Ringgit sinks below 3 to Singapore dollar for first time
The Malaysian ringgit fell below 3 against the Singapore dollar for the first time ever, while tumbling to a 17-year low of 4.26 against the US dollar this morning. The ringgit has weakened 18% for the year, making it the worst performer in Asia, as a drop in crude oil prices coincide with a political scandals within the country. (The Straits Times Singapore)

Special agency proposed for monitoring construction of affordable housing
The government has proposed setting up a special agency to monitor the construction of affordable housing and the People’s Housing Project (PPR), which is expected to be brought up to the National Housing Council Meeting last Friday. The agency aims to standardise the role between federal and state government on the issue of housing, and will be monitored by the Housing and Local Government Minister, the ministry’s secretary-general, and board of directors comprising experts from construction, property and housing agencies in public and private sectors. Demand for residential property is expected to slow further in 2015, and the government and private sector should work closely together to overcome the challenges in property and housing. (The Sun Daily)

Johor’s Eastern Gate the next Iskandar growth centre
Consultant firm Khalil Adis Consultancy Pte Ltd said that the Eastern Gate Development Zone will be the next growth centre in Johor’s Iskandar region, offering good prospects for developers and investors. Its close proximity to the upcoming Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex would help boost demand for properties in the zone, while prices averaging RM200,000 to RM300,000 for residential properties there are still affordable to most first-time buyers. (The Star Online)

IT project manager wins RM1 million The Edge-Mah Sing challenge
A 32-year old IT project manager, Brian Lim Choon Wah, defeated 20 other finalists to win the grand prize of a RM1 million cash voucher to purchase a Mah Sing residential property in The Edge-Mah Sing Millionaire Challenge on Saturday. The challenge consisted of games that tested the finalists’ strength and skill, which was held at Mah Sing Group’s Southville City sales gallery in Bangi. (The Malaysian Insider)

Residents fail to save Kepong green lung
Despite objections from Taman Fortune residents in Kepong, City Hall is not reversing its decision to build affordable housing on Kepong’s only green lung, as the land was already identified and slated for development. The development, which includes six blocks of 41- and 45-storey apartments and 35 shop lots, is in line with City Hall’s target of building 50,000 affordable housing units. Residents of the area attempted to stop the project as the land was the only green lung in their neighbourhood. (The Malaysian Insider)

Jcorp plans RM3bil township project in Kota Tinggi next year
State investment firm Johor Corp (Jcorp) will begin development for a multi-billion ringgit township and an industrial park in Kota Tinggi, Johor next year .The two projects will cater to the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC), which will need a large scale housing scheme and industrial park with support services for oil and gas (O&G) related activities. The gross development value is estimated at RM3 billion and built on 4,046ha of land. The projects are expected to start next year and take 10 to 15 years to complete. (The Star Online)

Oriental Interest to launch RM671mil mixed development in Kedah
Property developer Oriental Interest Bhd and Dijaya Gemilang Sdn Bhd (DGSB) will jointly undertake a mixed development project in Sg Petani, Kedah, with a gross development (GDV) of RM671 million. The 437,140-sq meter piece of freehold land is owned by DGSB, and will comprise residential and commercial buildings known as Permaiputra. (The Edge Markets)

SP Setia launching RM350mil residential development in Penang
SP Setia Bhd will launch a 9-acre freehold residential development in Penang with GDV of RM350 million, comprising apartments averaging 1,100 sq ft ranging from RM800,000 to RM1mil per unit. (The Star Online)

Ministry to help repair fire-damaged homes, homes of poor
Under the My Beautiful Neighbourhood programme by the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry, restoration works for homes damaged by fires will be extended to include repairs for dilapidated homes of the poor which are in shoddy condition and pose a safety hazard. The repair works are conducted by agencies such as the Fire and Rescue Department. (New Straits Times Online)