Access to Sarawak Report website blocked
Access to London-based whistleblower website Sarawak Report has been temporarily blocked by the Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), citing violation of national law as the reason. MCMC said in a press release that it has received complaints from the public that the information published on the website has not been verified and pending investigations, and also urged people to be cautious when sharing information on social media. (Malaysiakini)

Hua Yang eyes Sabah land
Property developer Hua Yang Bhd is keen to expand its property sector into Sabah, but is hampered by land availability. The company said that it has been in talks to secure land in Kota Kinabalu, but faced concerns of availability of land, price, land codes and regulatory issues. The group does not discount joint venture projects but prefers to do it alone as it will have control over most things. The property market saw a slow-down earlier this year but is expected to improve in the second half of the year. (Daily Express)

Last green lung in KL under threat
Bukit Kiara, one of Kuala Lumpur’s most popular walking and biking spots, is now under threat by the actions of property developers. In 2006, the Cabinet announced that it would be turned into a public “federal” park, but there has been no action by the National Landscape Department (JLN) so far. Developers working on private land around the park have put up fences which fail to preserve the green lung, residents struggle with traffic jams from TTDI to Mont Kiara, and dust from the MRT line construction pollute the park’s environment. Observers and eco-conservationists have noted that much of the destruction was done without permits. (The Malaysian Insider)

A perimeter fence at Bukit Kiara park (Photo from KLMBH)

A perimeter fence at Bukit Kiara park (Photo from KLMBH)

Gamuda, IJM, E&O top buys for exposure to Penang
Gamuda, IJM Corp and Eastern and Oriental (E&O) have been listed as top Buys for infrastructure and property exposure to Penang, according to Affin Hwang Capital Research. Penang has been forging ahead with public-private partnership (PPP) development projects, with the state government pushing economy by encouraging knowledge-intensive and innovative manufacturing and services. (The Star Online)

Halex plans two-call rights issue to acquire property company
Agrochemical and disposable healthcare products manufacturer Halex Holdings Bhd has changed its cash call to renounceable two-call rights issue to raise RM40 million, most of which will be used for stake acquisition in a property company. The company will channel RM17.17mil to acquire 75% in property development company Kensington Development Sdn Bhd, RM3mil to acquire an office building in KL or Selangor, while the remaining will be used to settle shareholder’s loan and other liabilities, working capital, expansion of its Halex Woolton operations, and corportate expenses. (DealStreetAsia)

New development in London marketed to Malaysians
UK developer Berkeley Group is launching its landmark South Quay Plaza in September, a two-tower residential project located in the Canary Wharf, East London. The area used to be a financial hub, but in recent years has matured into a mixed-use area. The arrival o the high-speed rail link Crossrail would significantly improve the connectivity of Canary Wharf to other parts of London. JLL Property Services (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, the local marketing agent for the development, expects appreciation of 37% for the project over the next five years. (The Star Online)

Abandoned houses used by drug addicts
Drug addicts are using abandoned houses in Skudai, Johor Baru as their hideout and rubbish dumping ground, which are causing concern to residents in the area. One resident reported that his house has been burgled three times since 2010, with the abandoned house next to his unit now used by drug addicts, while other residents have reported similar safety concerns. The Johor Baru Sentral Municipal Council have been requested to take action against owners of the abandoned houses. (The Sun Daily)