182 housing projects revived since 2009
A total of 182 housing projects, out of 226 that have been abandoned in Peninsular Malaysia since 2009, have been revived, said Deputy Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Halimah Mohd Sadique. She added that 20 abandoned projects are not in various stages of construction, with plans to revive another 24 projects. Several reasons were cited for why the projects were abandoned, such as poor management, lack of finances, poor response, legal disputes and rising cost of materials. To address the issue, she said amendments were made to the Housing Developement Act to have impose stricter regulations on developers and give house buyers more protection. The ministry will also step in to assist affected house buyers to negotiate loan terms, and upgrading the My Teduh online database to allow buyers to check the status of their proposed housing project. (The Star Online)

Chua: Most bankruptcy cases due to personal loans, hire purchase
Most bankruptcy cases recorded between 2011 and last year were due to personal loans and hire purchase for vehicles, said Deputy Finance Minister Chua Tee Yong in reply to a question regarding the government’s move in controlling the use of credit cards among the younger generation. Chua said a total 18,457 bankruptcy cases were reported last year. To control credit card usage and prevent bankruptcy, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) had set certain conditions which must comply, with the minimum income of RM24,000 per year. Statistics show that credit card application approval rate is between 50% and 60%, and not 80%. According to Chua, until the end of last year, the total household debt in the country was RM1.030 trillion with 80% of the banking system and 20% of non-bank financial institutions, covering 89.1% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Of the total, 62.6% are for asset accumulation, namely purchasing of real estate and investment in financial assets. (Free Malaysia Today)

Toyota-LogoToyota to build $489mil factory in Malaysia
Japanese automotive giant Toyota announced Wednesday it will build a new US$489 million (S$675.05 million) car assembly factory in Malaysia with an annual production capacity of 50,000 vehicles. The company said in a statement it “decided to reorganise its production system in Malaysia, given the gradual growth of the Malaysian market, with the creation of a new vehicle plant”. The 670,000-square metre factory, to be located at an industrial estate in the central state of Selangor, will begin operations in 2019. The existing factory in Malaysia will stop manufacturing passenger vehicles by early 2019 and focus on commercial vehicles instead. In 2013 Toyota said it would impose a worldwide freeze on the construction of new plants for three years. (AsiaOne)

Kelantan affordable housing plans face land problem
The Kelantan government may not be able to achieve its target of building 5,000 affordable housing units by 2018 due to land problems, said State Local Government, Housing, Youth and Sport Committee chairman Datuk Ab Fattah Mahmood. He said this was because of problems getting suitable land for the purpose, adding that there were not many state-owned land in areas near towns, only in the interiors, and the state would incur losses as people would not be interested to buy houses far away from town. He said a total of 3,000 affordable houses were being built in the state and that the project in Pasir Genda would involve 64 houses, scheduled for completion end of the year. (The Malay Mail Online)

IGB Corp posts lower net profit in 1Q
IGB Corp reported a net profit decline of 20.5% to RM51.81mil for 1QFY16 from a year earlier, due to lower contribution from property development and property investment segments. Revenue fell 16.2% due to lower contribution from the property development division. IGB Corp said its achieved revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2016 was within expectations. The drop in revenue compared to the same quarter last year was due to the fact that it has yet to launch any new development projects, in view of the current weak property market sentiment. However, with improved performance from property investment and hotel divisions, it is cautiously optimistic that the group’s performance for FY16 will be satisfactory. (The Edge Markets)

Malaysia bags “Medical Travel Destination” award second year in a row
Malaysia won the ‘Medical Travel Destination of the Year’ accolade for the second year in a row at the International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ) Medical Travel awards, which was held in Madrid, Spain on May 24. Malaysia also won the same award at last year’s awards ceremony, said the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council (MTHC). Malaysian hospitals also won several awards, including International Hospital of the Year (Sunway Medical Centre), International Dental Clinic (Imperial Dental Specialist Centre) as well as International Fertility Clinic (TMC Fertility Centre). MHTC CEO Sherene Azli said the award has reinforced the country’s reputation as a player in the medical tourism industry. “Healthcare in Malaysia is highly accessible, competitively affordable and of world-class quality. Patient safety and care is paramount and assured by the high standards mandated by stringent government regulations. (Bernama)

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