Review house prices, developers told
Housing developers in Miri are urged to review the prices of their houses to make them more affordable, especially for the low-income group. As the population was increasing the demand would surely continue to rise, hence more affordable houses should be built within a reasonable radius of the city. The PPA1M project at Eastwood Valley, Miri is the first such project implemented by the government for civil servants in Sarawak. 817 units are open for applications until Dec 1, specially built for them at 30% lower than market price. (The Borneo Post)

Sunway to turn office blocks above new mall into REIT product
Sunway Bhd is planning to turn the office blocks above the upcoming Sunway Velocity Mall in Cheras into a REIT product. “Because it is located on top of [the mall], we want to rent it out as a REIT-able product before putting it out in the retail market,” said Sarena Cheah, the managing director of the group’s property development division. The last component of the Sunway Geo Residences will take place next year, comprising a 44-storey condominium with 420 units. It is part of the 23-acre Sunway Geo integrated development which includes residences, retail and offices with GDV of RM2.2 billion. It is also Sunway’s first venture with Japanese real estate specialist Mitsui Fudosan Co Ltd. (The Edge Markets)

Can’t limit foreign ownership of heritage buildings, says Penang exco
The Penang government does not have any intention to table an enactment to limit foreigners from buying pre-war buildings in its world heritage zone, said state exco Jagdeep Singh Deo. The housing development and town and country planning committee chairman added that it is not possible to table such an act, as the building owners have the right to sell their properties and the proposed act contradicts the Federal Constitution. The state government is studying the possibility of preparing a Rent Regulation Enactment for the heritage zone. (Malay Mail Online)


Photo from Malay Mail

Heritage building owners selling due to delay in restoration approvals
Owners of Penang’s pre-war buildings are selling off their properties to foreigners due to frustration with the lenghty approvals for restoration works, according to the Property Development, Construction and Management Committee (PDCMC). Some owners have faced delays of up to two yeas before their applications to restore their heritage buildings were approved, which hiked up costs. Geh said that reports about owners selling their properties due to high price offers were not entirely accurate. PDMC will conduct a study to find out why heritage building owners are selling their properties, focusing on three main points: why they are selling, why they find it hard to use their own buildings for businesses, and why some buildings are abandoned. (Malay Mail Online)

Seacera acquires property firm for RM165mil
Tiles maker and property developer Seacera Group Bhd is acquiring property investment firm Duta Nilai Holdings Sdn Bhd for RM165.1 million. Duta Nilai is the holding company of Duta Skyline Sdn Bhd, which owns a piece of freehold land measuring about 250.24 acres at Ulu Semenyih, Selangor. The Semenyih land, which is located about 2km off the Kajang SILK Highway and about 1.6km from the Sungai Long toll plaza, has been fully approved for a mixed development project with the conversion premium and development charges all fully paid. (The Edge Markets)

Sarawak wetland to be turned into a bird sanctuary
The Sarawak Forest Department wants to make Kuala Baram Wetland a bird conservation area for Miri, as the wetland is home to migratory birds from the northern hemisphere. To-date, a total of 132 migratory bird species have been sighted and recorded by a team of bird watchers from Malaysia Nature Society (MNS) Miri branch at the site including the world’s very rare bird species – Chinese Tern – which could hardly be found in other areas in the world. MNS Miri has identified some 600 hectares as potential areas for the bird conservation. The concept will be similar to Bako where people in the area are engaged in the bird conservation efforts, which is good for tourism as well. (The Borneo Post)

Johor’s excellent budget performance due to prudent fiscal management
Prudent financial management and equitable distribution of revenue to the people of all levels have enabled Johor to record an excellent budget performance for three years running, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin. He said a strong and competitive fiscal position contributed to the state’s robust Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. Johor was the fourth largest contributor to the nation’s GDP with a cumulative growth for 2014 and 2015 of 8.5%, behind Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Sarawak. (Malay Mail Online)

No road closures for Bersih 5 yet
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has said that the police have yet to issue any road closure notices in the city due to the Bersih 5 rally this Saturday. This was in response to a message that has been making the round on social media which supposedly listed roads that will close on Saturday, November 19. The Bersih 5 rally is scheduled to take place at the city centre, with the protesters aiming to march towards Dataran Merdeka. (Malay Mail Online)