Malaysia, China to sign more than 10 agreements during PM’s visit
Malaysia-China bilateral relations will be further strengthened when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak commences his six-day official visit to China tomorrow. “The continuous exchange of visits at the highest level such as this is important to foster understanding and strengthen relations as well as bilateral cooperation in various fields,” said Malaysian ambassador to China, Datuk Zainuddin Yahya. The prime minister’s programme will witness the signing of more than 10 agreements and MoUs between the two governments on defence, economy, agriculture, education, finance and construction. Meanwhile, companies of Malaysia and China will also sign more than 10 agreements including investments in port construction, gas pipe laying and water desalination plants, e-commerce, solar panel manufacturing, construction, investment, development and finance. (Astro Awani)

Sunway REIT gains upper hand on prices
Retail-focused Sunway REIT has time on its side, as it believes the soft property market now makes a good time to invest in retail assets at bargain prices. According to Sunway REIT Management Sdn Bhd, the acquisition market has changed to become a buyer’s market over the past 9 months. More mall owners are looking to dispose of their assets, and the oversupply of shopping centres is not helping. The REIT is in positive talks with potential targets, and hopes to conclude some deals this year. However, it will still be prudent and selective in evaluating any deals that come its way. As at June 30, 2016, Sunway REIT’s total property value stood at RM6.43 billion, comprising four retail assets, five hotels, three offices and a medical centre. (The Edge Markets)

New wet market, affordable housing in Datuk Keramat
A host of new developments is set to take place on a 5.3-acre piece of land in Datuk Keramat, Kuala Lumpur, which will include a wet market and affordable housing. The land is currently owned by a private developer, after DBKL sold the plot last year. A portion of the land is occupied by the Keramat wet market, whose traders have been refusing to move to the controversial Keramat Mall for several years now. The developer has submitted development plans to the authorities, and the local traders association hopes it will be approved soon so that construction can begin. Out of the 5.3 acres, 2.5 acres would be allocated for a new three-storey wet market, with Federal Territories Affordable Housing programme houses built above, and a Rumah Belia scheme constructed next to it. The remaining land will be used to build serviced apartments to cover the development costs. (Free Malaysia Today)

Foreign cars entering Malaysia will soon have to pay a RM20 road charge (Photo from Today Online)

Foreign cars entering Malaysia will soon have to pay a RM20 road charge (Photo from Today Online)

Malaysia to collect RM20 road charge for foreign vehicles entering Johor from Nov 1
Malaysia will start collecting the RM20 road charge (RC) from Singaporean motorists on Nov 1 after a series of delays, although a radio frequency identification (RFID)-based Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) system is still undergoing tests. The charge will be applied on private-registered cars enterting via the Causeway and Second Link, and must be paid with Touch n’ Go cards. Initial collection will exclude foreign-registered motorcycles, while government and commercial vehicles including public transportation will be exempted. Singaporean counterparts have said that the levy is discriminatory and warned that it will consider matching the RC. (The Straits Times)

Massive projects in place to alleviate urbanisation in Penang
According to the Department of Statistics, the level of urbanisation in Penang at 90.8 per cent is among the highest after Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor. The population density of the state, at 1,490 persons per square kilometre, is also higher than the most populous state of Selangor that only has a population density of 674 persons per sq km. As one of the most urbanised states, its main issues are the need for housing and traffic congestion. The Penang state government launched several projects to spread out the population and to resolve the traffic congestion that has become a major problem in recent years. Affordable housing projects have been launched in all 5 districts, and the Penang Transporation Master Plan (TMP) is now in the planning stage. The comprehensive transport plan will include a connected network of LRT lines, bus routes and also monorails, which will make Penang more connected while at the same time, alleviate the growing traffic congestion problem. (Malay Mail Online)

Flash floods may occur in KL if downpour continues
The Fire and Rescue Department has cautioned that Kuala Lumpur may experience flash floods due to heavy rains brought in by the northeast monsoon, which is about to start. Low lying areas, including parts of Segambut, Gombak, Lembah Pantai, Cheras and several major roads such as Jalan Kuching, were among those prone to flash floods after heavy downpours. Besides low-lying areas, there are dangers of flash floods due to blocked drainage systems and construction projects in the city. City residents are advised to keep important documents safe and easily accessible in case of evacuation. (The Star Online)

Public housing residents owe DBKL RM33.1mil in rent
DBKL has RM33.1 million in unpaid rent as of September this year from public housing residents. However, a spokesperson from the city council said that the total amount of rent arrears from PPR and Public Housing (PA) residents are less than the total RM108.7 million sum last December, with RM61.8 million successfully collected. While DBKL’s performance in collecting rents from public housing schemes has improved by 29% this year, efforts are ongoing to collect the outstanding rental amount. Enforcement will be carried out on those who fail to pay accumulated rent of RM1,488 and above, either through seizure of their units or eviction if they fail to turn up for a court hearing. (Malay Mail Online)