Property purchases are good debts during tough times
The purchase of properties, particularly residential ones, are “good debts” compared to debts on vehicles, credit cards, and personal loans, said Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) Penang branch chairman Datuk Toh Chin Leong. Even though it is easier to obtain financing for vehicle purchases compared to property, he pointed out that vehicle prices would depreciate whereas properties would appreciate. He urged young working adults to grab the opportunity to purchase property, be it low-cost, low-medium cost, affordable housing or any property in the primary and secondary markets. (New Straits Times Online)

World’s largest underground city planned for Bandar Malaysia
China Railway Group is planning to build the world’s largest underground city in Bandar Malaysia, which will serve as the centerpiece for its China Pan Asia rail network, according to Channel News Asia (CNA). The city will include a subterranean shopping mall, canals, indoor theme parks, cultural villages, indoor gardens, a financial centre, and a new RM8.3 billion regional headquarters for the company. It is set to be a “glittering gem” on China’s rail corridor, linking South-East Asia with East Asia, West Asia and South Asia. China Railway and Johor-based Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) are partners in a consortium that bought over 60% of Bandar Malaysia from 1MDB. (MalaysiaKini)

Artist's impression of the underground city in Bandar Malaysia (Photo from IWH)

Artist’s impression of the underground city in Bandar Malaysia (Photo from IWH)

Malaysia’s housing market (still) ‘seriously unaffordable’
Houses in Malaysia are considered “seriously unaffordable”, based on the International Housing Affordability Survey standards. an affordable housing market is one with a median multiple or house price-to-income ratio of three and below. The Finance Ministry said Malaysian housing’s median multiple was at 4.4 in 2014. The imbalanced growth between house prices and income has affected affordability of houses, especially among the low and middle-income earners. There is uneven pace of growth between house prices and income, especially in key states such as Kuala Lumpur and Penang, which had median multiples of 5.4 and 5.2 respectively. Selangor’s housing market had a multiple of four, which indicated “moderately unaffordable”, while Malacca houses are deemed affordable at a multiple of three. (The Edge Markets)

Malaysia at 23rd place in World Bank Doing Business 2017 Report
Malaysia has been ranked 23rd out of 190 economies in the World Bank Doing Business 2017 Report released this morning, down one spot from 2016 based on improved measurements. In the latest ranking, New Zealand overtook Singapore for the top placing while Denmark clinched the third position. Under the new methodology, distance to frontier (DTF) has been used, which identifies the gap between an economy’s performance and best practices across the entire sample of 45 sub-indicators. The report ranks Malaysia ahead of economies such as Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, China, France, Switzerland and India. Within Asean, Malaysia ranks second after Singapore. (New Straits Times Online)

(Photo from My Sinchew)

(Photo from My Sinchew)

Six deaths in Johor hospital fire
Firemen recovered seven people at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Bahru yesterday, after a fire broke out at its highest floor. Six people died after being trapped in the hospital fire. The sole survivor was a man who had suffered extensive burns to 80 per cent of the body. The other six who perished were all patients at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in their 50s. Four were women while the other two deceased were men. Faulty wiring in the building that housed the ICU is suspected to have sparked the fire, which started at about 9am. (Malay Mail Online)

Econpile bags RM43.5mil works for MRT Line 2 project
Econpile Holdings Bhd’s unit has been awarded a RM43.5 million contract from Ahmad Zaki Sdn Bhd to undertake bored pile works for the Mass Rapid Transit Line 2 project connecting Sungai Buloh, Serdang and Putrajaya (SSP). The contact is for the construction and completion of viaduct guideway and other associated works from Persiaran Dagang to Jinjang. The contract duration is about 24 months and is expected to contribute positively to Econpile’s revenue and earnings for FY17. (The Edge Markets)

Selection of Kampar PR1MA units deferred due to Deepavali
The selection of PR1MA housing units scheduled on Oct 29 in Kampar, Perak, has been deferred due to the Deepavali festival. MIC Youth had urged PR1MA to defer the event, which is scheduled on Deepavali, Oct 29. Its chief, C. Sivarraajh said he was surprised by PR1MA’s insensitivity to conduct the selection of housing units on Deepavali day. (Astro Awani)