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ARTICLES

3-Residen @ Taman Melawati

December 12th, 2012

                  3-Residen is a condominium development developed by Melawati Development, a subsidiary of Negara Properties Berhad on a 3.3 acres of freehold land along Jalan 6/4 Taman Melawati. Access is possible via the MRR2, Jalan Kolam Air, Jalan 6/2 and finally onto Jalan 6/4.

 

 

                 It consists of two tower blocks of condominium building with total  170 standard units with built up of 1,098 square feet, 1206 square feet and 1,389 square feet whilst built up for the 8 duplex penthouse units which include a  Jacuzzi and an open pavilion varies from 1,938 square feet to 2,174 square feet. One of the unique features of 3-Residen is that there are foldable wall panels that can create extra space/room and each unit enjoys either Bukit Tabur or KLCC view.  The design of these units are like semi-detach style.  Type A which is the largest unit is a 3 + 1 bedrooms unit whilst the remaining units have only 3 bedroom.

 

 

                  All units comes with 2 bathroom/water closets.  There is also a large foyer at the main entrance where owner can install shoe cabinets and other items.  All units come with air conditioner ledges and a balcony.

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OASIS@ ARA DAMANSARA

August 8th, 2012

                  Oasis@ Ara Damansara is developed by Sime Darby Brunsfield Holding Sdn Bhd, a joint venture  company between the property divisions of both Sime Darby and Brunsfield.  The freehold mixed development is divided into 6 phases on 15.78 acres of prime land and features 3 blocks of 10 to 12 storey Corporate Office Tower,  5 blocks of 10 to 12 storey shop and office suites, 2 blocks of service apartments and also a Central  Piazza.

 

 

                  It is located opposite the Saujana Golf and Country Club,  along Jalan PJU 1A/7 within PJU 1A Petaling Jaya,  and accessible via several highways and expressways such as New Klang valley Expressway, Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong, KESAS highway,  New Pantai Expressway as well as the Federal highway which links the project site via  Jalan Lapangan Terbang Subang.

 

                  Some of the notable developments within the neighbourhood include the Saujana Golf & Country Club,  a Japanese School, the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport and the proposed LRT station site. 

 

                  The first phase of Oasis Ara Damansara comprises 288 units of shop-offices and 10 to 12 storey office blocks comprising 230 units of office suites within Block C and D. The built up area for the office suites is between 927 sq feet to 2,988 square feet which were launched at RM450/- to RM464/- per square feet. 

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SUBANG OLIVES

May 15th, 2012

                       Subang Olives is a freehold mixed development comprising  service residence, commercial and hotel located within SS 16 Subang Jaya surrounded by modern facilities and amenities namely Subang Parade  shopping complex, Carrefour hypermarket, Wisma Consplant office building, E-Tiara service apartment,  Subang Jaya Medical Center, KTMB Commuter station, Empire  Gallery Shopping and  SoHo development, as well as established residential areas of SS 19, SS 17 and SS 15 within Subang Jaya. 

                       It is easily accessible via the Federal highway, Lebuhraya Damansara – Puchong (LDP), New Pantai Expressway (NPE) as well as KESAS highway and New Klang Valley Expressway.

 

 

                       It was previously called Jana Tower which was launched in 2005 but the project failed to take off.  Then the project was taken over by AmanahRaya Berhad and appointed Everest Point Sdn Bhd to continue the development of Jana Towers which has now been renamed as Subang Olives.  The AmanahRaya has also reviewed the project and made a crucial decision to alter  Phase 2  service apartment to become completely new and vibrant office/hotel concept.   The change in plan concept complements Phase 1 service apartment, adding value to Subang Olives as a whole.

                       Subang Olives comprises of  3 elements in the development namely Olives Residency which is in Phase 1, Olives Commercial and Olives Hotel under Phase 2.  Olives Residency is a 17 –storey service residence consists of 314 units of service residents with built up area ranging from 1,469 square feet to 3,125 square feet, whilst the duplex penthouse boasts a spacious built up of 4,915 square feet to 5,535 square feet with launch prices between RM560,000/- to RM1,220,000/- per unit.  There are 2 penthouse designs and 4 designs for typical units of service residence to chose from.  The four (4) designs for typical units differs in built up area for King, Queen, Prince and Princess types. All units come attached with a self-contained studio apartment, which offers better flexibility in terms of space usage.

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KENANGA WHOLESALE CITY COMPLEX (KWC)

March 13th, 2012

 

 

              Kenanga Wholesale City is Malaysia’s first one-stop fashion shopping centers that brings together a large and comprehensive directory of business – fashion accessories, shoes, stationery and other lifestyle products, all under one roof.

              It is developed on Lot 1283 Section 69 Town of Kuala Lumpur; along Jalan Gelugor, Off Jalan San Peng, a 3.2 acres of commercial land, rising 22 storey, comprising approximately 500,000 square feet in net lettable retail space totaling 800 lots spread throughout its zoned shopping floors.   It has wide side walkways, numerous F&B, banking and logistic outlets, 20 leading bays, 8 cargo lifts, a sizeable convention area, 24-hours security surveillance and brings approximately 1,800 parking bays within basements and higher floor parking levels.  Apart from the lifts, access to the upper is also possible via 3 escalators located at the center, south and north wings of the wholesale complex.

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Small Office Home Office (SoHo)

Latest Property Trend

February 3rd, 2012

              Small Office Home Office (SoHo) which can also stand for single office home office,  is definitely gaining momentum in Malaysia, particularly given the advent of information, communication and technology (ICT).  SoHo can either be perceived as a living area with complete facilities and amenities or an office space that provides all your out 0f office needs and privacy. Zerin Properties chief executive officer Mr. Previndran Singh says the trend of SoHo development started in the 1960s and 1970s in Manhattan, New York City.  He says the place was formerly known as Cast Iron District which originally housed warehouses and factories and was famed for its cobblestone streets. Living in SoHo was deemed illegal during that time but in 1980s, the neighbourhood rapidly rose up the socio-economic scale due to location, lots of living space, the architecture and the fact that it was considered hip. 

 

 

SoHo,  Manhattan

 

 

Cast Iron Architecture, Soho

             Beginning in the mid-1980s the advent of the personal computers and fax machine, plus breakthroughs in telecommunications, created opportunities for office workers to decentralized.  Decentralization was also perceived as benefiting employers in terms of lower overheads and potentially greater productivity.  Technology has also created q demand for larger businesses to employ individuals who work from home.  Sometimes these people remain as an independent businessperson, and sometimes they become employee of a larger company.  The SoHo has undergone a transformation since its advent as the internet has enabled anyone working from home office to compete globally.  Technology has made this possible through email, the world wide web, e-commerce, video conferencing, remote desktop software, webinar systems and telephone connection by VOIP.

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REVIVING ABANDONED PROJECTS

January 1st, 2012

                   The presence of many abandoned housing projects in the country has given great anxiety to various parties, including buyers and the Federal Government.   Under the Government Transformation Program Roadmap, one of the ministry's KPI is the revival of abandoned licensed private residential project and it targets to revive at least 35 projects by year end.  In order to achieve this, the ministry had taken steps to engage the existing developers to help them overcome whatever challenges they may be facing.

                   They are also considering designating new developers, if need be, to revive these projects.   The ministry had managed to revive a total of 51 out of 155 abandoned projects to date.   There are another 57 abandoned projects that are currently in the process of being revived. The ministry also act as a mediator in reviving these housing projects. Rehabilitation of abandoned housing projects are done through existing developers, assistance from the selected white knights and members of the REHDA and also through the government allocated funds that is conducted in accordance to the tender process.

                   To counter errant developers,  the ministry has increased enforcement action taken against errant housing developers by compounding and prosecuting them under the Housing Development Act. The ministry will also blacklist developers and their directors if all attempts to engage them fail.  Improvements to existing legislation are being carried out through proposed amendments to provisions under Act 118.   This will allow for the prosecution of developers who neglect their housing project or cause a housing project to be abandoned. 

                   The Real Estate Housing Developer Association (REHDA) is also working on a formula designed to prevent the abandonment of housing projects. Under the proposed amendments to the Act, aimed at protecting home buyers and enforcing stricter standards on the housing industry, the deposit for a developer's license may be based on a percentage of the developing cost of a housing project and errant developers may also be hauled to court.

                   Reviving abandoned housing projects is no easy task as it requires the support of stakeholders, particularly purchasers who in most cases have to top up on the prices that they agreed to pay, mostly in the range of 10% to 30% depending on how long the projects have been abandoned and at what stage, according to a receiver of Sri Impian Condominium in Brickfields which has been successfully revived.  The extra payment was necessary as prices of construction materials and other costs have gone up since the sale and purchase agreement, in addition to inflation and rising cost.  It is very critical for the purchasers to support the revival scheme as without it, the project manager and receiver would not be able to collect progress payments as no contractor and the receiver would not do it for free whilst the bank would not give bridging loan.  Although buyers needed to concede something, they would still win in the end as once the project is completed they could recover their money by selling the property at higher price.

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ABANDONED HOUSING PROJECT

PART 1

November 22nd, 2011

                    The housing industry in Malaysia is regulated by the Housing Development Act which has undergone series of changes and inception.   Based on data from the Housing and Local Government Ministry, as at May 2009, some 155 housing projects have been abandoned, involving a total of 48,664 housing units (of these, 31,337 units have been sold) and effecting more than 25,000 house buyers.  But not all abandoned projects can be resuscitated. Some 12 projects involving a total of 1,601 units (554 sold) have failed to take off and the ministry is in the process of mediating a settlement between the developers and buyers.

An abandoned project is defined by the  Ministry of Housing as  projects that meets the following criteria:-

     i. The project is not completed within or later than the delivery date stated in the Sale and Purchase Agreement   

       (SPA) and no significant activity is noticed at the construction site for six (6) continuous months, or

    ii. Notice of winding up or ‘Petisyen Penggulungan’ has been registered in the High Court under Section 218 of the

       Companies Act 1966, or

   iii. Company is under the Receiver and Manager, or

   iv. Developer’s are not able to acknowledge in writing to the’ Housing Controller’, and

   v. Confirmed as abandoned projects by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government under Section 11(1) of Act

       118.

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MALAY RESERVATION – Part 2

(Issues & Problems)

October 20th, 2011

                 The Malay Reservation Area (MRA) is a familiar but complex subject that elicits considerable public interest, in particular the potential for developing Kampong Baru into a modern commercial area because of its location within the City Centre. Although a few development plans have been prepared for the MRAs, to date, little progress has been achieved and the issue on slow development process of the MRAs.

 

 

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MALAY RESERVATION – Part 1

(Historical background)

September 20th, 2011

                 ‘Malay Reservation Land’ refers to a special category of land confined within the boundaries of a state which can only be owned and dealt over by Malays or persons deemed native residents of the state.. Article 89(6) of the Federal Constitution 1957 defines “Malay Reservation” as land reserved for alienation to Malays or to natives of the State in which it lies.  The same provision also states that ‘ Malay” includes any person who under the law of the state in which he is resident is treated as a Malay for the purpose of the reservation land.

                 The first legislation which introduced on Malay Reservation was the Federation Malay State, FMS 1913 Enactment for the Federated Malay States of Pahang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor with main purpose to control power of land alienation by the state and to protect the Malay land owners from selling their lands to non0Malays.  After 20 years in force, it was further amended as FMS Enactment No 30 in 1933 and later amended in 1928 as FMC Cap142 which is still in force till today.

                 On a Conference of the Residents of the four Federated Malay States held in 1908, the issue on the sale of Malay land was addressed for the first time.  Due to poverty, the Malays sold or leased their lands to Non-Malays.  The British representatives were alerted to the drastic increase of land sales initiated by Malay land owners to foreign immigrants.  It was anticipated that such acts would inevitability affects the political power of the Malays.  The British officials claimed that the declaration of Malay reservation land was aimed at protecting and preserving the right to land ownership of the Malays in Peninsular Malaysia.

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Social issues of  gated communities

August 12th, 2011

                 The development of gated communities seems to be part of the features of the housing industry especially in Klang Valley due to high returns and increasing demand from the market.  The appreciation in values as a well as the investment returns makes it more attractive to both buyers and developers.   Nevertheless  gated community in Klang valley are mostly of high end properties, some even touched million of Ringgit per unit.  With this kind of price, only certain  segment of Klang Valley population can afford it.  It also characterized the people living behind the walls and gates of the communities. They are high income earner with good education background and most of them are married.

 

 

                 To these people, the main reason for choosing gated communities is security.  The high crime rate in the urban area has instilled fear of crime among the urban dwellers.  Whilst the local authority and police department are doing their level best to fight crime, the developers are taking this opportunity to provide a secured homes with all the required facilities and capitalized the natural beauty of the surrounding area to become  the theme of the development.  However privacy and the prestige attached to the gated community is also a major concern to residents.

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MEDICAL TOURISM

May 16th, 2011

            Medical tourism is becoming a significant contributor to Malaysia's travel industry. Once a laggard, tourism has grown rapidly in the last 10 years to become the second largest foreign exchange earner.  Malaysia has been named among the world’s top five medical tourism destinations for medical tourists and foreign investors according to online investment news source Nuwire Investors.  Selected based on the quality and affordability of medical care and receptiveness to foreign investment, Malaysia came third behind Panama and Brazil and was followed by Costa Rica and India.           

           The government has identified health care as an area with potential, and is eyeing the booming middle classes in the region as a lucrative market. Last year, it set up the Health-care Travel Council, identifying 35 private hospitals for the promotion of medical tourism. The government also introduced tax breaks for hospitals running such programs, incentives for the construction or expansion of hospitals, and other incentives like permits to allow hospital vehicles to ferry patients to and from airports or hotels.

           The sector has seen sharp growth in recent years. Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak has said the health tourism revenue of the 35 earmarked private hospitals had grown from RM59 billion to RM299 billion in the last five years. The growth came about with an increase in the number of foreign patients, from 100,000 a year to about 392,956 now - a growth of 30 to 35 per cent a year. This year alone between January and March, the number of tourists seeking medical care was 112,951 which generated an income of RM105 million. Malaysia's advantage is its relatively low costs, high standards and well-developed infrastructure.

           According to the Health Ministry, an angioplasty that can cost US$57,000 (S$79,000) in the United States and US$13,000 in Thailand costs only US$11,000 in Malaysia. And a knee replacement procedure which costs US$40,000 in the US and US$13,000 in Singapore can be done for just US$8,000 in Malaysia.

           Such savings have no doubt benefited medical centres like the private Pantai Medical Centre, which runs nine hospitals and KPJ which runs 20 hospitals all throughout the country.  With more than 2,600 licensed beds, KPJ hospitals offer a comprehensive range of medical services and have treated some 2.42 million outpatients and over 220,000 inpatients in 2010.

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GATED COMMUNITIES - A WORLD PHENOMENON

Part 1

May 16th, 2011

             Gated communities are residential areas within restricted access such that normally public spaces have been privatized.  The earliest gated communities were ancient fortified cities.  The first walled cities in the New World were Spanish fort towns in the Carribean.   Later during nineteenth century, some residential areas were  constructed with gates and private streets as in St Louis (Blakely & Snyder, 1997).

 

 

Typical unit in close neighbourhood in Portland Place in the 1930s

 

 

 

Typical entrance of Hutongs in China

             While the United State of America (USA) is popularly credited with inventing and exporting Common Interest Developments (CID), there are signs that the American experience  is part of a more general global secular trend.  Private and public governments such as gated communities are springing up in various form in many countries and can partly be explained by the dissemination of international real estate practices.  Many of this neighbourhoods are fenced or walled off as well as having a limited number of controlled entrances/exits, manned by security guards in most cases.

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PROPERTY LEASEBACK :

RESTRUCTURING BUSINESS FINANCE

May 1st, 2011

            The most common avenue of raising capital is through debt financing and the traditional method of debt financing adopted by firms is bank borrowing e.g overdraft facilities or property mortgage.   In a healthy property market condition and lower interest rate, property mortgage could be cheaper and the amount of debt could be higher.  However,  interest rate and property market usually move in parallel direction, thus  property value may appreciated in values but the cost of fund has also increased.  Under this circumstances,  mortgage financing may not be the optimal means especially those firms which are already highly geared due to existing borrowings.    In a period where interest rate is on the rise, large corporations may raise debt capital through sale of debenture or loan stocks.   To the public, purchasing debenture or loan stocks of such  companies means investing in fixed interest securities with guaranteed fixed return and capital redemption.   In corporate finance, the object of raising debt capital is to provide finance on terms cheaper than those required by equity shareholders.  The strategy is to introduce ‘gearing’ as the mechanism towards optimal financing.   That optimal proportion of debt and equity capital refers to the ‘capital gearing ratio’ being the proportion of debt to total capital employed in business ventures.   In business finance, the higher the capital gearing ratio employed by the company in its financing strategy, the higher the potential gain  to the overall equity interest of the business but the higher the level of risk perceived.

 

 

MAS Academy Kelana Jaya

 

 

 

Wisma UEP in USJ

 

 

 

Holiday Villa, in Langkawi

 

 

 

SeGi College in USJ

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ISLAMIC REIT

April 11th, 2011

                 The Islamic capital market which was introduced alongside Malaysian capital market in 1996 is now an integral part and parcel of the overall Malaysian  capital market and offers wide range of Islamic investment products which are free form unsury (riba’), gabling (maisir) and ambiguity (gharar).  By setting up guidelines for Islamic REITs, Malaysia has in actual fact pave the way for another Islamic financial product to be enlisted in its Islamic capital market.  To-date, Malaysia Islamic capital market has already made its impact on the global scene as market for Syariah approved securities, Islamic bonds, Islamic unit trusts, Syariah indices, warrants, crude oalm oil futures, Islamic asset securitization (sukuk) and of course, REITs.

 

 

Selangor Medical Centre

 

 

 

Ampang Puteri Specialist

 

 

 

Ampang Puteri Specialist

 

 

 

Damansara Specialist Centre

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Railway Infrastructure Upgrading

KLANG VALLEY

February 1st, 2011

                Of late, there has been a lot of complaints and dissatisfaction amongst daily commuting passengers within the Klang Valley travelling from their homes to their places of work as regards to our national rail service a.k.a. the KTM Komuter. There were complaints of late train arrivals, train services not going according to schedules and the frequency of train breakdowns.

                 In response to this, KTM Bhd has apologised to all KTM commuter passengers for its recent poor performance in this area. In an official statement made on 26th August 2010, its senior corporate communications acting manager Mohd Fazil Ismail said this was due to the inadequate number of operating train sets as KTM needed 31 sets of trains to operate the 15-minute and 30-minute intervals optimally. He further said all eighteen 10-year old train sets had been refurbished and were being put into operation presently. The government had approved the acquisition of 38 sets of 6-car trains which were expected to be delivered between November 2010 and April 2012. The service will begin from Seremban station. A source said KTMB had already received a new set of the trains from South Korea and trial runs would be conducted to ensure smooth operations later on. The second set of four trains will arrive in February 2010. Each diesel train will have six coaches which can accommodate 300 seated passengers. The trains have a maximum speed of 120kph and are built with the latest technology. However, the ETS service was to be launched by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat in December 2009 but was delayed due to certain technicalities and only resumed in August 2010. The inaugural trip on 12th August 2010 was priced at RM30 for the KL-Ipoh route and RM38 for the Seremban-Ipoh route. The RM30 concession fare will be extended to 28th February 2010 to ensure cheap rides throughout the festive seasons of Hari Raya and Chinese New Year 2011.

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PAVILION RESIDENCES & RAFFLES HOTEL

KUALA LUMPUR

January 3rd, 2011

 

 

                 Located in the Bukit Bintang area of Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle and sitting atop a 5-star rated shopping mall of the same name, the luxurious Pavilion Residences, developed by Urusharta Cemerlang, comprises 163 condominium units in the 43-storey Tower 1 and 205 units in the 50-storey Tower 2. It is an integrated development with units pegged at RM1,300psf, up from RM1,000psf three years ago. Opened to the public in late 2007, the price of the condo units is about twice what the other condominiums in the Bukit Bintang vicinity are fetching. It was reported that Tower 2 had been fully sold to high net worth individuals from 18 countries including Malaysians who accounted for 60% of the purchasers.

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SENIBONG COVE

JOHOR

December 1st, 2010

                It was recently reported in the local news that the Johor state government is mulling over the possibility of foreign companies coming over here to initiate investment projects in Permas Jaya. It was understood that Australia’s Walker Corp intends to invest some RM1.7billion (Aus$1=RM3.056 as of 1st April 2010) or Aus$556.283million to develop Senibong Cove, Johor’s first exclusive waterfront enclave, on the eastern corridor of Iskandar Malaysia. The project will be developed in a joint-venture with the landowner, Iskandar Waterfront Sdn Bhd, via Front Concept Sdn Bhd. In a statement made on 13th April 2010, the JV company said Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani was instrumental in securing the investment. Abdul Ghani said the project was the first of several initiatives to incorporate foreign investments in significant Iskandar Malaysia growth areas. The new world-class residential enclave, Senibong Cove, is developed on an 84ha freehold site overlooking the Straits of Johor.

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PENANG WATER TAXIS

PENANG ISLAND AND BUTTERWORTH (MAINLAND)

November 1st, 2010

                Plans to introduce a water-taxi service to transport passengers between Penang island and the mainland have been mooted in 2000 by the then Penang Malay Chamber of Commerce president Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Maidin who presented the proposal to the Economic Planning Unit (EPU). However, the government was skeptical about it and suggested some initial findings on the matter. Subsequently, the project was shelved as it was not economically feasible.

                 A major concern that surfaced was whether the water-taxi service operator could sell the tickets at a price substantially enough to recoup the capital and make a profit. The main reason behind such logic was, currently, the Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) was still finding it hard to raise fares for its ferry service between Penang island and Butterworth, only two major embarkation and disembarkation points for the ferry service.

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The 33km RM958million KL-Kuala Selangor Expressway

KUALA LUMPUR

October 1st, 2010

                  Bina Puri Holdings Bhd’s joint venture company has awarded a RM958million contract to the turnkey contractor Mudajaya Corp Bhd in an agreement on 5th June 2008 to design and build the 33km dual carriageway KL-Kuala Selangor Expressway, formerly known as Lebuhraya Assamjawa-Taman Rimba. Mudajaya is expected to employ some 500 workers for this project.

THE 33KM KUALA LUMPUR - KUALA SELANGOR EXPRESSWAY
 

 
 

 

 

Construction works on progress.

              It is expected with the construction of the expressway it would provide immediate benefits to the local communities and would also create job opportunities in the surrounding areas including Kuala Selangor and Gombak district especially in the food business, the supply of materials for the road maintenance works and other services. It is also expected that the demand for residential and office units will increase with the additional inflow of construction workers and the new residents in the nearby townships.

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SEPANG GOLD COAST

SEPANG

September 1st, 2010

        Sepang Gold Coast is a residential coastal development project in Sepang, with the theme “Longest Coastal Paradise in Asia”. It is a joint-venture development between Sepang Gold Coast Sdn Bhd, owned by PNSB (Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd), the Selangor state investment arm and CNI, a well known direct sales company in Malaysia and Asia Pacific.

        The project site, located at Pantai Bagan Lalang and within the District of Sepang, is situated about 25 minutes’ drive from KLIA, 45 minutes from Putrajaya and approximately 75 minutes from Kuala Lumpur. The current population of the District of Sepang is estimated at around 130,000 persons. With the existence of national projects, the population of Sepang has grown from 55,000 in the year 1991 to 75,000 in the year 1999, reflecting an average annual growth rate of 3.95% and this population is expected to increase to 2.2 million by the year 2020. In relation to the population distribution, many of Sepang’s population still live in the suburban areas.

        With the natural beauty and serenity of the Straits of Malacca spread out in front of the resort development with a focus on global village concept, Sepang Gold Coast is designed in the shape of a big palm tree. This resort will provide an aerial landmark for international tourists arriving at KLIA where the natural beauty of the coastline can be seen from the air before they touch the ground in the KLIA.

        Sepang Gold Coast is set to become a tropical showcase of choice, with a 22km beach frontage on Malaysia's easily accessible western coastline, facing the sheltered waters of the Straits of Malacca. This development will include water villas, boutique resort hotels, traditional/ethnic resorts, gastronomic paradise, marinas, aquarium, open zoo, theme park, ecotourism parks, floating market, agro park and natural village.

 

        The site benefits from its easy accessibility via a good network of roads serving Bagan Lalang and Sepang and it takes only 20 minutes to get to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang.

        The design of this resort is as a palm tree extending towards the sea. The first phase of the project covers 25 acres of the Bagan Lalang coast in Sepang. The development components of the first phase include:

Golden Palm Tree Water Serviced Villa:

 - Semi-D (Travellers Palm) - 160 unit priced from RM544,586 each,

 - Maldivian (Canary Palm) - 130 unit priced from RM930,567 each,

 - Polynesian (Royale Palm) - 10 unit priced from RM2.38million each,

 - Polynesian (Ivory Palm) - 66 unit priced from RM1.367million each

        These serviced villas carry a service charge of RM0.40psf.

        Some of the facilities in the Gold Palm Tree clubhouse include meeting rooms, a business centre, health care centre (Spa, Gym), a swimming pool, a recreation centre and a multipurpose hall.

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GURNEY PARAGON, ALONG GURNEY DRIVE

PENANG

August 02, 2010

 

 

A view of Gurney Paragon, Penang Island

     Set to be Penang’s iconic landmark along the famous Gurney Drive and a neighbour to the established 90-year old St Joseph’s Novitiate, the RM400million twin-tower high-end condominium development incorporating a 1million sq ft shopping mall known as the Gurney Paragon will definitely change the trend and lifestyle of Penang urbanites when completed in end 2010.

     Gurney Paragon is easily accessible via major roads in Penang such as Burma Road, Codrington Avenue, Bagan Jermal Road, and Persiaran Gurney. This luxury condo project is also close to many existing amenities such as restaurants and cafés, Gurney Plaza, Island Plaza, One Stop Shopping Centre, Penang Adventist Hospital, Gleneagles Medical Centre, Tanjong Medical Centre, Penang Chinese Girls High School, Convent Pulau Tikus, St. Nicholas School and many others.

     A high-end mixed development by the renowned developer, Hunza Properties Bhd, it was slapped with a STOP-WORK ORDER by the Penang Municipal Council in early July 2009 as a result of a sunken driveway of an adjacent condominium block called Gurney Park due to the former’s construction work activities. However, due to its high social and moral responsibility, Hunza Properties ordered immediate remedial works to be carried out to mitigate the damage to the adjacent driveway. As a result, the STOP-WORK ORDER was lifted on August 7, 2009 and Hunza Properties could continue with its construction activities without any further hassle.

    The project, sitting on prime freehold land measuring approximately 10.21 acres, actually enjoys dual frontages to both Gurney Drive and Jalan Kelawai.  The first phase of the mixed development comprises two blocks of luxury condo units known as the East Tower which has a total of 73 units whilst the West Tower has a total of 191 units. The condo units each has built-up areas ranging between 2,810 sq ft and 10,442 sq ft. The second phase of the integrated development will be the inclusion of a lifestyle shopping mall around the St Joseph’s Novitiate to accommodate the boutique retailers and restaurants.

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Mon’t Kiara Condominium & Commercial Development

KUALA LUMPUR

July 05, 2010

    One of the most popular and sought-after upper middle-class neighborhoods in Kuala Lumpur is the Mont Kiara enclave. Located about 16km to the northwest of Kuala Lumpur city centre, this locality boasts of upmarket condominium development besides the posh commercial developments have seen tremendous appreciation in their values over the last few years. Because of the high rental yield that Mont Kiara has generated, many locals and foreigners have invested and purchased properties in this exclusive area before the global financial crisis. 

  To-date, property development in the Mont Kiara enclave is going at a fast pace. There are numerous new and up-coming condominiums available for purchases as well as for rental. Depending on the grade of the property in question, prices range from RM300psf upwards to RM600psf upwards. Rental prices range from $0.85 psf to $1.15 psf per month. 

  The commercial element in this locality comprises the much sought-after Solaris Mon’t Kiara commercial units. Current prices that changed hands are in the range between RM400psf and RM500psf upwards. 

  Sunrise Bhd, the main developer for Mon’t Kiara, has the largest repertoire of condominiums for sale in the market. Till today, Sunrise Bhd has constructed more than 4,000 units of posh high-rise condominiums in the Mont Kiara area. Some of these projects include the following:

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Lido Boulevard

Johor Bahru

June 03, 2010

          It was reported that Central Malaysia Properties Sdn Bhd (CMP) would embark on a multi-million ringgit waterfront project overlooking the Straits of Johor known as Lido Boulevard, an integrated development project within the Iskandar Malaysia region which was scheduled to be completed by 2016. This flagship project, fully funded by Central Malaysia Properties Sdn Bhd is a joint venture between the former and the Johor State Secretary Inc as the land belongs to the state.

          Lido Boulevard is strategically located in Zone A of Iskandar Malaysia and is within close proximity to Johor Bahru’s Central Business District, the Customs, Immigration & Quarantine (CIQ) complex, Johor Bahru’s train station and the Johor Bahru Causeway. Amenities such as shopping, entertainment centres and educational institutions are readily available within the vicinity of the development.

 

          Lido Boulevard is one of the biggest private finance initiatives along the Lido waterfront after the Danga Bay development. The project, located on 49.37ha of land stretching 2.4km along the Tebrau Straits, is estimated to have a gross development value of RM4billion. The site stretches from the now defunct Lot 1 shopping complex to the Harbour Master’s office complex. The company also reported that it would spend RM150mil over the next two years to upgrade all road infrastructure on site. This included expanding Jalan Abu Bakar (Jalan Skudai) into a dual three-lane carriageway.

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51 Gurney in vicinity of KLCC

KUALA LUMPUR

May 03, 2010

 

 

             Located at the intersection of Jalan Perumahan Gurney and Jalan Gurney and about 1.2 km from the Petronas Twin Towers, is the luxury condominium project developed by Zahari Holdings Sdn Bhd known as 51Gurney. The project sits on a 1.07-acre freehold site and is purposely designed to have a commanding view of the KLCC skyline and it is also the only condominium project in the country with the ‘First Ever Car Port in the Sky’ concept that integrates a state-of-the-art car lift and driveway that allows residents to drive and showcase their cars within their own homes. The project is situated within the belt of major shopping and dining districts and hence, a sophisticated lifestyle is made available to the unit-owners.

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INFINITY Beachfront Living

PENANG

April 01, 2010

     “INFINITY – Beachfront Living” is a high-end 3.05-acre freehold condominium development undertaken by Hunza Properties Sdn Bhd. It is ideally located on an expansive white beachfront at Penang’s prime Tanjung Bungah enclave on the northern coast of the Island, about half hour drive from downtown Georgetown. Immediate neighbours include the Dalat International School, a school for expatriate children, and some international class hotels, viz., Rasa Sayang Hotel, Golden Sands Hotel, Penang Swimming Club, Tanjung Bungah Hotel and Chinese Swimming Club.

     It comprises 119 units of luxurious condominiums, penthouses and cabanas housed in 2 elegant tower blocks, viz., Tower A and B. The homes are designed to maximise the residents’ view of the clear blue Tanjung Bungah sea and the Georgetown city skylight at night. One is literally a step away from acres of sandy white beach 5 metres below in a sheltered bay of the northern coast of the island.

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Johor – Lido Boulevard project

March 02, 2010

     A multi-million ringgit integrated waterfront development project, located on 49.37ha of land stretching 2.4km along the Tebrau Straits in Johor to be developed by Central Malaysia Properties Sdn Bhd, and comprising comprises 4 main components, viz., a) luxury condominiums, b) waterfront office suites, c) a hotel and d) a shopping mall when completed in 2016 will be touted as one of the biggest waterfront projects in Johor, rivalling the Danga Bay development. The project, Lido Boulevard, stretches from the now defunct Lot 1 shopping complex to the Harbour Master’s office complex. This flagship project, fully funded by CMP, is a joint venture between CMP and the Johor State Secretary Inc as the land belongs to the state.

     Eight office blocks, 6 to 8 storeys high, a 296-room hotel-cum-serviced residences, and a 3-storey dual frontage retail mall are in the development plan. An international ice-skating rink, a 32-lane bowling alley and a 4,645 sq m Indoor Snow Park will be incorporated in the mall. Datuk Chan Tien Ghee, managing director, said land reclamation works, to begin in early 2010 along Lido Beach, would take approximately 24 months to complete. About 6.8million cubic metres of sand sourced from Teluk Ramunia on the east coast of Johor is needed for the reclamation works. The sand will be transported by a dredger anchored at Stulang Laut near the Johor Causeway, which is then pumped to the site via a 2km floating and sunken pipeline. To facilitate this, two culverts under the Causeway were cleaned, one will be used to transport the sand and the other to ensure the continuous flow of water through the Causeway. The continuous flow of water from Stulang Laut to Lido Beach and vice versa will improve the water quality at Lido Beach. About RM150million has to be allocated to upgrade Jalan Sultan Abu Bakar, including widening it and building pedestrian bridges. CMP will also allocate RM46million for landscaping to include water features like wading and splash pools as well as pocket parks along the 10m wide boardwalk.

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ONE WORLD HOTEL

NEXT TO 1 UTAMA SHOPPING CENTRE, PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN

November 03, 2009

     Located in one of the most popular shopping areas in Petaling Jaya, One World Hotel is a 438-room 5-star hotel that offers a new dimension in services with unparalleled facilities. Its services are conspicuously warm, fast, efficient and consistent set in an ambience of urban residential comfort with spacious public areas, plush restaurants and opulent guestrooms. Exuding luxury and sophistication, the 20-storey hotel epitomises the richness of Asian cultures seen in the splendid chandeliers and the quality marble finishes that display a genuinely warm welcome. The hotel, in Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, is surrounded by upscale and modern shopping malls and hypermarkets. In fact, the hotel is linked to the 6 storey 1 Utama Shopping Centre that promises an exciting shopping experience for anyone. There are 600 retail outlets, 2 cinema complexes and a 36-lane bowling alley within the walls of this shopping complex.

     The façade of the hotel is adorned with Roman pillars topped with white and grey marble cornices and finished with opulent Cremia Valencia marble floors. The rest of the façade is painted with an orange-coloured hue whilst the lobby area is decorated with splendid chandeliers that hang from steel cables from the high ceilings. The front office, elevators and access to other facilities are tastefully decorated and strategically located at both wings of the lobby to mimic a spacious ambience. The F&B outlets, rooms and other facilities like The Wellness Centre and The Business Centre are beautifully done up, each with its own character and theme. This exquisite luxury hotel is ideal for both business and leisure.  

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Iskandar Malaysia

the Southern Development Corridor

October 15, 2009

     Iskandar Malaysia will drive the growth of the property sector in Johor during the current global economic downturn. Real Estate & Housing Developers Association (REHDA) Johor branch chairman Lee Kim Chai concurred that Iskandar Malaysia was the driving force for the property market in Johor. He said the influx of local and foreign investors would create job opportunities within the 2,217 sq km Iskandar Malaysia and the presence of new residents boded well for the market in Johor. The retail sector in Iskandar Malaysia is set to enjoy exciting times with more investments and new players expected to enter the market in the near future according to a recent statement by the southern region representative of the Malaysian Association for Shopping & Highrise Complex Management (MASHCM) Jenny Chan. She said competition in the sector had become more intense in recent years. Five new shopping complexes and hypermarkets were opened in the 2nd half of 2008 in Iskandar Malaysia. They were viz., a) Tesco Extra Plentong, b) Sutera Mall, Danga City Mall, c) Tesco Tebrau City and d) AEON Bukit Indah. In two years’ time, it will be exciting for the southern region folks as it was reported that KSL City, Hilltop Nusajaya and Ponderosa Mall @ Taman Impian Emas will be opened in 2010. In the pipeline are Nusajaya Shopping Mall and also the expansion of the IOI Mall II at the existing IOI Bandar Putra Kulai.

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Bio-City

Ayer Keroh, Malacca

September 9, 2009

     It was reported in the local papers recently that the chief minister of Malacca Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam announced the proposed setting up of a RM450 million integrated biotherapeutics plant in Alor Gajah with the help of foreign investors that will soon boost the state significantly and to seal its position as a leading biotechnology state in the country.

     Malacca, which is a state rich in historical significance, may soon acquire a new fame as efforts to promote it as a preferred investment destination in areas like biotechnology and health tourism bear fruit. Malacca was a bustling metropolis way back in the 14th century teeming with countless merchants who hailed from Europe, China, the Arab states and Indian subcontinent, is now back as a very active modern player in Malaysia’s economic development. According to the chief minister, the state is experiencing record high foreign direct investments (FDIs) to-date. Some US$2 billion (RM7 billion) worth of investments have been received by Malacca so far this year in both biotechnology and manufacturing, slightly above what it attained between the years 2000 and 2007. The achievement had also surpassed the state target of RM3 billion worth of annual investments.

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Iskandar Malaysia

the Southern Development Corridor

August 17, 2009

     The Malaysian government has approved incentives for developers and investors involved in the development of the 2,217 sq km Iskandar Malaysia (formerly Iskandar Development Region) which was launched on 4th November 2006. Iskandar Malaysia, for the purpose of comparison, is about 48 times that of Putrajaya (46.19 sq km) and about 3 times the size of Singapore (739 sq km) and to-date, the project had achieved 70% (RM33billion) of the total target value and the prime minister’s department had said RM200million had already been allocated for the construction of affordable homes in Iskandar Malaysia. ‘Since its launching in 2006, there were more than 25 developers who had already invested in Iskandar Malaysia. In 2008, three local companies, a) Kota Selat Tebrau Sdn Bhd, b) Best Reality Point Sdn Bhd and c) Tune Hotels Sdn Bhd were selected to undertake new waterfront projects worth about RM540million within the Danga Bay area in Iskandar Malaysia.

     Kota Selat Tebrau will jointly develop Iskandar Malaysia’s first high-end service condominiums, known as the Oakwood Residence Johor with Singapore-based Oakwood Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. Oakwood Asia Pacific, a property management company, currently manages service apartments in India, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan and South Korea with nineteen other properties due to open over the next two years across the Asia-Pacific. The RM400million Oakwood Residence Johor comprises a 22-storey tower with 235 fully serviced units, two 40-storey towers which will be converted into service residences and a podium.

     There are high hopes that the retail sector in the 2,217 sq km Iskandar Malaysia is set to enjoy good times with more investments and the entry of new players to the region in the near future. The Malaysian Association for Shopping & Highrise Complex Management (MASHCM, southern region) said competition in the retail sector had become more intense in recent years. To-date, there were five new shopping complexes and hypermarkets that had opened in the 2nd half of 2008 in Iskandar Malaysia. They were

a) Tesco Extra Plentong

b) Sutera Mall

c) Danga City Mall

d) Tesco Tebrau City

e) AEON Bukit Indah.

     Year 2009 will see the opening of Ikea Tebrau City, Tesco Bukit Indah and Komtar (which is currently undergoing renovations). KSL City, Hilltop Nusajaya and Ponderosa Mall @ Taman Impian Emas will be opened in 2010. In the pipeline are Nusajaya Shopping Mall and the expansion of IOI Mall II at the existing IOI Bandar Putra Kulai by IOI Properties Bhd.

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THE MERITZ

JALAN MAYANG, KUALA LUMPUR

April 27, 2009

     Located within the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle, is the ultimate urban serviced residence. Developed by Wing Tai Holdings Ltd, The Meritz Kuala Lumpur is a high-end serviced apartment development sited along Jalan Mayang, Off Jalan Yap Kwan Seng in a very busy part of Kuala Lumpur city centre. In early 2007, the project was expected to generate a GDV of RM120 million from the sale of its 110 units. Construction work on the 31-storey glass-encased tower with 110 units was completed by end of 2007, 6 months ahead of schedule. The Meritz Kuala Lumpur was soft launched by its deputy chairman Edmund Cheng on 11th January 2007. Most of the units offer a panoramic view of the city’s enthralling skyline, which further enhances its spacious and chic feel. Food, entertainment, recreation facilities are all within easy reach of the residents of this project.

     Sales was good as 70% of the units had been sold before the official launch and the Singapore-based Wing Tai Holdings was satisfied with the warm response from the purchasing public. The development of the 0.75 acre freehold land, located not far from the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and the popular Suria KLCC Shopping Centre, was undertaken by its Malaysian subsidiary DNP Holdings Bhd. The serviced apartment units, with built-up of 1,100 sq ft to 1,500 sq ft, were priced from RM900,000 onwards. Currently, they are selling in the range from RM1,000,000 to RM1,250,000 a unit. Rental is in the range of RM8,000 to RM8,500 a month, inclusive of maintenance fee of RM0.25 psf per month.

     Properties in the neighbourhood of The Meritz Kuala Lumpur are international schools, hospitals and embassies, all within easy access with the convenience of an LRT station located nearby. Bintang Walk, the famous commercial district of Kuala Lumpur, is also accessible by the LRT. A variety of recreational facilities is available for residents at The Meritz. To rejuvenate your body and relax your senses, you have the invigorating sauna bath whilst the well-equipped gymnasium provides for a good workout. Perhaps, for those who are swimming or water enthusiasts, they can take a dip in the inviting pool. And for those who want to unwind after a hard day’s work, they can sit by the landscaped garden with hot coffee or tea. Other facilities within The Meritz Kuala Lumpur include 24-hour security, a jacuzzi, sauna, gymnasium, aerobic studio and an barbeque area.

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DANGA BAY

JOHOR

April 27, 2009

     Ekovest Bhd had, in July 2007, proposed to purchase the entire stake in Danga Bay Sdn Bhd and had signed a RM1.1 billion sale and purchase agreement with Credence Resources Sdn Bhd and DBSB for that purpose. The price tag of RM1.1 billion translated to roughly RM105 psf, which was substantially higher than the RM65 psf Aeon Co (M) Bhd paid for in February 2007 for a parcel of land in the 23,875-acre Bandar Nusajaya, Johor. The sale would be financed via the issuance of new shares and irredeemable convertible unsecured loan stocks of Ekovest Bhd. In relation to this, Ekovest had requested for the trading of its shares to be suspended temporarily pending the full announcement of the proposal. On 3rd July 2007, it closed 33 sen higher at RM3.04. At the time pending the sale & purchase agreement, the company was the project manager then of Danga Bay, an integrated mixed residential, recreational and commercial waterfront development in Johor Baru.

     It was reported in the local dailies that Ekovest Bhd would be launching the RM900 million worth of property on 240 acres of waterfront land in Danga Bay by end of 2007. The projects were RM330million Danga Island Villas and the RM536million Danga Bay Service Residence & Resort Hotel. Danga Island Villas comprises bungalows and villas whilst Danga Bay Residence comprises service residences and hotel, both of which are scheduled to be completed by end 2010 and 2011 respectively.

     The Danga Island Villas, located on 70 acres on an island, would comprise bungalows and waterfront villas, with a GDV of RM330million. The 152 villas, which come complete with private berths for yachts, of the Danga Island Villas project and located within Iskandar Malaysia, are priced between RM4 million and RM15 million each. Danga Island Villas managed to secure RM230 million (S$105 million) sales at the Cityscape international property show in Dubai in October 2008. The Danga Bay Service Residence & Resort Hotel would consist of three towers and a podium block with a total GDV of RM536million.

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Some projects planned under the 9th Malaysia Plan

(2006-2010)

February 12, 2009

     In a recent announcement made by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the Malaysian government has given a breakdown of the 880 projects worth RM15 billion (RM17.045 million on average) which is to be tendered under the first roll-out of the 9th Malaysia Plan (2006-2010). All the projects would be awarded through open tender and would be advertised soon.

Among the government-funded projects under the 9th MP are:
1

Low cost houses and flats in Penang.

2 Women’s shelter homes in Johor.
3 Vehicle testing complex & temporary storage of scheduled waste for the whole country. 4

Upgrading of Serdang Raya-Puchong-Sg Besi, Kapar-Sabak Bernam, Klang-Banting and Padang Besar-Bukit Kayu Hitam roads.

5

Upgrading of Ulu Tiram-Kota Tinggi road to four lanes, flyovers on Jalan Tampoi, Johor.

6 Upgrading Kuantan-Pekan coastal road.
7 Sabah river transport project 8

Disabled facilities for KTM commuter stations

9

Water supply projects in Pahang and Terengganu and Negeri Sembilan.

10 Non-revenue water reduction programmes in Terengganu and Sabah.
11

70 primary and 70 secondary schools.

12 Health clinics nationwide.
13

New facilities in Terengganu General Hospital and Pendang Hospital.

14 UPM veterinary faculty complex.
15 Upgrading and expansion of polytechnics nationwide. 16

Bukit Bunga customs, immigration and quarantine complex.

17

Malacca River CIQ complex.

18 13 new police stations nationwide.

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SENAI AIRPORT TERMINAL

SENAI, JOHOR DARUL TAKZIM

January 13, 2009

     It was reported that Senai Airport Terminal (SAT) Services Sdn Bhd had planned to invest some RM70million in the Senai Aero Mall project, which was considered to be Malaysia’s first stand-alone airport mall. The development of the Aero Mall will help Senai International Airport to become a logistics hub in 5 years’ time. The estimated retail space of the Aero Mall comprises some 40,000 sq ft whilst the total built-up area of the mall is approximately 100,000 sq ft. The Aero Mall was planned to be constructed on the existing open-air parking area and would be connected to the present airport terminal building. A new basement parking area would also be constructed to complement the building. The groundbreaking ceremony was carried out on 27th May 2008.

     Sources said SAT wanted to position the Aero Mall as the local area’s new lifestyle hub since shopping and dining at airports were no longer just for air travellers. It will comprise a hotel, a bank, a restaurant and entertainment facilities. The project is scheduled to be completed by December 2009. Currently, there are between 4,000 and 5,000 passengers using the Senai Airport which provides the active catchment for the existing 25 retailers at the airport terminal. Amongst the new mall’s outlets are Secret Recipe, Kyros Kebab, Chocz, SASA Hong Kong International, MPH Bookstore, KFC, Laksa, Shack, Starbucks, Nationwide and FedEx. At the same time, SAT is also launching the Senai Free Zone and Senai Aviation Park and these will create some 20,000 jobs for the locals. The Senai Free Zone is sprawled over an area of  80.94ha whilst the Senai Aviation Park covers 40.46ha. The Senai Free Zone will have a mixture of SME operators, warehouses and logistics companies that will handle cargo via the air cargo section of the airport. The Senai Aviation Park focuses on maintenance and repairs operations of smaller aircraft engines and avionics products like radios and meters.

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Seri Tanjung Pinang & Hill View Garden

PENANG

December 4, 2008

     Nestled on the north-eastern shores of Penang Island and on reclaimed land is the 980-acre integrated seafront mixed development project known as Seri Tanjung Pinang. Basically sited behind Island Plaza, Seri Tanjung Pinang, an upmarket waterfront development located at the Tanjong Tokong area in Penang, is being developed by E&O Bhd. Because it is an island, the land here comes with a premium. Although the island covers about 1,000 sq km in area, it offers a potpourri of all things that foreigners and locals enjoy.

     Soon sprawling seafront bungalows and manicured lawns are set to make a comeback in Penang, rekindling memories of a bygone colonial era when enclaves accommodating spacious mansions were once synonymous with the island’s good life and easy charm. What was once lost to the rapid high-rise developments of the last few decades has been planned to resurface a few minutes from the famed Gurney Drive, taking the form of the Seri Tanjung Pinang seafront bungalows on 240 acres of reclaimed land.

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PJ COMMERCIAL CITY

PETALING JAYA

October 15, 2008

     Developed around a 6-acre lake by developer PJCC Development Sdn Bhd, the 33-acre Petaling Jaya Commercial City (PJCC) is set to become a one-stop commercial centre in the rapidly changing skyline of Petaling Jaya south neighbourhood. The PJCC will have more than 2.9 million sq ft of commercial space when the commercial project is completed by 2014.

     According to PJCC Development general manager of sales Lee Wai Yen, the development, being modelled after the Mid Valley City, would be an integrated commercial hub which would attract a variety of business types. PJCC is sitting on the last sizeable parcel of prime land along the vibrant commercial belt that stretches from the Mid Valley to Bandar Sunway on the southern side of the Petaling Jaya city.

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ONE MENERUNG

Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur

September 2, 2008

     Developed on an elevated 9-acre site behind the existing Bangsar Shopping Complex is the RM600 million development known as One Menerung, which consists of 6 blocks, viz., three towers and three low-rise blocks. Basically, the six blocks comprise a 28-storey block with a 6-storey annexe (Block A), two 21-storey blocks (Block C and D), a 2-storey block consisting of 16 units (Block B) and two 3-storey blocks comprising 12 units (Blocks E and F).

     One Menerung has 229 units and was soft-launched in November 2006, and officially opened for sale on 1st December 2006. To-date, it has recorded about 70% sales. Completion of the project is scheduled to be in December 2009. Built-up area range from 3,200 sq ft to 4,300 sq ft and the lowest price tag was RM2.59 million while the most expensive was RM10.29 million, reflecting a price range from RM810 psf to RM2,393 psf. Prices of similar types of condos in the vicinity were selling at between RM650 psf to RM700 psf.

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i-City - the Premier Information Technology Hub

Section 7 Shah Alam, SELANGOR

August 6, 2008

     I-Bhd chairman Datuk Lim Kim Hong, is confident that i-City will succeed and he has strong reasons to back his claim as he had engaged world-renowned architect and master planner, Jon A. Jerde, to be the project architect in a well-established location such as in Section 7, Shah Alam, Selangor. Jon A. Jerde is the person behind some of the most acclaimed architectural landmarks in the US and Japan such as the Mall of America and Universal CityWalk, Freemont Street Experience (US), Roppongi Hills (Japan) and The Arcade @ Cyberport (Hong Kong). Shah Alam has a population of about 470,000 and has an annual population growth rate of 3.0%. Based on a growth rate of 3% per annum, Shah Alam is expected to grow to 500,000 by 2010.

     i-City is also designated as the premier information communications technology hub for Selangor and endorsed by the Tourism Ministry as a tourist destination. To back its claim, I-Bhd, the developer, announced that it was investing RM40 million in an integrated light and sound multimedia technology for i-City’s CityWalk. The technology will give visitors a unique experience of a lifetime as it will activate the three human senses of sight, hearing and smell. It is one of the many innovations that the company will be introducing over the eight to ten years period to develop i-City.

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KEPONG SENTRAL CONDOMINIUM DEVELOPMENT

SELANGOR

Jun 6, 2008

     Mega Mall Development Sdn Bhd, the developer of Kepong Sentral is offering a 10% discount for the 150 units of condominiums in its 2nd Phase of Kepong Sentral condominiums which were launched on 15th December 2007. The developer says the 648-unit 3-block condominiums represented the last phase of the leasehold Kepong Sentral project which is sited off Jalan Kepong. 

     The main advantages of the project are its accessibility and proximity to the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Kepong LRT station. There are also two blocks of medium, low-medium cost apartments and 4-storey shop apartments in the development. The condominiums are priced from RM176,800 to RM250,800 a unit and a maintenance fee of 16.5 sen per sq ft is levied as provision for the sinking fund. The condominiums have a built-up area of 962 sq ft to 1,098 sq ft and each comes with a car parking bay. There are also units for rent to the public and rental rates are in the region of RM800 to RM1,000 a month.

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THE KUALA LUMPUR OFFICE MARKET

KUALA LUMPUR

April 28, 2008

     The Kuala Lumpur office market is robust and is experiencing increasing demand for Grade A offices with the expansion of the services sector particularly in the oil and gas, information technology and financial services sectors. With the market poised to improve in terms of rents and capital values, investment in this sector for 2008 is strong with investor funds coming from countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. These foreign funds seek to invest in Grade A offices while a few are even participating in office developments around Kuala Lumpur City through partnership with local developers. Currently, newly launched office projects in prime locations in the city incorporating green technologies for energy-saving and modern architecture are raising industry standards to meet international expectations.

Supply And Demand

     Total supply of office space in Kuala Lumpur city currently stands at 39 million sq ft with no major new offices completed in the first half of 2007. In the Central Business District, CapSquare’s signature offices are waiting to receive their Certificate of Fitness for Occupation. The signature offices comprise four blocks of low-rise offices totalling over 150,000 sq ft of net space. The limited supply and growing demand has also triggered a new cycle of office developments.

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ISKANDAR MALAYSIA FORMERLY ISKANDAR DEVELOPMENT REGION

JOHORE

April 16, 2008

     The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi recently announced that the Cabinet has approved incentives for developers and investors involved in the development of the 2,217 sq km Iskandar Malaysia (formerly Iskandar Development Region) which was launched on 4th November 2006. For the purpose of comparison of size, Iskandar Malaysia is about 48 times that of Putrajaya (46.19 sq km) and about 3 times the size of Singapore (739 sq km).

     It was also reported in the news recently that the Iskandar Malaysia (formerly Iskandar Development Region) project would not be diminished, instead the Federal Government was committed to make it a success in this part of Peninsular Malaysia. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was reportedly pleased to see the inflow of investments into the project which was on track to achieve the estimated target of RM47billion by 2010. So far, the project had achieved 70% (RM33billion) of the total target value and the prime minister’s department had said RM200million had already been allocated for the construction of affordable homes in Iskandar Malaysia. Over the past one year, there were more than 25 developers who had invested in Iskandar Malaysia.

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The 9th Malaysia Plan (2006-2010) The booster for Economic Development

IN MALAYSIA

March 05, 2008

     Under the 9th MP (2006-2010), the government will implement numerous programmes to support the expansion of businesses, which in turn, will improve the standard of living of the people. The government wants to move the economy up the value chain and the country needs to employ more skills to produce goods and services of higher value as wage costs have increased and there is currently stiff competition from low-cost countries such as China, India and Vietnam.
 

 

     In the services industry, the government observed that it is concentrated mainly in the Klang Valley, and it intended to expand it to other locations such as in Johor under the South Johor Economic Region plan now known as the Iskandar Development Region. The services sector will have its own support funds to be set up later, such as the Export Services Fund and SME Export Services Fund.

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ISKANDAR DEVELOPMENT REGION a.k.a. (I.D.R.) (PART 2)

JOHOR

February 14, 2008

     Under a proposed master plan spanning a period of 15 years, the RM19.2billion Danga Bay project will be turned into an integrated waterfront city within the Iskandar Development Region. The development of two new components, Sanctuary Villas and Danga Bay Service Residence & Resort Hotel had also taken off in October and November 2007.

     The RM330million Sanctuary Villas, located on 70 acres on an island, will comprise bungalows and waterfront villas. The RM536million Danga Bay Service Residence & Resort Hotel will consist of three towers and a podium block and Ekovest Bhd is confident the project will bring in a return of about 35% based on their feasibility study.

     Danga Bay is linked to all major highways such as the Skudai Highway and North South Expressway, and the Coastal Highway, which also links it to Bandar Nusajaya. To date, Ekovest Bhd has already put in construction works amounting to RM479million in the Danga Bay development.

     In another development, SP Setia Bhd had purchased 948.7 acres of freehold land in Pulai, a township that falls well within the IDR, for RM227.3 million or RM5.50psf.

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ISKANDAR DEVELOPMENT REGION a.k.a. (I.D.R.) (PART 1)

JOHOR

January 29, 2008

     The 2,217 sq km Iskandar Development Region or IDR, about 48 times that of Putrajaya (46.19 sq km) and about 3 times the size of Singapore (739 sq km), was launched on 4th November 2006. Recently the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has launched a book detailing the incentive packages for the IDR. The incentives include the following.

 - a 10-year income tax exemption on income from the disposal of any right in or over land within the approved node,

 - income tax exemption up to 2020 on income from rental or sale of buildings within the node,

 - tax exemption on payments made to non-residents for services, interest and royalties up to 31st December 2015,

 - free access to human capital for certain qualified investors,

     The Prime Minister has also reassured that managers working with approved developers would be entitled to income tax exemption for management, supervisory and marketing services until 2020 and would also be given exemption from withholding tax on payments made to non-residents for services until 31st December 2015. He also mentioned a total of RM40billion will be needed over the next five years from 2007 to fully develop the IDR and to-date, the region has attracted RM4.1billion worth of investments. The planning for Node 1 is going on well and by Q1 2008, some of the projects can be implemented. Locals who are investing in 6 key service sectors, viz.

a) creative

b) educational

c) financial advisory and consulting

d) healthcare

e) logistics
f) tourism have been assured they will be permitted to enjoy incentive and support packages.

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The Pavilion

Kuala Lumpur

January 02, 2008

     The RM3-billion Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, sited on the former Bukit Bintang Girls’ School land measuring 12.6-acres, was open for business in September 2007. The Pavilion Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia's newest shopping mall which will carry the pride of the country. It will be the next retail success in the Bukit Bintang area besides Starhill, Lot 10, Sungai Wang Plaza and Bukit Bintang Plaza. It is designed to be a premium mixed urban development comprising office blocks, a shopping mall, a hotel and a residential component.

     Pavilion KL is the anchor of a world-class urban development comprising two luxury residential towers, a corporate office block, and a proposed “6-star” boutique hotel that together adds up to a total gross floor area of 3.68 million sq ft. The large airy premises framed with high ceilings and wide corridors will make shopping at Pavilion KL a relaxing and pleasurable experience.

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1 BORNEO HYPERMALL

KOTA KINABALU, SABAH

November 29, 2007

     Sited on a 23ha site along Jalan Sulaman in the heart of Kota Kinabalu and set to be completed in March 2008, the RM1billion “1 Borneo Hypermall” will be the biggest shopping complex on the island of Borneo. A joint-development project between Warisan Harta Sabah Sdn Bhd (developer), Sagajuta (Sabah) Sdn Bhd (developer) and United Sabah Islamic Association (landowner), the 1.5million sq ft shopping mall boasts shopping, leisure and dining outlets besides containing a deluxe hotel, a specialist medical centre and a private college. The 600 retail outlets within the building is spread across four floors. Kota Kinabalu, with a population of 468,700 people (2004 figures), will provide the catchment for its retail business when it is opened to the public in March next year. However, the management says they are targetting about 800,000 people from in and around Kota Kinabalu and within a 20-km radius of it. Sagajuta managing director Raymond Chan said he was targeting 50,000 visitors daily on weekdays and 70,000 on weekends when 1 Borneo opens.

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BUDGET 2008 AT A GLANCE

October 30, 2007

     It was announced by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in his Budget Speech on 7th September 2007 recently that corporate tax would be further reduced to 25% for 2009 from 28% in 2006, 27% in 2007 and 26% in 2008. The purpose of this exercise was to enhance the country’s economic competitiveness and to spur the growth of private investments. In addition, the government would implement a single-tier tax system, effective from year of assessment 2008 in which commercial profits would only be taxed at the company level and dividends received would be tax-exempted. Although there was a reduction in corporate tax rates, Malaysia’s tax regime was still not among the lowest in the Asean region where tax rates in Hong Kong and Singapore were in the mid-tens.

     Therefore the tax reduction announced in September 2007 was an encouraging step by the Malaysian government in the right direction and there was still room to further cut taxes in the coming years. On a macro level and in addition to cutting the corporate tax, the government also proposed to simplify the issuance of work permits and visas for foreign skilled-workers who intended to work in Malaysia so that multinational companies could draw on the adequate supply of expertise and talents for their commercial and industrial activities in Malaysia. When taxes are reduced, costs of production are indirectly reduced, thus making it conducive and profitable for foreign investors to do business in Malaysia. And, to tap funds from the Middle East, the Malaysian government will be issuing three new licences to leading stock-broking firms that are able to source and intermediate business and facilitate fund inflows from the Gulf countries. These licences will than enable them to set up Islamic stock-broking companies that will have tax incentives incorporated therein.

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PETALING JAYA

One Utama Shopping Centre & THE CURVE

October 4, 2007

     The ever popular One Utama Shopping Centre, located off the Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP) opposite Taman Tun Dr Ismail and adjoining to Damansara Utama, is one of the hottest shopping malls in Petaling Jaya. Opened for business in 1995, the 186,000-sq metre retail mall has emerged as the mega shopping mall for Petaling Jaya residents. During the weekends or public holidays, the shopping centre is thronged by people from all walks of life, from the urban population comprising office workers, corporate leaders or students from the local colleges and centres of higher education.

     The second phase of the shopping mall, completed in 2003 with 279,000 sq metres of retail space had added to the total retail floor area of 465,000 sq metres. The old phase had Jaya Jusco as its anchor tenant and had 250 shops and the TGV (Tanjong Golden Village) cinema chain. The new phase has 400 shops with U Parkson and Giant Fresh Supermarket as the anchor tenants. The extended family also includes various renowned international boutiques that have opened their first signature stores in the country. These include retailers such as Sisley, Tommy Hilfiger, Kenneth Cole, Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers. For those who are health-conscious, there is also a new concept fitness centre called Celebrity Fitness.

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PENANG

New Developments in Penang

September 10, 2007

(A) Penang Monorail Project

     Penang, supposedly located within the government’s NCER (Northern Corridor Economic Region), is in the limelight again this time because of potential spin-offs from the implementation of the NCER programme under the 9th MP (Malaysia Plan 2006-2010).

     Under the government’s NCER programme, the Penang Monorail and Penang 2nd Bridge projects are two of the most significant projects in this part of Peninsular Malaysia. The Universiti Sains Malaysia Institute of Graduate Studies (USM-IGS) deputy dean Associate Professor Dr Ambigapathy Pandian opined that Penang can become the region’s educational hub if it can improve its accessibility manifold by the construction of the Penang Monorail and the Second Bridge.

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