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MRCB Among Pudu Jail Site Redevelopment Bidders

Extract from The Star (05/03/11)

Group currently tendering for RM2bil worth of projects

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) is bidding for the redevelopment of Pudu Jail site.

“We have an interest (in doing the project) but it is more of Uda Holdings Bhd's show. We are just one of the bidders,” Chief Executive Officer Datuk Mohamed Razeek Hussain said at a briefing after its AGM yesterday. He, however, did not provide details of the project that his company is bidding for.

A local business weekly reported that Uda Holdings had shortlisted 10 companies including three from overseas for the redevelopment of the former Pudu Jail site. The project's gross development value is estimated at RM5bil.

Razeek said the group was currently tendering RM2bil worth of contracts including building projects and packages of the light rail transit extension for the greater Klang Valley project, which was part of the National Key Economic Area.

From left: MRCB CFO Chong Chin Ann, Datuk Mohamed Razeek Hussain and Executive Director Datuk Ahmad Zaki Zahid at the briefing.


iProperty.com Malaysia Named Top Property Website Among Malaysian Visitors

Extract from Bernama (04/04/11)

KUALA LUMPUR -- Effective Measure, the Australia-based audience measurement company, has confirmed iProperty.com Malaysia as the number one property website among Malaysian visitors under its real estate category.

iProperty.com Malaysia was also ranked 14th among South East Asia's most visited Malaysian website by Effective Measure in its recent February 2011 findings.

iProperty.com Malaysia Country Manager Timothy Hor said Effective Measure's internet measurement system is impressive in its accuracy and in the audience insights it provides.

Russel Conrad, the Regional South East Asia Director of Effective Measure, said that iProperty.com Malaysia, had the most unique visitors of any property website in the country.


ECM Libra Maintains 'Buy' Call On Sunway

Extract from Bernama (04/04/11)

KUALA LUMPUR -- ECM Libra Investment Research has maintained a "buy" call on Sunway Holdings Bhd with its target price remaining at RM2.60.

The recommendation was premised on strong earnings growth of 20.7 per cent in the financial year 2011, plans for more landbank acquisitions, strength in securing overseas construction contracts and re-rating from the merger with Sunway City Bhd, ECM Libra Investment said in a research note today.

"With a strong brand name, we think the group is poised to benefit from the impending roll out of contracts in 2011 both from the Ninth Malaysia Plan as well as the Mass Rail Transit (MRT) project."

Apart from the tunneling portion, civil works for the MRT project would only be open to local contractors, it said.


Exco Man: Folk May Value Their Flats More By chipping in 20%

Extract from The Star (04/04/11)

THE Penang Government is not footing 100% of the cost to repaint state housing projects as it wanted their residents to have a sense of commitment to maintain the flats, said state Executive Councillor Wong Hon Wai.

He said all 45 state housing projects were offered a scheme whereby the state government pays 80% of the cost of repainting the buildings while the residents come up with the remaining 20%.

“We want the residents have a sense of commitment to maintaining the flats as best they can,” Wong said after attending a World Water Day celebration at the Relau Metropolitan Park yesterday.

He was commenting on a statement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Saturday which rapped Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for asking residents of the Rifle Range and Kampung Melayu flats to pay 20% of the total cost of repainting the flats.


Low-Cost Flats Get A Facelift

Extract from The Star (04/04/11)

THE Government is spending RM4.5mil to repaint and repair 45 blocks of low-cost flats in Lembah Pantai.

Work includes repainting, repairing gutters and roofs as well and eradicating termites at the low-cost flats in Taman Sri Sentosa, Taman Sri Pinang and Taman Sri Sentosa Ria.

Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib presented the tender offer letters to 45 contractors in Taman Sri Sentosa, Jalan Kelang Lama on Saturday.

“The flats are about 20 years old and the Government felt that it needed upgrading to improve the quality of living as well as provide an opportunity for the contractors to make a decent living,’’ Ahmad Phesal said.


Local Authorities Must Not Allow Utility Land To Be Hijacked

Extract from The Star (04/04/11)

LAND meant for public utility, infrastructure and amenities cannot be developed for other purposes, said planning law and local government expert Derek Fernandez.

He said policies under the Selangor Structure Plan discouraged the use of land meant for utility to be developed.

He said the policies were consistent with the Petaling District and Parts of Klang Structure Plan drafted in 1996 covering Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Shah Alam and parts of Klang.

“The policies in both the Selangor Structure Plan and the older Petaling District Structure Plan preserve all existing land zoned for public utility and infrastructure,” he added.

New plans: Owner of the land now occupied by an oxidation pond in Taman Kinrara had intended to convert the land use.


Govt To Go After Errant Developers

Extract from The Star (04/04/11)

RAWANG: The Housing Development Act will be amended to allow authorities to investigate abandoned projects as a criminal offense and to increase incentives for developers who use the build-then-sell (BTS) system.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said the planned amendments, expected to be enforced by 2015, would help to reduce cases of property developers absconding or abandoning projects after collecting payments from house buyers.

He said the amendments would allow for property developers who do not complete their projects to be investigated for a criminal offense under the Penal Code.

“Developers will be more cautious and will not be able to give excuses for not completing their projects,” Chor said at the launch of the Saffron Puteri Heights housing development here yesterday.


Miri Now A Modern Riverside City With High-Class Hotels And Malls

Extract from The Star (04/04/11)

MIRI: Just like Rome, Miri was not built in a day, but the pace of development of this oil town in Sarawak over the past 20 years has been nothing but phenomenal.

The once-sleepy fishing village with soggy black soil that emitted smelly gas is now a modern riverside city dotted with high-class hotels and huge shopping malls.

Things have certainly changed from 20 years ago when a visit to a tamu or a big shop in a row of five lots was described as shopping.

Multi-storey complexes such as the Bintang Megamall, Boulevard, Merdeka Mall and Imperial Mall, which offer international brands which some locals cannot even pronounce has brought a new meaning to shopping in this northern hub of Sarawak.


Loan Issues To Be Discussed Before BTS Concept Goes To Cabinet

Extract from Bernama (03/04/11)

RAWANG -- All loan- related issues will be discussed with financial institutions and Bank Negara Malaysia first before the proposal to amend the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 (Act 118), which provides the build-then-sell (BTS) concept, is tabled to the Cabinet.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said the discussions were vital because the concept was something new that would involve the financiers.

"Basically, we will get the approval from the Cabinet to enable the concept to be implemented in 2015.

"However, the decision will depend on several factors, including the preparedness of the financial institutions, like banks, to offer loans to house buyers according to the new concept," he told reporters after launching the Saffron Semi-D housing project in Puteri Heights here Sunday.


SunREIT To Give Putra Place A Facelift

Extract fromThe Star (04/04/11)

Financial details will only be revealed after deal is completed

PETALING JAYA: Sunway Real Estate Investment Trust (SunREIT) acquisition of Putra Place in Kuala Lumpur for RM519.95mil will likely lead to an overhaul of the property with analysts saying the property might not make an immediate bump in SunREIT's earnings.

AmResearch in its report on Friday said SunREIT planned to undertake a major renovation exercise on Putra Place to enhance the property.

“The new management may terminate the contract with the current operator of the Legend Hotel and take over running of the hotel or it would tie-up with a global operator,” it said.

It added that while SunREIT has a commendable track record, especially in managing retail assets such as Sunway Pyramid, it remained to be seen if SunREIT would be able to turn Putra Place around.