RM2.6 billion donor interviewed by MACC
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has confirmed that a team of its officers has interviewed the donor of the RM2.6 billion deposited into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts, according to an article by the New Straits Times. MACC investigations division director Datuk Azam Baki was quoted as saying that the meeting with the donor was held recently in the Middle East, but did not reveal details on the person’s identity. Investigations into the case are still ongoing, and the findings will be haded to the Deputy Public Prosecutor when completed, who will decide on the next course of action. Azam also said the leakage of information on social media regarding his officers going to the Middle East would be investigated. Najib has been repeatedly criticised over the donation, and failed to turn up last week at the Dewan Rakyat where he was supposed to anwer questions about the money. (The Malaysian Insider)

RM5mil renovation for Mamee Jonker House at Unesco Heritage site
A heritage Dutch colonial building at Jalan Hang Jebat in Malacca has been converted into a unique retail and beverage outlet by popular snack company Mamee Double-Decker. The Mamee Jonker House cost RM5 million to renovate, and is located in the middle of the Unesco Heritage site. The company bought the 17th century structure in 2013, and decided to create a cosy outlet with Dutch architecture for its customers. The Mamee Jonker House not only shows visitors the history of the brand, but also has a section for children to make instant noodles, and a merchandise store. Mamee Double-Decker celebrated its 45th anniversary with MJH as its new attraction. (The Star Online)

One of the block of flats under construction in Pulau Redang. (NSTP/ADRIAN DAVID)

One of the block of flats under construction in Pulau Redang. (NSTP/ADRIAN DAVID)

Low-cost flats planned for Pulau Redang
160 units of affordable flats are being constructed in Pulau Redang, making it the biggest housing project on the island. RM28.5 million has been allocated to construct four blocks of 5-storey flats for the low-income group. Each flat will be sold at a subsidised price of RM120,000 and will feature three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Some of the present homes are cramped and dilapidated, occupied by three or four extended families as they are unable to purchase their own homes. Construction is slow-going as building materials have to be shipped from the mainland, but the project is expected to be complete towards the end of next year. (New Straits Times Online)

RM125mil Ampang mid-rise project completed
The Resident@Ampang South, a RM125 million mid-rise residential project located in Taman Muda, Ampang by property developer OCR Noble Land (The Resident) Sdn Bhd, has been completed. Despite the challenging property market, the low-density development achieved a take-up rate of 85% of its 180 units across three towers. According to OCR, the development’s accessibility and convenient amenities were features that attracted its buyers, and helped solidify its presence in Ampang’s property market. The Resident@Ampang South is located adjacent to the Kuala Lumpur Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) and has a view of the KL skyline as well as the Ampang Forest Reserve. (The Star Online)

Instacom bags RM116mil housing job in Gombak
Instacom Group Berhad has been awarded a RM116.4 million contract to construct a gated community housing scheme in Gombak, Selangor. Its subsidiary, Vivocom Enterprise Sdn Bhd, received the contract from CRCC Malaysia Bhd for construction works for a gated community housing scheme comprising semi-d units, villa mansions, apartment block and housing units under the Rumah Selangorku scheme in Bandar Ulu Klang, Gombak. The project is in addition to contracts amounting to RM231 million from CRCC last month. The project is set to commence on Jan 18, 2016 and completed within 18 months. (The Malaysian Insider)

Affordable housing is scarce in Kelantan
Housing for the lower-income group is a big problem is all states, and Kelantan is no exception. Public housing or affordable homes under RM100,000 is in short supply in the state. In 2013, it was said that between 1,000 and 5,000 units of low-cost and affordable houses would be built within the next 5 years. However, the truth is that such projects are few, and the several that were planned were slow to take off or even discarded. That is not to say there are no successful projects, but most of these are outside Kota Baru due to cheaper land and costs. Meanwhile, in Gua Musang, a PPR1M housing project consisting of 1,000 units was completed more than two years ago but has yet to be given to successful applicants. (New Straits Times Online)

20% of local public universities income from real estate by 2020
By the year 2020, 20% of local public universities’ income would be earned from real estate, said Higher Education Ministry Secretary General, Dr Zaini Ujang. With this scenario, public universities were required to improve their hostel conditions and other facilities. Students would have to pay based on hostel facilities provided, from RM40 or up to hundreds per month. He cited the University of Newcastle in Australia, which earned 40% of its income through property rental, adding that it should be the target for Malaysian public universities in the long term. “Fees for hostel and other real estate services can be increased, but raising tuition fees is political suicide. Post-graduate fees though, may be increased,” he said. The Deputy Prime Minister recently reiterated the government’s pledge to not increase fees of undergraduate courses, despite the reduced budget allocation in the 2016 Budget. (Free Malaysia Today)