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Unqualified applicants awarded low-cost houses in Penang

Extract from Bernama (31/7/2017)

GEORGE TOWN: Adherence to the terms and conditions of application for Low-Cost Housing Programs (PPKR) in Penang was unsatisfactory as there were applicants who exceeded the qualification for getting the houses while those who were truly qualified were still waiting for their houses, according to the Auditor-General's Annual report 2016 Series 1.

The report said that for the period 2014 until 2016, a total of 208 applicants earning more than RM2,500 received the low-cost houses and applicants earning between RM2,501 and RM3,500 recorded the highest approvals with 162 applicants.

"For the same period, there were four cases of applications which were approved involving applicants earning more than RM8,500," said the Audit Report which was tabled in Parliament, today.

The report also stated that 490 PPKR applicants and 666 applicants for the Public Housing Project (PPR) had not received any housing unit although they had registered for more than 15 years.


Country Garden to give vacant possession of first 4,000 units next month

Extract from The Star (29/7/2017)

JOHOR BARU: China-based Country Garden Group will be giving vacant possession of its first 4,000 units starting from next month.

 “We have recorded about RM6.7bil in sales turnover since the launch of the project in 2013,’’ Country Garden Malaysia regional sales and marketing general manager Alex Zhao said in a press conference here yesterday.

The multi-billion ringgit waterfront development project Country Garden Danga Bay is located in Iskandar Malaysia, in Johor.

He said that buyers from mainland China, Malaysia and Singapore made up about a third each while the remaining 10% were from India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea and European countries.


Making tall buildings safe

Extract from The Star (29/7/2017)

Lessons to be learnt from Grenfell tragedy

AGAINST a dark night sky in the wee hours of a June morning, the fire that consumed the Grenfell Tower in London spread quickly from the fourth floor to the rest of the 24-storey building, with people inside. More than 80 are still missing. Can it happen here?

According to Fire and Rescue Department Malaysia assistant fire commissioner Wan Mohd Zaidi Wan Isa, that tragedy has spurred questions whether such an incident can happen here considering the many high-rise buildings in the country, especially in the Klang Valley.

“Questions have arisen as to how safe are our buildings,” says Wan Zaidi at a seminar in preparation for the coming 29th SEA Games and 9th Asean Para Games.

He says there were contributory factors or conditions which resulted in the Grenfell tragedy.


Sime nears completion of demerger

Extract from The Star (29/7/2017)

Conglomerate unveils new leadership line-up

Sime Darby Bhd is inching closer towards the completion of its demerger exercise as the conglomerate unveils a new leadership line-up some six months after its first official announcement on the corporate exercise.

The conglomerate plans to list its property and plantation arms in an attempt to unlock sustainable value for the group and its investors.

The move will see the creation of three stand-alone listed entities, namely Sime Darby Plantation Bhd, Sime Darby Property Bhd and the leaner Sime Darby Bhd itself.


Affordable housing – all about the supply

Extract from The Star (29/7/2017)

Earlier this month, I was very fortunate to be invited to the Dialogue on Sustainable Development of Affordable Housing, organised by the National Mortgage Corp of Malaysia (Cagamas).

It was an insightful experience to listen to well-known industry experts exchanging views and deliberating on issues related to affordable housing.

The World Bank has once said housing is not only a global economic driver, but also an opportunity for poverty alleviation.

Although the poverty rate in Malaysia is low at around 0.6% as at 2015, addressing the need for affordable housing is still a must in order to prevent a social crisis.


Fajarbaru Builder bags development project in Ulu Langat worth RM101.3m

Extract from New Straits Times (28/7/2017)

KUALA LUMPUR: Fajarbaru Builder Group Bhd’s (FBG) wholly owned subsidiary, Fajarbaru Builder Sdn Bhd (FBSB), has bagged a development project in Ulu Langat, Selangor from TYL Land & Development Sdn Bhd worth RM101.3 million.

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia today, the company said the contract involves the completion of the remaining buildings and related external works for a proposed development of a 26-storey tower block, a 15-storey tower block, two-storey of 48 units of shops, two-storey of 24 units of offices and general facilities in Semenyih, among others.

It said the contract period is for 27 months from the date of commencement.

The contract is expected to contribute positively to the earnings and net assets of the FBG Group for the financial years ending June 30, 2018, 2019 and 2020, it said.


Sunway Hotels & Resorts aims for 40% jump in room nights by 2018

Extract from The Sun Daily (28/7/2017)

KUALA LUMPUR: Sunway Hotels & Resorts projects a 40% increase in room nights by 2018 with the appointment of Tokyo-based travel consultancy Mac Marketing Service as part of the company’s market growth strategy and to capitalise on the outbound Japanese travelers to Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam, where it has major operations.

The partnership demonstrates Sunway’s long term commitment in developing the Japanese outbound market.

Sunway Hotels & Resorts CEO Albert Cheong said this will further strengthen Sunway’s presence and it looks forward to building on deep relationships and leverage of the extensive network Mac Marketing Service has in Japan; and to develop new opportunities from previously untapped segments like the senior travellers and student groups.

“Recognising that growth in the Japanese market will remain moderate in the near term but it will still be a major source market requiring maintenance of marketing and promotional activities,” Albert said.


EcoFirst’s Q4 earnings soar on sales from Ipoh, Ulu Kelang projects

Extract from The Star (28/7/2017)

KUALA LUMPUR: EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd posted a surprise surge in fourth quarter (Q4) earnings, rounding out its financial year ended May 31, 2017 (FY17), on a strong note after three successive quarters of year-on-year profit contraction.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the property developer said earnings jumped to RM7.77mil in Q4 from RM608,000 a year earlier on 50% higher revenue of RM65.55mil.

The final-quarter effort pushed up its FY17 earnings to RM15.62mil, but the figure fell marginally short of the FY16 earnings level of RM16.2mil.

Revenue for the year, however, grew 5% to RM127.2mil.


SP Setia to give preview of Kingsville bungalow units

Extract from The Star (28/7/2017)

PETALING JAYA: Property developer SP Setia will unveil the first phase of its Kingsville bungalow units in Setia EcoHill, Semenyih, in a special preview on Sunday.

The preview, which will be taking place at the Setia EcoHill Welcome Centre, is expected to see the debut of the collection of single-storey bungalows in the Setia EcoHill township.

Kingsville will comprise a total of 184 bungalow units made available in three separate phases. 

The first phase of Kingsville, to be introduced on Sunday, will consist of 75 bungalow units, of which 59 are single-storey units and the remaining are one-and-a-half storey bungalows. Prices start from RM1.28mil.


Developers must submit application to release bumiputera units - Perak Exco

Extract from Bernama (28/7/2017)

IPOH: Housing developers are to submit applications to the Perak state government before they can release unsold Bumiputera quota units to non-Bumiputeras, said State Women Development, Social Welfare, Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Rusnah Kassim.

She said the state government would not compromise on this and would not hesitate to impose a seven per cent penalty on housing developers failing to comply with the conditions.

"Among the requirements for the release of the Bumiputera quota units are the construction of the housing project is 70 per cent completed and that the project has been advertised in newspapers and on radio of up to four times before it can be referred to the Perak State Development Corporation (PKNP) and the state government.

"Provided that the housing developers comply with the conditions set out for the purpose of the release of the Bumiputera units, only then the state government will allow the application because there are developers who already sold the units before they submitted the application for the release, we will not allow it at all," she said.