Mah Sing plans RM5bil Meridin East township in Pasir Gudang
Mah Sing Group is planning to launch its largest township development in Pasir Gudang, Johor on a 531.3ha land in the eastern zone of Iskandar Malaysia. The township, called Meridin East, will be the group’s latest integrated mixed development with an estimated GDV of RM5 billion. Group senior CEO James A. Bruyns said the eastern area had potential for growth as well as land bank, which attracted the company to the area as the western side of Iskandar already had a lot of developments. “With Pengerang and Desaru being developed for its tourism and oil and gas hub, we foresee a rise in the demand for residential and commercial lots, making this the right location to cater to those demand,” he said. The township is expected to be completed over 5 phases in 15 years. Construction of phase one has already begun and expected to complete in 1Q 2018. (The Star Online)

Malaysia has lower infrastructure risk than HK, NZ, South Korea
Malaysia was ranked among the top in emerging countries in Asia, in a BMI Research survey measuring the risk of infrastructure projects, with its risk considered to be lower than in developed nations like Hong Kong, South Korea, New Zealand and Taiwan. Malaysia ranked fourth out of 21 countries in the Asia Project Risk Index by the Fitch Group research house, beating neighbouring nations like Thailand (9th), Vietnam (11th), the Philippines (12th), Indonesia (13th), Cambodia (20th) and Myanmar (21st). Singapore topped the list, followed by Australia and Japan. Malaysia scored 75.6 out of 100 in the index, compared to Singapore’s 79. A higher score means lower risk. (Malay Mail Online)

Asia Project Risk Index 2016

Asia Project Risk Index 2016

Minister: Amendments to land laws will help draw in foreign investors
The amendments to the National Land Code 1965, the Strata Titles Act 1985 and the Land Acquisition Act 1960 which were passed in Parliament recently will help attract more new foreign investments, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar. The aim is to speed up processes related to land affairs, become a mechanism to expedite land dealings between industry and investors, and to provide heavier penalties against violators. Wan Junaidi said the ammendments would also make Malaysia more competitive by providing more investment opportunities to foreign investors. Amendments to the Strata Titles Act would benefit over 300,000 homeowners to obtain individual titles for their houses. (The Sun Daily)

DRB-Hicom to reduce dependence on auto, property sectors
DRB-Hicom Bhd is looking to reduce its reliance on the automotive and property sectors, which currently account for more than 80% of the group’s revenue. The group wants to lower both sectors’ contributions to about 50% of total revenue within the next 5 years. DRB-Hicom chairman Tan Sri Mohd Khamil Jamil said this could be done through the strengthening of the group’s postal and logistics businesses, which will be housed under Pos Malaysia Bhd. The group sees the growth of the logistics industry in Malaysia as an opportunity that must be captured immediately, involving services such as warehosing, haulage, courier, and customs clearance for domestic and regional businesses. (The Sun Daily)

Johor sultan building luxury riverfront pad in Perth
Sultan Ibrahim of Johor is reportedly building a riverfront home in a suburb in Perth, Western Australia. BBC reported that construction began after objections from the local council to the land’s acquisition last year for A$8.5 million (RM25.93 million) were resolved. The parcel is the last undeveloped riverfront block in Perth’s exclusive suburb of Dalkeith. According to The Australian, a three-storey house will be built, complete with “sweeping verandas facing the Swan River… built into the hill — each storey stepping down the sloping site.” (Malay Mail Online)

A file illustration picture shows the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi sign in Frankfurt, September 15, 2014. A German court is set to rule March 18, 2015, whether Uber's novel taxi-hailing service violates driver licensing rules, a decision that could lead to a nationwide ban on the service. The case in a Frankfurt court brought by German taxi operator group Taxi Deutschland against Uber is one of more than a dozen lawsuits filed across Europe in recent months by taxi industry associations against the San Francisco-based company. Taxi drivers around the world consider Uber unfairly bypasses local licensing and safety regulations by using the internet to put drivers in touch with passengers. (Photo from REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach)

(Photo from REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach)

SPAD mulls ‘driver card’ for Uber, Grab drivers
The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) is considering introducing a ‘driver card’ system for Uber and Grabcar drivers to allow them to operate legally. However, SPAD would have to first conduct a study of the proposed system, as it would involve private individuals who did not have a public service vehicle (PSV) operator’s licence. System implementation would be similar to requirements for obtaining PSV but further talks with related parties was needed. It would take some time for the new system to be implemented because new laws and legal changes would have to be carried out. (Malay Mail Online)