MARA will sell Aus properties if profitable
MARA chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa has said that the agency is willing to sell off the controversial properties in Australia if the deal was profitable, despite ongoing investigations into the matter. He said that the properties were part of an investment plan, and selling off Dudley International House in Melbourne now would allow them to gain profit. The sale of the property would not adversely affect the Malaysian students staying there, as Malaysian occupancy was currently only at 30%. (The Malay Mail Online)

Penang to freeze land transaction related to 1MDB
The Penang state executive council has issued instructions to freeze any transaction involving land belonging to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), specifically those said to be sold for development projects in Air Itam. 1MDB is reported to own a 94.7-hectare site in Air Itam, and had announced earlier this year that it had plans to monetise the land through joint venture or outright sale. (

Toll hikes to better absorb financing costs
The Association of Highway Concessionaires Malaysia (PSKLM) has stated that the scheduled toll rate increase will give concessionaires the flexibility to better absorb rising financing, maintenance costs, and service charges. The decision was based on agreements between the government, toll operators and financers. According to a Malaysian Highway Authority study, about 75% of tolls collected went towards repaying debts, while 20% is spent on maintenance and overheads, and the remaining goes to management, shareholder returns, upgrades, etc. (Free Malaysia Today)

MRCB and DRB-Hicom partners for RM310mil ICQS job
Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) has partnered with DRB-Hicom Bhd in a joint venture (JV) to undertake construction work worth RM310 million at the new integrated Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) complex at Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah. The main contract of designing and building the had been awarded to another JV company in 2012, which in tern awarded the construction jobs to MRCB and DRB-Hicom yesterday. There is no mention of a timeline for the project yet. (The Star Online)

Magna Prima evaluating offers for its land
Magna Prima Bhd is in the process of evaluating offers it has received for its prime land in the Klang Valley. The group currently has over 30 acres of prime land bank in Shah Alam, Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya. It may reconsider selling some tracts depending on which land it sells first and market outlook. The move to dispose of the land is due to the uncertain economic outlook, as well as to diversify its revenue stream to be less dependent on property development. (The Malaysian Insider)

Meda Inc cancels RM31.7mil land acquisition in Hulu Langat
Property developer Meda Inc has aborted its planned acquisition of a freehold land worth RM31.7 million in Hulu Langat, Selangor. The company filed a termination of the sale and purchase agreement for the 3.9-ha land in Tempat Sungai Sekamat in Cheras, which it had planned to build condominiums with Global Jubilee Sdn Bhd. (The Edge Markets)

Berjaya Land sees stable luxury housing market in Penang
Berjaya Land Bhd is confident that the market for luxury housing in Penang is stable, as long as developers come out with the right product to suit demand. The statement comes after reports show that 40% of its phase one Jesselton Villas bungalow lots at the Penang Turf Club (PTC) had already been sold. Construction for the infrastructure will begin in Q4 of 2015, and will take a year to complete. There are two more phases of the Jesselton Villas that have yet to be named. (The Star Online)

Electric buses to start Melaka operations in August
Two units of electric buses will start operating in Melaka in early August, and will serve the UNESCO world heritage site around Banda Hilir. The ‘hop on hop off’ buses will hopefully ease traffic flow in the tourist belt, as well as reduce air and sound pollution. This will be the first time electrice buses are used on Malaysia public roads. Ticket prices have yet to be finalised, but riders can use a day pass at a fixed price. 38 more buses will be added in stages from early next year. (Paul Tan’s Automotive News)

One of the electric buses that will be used in Melaka (Photo from Paul Tan's Automotive News)

One of the electric buses that will be used in Melaka (Photo from Paul Tan’s Automotive News)