BUDGET 2023: RESHAPING THE NATION
The Star, 25/02/2023
With its theme of “Belanjawan Madani”, Budget 2023 has an allocation of RM388.1 billion, which is the biggest in the Country’s history surpassing Budget 2022 with an allocation of RM332.1 billion. Budget 2023 promises to ensure a fairer distribution of wealth, with assistance to all segments who need it. The highlights of the budget are tabulated below:
- The highest allocation at RM70.5 billion
- RM2.3 billion provided for school infrastructure and amenities which includes the upgrading of 380 schools in Sabah and Sarawak for maintenance and repair of toilets, wiring, drainage, replacement of furniture, equipment, dilapidated classrooms and to maintain people with disability (PWD) friendly amenities in schools.
- RM777 million for Supplementary Food Plan (RMT) set to benefit 700,000 students.
- RM108 million Preschools Food Aid (BMP) to benefit more than 240,000 students.
- 50,000 laptops will be provided to schools and MOE education institutions to enable teachers to adapt to digital learning, which must arrive by 3Q23.
- RM436 million to repair infrastructure and replace obsolete equipment in public higher education institutions (HEIs).
- National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) borrowers to receive discounts up to 20% starting 1st March 2023. Repayment deferral for six months to borrowers with monthly income of RM1,800 and below. Application for this postponement can be made starting from 1st March 2023.
- Obtained the second highest allocation of RM36.3 billion, to be used mainly for the procurement of medicines, reagents, vaccines and disposables.
- RM3 billion allocated for the appointment of 1,500 medical officers, dentists and pharmacists for permanent and contract positions.
- RM120 million allocated for the Madani Health Scheme for the poor to receive treatment at general practitioners’ (GP) clinics.
- RM700 million for the construction of a women and children’s wing at Melaka Hospital with a capacity of 476 beds to reduce congestion.
- Older hospitals such as the Kuala Kangsar, Jelebu and Pontian hospitals, will be upgraded and refurbished.
- RM80 million to improve the Peka B40 scheme by including diabetes screening.
- Tax relief for medical expenses in 2023 will be increased from RM8,000 to RM10,000. The scope will be expanded to include autism, down syndrome and specific learning disabilities and limited to RM4,000.
- Tax rates for the first RM100,000 will be reduced from 17% to 15% for SMEs.
- Electric tariffs will be maintained for SMEs.
- RM50 million allocated for building and upgrading some kiosks for petty traders.
- Another RM176 million is allocated to upgrade commercial premises and business facilities at MARA, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and Urban Development Authority (UDA) premises.
- In support of business automation and digitalization RM100 million has been allocated under the SME and micro-traders digitalization scheme.
- Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will also provide RM1 billion to assist SMEs to digitalise and automise their business operations.
Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)
- Several companies will take over the partial or full operation of TVET institutions such as community colleges, public skills training institute (ILA) and National Youth Skills Institute (IKBN) to provide a training programme that meets their needs.
- RM50 million allocated to benefit over 8,000 TVET trainees under the National Dual Training System (SLDN).
- Socso will provide incentives for employers to hire 17,000 graduates especially from TVET, as much as RM600 a month for three months as an addition to their offered salary. A total of RM45 million has been allocated for this.
Tax relief for M40
- From 2023, as much as 2% reduction in individual income tax rate within the RM35,000-RM100,000 income range.
- Likely to benefit 2.4 million taxpayers whose disposal income will increase by up to RM1,300.
- The National Scam Response Centre (NSRC) has been allocated RM10 million in operational grants.
- Bank Negara will enforce a ‘kill switch’ policy to all banking institutions to allow users to immediately freeze their accounts and ATM cards from being used in the event of suspicious activities.
Cost of Living
- RM64 billion in subsidies, incentives and aid to minimize cost of living, through price control, financial aid and services to the affected.
- RM2.5 billion worth of welfare aid for over 400,000 recipients.
- Households with an income of less than RM2,500 are eligible for up to RM2,500 of cash aid (depending on number of children) under phase one of the Sumbangan Tunai Rahmah (STR) programme.
- Additional RM600 extra for households under the STR programme based on e-Kasih data. This will be in the form of food baskets and vouchers for food.
- RM200 to be given to 2 million youths aged between 18 and 20 through e-cash credits under the Belia Rahmah e-Tunai initiative. This will cost the government RM400 million.
- RM1.2 billion to repair 400 dilapidated health clinic and 380 schools.
- RM2.7 billion to maintain and upgrade federal roads, of which RM300 million is allocated for small infrastructure works for G1 to G4 contractors.
- RM1.5 billion to upgrade and build new rural roads.
- RM100,000 allocated to repair damaged federal roads in each district.
- RM50 million for immediate installation of streetlights especially in accident-prone areas.
- The Malaysia Road Record Information System (Marris) grant increased to RM5.2 billion.
- RM525 million to be spent in phases to improve facilities and highway network to Pengerang in Johor by constructing an overtaking lane on the Senai Desaru Expressway and to upgrade portions of North-South Highway (from Yong Peng to Senai Utara) from four to six lanes.
- RM480 million to build a new road from Habu to Tanah Rata in Cameron Highlands.
- RM300 million to upgrade Jalan Tun Hamzah to the Semabok-Lebuh AMJ intersection in Melaka.
- RM160 million to build road and bridge to connect Bukit Pelandok in Port Dickson with Sungai Pelek in Sepang, Selangor.
- A contribution of RM500 will be given to EPF members between the ages of 40 and 54 with savings of less than RM10,000 in their Account One.
- This programme will benefit almost 2 million EPF members that will involve an allocation of almost RM1 billion.
- From 2024, EPE’s syariah savings will be fully separated from conventional savings to allow more competitive returns, benefiting 1.25 million syariah account holder.
Sabah and Sarawak
- Sabah and Sarawak to get RM6.5 billion and RM5.6 billion respectively in development allocation.
- The allocation includes RM1 billion to develop cities bordering Indonesia’s new capital in Kalimantan, involving Kalabakan in Sabah and Ba’kelalan in Sarawak.
- RM2.5 billion to carry out infrastructure development projects in Sabah and Sarawak involving road projects, streetlights as well as water and electric supply.
- Expediting the construction of Sabah Pan Borneo Highway and Sarawak-Sabah Link Road involving an overall cost of RM20 billion and ranging over 1,000km.
- RM209 million for Sabah and Sarawak to subsidise air transport in both states.
- Several airports in Sabah and Sarawak to get more wheelchair ramps to benefit wheelchair-bound individuals using MASWings.
- Insolvency Act 1967 will be amended to allow bankrupt cases to be released automatically.
- Prisoners will be given training under the Skill for Inmates Programme to help them assimilate into society.
- RM10 million will be allocated for Agro-Penjara programme that allows prisoners to be involved in farming activities.
- Socso will give incentives to employers who employ the displaced such as former prisoners, persons with disabilities, the homeless and the jobless up to RM600 a month for up to three months.
- Prasarana will start a pilot initiative to be known as MyBAS50 Unlimited Travel Pass in Johor Baru.
- RM150 million to expand the Stage-Bus Service Transformation programme to Melaka, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.
- Mass Rapid Transit Line 3 (MRT3) project to be reviewed, with the view to cap the targeted construction cost below RM45 billion.
- A proposed expansion of the Penang International Airport and Subang Airport. This expansion is expected to benefit economic growth with a lower cost as compared to the proposal to build the Kulim Airport, estimated to be RM7 billion, which has been cancelled.
- The My50 monthly pass initiative under Prasarana will continue for the benefit of nearly 180,000 users in urban communities who commute to work.
- The government will cover the driving test fee for motorcycles class B2, taxis, buses and e-hailing licenses.
- Visit Malaysia Year will be in 2025, where 23.5 million international arrivals and projected earnings of RM76.8 billion in tourism receipts are expected.
- RM250 million allocation for tourism promotion activities, of which RM115 million will be set aside for matching grants for tourism and culture collaborations.
- Matching grants will also go to companies that promote tourism activities and large-scale events, including international sports and culture events. A similar grant will also be used with MAHB and international airlines to encourage chartered flight arrivals.
Defence / Home Ministry
- RM17.7 billion and RM18.5 billion were allocated to the Defence and Home Ministry respectively.
- RM4.1 billion allocated for maintaining and acquiring Armed Forces’ assets to increase defence preparedness.
- To help Armed Forces personal own affordable housing, the government will build over 7,000 affordable homes under the ‘One Personnel, One House’ programme in Kuala Lumpur.
- Almost RM1 billion was allocated to agencies under the Home Ministry to strengthen internal security measures including the purchase of 2,100 body cameras for the police.
- Additional 42 border control posts for General Operation Force, Immigration, Esscomm and Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) to tighten border security.
- A proposal to impose an excise duty on liquid and gel products containing nicotine, which is being used for electronic cigarettes and vape.
- Half of this excise duty collected will be reused by the Health Ministry to increase the quality of health services.
- Luxury Good Tax on branded items is being proposed, to start this year. The rates will depend on the types of goods. This includes luxury watches and fashion.
- The government is also studying the need to introduce the Capital Gains Tax for disposal of shares in unlisted companies beginning 2024.
Woman and Family
- RM300 million allocated to support micro businesses run by women and young entrepreneurs.
- Socso will amend its Act to give a grant equivalent to 80% of the insured salary value totaling RM290 million annually to encourage women to return to the workforce.
- RM8 million allocated to strengthen One Stop Social Support Centre’s role of providing early intervention for mental health.
- A special unit under PDRM’s D11 division will be set up to counter child pornographic activities and cooperate with various agencies to identify offenders.
- The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry to set up a Child Development Department under the Social Welfare Department to give more comprehensive support to children.
Agriculture and Food Security
- RM1.61 billion allocated to continue distributing subsidies and incentives of the prices of padi, fertilizer and among others.
- Bank Negara Malaysia provides funds up to RM1 billion under the Agrofood Financing Scheme to help agrifood operators increase production.
- Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to expand the Digital AgTech programme to train more small scale farmers to adapt to the latest technology through an allocation of RM10 million.
- 240,000 padi farmers to get monthly financial aid of RM200 for three months through an allocation of RM228 million.
- RM80 million is allocated to improve the sustainability of the palm oil industry and to counter the Anti-Palm Oil Campaign.
- RM700 Aidilfitri special financial aid for civil servants Grade 56 and below, including contract staff and RM350 for pensioners.
- RM180 a month in a daycare fee subsidy will be given. The eligible monthly household income will be increased from RM5,000 to RM7,000.
- A special allowance of RM100 per day for the Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team who served in the Turkey and Syria disaster.
- RM150 million for the National Disaster Management Agency for assets requirement, warning systems and disaster relief for affected individuals.
- RM50 million allocated to the Armed Forces, Fire and Rescue Department and RELA to provide equipment and assets for disaster preparedness empowerment.
- RM200 million to 2,000 Residents Associations in disaster-prone areas as the community is often the first responders in disasters.
MALAYSIA’S 2023 GDP GROWTH SEEN MODERATING TO 4.5% AMID SOFTENING GLOBAL ECONOMY
The Star, The Edge, & NST, 24/02/2023
The Malaysian economy is expected to grow by 4.5% to RM1.57 trillion in 2023, supported by stable domestic demand, mainly from household spending, in line with the recovery in the labour market, according to the government’s revised 2023 Economic and Fiscal Outlook report. The latest forecast falls within the range of the previous government’s projection of 4%-5% gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2023. The external sector, meanwhile, is projected to post “modest” growth this year as global uncertainties persist, with growth in gross exports forecast to moderate to 1.6% in 2023, from 25% in 2022 The anticipated slowdown of external demand is due to the lacklustre growth in the wake of ongoing geopolitical instability as well as projected ease in global commodity prices. In terms of sectoral breakdowns, the services sector which is expected to expand 5.3% in 2023 after growing 10.9% in 2022 will likely continue to steer growth amid moderating global economic activities.
Wholesale and retail trade will remain a key services subsector, following greater usage of e-commerce and rapid transition to digitalisation. Growth in the manufacturing sector is also expected to moderate in 2023 to 3.9%, down from 8.1% in 2022 and 9.5% in 2021, amid moderating economic activities. The mining sector is likewise projected to expand at a slower pace of 1.2% in 2023 compared to 3.4% in 2022, as output of crude oil and condensate is expected to moderate due to lower production rates from existing fields in Peninsular Malaysia. The strengthening labour market is likely to help the agriculture sector expand growth by 1.1% in 2023, from 0.1% last year. Apart from agriculture, construction is another sector that is projected to post higher growth in 2023, at 6.1% compared to 5.0% in 2022, spearheaded by civil engineering activities with the implementation of new projects such as the upgrading of the Klang Valley Double Track (KVDT) Phase 2, and acceleration of ongoing infrastructure projects, which include the East Coast Rail Link, the Light Rail Transit Line 3 (LRT3) and the fifth-generation cellular network (5G) rollout.
JANUARY PASSENGER MOVEMENTS SURGE
The Sun, 27/02/2023
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) started the year on a positive note, registering 9.08 million passenger movements in January 2023, an increase of 90% over January 2022 and a recovery of 81.3% against 2019 levels. International and domestic passenger movements registered 4.2 million and 4.8 million passengers respectively, at 78% and 84.5% recovery against 2019 levels. On a twelve-month basis, the MAHB network of airports registered 88.2 million passengers.
RM160 MILLION BRIDGE, ROAD PROJECT BOOST FOR SEPANG FOLK
The Star, 27/02/2023
Sepang residents are looking forward to seamless connectivity with the proposed RM160 million Sungai Sepang road and bridge project. The project will connect Bukit Pelandok in Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan and Sungai Pelek in Sepang, Selangor. The two areas are separated by the river and it takes about 20 minutes to get to the other side. With the completion of the project, it will take just a minute or two. The project would be good for businesses and also boost tourism. Those from Port Dickson heading to and from KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) and KLIA2 can also use the bridge to reduce their travel time.
RAPID RAIL ADDS SHUTTLE BUSES BETWEEN SENTUL TIMUR AND BANDARAYA STATIONS
The Sun, 27/02/2023
More shuttle buses will operate between the Sentul Timur and Bandaraya stations starting 28th February 2023 to accommodate commuters on the route, according to Rapid Rail Sdn Bhd. It said in a statement that 15 shuttle buses will operate between the two stations at a frequency of 10 minutes. The addition of this shuttle buses is to support train operations between Sentul Timur and Bandaraya stations which will operate at a frequency of 24 minutes. The shuttle bus service will stop at the Sentul Timur, Sentul, Titiwangsa, PWTC, Sultan Ismail and Bandaraya stations. Due to the structural and track damage near the Bandaraya station believed to be caused by works at an adjacent construction site, five trains that were previously used between the Sentul Timur and Bandaraya stations could not return to the Light Rail Transit (LRT) depot in Ampang for maintenance work. This has resulted in just two out of five trains being operational at present while the others had to be removed for safety purposes.
TEMPORARY WALKWAY TO BE BUILT FOR TRAVELLERS’ COMFORT
The Government, through Railway Assets Corporation (RAC), will construct a temporary fenced walkway connecting the Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) Complex to the KTM railway station in Padang Besar. The Government had given its approval for the project for the convenience of the public especially travellers. The pedestrian bridge connecting the railway station to the ICQS Complex was closed in September 2020 due to security reasons. RAC is now in the final stage of appointing a contractor for the project which is expected to cost RM300,000. Construction is expected to take about four months to complete. The project was a temporary measure as the Government will be constructing a new pedestrian bridge, costing RM3 million, connecting the ICQS and the KTM railway station.
RM7 MILLION ROAD UPGRADE FOR SETIA ALAM
The Star, 02/03/2023
Motorists in Setia Alam, Shah Alam, can expect smoother traffic flow soon with road upgrading works underway at the elevated junction of Persiaran Setia Alam and Persiaran Setia Prima as well as nearby Persiaran Setia Perdana. Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) Zone 21 councillor said the RM7 million project funded by a private developer started on 27th December 2022 and is expected to be completed soon. The three-lane Persiaran Setia Perdana, which connects to Persiaran Setia Prima and Persiaran Setia Indah, will also be widened to four lanes. The project would be carried out in three phases and would be handed over to MBSA once completed. Phase One sees the upgrading of Persiaran Setia Perdana while Phase Two covers the upgrading of the Persiaran Setia Prima-Persiaran Setia Alam elevated junction. Phase Three involves the installation of road signs and closed-circuit TV cameras as well as painting of road markings.
MAHB SUSPENDS KLIA AEROTRAIN SERVICES UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
The Edge, 03/03/2023
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has suspended its ageing Aerotrain operations at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, which runs between the main terminal building and the satellite building, until further notice, amid backlash over frequent breakdowns. The latest incident saw the 25-year-old Aerotrain service experiencing breakdown due to mechanical and electronic failures, resulting in 114 passengers being stranded mid-way on the tracks on 1st March 2023. In the interim period, MAHB will operate 18 shuttle buses and increase the frequency and buses during peak hours if the need arises. Both the Aerotrain and shuttle buses have the capacity to carry over 150 passengers. However, it is still premature to say if the engineering team is able to revive the trains before its Aerotrain replacement programme scheduled to start on March 2023, adding that it is not yet at the inflection point to retire the ageing assets as the management is still looking at alternative ways to keep the trains running. The new Aerotrain will be able to carry 90 passengers per car, 270 passengers per train and 5,400 passengers per hour per direction.
AMAZON UNIT TO INVEST RM25.5 BILLION IN MALAYSIA TILL 2037
The Edge, NST, The Star & The Sun, 03/03/2023
Amazon.com Inc company Amazon Web Services (AWS) will invest RM25.5 billion in Malaysia by 2037, with plans to launch the first AWS region in the country. This includes for cloud computing infrastructure with three availability zones to run applications and store data securely, with fast access to AWS services. AWS’ investment will be the country’s biggest investment to date which will have spill over effects into local small and medium-scale enterprises and enhance Malaysia’s competitiveness. The company said the new AWS Region would give developers, startups, entrepreneurs, and enterprises, as well as government, education, and non-profit organisations, greater choice for running their applications and serving end users from data centers located in Malaysia. The new AWS Region will enable customers with data residency preferences to store data securely in Malaysia, enable customers to achieve even lower latency, and serve demand for cloud services across Southeast Asia.
MCT TARGETS GDV OF RM500 MILLION WITH TAMAN DESA LANDS PURCHASE
The Star, 02/03/2023
MCT Bhd has proposed to acquire three contiguous parcels of freehold residential land totalling 3.9 acres in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur for RM64.6 million. The land is strategically situated at the fringe of Kuala Lumpur’s central business district in a matured and affluent neighbourhood with readily available public amenities and infrastructure with excellent connectivity within the vicinity. It is located 3km from Mid Valley Megamall and approximately 11km from Kuala Lumpur City Centre and is accessible via Old Klang Road, Federal Highway and New Pantai Expressway. The land is close to the planned Bandar Malaysia project, an integrated transit-oriented development.
Tentatively named Aetas Taman Desa, based on the preliminary plans and subject to approval from the authorities, Aetas Taman Desa will encompass 236 units of spacious family-sized condominiums with an estimated gross development value of RM500 million and is planned for launch in 2024.
OVER 1,000 HOMES FOR YOUNG MALAYSIANS IN KL
The Star, 25/02/2023
More than 1,000 units of Rumah Belia Madani (RBM) will be built in Kuala Lumpur over the next five years. This is made possible following an agreement signed between the Local Government Development Ministry and BMG Global Sdn Bhd for the construction of these houses. A total of 1,048 RBM houses would be built on a “cross subsidy” basis by the ministry and the company. The developer would build 1,996 units of Rumah Mampu Milik (RMM) priced at RM300,000 and below for youth under the age of 35. Profits from the sale of these houses would be used to build RBM units as “return in kind” to the government. The cost of constructing 3,044 housing units on 14.2 acres of government land in Batu, Kuala Lumpur will be borne by the developer. The rebranding of RBM, which was previously known as Rumah Transit Belia (RTB), is in line with Prime Minister aspirations. RBMs will be developed near the Kepong Metropolitan Park while RMMs will be built near the PPR Batu Muda in Kuala Lumpur.
IDAMAN PROJECT: AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR THE MASSES
The Star, 01/03/2023
The growing demand for affordable housing and in support of Lembaga Perumahan dan Hartanah Selangor (LPHS) and Permodalan Negeri Selangor Berhad (PNSB), MGB Berhad is developing the Rumah Idaman MBI an ambitious affordable housing project that aims to provide comfortable homes for the people. PNSB is a Selangor Government subsidiary under Menteri Besar Selangor (Incorporated), while MGB is the construction arm of LBS Bina Group Berhad. The Rumah Idaman MBI project aims to address the acute shortage of affordable housing in Malaysia, particularly for the B40/lower-income and M40/middle-income segments of society. MGB is set to build 30,000 affordable homes by 2025. The project is progressing well, with a significant number of units sold and high registered interest seen in the upcoming phases. It comprises several residential developments, with Rumah Idaman being the flagship project. There will be 7,210 units with a total value of RM2 billion, which are priced from RM250,000 per unit. The project’s affordability makes it an attractive option for homebuyers, particularly the B40 and M40.
Idaman BSP (Bandar Saujana Putra), one of the sub-developments under the Rumah Idaman MBI project, comprises 1,312 units, and is already 100% sold. The overwhelming response to this sub-development speaks volumes about the need for affordable housing. In October 2022, Idaman Melur (Cybersouth), which comprises 1,448 units, saw 60% of the units sold, with 900 orders to purchase received to date. The upcoming launches of Idaman Perdana (Alam Perdana), Idaman Sari (Puchong) and Idaman KITA (Cybersouth) are expected to generate strong interest from potential buyers. The units in these developments are priced from RM250,000, and buyers will get several amenities, including two parking lots, a TV set, TV cabinet, kitchen cabinets and refrigerator, built-in cupboards, water heaters, and air conditioners.
FIRST TOWER OF SIME DARBY PROPERTY’S SERASI RESIDENCES 100% BOOKED
The Edge, 01/03/2023
Sime Darby Property Bhd’s first serviced apartment tower under the Serasi Residences project was fully booked during its official launch over the weekend. All 507 units of the first tower were snapped up through the developer’s in-house online booking system platform. Located in Putra Heights, Subang Jaya, Serasi Residences is the first of four phases to be launched within the 25-acre Putra Heights Sentral development, which will comprise residential and commercial components.
With built-ups from 668 to 850 sq. ft., the units of the first tower were priced from RM356,000 to RM528,000 each, with a gross development value of RM203.94 million. The overall Serasi Residences development will comprise 1,428 apartment units in total, of which 749 will be on the open market, while the remaining 679 units will be Servis Apartment Mampu Milik sold at a controlled fixed price of RM250,000 authorised by Lembaga Perumahan dan Hartanah Selangor. Serasi Residences offers facilities such as an Olympic-length swimming pool as well as a multipurpose hall with two badminton courts. The development is within close proximity to amenities including a Giant Hypermarket as well as Putra Point Commercial Centre, which serves as Putra Heights’ main commercial hub comprising restaurants, cafes, hair salons, banking service providers, car workshops and several fast-food outlets. As a TOD, Serasi Residences provides a 400m covered walkway to the Putra Heights LRT Station, which serves the Kelana Jaya and Sri Petaling lines. The development is also connected to various major highways, such as the North-South Expressway Central Link, Damansara-Puchong Expressway, Shah Alam Expressway and New Klang Valley Expressway.
SPANISH RESTAURANT GOES FOR SECONDS
The Star, 27/02/2023
MARTA’S Kitchen added another feather to its cap with a second seal of approval from the Spanish government. The restaurant received its first “Restaurants from Spain” (RFS) certification in 2022 for its outlet in Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur, and was among the first in the country to have done so. It received a second certification by the Spanish Embassy in Malaysia for its second eatery at LaLaport Bukit Bintang City Centre, which opened its doors in 2022.
NEW BOOKSTORE OPENS AT IOI CITY MALL IN PUTRAJAYA
The Star, 25/02/2023
Popular welcomed visitors to the grand opening of Popular @ IOI City Mall, Putrajaya (Phase 1, Level 2 – 43 and 44). The brand new 8,999 sq. ft. bookstore has an interior design concept inspired by nature, specifically plant leaves and wood elements.
MONTIGO LAUNCHES FLAGSHIP STORE IN KLCC
The Sun, 01/03/2023
Montigo, the number one Thermoregulated Drinkware brand in Malaysia, recently announced the opening of its flagship store in Suria KLCC. This new store offers customers a unique and immersive shopping experience, showcasing the brand’s full range of innovative products and technology. The launch of Montigo’s flagship store is hoped to further strengthen its position as a pathbreaker in the drinkware industry. In addition to Montigo, the store also features Cosmic Cookware, a brand that is loved by home cooks with a focus on non-toxic cookware, uncompromised quality and aesthetic designs for kitchens worldwide. This new location will allow us to bring our products and technology directly to the customers, allowing them to experience the quality and performance of both brands first-hand. The new store will feature interactive displays, expert demonstrations, product customisations and personalised customer service, allowing customers to fully understand the benefits and features of both brands’ products.
YNH GETS SHAREHOLDERS’ NOD TO SELL KL, PERAK RETAIL ASSETS FOR RM422.5 MILLION
The Edge, 02/03/2023
Shareholders of YNH Property Bhd gave their nod for the disposal of Kiara 163 Retail Park and AEON Seri Manjung in Perak for a total of RM422.5 million in cash to ALX Asset Bhd. The disposal will help to pare down bank borrowings and add working capital requirements for the group. The disposal will strengthen the group’s balance sheet while allowing the group to gain more headroom to secure future funding required to finance other exciting projects within their landbank as well as kick-starting their flagship project, Menara YNH.
PARAMOUNT CORP TO LAUNCH RM1.5 BILLION WORTH OF PROJECTS IN 2023
The Edge, 02/03/2023
On the back of achieving record sales of RM1.1 billion in the financial year ended 31st December 2022 (FY2022), Paramount Corp Bhd has set out to launch RM1.5 billion worth of projects in FY2023. Amid the property sector’s recovery, Paramount has targeted to launch seven projects worth RM1.5 billion in FY2023 namely Savana Utropolis Batu Kawan, Bukit Banyan, Sejati Lakeside 2, Paramount Palmera, Jalan Ampang Hilir, Bukit Banyan 2 and Greenwoods Amaria Salak Perdana. Notably, the group will move into the industrial property sector with Paramount Palmera in Bukit Minyak, Penang, which will account for RM157 million or 11% of the RM1.5 billion launch target.
YNH PROPERTY GETS DBKL APPROVAL FOR AMENDED DEVELOPMENT ORDER FOR FLAGSHIP MENARA YNH
The Edge, 27/02/2023
YNH Property Bhd (YNH) has received approval for its amended development order for its flagship Menara YNH project from Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL). Menara YNH has been conceptualised to be a hallmark mixed development consisting of serviced apartments, hotels, SOHO (shop-office home-office), offices, as well as retail space strategically located within the Central Business District of Kuala Lumpur. The freehold commercial land development will take up a land area of approximately three acres and the gross development value of the project is estimated at RM3 billion. The approval of the amended development order and building plans for Menara YNH marks an important milestone for the group, as it now can focus on the sales of residential units to the market. Being located in a ‘super prime’ area at the intersection of Jalan Ampang and Jalan Sultan Ismail, Menara YNH is envisioned to become a key landmark in Kuala Lumpur and one that is built with innovation and sustainability in mind, with uninterrupted views of our beautiful KL city skyline.
PT RESOURCES TO BUILD SUPPLY CHAIN PARK IN PAHANG WITH CHINESE PARTNER
PT Resources Holdings Bhd, a processor and trader of frozen seafood products, and trader of other food products, has signed an initial agreement with a Chinese firm to jointly develop an international supply chain park. PT Resources and Ocean Exchange (Fujian) Foreign Trade Services Co Ltd will jointly develop Malaysia East Coast International Supply Chain Intelligent Park. The park is inspired by the Marché International cold logistics and cross-border e-commerce project called Fuzhou Park in Fujian province, China. The project, which facilitates bilateral trade between Malaysia and China through Fuzhou, China is estimated to be worth 1.56 billion renminbi or about RM1 billion. The project involves the establishment of an International Supply Chain Intelligent Park in Kuantan, Pahang, which is intended to drive the development of food and light industries supply-chain between Malaysia and Fuzhou with the aim of rapidly achieving currency internationalisation between the two countries. The park will encompass among others, integrated cold chain facilities to facilitate cross-border supply of consumer food as well as establish a digital financial platform utilising the UnionPay network to streamline and facilitate effortless cross-border payments and settlements with Fuzhou Park. The project also aims to boost the trade between the Malaysian seafood wholesale market and China through digital transformation, while collaborations with cold chain logistics companies will be initiated to facilitate an integrated logistics supply chain.
NEW VOLVO CAR SHOWROOM LAUNCHED IN SETIA ALAM
The Star, 02/03/2023
Sime Darby Swedish Auto, one of Malaysia’s leading automotive retail groups, has recently marked a milestone by opening its second Volvo dealership in Malaysia. This new facility is located in Setia Alam, Shah Alam, and offers end-to-end services to customers as a 3S Centre (Sales, Service, Body & Paint Repair). The new dealership spans across 23,000 sq. ft. of land and features Volvo’s global showroom and service standard. This dealership will provide Malaysians with the accessibility to fully immerse themselves in the Volvo Retail Experience (VRE) that embodies Volvo’s Scandinavian ideals and value. The showroom is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including four 22kW AC charging bays on the premises, and offers a unique customer experience that is based on a living room concept decorated with a Scandinavian-inspired design that is signature to the Volvo brand.
DEWAN RAKYAT TOLD 166 HOUSING PROJECTS DELAYED, 437 SICK, 115 ABANDONED AS OF 31ST JANUARY 2023
The Edge, 03/03/2023
The Ministry of Local Government Development has identified 166 housing projects that were completed late, 437 sick projects, and 115 abandoned projects as of 31st January 2023. Overall, in 2023, the ministry projected that there would be 354 late projects and 538 sick projects if there is no intervention from the Government.
TARGETING 100,000 MEDICAL VISITORS
The Star 01/03/2023
Tourism Johor hopes the state can attract at least 100,000 international visitors by the end of 2023 for medical tourism. Apart from looking to get medical tourists from Indonesia, Johor was also considering Singapore, Vietnam, India, Japan and South Korea. Johor has always been popular with Indonesians, especially those from the Riau islands. The state has at least seven main private hospitals and over 40 medical facilities offering quality services. Tourism Johor would be adopting a new approach in its efforts to bring in more medical tourists. Tour packages will also be created to enable visitors to combine their trips with a holiday. Johor now has a medical tourism hotel, where visitors will have doctors coming to them instead of the other way around. This is a pilot project and currently only one hotel is doing this in collaboration with a tour agency. The hotel is located near a medical park.
TENDER FOR PENANG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT EXPANSION PROJECT TO BE CALLED IN TWO MONTHS
The Edge, 02/03/2023
The expansion of the Penang International Airport (PIA) announced in Budget 2023 will be funded by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), and the tender for the project will be called in two months’ time. Transport Minister said his visit to the airport found an urgent need for the project to be completed immediately. The tender for the first phase of the expansion project will be called in two months’ time by MAHB so that work can commence in 2023 and is expected to be completed within three to four years. Once completed, the airport capacity will be increased to 12 million passengers per annum from the current 6.5 million passengers per annum. The cost will be borne using a mechanism that will be agreed upon by both MAHB and Finance Ministry. This expansion project will not involve any land reclamation and the entire cost will be borne by MAHB.
TRANSPORT MINISTRY CONSIDERS BRINGING BACK ICONIC PENANG FERRY
The Edge, 03/03/2023
The Federal Government is considering bringing back the iconic Penang ferry, whose services were terminated in 2020. Transport Minister denoted the ferries were still available for service and there are plans to have them operational once again in the future. The ministry will look into what form of operation this iconic ferry will take, whether it will be a tourist ferry, a roro ferry or a museum ferry. The ministry will hold discussions with the Penang Port Commission (PPC) regarding this later on. The plan could face some challenges in terms of operation as the old terminal had long been refurbished to accommodate the new ferries. The refurbishment project on both the island and mainland terminals currently cannot accommodate iconic ferry operations involving four-wheeled vehicles. After being the oldest form of transport in Penang, the iconic ferry service, as an alternative route from Seberang Perai to the island and vice versa was replaced by speedboat services starting 1st January 2021. The speedboats are only used to transport pedestrians while the iconic ferry only carries motorcycles and bicycles. Meanwhile, the new ferry services will begin operations on 1st August 2023 carrying only pedestrians and motorcycles. Although there had been requests for the new ferry service to also transport four-wheeled vehicles, the four new ferries pre-booked only have the capacity for pedestrians and motorcycles.
LUXURY TIMEPIECE RETAILER OPENS NEW BOUTIQUE
The Star, 02/03/2023
Watch enthusiasts and collectors now have a new place to hang out as The Hour Glass’s 10th Malaysian boutique opened in Gurney Plaza, Penang, its first outside of Kuala Lumpur. The new boutique is an oasis of coastal chic and luxury that brings the latest novelties from the watchmaking capitals of the world to Penang. It also aims to capture the spirit of Penang as an island with a rich past and an auspicious future. Carved out spaces create individual display areas for The Hour Glass’s constellation of brands to showcase their DNA and latest novelties. Breitling, Girard-Perregaux, Grand Seiko, Hublot, Nomos, Sinn-Spezialuhren, TAG Heuer, Tudor, and Ulysse Nardin are expected to receive a warm reception.
IDEAL CAPITAL IN FOR STEADY REVENUE STREAM
The Star, 27/02/2023
Ideal Capital Bhd’s RM4.2 billion Penang Technology Park (PTP)@Bertam project will provide a steady revenue stream to the group in the medium term. The 880 acres of industrial land will cater to high-technology industries with 30% reserved for commercial purposes. The park will have 150 acres of industrial land for lease, 30 acres of light industry factories in the built-and-lease category and 520 acres of industrial land for sale. The selling price per sq. ft. is RM65 to RM90. There will also be 48 semi-detached units and eight bungalow units for lease. The group’s recently approved master plan complemented the Penang 2030 digital transformation vision. The masterplan consists of hubs for Medical Research, Education and Incubation, Space and Cyber Technology, Innovation and Smart Initiatives, and Financial and Commercial Enterprises. The Education and Incubation Hub plays a crucial role in supporting educational and human capital development programmes, facilitating transfer of knowledge and nurturing talent to accelerate technological innovation. The group will complete the park’s development and start operation in 2H23. PTP has also attracted much interest because of its proximity to the North-South Highway Bertam Toll and Jalan Tun Hamdan Sheikh Tahir.
GREATECH TECHNOLOGY INVESTS RM1.3 BILLION IN FOURTH MANUFACTURING PLANT IN BATU KAWAN
The Edge & NST, 28/02/2023
Malaysia-based automation solution provider Greatech Technology Bhd is investing approximately RM1.3 billion to expand its fourth manufacturing plant in Batu Kawan, Penang. The new 500,000 sq. ft. facility, with an estimated capital expenditure of RM200 million as well as an estimated operating expenditure of RM1.1 billion, is designated to manufacture solar products. The new facility constructed across 11.6 acres in the Batu Kawan Industrial Park is expected to operate by the end of 2023. Upon completion, Greatech will have a total combined floor area of more than 1.2 million sq. ft. The new plant is expected to create about 500 employment opportunities to support the ecosystem with its ever-growing demands. Greatech started in 1997, and is headquartered in Bayan Lepas, with facilities in Bayan Lepas, Batu Kawan and the United States.
PROTON OPENS NEW REGIONAL PARTS CENTRE IN KUCHING TO CATER TO GROWING DEMAND
Proton Holding Bhd has recently opened its regional parts centre in Kuching, Sarawak, as the company’s previous warehouse facilities in East Malaysia overflowed with parts and ran inefficiently due to space limitations. The new regional parts centre in Kuching is three times larger than its predecessor and will function as a parts distribution centre for after-sales parts and components for Sarawak and Sabah if needed. Proton’s new regional parts centre is located in the Bintawa Industrial area and has approximately 28,000 sq. ft. of floor space. It can receive up to six containers of parts on-site simultaneously and is currently processing an average of 17 containers per month, fully utilising its capability to store up to three months of stock.
SCIB SUCERES RM20.65 MILLION CONTRACT TO REBUILD SCHOOL IN SARAWAK
The Edge, 03/03/2023
Sarawak Consolidated Industries Bhd (SCIB) has secured a RM20.65 million contract from the Sarawak Public Works Department (JKR) to rebuild a school in Tebedu, Serian. The two-year contract, awarded to its wholly owned subsidiary SCIB Industrialised Building System Sdn Bhd, comes under the third phase of the Sarawak government’s RM1 billion allocation for dilapidated schools. It is part of a nationwide programme to rebuild or renovate dilapidated schools, especially in rural areas.