Chinese consortium may bag Gemas-JB double-track railway job
A Chinese consortium, led by China Railway Construction Corp Ltd (CRCC), is said to be in the last stages of negotiations to be awarded the RM8 billion double-tracking railway line project, which spans the final stretch of the rail track from Gemas to Johor Baru. A source said that CRCC’s proposal gained traction after offering to fund the construction of the track, after many years of delay surrounding the project. A local company will likely partner the CRCC consortium, but details have yet to be ironed out. (DigitalEdge Daily, pg 3)

Ringgit trading between 3.80 and 3.90 until year end
Based on its average house forecast, RAM Rating Services expects the ringgit to trade between 3.80 and 3.90 against the US dollar until the end of the year. The ringgit is currently affected by uncertainties surrounding the US Federal Reserve’s potential interest rate increase in September, slump in oil prices, and investor concerns on external and domestic developments. (The Edge Markets)

Gated and guarded communities must comply with law
The Department of Town and Country Planning of Peninsular Malaysia (JPBD) has said that guarded and gated community schemes established by resident associations (Ras) have to comply with their guidelines, as approved by the cabinet in 2010. Currently, most of such schemes were created based on residents’ consensus and not according to provisions of the law. The community needs to understand that these are only set up in areas with high crime rates to curb crime and protect their safety, and the JPBD has a system of monitoring to identify such areas and reduce crime. (The Malaysian Insider)

Secretariat to take down illegal advertisers
Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has formed a secretariat to rid the city of illegal advertisements, working with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and telecommunication companies to identify culprits for strict action. A task force will ensure illegal advertisements are taken down, and telephone numbers displayed on them will be forwarded to MCMC for termination. Owners of the numbers will also be blacklisted beginning this month. Companies such as real estate agencies are advised to warn their agents to abide by the law and not post illegal advertisements, as their licences may be terminated if found guilty. (The Malaysian Insider)

OSK Holdings offer for PJ Development becomes mandatory
The voluntary takeover offer for PH Development Bhd (PJD) by OSK Holdings Bhd has become mandatory, as its shares in the property and construction firm has exceeded 33%. The mandatory general offer (MGO) for PJD shares follows OSK Holdings’ notice of unconditional mandatory takeover for OSK Property last month. In addition to property and construction, PJD is also involved in manufacturing and hotel management focusing on the Swiss-Garden brand. (The Star Online)

Plans for new British Council school in Kuala Lumpur
There are plans for the establishment of a new British Council School in Kuala Lumpur, as part of the launch of a Year of Education between the UK and Malaysia in 2016. On July 30, a memorandum of understanding between the British Council and property developer YTL Land & Development Bhd was signed to develop plans to establish a new international school in Sentul West, Kuala Lumpur. The British Council currently runs one school in Madrid, Spain. (The Financial)

pullmanPrince Hotel taken over by Pullman brand
The new Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre Hotel & Residences was officially relaunched on August 1, making it the fourth Pullman brand hotel in Malaysia and the second one in Kuala Lumpur. The former Prince Hotel & Residence Kuala Lumpur has been taken over by Accor and rebranded under the Pullman group. It will undergo a full refurbishment over the next two years but will remain open throughout the renovation. (Travel Daily Media)

Fishermen income affected by Penang land reclamation
Fishermen in Tanjong Tokong have claimed that the land reclamation works for Phase 2 of the Seri Tanjong Pinang development project has affected their income. Their representative has requested the Penang state government to intervene, as the large housing project has infringed on their fishing area, causing them to have to go further out to sea and increasing their cost of operation. In addition, the project would also have an impact on the aquatic ecosystem leading to reduced catch. (Free Malaysia Today)