TM signs deal with Aspen for smart city collaboration in Penang
Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) and the Aspen Group have signed a collaboration agreement to facilitate the deployment of smart city services at the Aspen Vision City property development in Batu Kawan, Penang. The collaboration will enable Aspen Vision City to become a business model for Smart City Services in the real estate development segment and this business model will be replicated to more property developments that will be enabled by TM in the future. Smart city is a cluster of services that will make use of the Internet of things (IoT) technology and the information communication and technology (ICT) services. It can be used in the retail industry to track inventory adjustments, as well as in the banking and oil & gas sectors. The smart solutions and services offered will include security surveillance solutions, car sharing, digital signage, smart parking, energy, waste management etc. (The Star Online)

Ministry to review Selangor PPR management contracts
The Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government will be reviewing agreements made with the Selangor government on the management and maintenance of People’s Housing Programme (PPR) buildings in the state. The review would include the legal aspects of the original agreement while it waits a decision by the state government on the request by the Federal government to take over the management and maintenance of PPR buildings in the state. A letter was submitted to the state government on Aug 17 to take over the management of PPR in Selangor, and is currently waiting response. (Malay Mail Online)

Penang developers turning to special schemes and foreign investors amid lagging sales
The slump in overall property sales has led developers in Penang to introduce special schemes to stimulate the market. Due to high loan rejection rate for consumers, Penang-based developers are facing a lull in the property market, which saw the lowest number of transactions in the first quarter this year since 2011. Buyers of high-end properties are adopting a wait and see attitude so properties priced above RM500,000 are most affected while properties below RM500,000 are still in high demand but buyers are unable to get loans. NAPIC statistics reveal that a majority of the unsold units in Penang, more than 85 per cent or 1,040 units, are for properties priced above RM400,000. (Malay Mail Online)

Penang Property transaction values 2013-2016

Klang Valley folk optimistic over LRT3 prospect
A street survey by NST showed that Klang Valley residents are upbeat about the LRT3 project, which is expected to be completed in six years. motorists in particular were happy to learn about the extension. A Klang resident said the additional line would benefit millions of Klang Valley commuters during peak hour, while a Sungei Way resident said it would help ease traffic in the Klang Valley. A retiree said he wanted to limit driving due to a heart condition, but lack of public transport forced him to drive to visit relatives and friends in KL and PJ. The project will connect the western corridor of the Klang Valley and improve accessibility for commuters in Klang, Shah Alam and Petaling Jaya through its 26 stations. (New Straits Times Online)

Sunway Bhd’s earnings fall on lower fair value gains from REIT
Sunway Bhd’s earnings for the second quarter ended June 30, 2016, fell 35% from a year earlier due to share of lower fair value gains from the annual revaluation exercise done on Sunway REIT properties. Sunway Bhd, which owns 37.3% in Sunway REIT, stated that except for the share of fair value gains which were lower by about RM87.1mil, the group’s overall operational performance was better than the corresponding quarter of the previous financial year. Sunway Bhd group’s activities include property development, property investment, construction, trading and manufacturing, and quarry. (The Star Online)

India’s Manipal to build more hospitals in Malaysia
Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt Ltd (MHE), the healthcare arm of India’s Manipal Group, aims to build more hospitals in the next five years in a move to expand and strengthen its healthcare business as a recognised medical excellence brand in Malaysia. It is looking to secure the presence of Manipal Hospitals in major cities and towns like Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Johor Baru and Penang, following the opening of the RM100 million Manipal Hospitals Klang in Bandar Bukit Tinggi. CEO Dr Ajay Bakshi said the exciting growth prospects in Malaysia’s healthcare industry, plus good response to the group’s maiden investment outside India, was the main consideration for MHE to further invest between RM600mil and RM700mil. (New Straits Times Online)

(Photo from The Star)

(Photo from The Star)

Passports can be renewed online beginning Sept 1
A pilot programme beginning Sept 1 to issue passports renewed via the “MyOnline Passport” system will be available at Immigration offices in Pahang, Sarawak, Penang and Putrajaya, as well as two Urban Transformation Centres (UTC), namely Pudu Sentral in Kuala Lumpur and Galleria@Kotaraya in Johor. The application for passport renewal online can be done from anywhere, including via mobile phone, regardless of the time or day, and applicants can choose any of the participating passport issuing counters to collect their new passports. The online renewal system would help overcome the congestion at Immigration offices. The ‘MyOnline Passport’ system was introduced to enable people to have the option to renew their passport online by updating their details, uploading the required photo, and making payment via a debit or credit card, before collecting the passport at any of the designated counters. (Malay Mail Online)