expected to be completed by end of 2023.

Additionally, the setting up of a modern large scale commercial pig farming area has been proposed at Sungai Selabi in the Selangau district. In Kanowit, the former Rajang Area Security Command settlement used for relocating villagers at the height of the communist insurgency in the 1970s would be redeveloped as Ngemah Development Area. The settlement covering the Nanga Tada, Nanga Ngungun, Nanga Jagau, Kabah and Ngemah areas would be equipped with comprehensive infrastructure to enhance the socioeconomic status of the people.

(The Star, 21/10/2021)


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