Schools in several states closed due to severe haze
Schools located in several haze-affected areas will be closed starting today (Tuesday), as the haze situation worsened around Malaysia. All schools in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, Negri Sembilan and Malacca are to be closed. The Education Ministry has ordered schools to close in any areas where API readings exceed 200. (New Straits Times Online)

Homeowners turn to dual-key residences for living and rental
An article by the Malay Mail Online reported that dual-key condominiums have become increasingly popular among buyers since 2011, and now accounts for about 10% of new property projects in Kuala Lumpur. A homeowner in his late 20’s said that he chose the dual-key concept because it gives him privacy while allowing him to make money by renting out a section, which is enough to cover a portion of his monthly home loan repayment. In the current economy, people face difficulty in owning a property, but the dual-key concept allows them to earn rental income while staying under one roof. With this concept, buyers can also stay with their families yet have enough privacy, or convert the smaller ‘portion’ into a studio or workspace. (The Malay Mail Online)

Oversupply of retail space in Penang
Penang’s retail space glut is expected to worsen in the next five years with the addition of new malls and complexes totalling 7.6 million sq ft to the market. Savills Malaysia said that current retail space per capita is 6.11 sq ft in the state and 9.58 sq ft on the island, with anything over 5 sq ft is oversupply. With the addition of 7.6 million sq ft, the retail space per capital will double, worsening the present oversupply. Global share market meltdown and weakening ringgit would put pressure on rentals, popular malls would experience a lower rate of increase, and new malls would face challenges sustaining business. (Malaysia Chronicle)

Perak in no rush to adopt waste separation law
Perak will not rush to sign and adopt the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Act, as the state government is still evaluating the proposal and would only sign when it was satisfied with the details, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir. The act will effectively privatise solid waste collection, and negotiations have been ongoing for four years. The Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) have been carrying out pilot projects in several areas and required to present their findings to the state government. Perak is one of the last few states to adopt the waste separation law, which was implemented starting Sept 1. (The Malay Mail Online)

Photo from DigitalEdge

Photo from DigitalEdge

RM5bil Cititower project in KLCC taking shape
The RM5 billion Cititower project in Kuala Lumpur’s city centre by Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas) wholly-owned subsidiary, KLCC Holdings Sdn Bhd, and its partner Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co have attracted a number of large construction players in the country. The development will be on a 1.6ha plot located between Suria KLCC and the Asy-Syakirin mosque, and construction will comprise a nine-storey retail podium, 59-storey hotel, 80-storey office tower, linkway to Suria KLCC, a ramp in Jalan Ampang and landscaping works, among others. The request for expressions of interest noted that the project would start in the first quarter of 2016, with piling work already begun on the site. (The Edge Markets)

Mudajaya bags RM489mil Petronas Rapid contract
Mudajaya Group Bhd has won a RM489 million contract to build a workers village and temporary construction facilities for utilities, interconnecting and off-site (UIO) facilities for Petronas’ Rapid project in Pengerang, Johor. Mudajaya Corp, its wholly-owned subsidiary, will undertake the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) project. The EPCC works are targeted to be completed by May 13, 2017. (The Star Online)

Genting eyes investment in Cambodia
During a meeting with Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen, Genting Group executive chairman Lim Kok Thay had expressed the conglomerate’s interest to explore investment opportunities for an integrated resort, agriculture and energy in Cambodia. The prime minister recommended investing an integrated resort in Dara Sakor coastal area as it had high potential for tourism, and also suggested Lim to invest in processing factories for Cambodian agricultural products, particularly rice and rubber. (Khmer Times)