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Sabah has Highest Complaints on Land Problems in the Country

More than 1,000 complaints of alleged infringement on the rights of native land have been recorded by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) throughout the country so far, said resident commissioner for Sabah Jannie Lasimbang.

She said Sabah had the highest number of complaints at 834 between 2002 and the first quarter of this year, followed by 229 and 45 complaints in Sarawak and the peninsula respectively.

"These infringements, which are in various forms, are longstanding, persistent and systemic in nature affecting the rights of these communities," she said in a statement, Thursday.

In this respect, Jannie said, Suhakam formally announced on May 10 this year the setting up of the National Inquiry into the Land Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the country.


SPNB Identifies 7 Areas in Klang Valley for My First Home Scheme

Syarikat Perumahan Nasional Bhd (SPNB) has identified seven areas in the Klang Valley -- Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, Rawang, Damansara, Shah Alam, Klang and Puchong -- to build quality and affordable houses under the My First Home Scheme.

Its chairman, Idris Haron, said the price for each unit would be below RM220,000 and would be built gradually until 2020.

"We are currently intensifying talks with land owners in Damansara on this matter and hope a deal would materialise soon," he told reporters after the launch of SPNB's new headquarters by second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.

At the event, SPNB also signed memorandums of understanding with 19 banks.


Technology Park Malaysia to Hold Green Building Workshop

KUALA LUMPUR: TPM College Sdn Bhd and leading applied research institute, Fraunhofer Germany, will jointly organise a two-day green building design workshop, beginning June 2, for players in the construction industry.

"Fraunhofer is a leading applied research organisation in Germany which has for years been developing technologies in green design," said project director Dr Ahmad Ibrahim.

The institute has experts who deploy leading technologies in the design and construction of green buildings, including providing consultancy, for the MASDAR green city project in Abu Dhabi.

The workshop will provide an opportunity for industry players to learn about the latest development and techniques in the design of green buildings towards meeting global standards and regulations.


Strong Response to ‘The Mansions’

Maintain overweight: Desa Park City’s latest offering — The Mansions, comprising 127 units of  terrace houses — was launched over the weekend with about 85% of the units sold at average pricing of RM620psf to RM650psf. The Mansions came in three variants — 2½-storey, 3-storey and 3½-storey units.

The 2½-storey houses — 33 units on offer — have been expected to sell well given the overwhelming interest. Hence, the sale was done via balloting with prices starting at RM2.7 million. Each unit has a built-up of about 4,400 sq ft with a land area of 2,200 to 4,000 sq ft. We understand the bulk of the purchasers for these units are investors.

The response to the 3-storey and 3½-storey units with prices starting at RM3.6 million and RM4 million — which come with a lift in each unit — was strong as well with an average 80% take-up. The 3-storey units boast a bungalow-like built-up of 6,100 sq ft with land area ranging from 3,100 to 4,200 sq ft . Each of the 3½-storey units has a built-up of 6,500 to 7,200 sq ft.

We are not surprised that the take-up has been strong despite the premium pricing given that Desa Park City is a matured and very well-planned township featuring good security, accommodating the ever-changing demands of property buyers.


Taragon Capital Sells Its Downtown Hotel

Bluestone Group Malaysia, through its wholly owned subsidiary Taragon Capital Malaysia Sdn Bhd (TCM) has entered into an agreement to sell its downtown hotel at Taragon Puteri KL to an overseas investment company, Grace Hub Sdn Bhd.

“The sale of the hotel is a strategic decision and comes at a good time, as hotels are now in great demand and the local hospitality industry is growing. Based on last year’s figures, Malaysia welcomed over 24 million tourists, a 4.2 per cent increase against 2009,” said a TCM spokesperson.

The status of the hotel was recently the subject of speculation and several unauthorised sales agents have made false representations to potential buyers.


House Scam to be Probed, says Guan Eng

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Government will probe allegations that employees of housing developers booked units in projects prior to their launch and sold them later at higher prices.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said such complaints had come to his attention.

He said the state, through the Penang Housing Board to be gazetted on July 1, would study measures to curb such practices, which allegedly caused house prices to increase almost immediately after their launch.

Lim said the board would also introduce measures to safeguard the interest of Penangites who wanted to buy affordable homes.


SPNB Secures Support of 25 Banks for Homes Package

Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB) has formed a partnership with 25 financial institutions to boost the take-up rate of its affordable homes package.

To date, there are 11,400 houses developed by SPNB that are yet to be sold, of which some 3,000 fall under the "My First House Scheme".

The scheme is targeted at individuals earning less than RM3,000 a month and are first-time house buyers. All the available units are priced below RM220,000 each.

"We expect a higher take-up rate now with the support of financial institutions in the country. We will also be able to push for more publicity and marketing efforts, being a one-stop centre that sells affordable homes with loans offered by participating banks," SPNB chairman Idris Harun said.


SunCity to Expand The Banjaran

Sunway City Bhd (SunCity) plans to expand The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat at the Sunway City Ipoh township (SunCity Ipoh) in Perak.

Managing director for property investment Ngeow Voon Yean said the phase two development, which has been approved by the authorities, will be carried out on 12.34ha.

"We are looking to add 50 more villas and new facilities to help promote tourism in Ipoh and put Perak on the world map," he said in an interview with Business Times recently.

The Banjaran was constructed in 2009 at a cost of RM60 million and currently comprises 25 luxury villas with private pool.


Shopping Village for SunCity Ipoh

Sunway City Berhad (SunCity) plans to build a shopping village worth more than RM1 billion at its SunCity Ipoh township in Perak.

It will feature the Lost World shopping mall, serviced apartments, SoHo (small office/home office) and food outlets by the riverside.

Besides attracting local and foreign investors, SunCity is looking at generating long-term stable income for the company, managing director for property investment Ngeow Voon Yean said in an interview with Business Times recently.

"We want to grow the township as it now contributes less than 5 per cent to SunCity's earnings. The shopping village will give us positive returns," he said.


Demand for Condos in KL

Higher supply of luxury condos in the first quarter

KUALA LUMPUR: The market for high-end condominiums and serviced residences in Kuala Lumpur is still very strong, according to CB Richard Ellis (Malaysia) executive chairman Christopher Boyd.

Boyd said high-end condominiums and serviced residences launched in the city last year had seen strong sales.

“Take-up rates range from 65%-88% as of the end of the first quarter of 2011,” he said at the “Invest in Malaysia, Invest in Kuala Lumpur” forum, organised by property developer Eastern & Oriental Bhd, on Saturday.

Two other such forums, for those interested in investing in Kuala Lumpur city centre properties, were also held recently in Penang and Singapore.