HSR may begin operations in 2027
The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) system may start commercial operations in 2027, said sources familiar to the matter. The initial target was 2020 was the project was first announced, but it seems the completion date would likely be later. Lengthy negotiations between Malaysia and Singapore, which include aspects of technical, security, immigration and safety, as well as governance and implementation, have taken three years. Once the bilateral agreement in signed this year, it will take a procurement process of two to three years, followed by construction and commissioning of more than seven years. Therefore 2027 would be a more realistic target, said the source. (New Straits Times Online)

Muhammad Ibrahim appointed new Bank Negara governer
Senior deputy Bank Negara Malaysia governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim has been appointed the new head of the central bank, taking over the position by outgoing governer Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz who was at the helm for 16 years. The Prime Minister’s Office announced that Muhammad’s appointment takes effect from May 1. He has worked in the central bank for over 30 years since 1984, and has been the deputy governer since 2010. (New Straits Times Online)

muhammad takes over zeti as bank negara governer

Senior deputy Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim will be taking over as governer of Bank Negara Malaysia from Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz effective 1 May 2016

Prasarana to begin awarding tenders for RM9bil LRT3 project
Prasarana Malaysia Bhd is expected to start awarding tenders for the RM9 billion LRT3 project in the second half of the year. Group managing director, Azmi Abdul Aziz, said the number of packages to be awarded was still undecided but the plan was to offer as many as possible to attract significant participation. Preliminary works have started and Prasarana will be organising a media session to announced tender applicants who have made it through the pre-qualification round. The 37km LRT 3 would have 26 stations, with 2km of the alignment to be underground. (Astro Awani)

RM588mil generated in healthcare travel revenue
Malaysia has generated RM588.6 million in healthcare travel revenue between January and September 2015, at an average response rate of 79%, with the target for the full year set at RM854 million. According to the National Transformation Programme (NTP) Annual Report 2015, the health tourist revenue for the three quarters reached RM353.2 million of the full year target of RM516 million. There has been significant growth in private healthcare services over the past decade, with over 250 private hospitals currently in operation in Malaysia. Malaysia healthcare’s strongest markets are Indonesia, consisting 62% of total healthcare revenue numbers, followed by the Middle East (7.4%), India (3%), China (2.6%), Japan (2.6%) and Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom (2.5%). In addition to cardiology, orthopaedics, oncology, neurology and dentistry, demand for infertility treatment, cosmetic surgery and rehabilitation, and geriatrics (care of elderly people) is on the rise. (The Sun Daily)

Vivocom unit takes on RM90mil mixed development in Perak
Vivocom Enterprise Sdn Bhd (VESB), a subsidiary of Vivocom Intl Holdings Bhd, has inked a heads of agreement (HoA) for a RM90 million contract for the construction of a mixed development project on 3.11ha land in Hulu Kinta, Perak. It entered the agreement with Green Ventures Development Bhd, which will be the developer of the project with GDV of RM112 million. VESB will be appointed as the turnkey contractor to design and construct the structures and infrastructures, and required to complete construction within two years after the launch. The final agreement is to be signed by the parties by June 1 unless further extended. (The Edge Markets)

Ivory Properties bags honours at Asia Pacific Property Awards
Penang-based property developer Ivory Properties Group Bhd was accorded the prestigious “Highly Commended Award” for its Ivory Tower project at the recent 2016-2017 Asia Pacific Property Awards. The renowned developer had competed against other property professionals across the Asia Pacific region to bag the award under the Office Architecture Malaysia category. (New Straits Times Online)

Kimlun wins RM98.3m housing contract from Mah Sing
Kimlun Corp Bhd has been awarded a RM98.3 million housing development contract in Johor Bahru from Meridin East Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Mah Sing Group Bhd. The contract involves construction of 492 houses in Mukim Plentong, with is expected to be completed by July 2018. (The Edge Markets)