Ekovest bags RM3.7bil Setiawangsa-Pantai Expressway project
Ekovest Bhd has been awarded the concession for the construction and management of the RM3.74 billion Setiawangsa-Pantai Expressway (formerly known as DUKE phase 3). Its wholly-owned subsidiary Lebuhraya DUKE Fasa 3 Sdn Bhd has signed the agreement with the government, which has a concession period of 53 years and 6 months. The proposed alignment of the 35km expressway will span north to south of Kuala Lumpur, serving areas such as University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Wangsa Maju, Setiawangsa, Ampang, the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) and Bandar Malaysia development corridor and Kerinchi. It will be the first expressway in Malaysia designed to cater for full electronic tolling system and multi-lane free flow system upon its completion in 2020. (The Malaysian Insider)

Ringgit falls to RM4.407 against US$ after Moody’s downgrade
The Malaysian ringgit weakened 0.5% to 4.407 against the US dollar as of yesterday, following a downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service from positive to stable. It fell as much as 0.8% in the morning, after muted Chinese inflation data added to risk aversion across emerging markets. Malaysia is Asia’s only major net oil exporter, and the local currency is under pressure from a slump in crude oil prices, which is trading at its lowest level in 11 years. (The Malaysian Insider)

MRCB gets 1-month extension to fulfill KL Sports City conditions
MRCB has obtained a one-month extension from the Ministry of Youth and Sports to fulfill the conditions precedent in its deal with the government to regenerate the Bukit Jalil National Sports Complex into an iconic Kuala Lumpur Sports City. The new deadline is Jan 28. The RM1.63 billion project includes refurbishment and upgrading of facilities in the National Sports Complex, along with a large scale mixed development and construction. In return, the government will transfer three pieces of 99-year leasehold land to MRCB. (The Edge Markets)

Guan Eng: No housing projects on Bukit Relau
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said that no residential development would be approved for Bukit Relau, following outcries over illegal hill clearing works on top of the hill. Bukit Relau become a controversial issue after a patch on it was illegally cleared and rezoned for residential use. However, Lim said that did not mean the state would approve developments on top of the hill, but perhaps would be allowed at the bottom. GASB was fined RM30,000 by the sessions court for illegally clearing the hill, which was later increased to the maximum fine of RM50,000 upon appeal by the deputy public prosecutor. The hill is now known as “botak hill” due to a bald patch from the clearing. (Malay Mail Online)

Bukit Relau, also known as "botak hill" due to a bald patch on top from illegal hill clearing works (Photo from Malay Mail Online)

Bukit Relau, also known as “botak hill” due to a bald patch on top from illegal hill clearing works (Photo from Malay Mail Online)

Perak Sultan admonishes developers building expensive houses
The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah rebuked property developers who were seen as being more interested in building expensive houses to gain large profits, during the declaration ceremony of Muallim District in Tanjung Malim yesterday. He said that people in the lower income group had voiced their concerns about “houses you can look but not afford”, many of which were priced beyond the means of local residents. He said that these developers were constructing expensive houses to be sold to non-residents and promoted among the rich abroad. He pointed out that the country should be careful to avoid colonisation through foreign property ownership and result in citizens losing their rights in their homeland. (The Malaysian Insider)

Hua Yang plans RM346.4mil mixed development in Johot Baru
Hua Yang Bhd is planning to develop a mixed development project with GDV of RM346.4 million in Mukim Plentong, Johor Baru. The company yesterday acquired eight parcels of freehold land totally 73.16 acres for RM75.6 million through the purchase of a Johor-based property development company, Grand View Realty Sdn Bhd. The project is set to be developed in 8 phases, and feature cluster homes, semi-detached homes, shop offices and homes under the Johor affordable housing scheme. (The Edge Markets)

AWC gets RM62 plumbing job for KL118
AWC Bhd’s unit Qudotech Sdn Bhd has been awarded a RM61.95 million plumbing works contract for the KL118 Tower project, which will be a mixed development project comprising residential, hotel and commercial space. The contract is dated Nov 2, 2015 and completion date is by December 2019. (The Star Online)