Malaysia hailed as good example of GST application
Malaysia’s implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been recognised as an example for other countries, as Customs Department GST division deputy director Datuk T. Subromaniam, after the department’s director-general Datuk Seri Khazali Ahmad picked up the Asia Tax Commissioner of the Year award at a ceremony in Singapore earlier this month. He added that the award was given due to the successful implementation of the GST in April last year. The International Monetary Fund even cited Malaysia as a great model for other countries to follow, particularly the Middle East, which have invited Malaysia as consultants on implementing GST in the United Arab Emirates in 2018. (The Star Online)

SPNB targets 65,000 affordable homes by 2018
Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB) aims to build 65,000 units of affordable homes across the country by 2018, according to its chief executive officer, Datuk Ahmad Azizi Ali. He said so far, SPNB had completed almost 27,000 of the 100,000 units of affordable housing planned by the government, since 2013. Affordable homes are being built nationwide, including in Sabah and Sarawak. Two affordable housing projects would be built in the Klang Valley by the end of the year, namely in Sentul and Setapak, with prices ranging from RM250,000 to RM350,000 to meet the demand of the bottom 40 per cent (B40) household income group. (Bernama)

Axis REIT to buy warehouse facility in Pasir Gudang for RM33mil
Axis REIT is acquiring a warehouse facility in Pasir Gudang, Johor for RM33 million cash, which will increase its total assets to RM2.19 billion. It will be purchasing the facility in the Pasir Gudang Industrial Area from Orientant Int Sdn Bhd. The property is located within Iskandar Malaysia, and comprises a 2.51-acre industrial land together with a single-storey warehouse building and other ancillary buildings. The acquisition price of RM33 million is below market price of RM34 million, said Axis REIT. (The Edge Markets)

AG Report: 8 states flouting housing quota guidelines
A total of eight states failed to adhere to Bumiputera housing quota guidelines, according to the Auditor-General’s Report 2015 presented last week. The states are Perlis, Penang, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Malacca, Pahang, Terengganu and Sabah. Among the transgressions were selling for Bumiputera lots of non-Bumiputera buyers without prior approval, and selling of Bumiputera lots at higher prices than permitted. The A-G’s Report also noted incomplete advertisements of Bumiputera lots; the lack of a mechanism to monitor the sale of Bumiputera lots; and the lack of clarity of restrictions in land titles to ensure retention of Bumiputera ownership. (Free Malaysia Today)

Singapore’s Park Hotel Group enters Malaysia
Singapore-based Park Hotel Group, following the opening of its first resort in Indonesia and announcement of plans to enter Australia, has continued its Asia Pacific expansion strategy with the signing of its first property in Malaysia. The company has signed a management agreement for a hotel in the historic city of Melaka. Scheduled to open in the first half of 2019, Park Hotel Melaka will form part of The Green, a new development in the city’s Kota Laksamana area that will also feature retail outlets, offices, serviced apartments and outdoor space. The 16-storey upscale hotel will feature 245 rooms and suites, a restaurant, rooftop bar, swimming pool, sauna, fitness centre, business centre and meetings rooms. (Travel Daily Media)

25 people evacuated due to Cameron Highlands landslide
A landslide that occurred at about 1.15am yesterday in Taman Mawar, Kuala Terla at Cameron Highlands promopted the authorities to order 25 occupants of four houses to evacuate their homes. The hill slope behind the houses gave way, almost trapping a 70-year-old woman and her five grandchildren aged between 10 and 18. The occupants of the other houses rushed out of their homes in time to escape the landslide. The residents suspect that overflow of water from a housing estate water tank on top of the hill might have triggered the landslide. (The Malay Mail Online)