Tax defaulters may soon be listed under CCRIS
The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) has suggested that tax defaulters will not only be banned from leaving the country, but may be listed under the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) for intentionally delaying tax payments. Under the current ruling, individuals who fail to settle their taxes will be barred from leaving the country. The move is being discussed with Bank Negara to curb tax evasion. (Astro Awani)

Property prices around MRT stations expected to rise 5-10%
The Klang Valley MRT Lines will not only improve connectivity for people but will also see property value around the stations go up. Rehda past president Datuk Ng Seing Liong said there was already a “positive response” when Phase 1 of the MRT line was announced. The value of these properties is expected to increase about 5% to 10%. Properties with good connectivity would fetch higher sale and rental prices in addition to better capital appreciation. Those intending to buy such properties are advised to carry out their own research on the location of all MRT stations and the prices of nearby houses. (The Star Online)

Paramount plans more launches after missing 2016 target
2016 has been a quiet year for Paramount Corp Bhd, which targeted RM770 million worth of property launches this year, but only achieved RM90 million of that so far, due to most of its projects being deferred thanks to the soft property market. Some were also delayed due to processes involving regulatory approval, according to group CEO Jeffrey Chew. However, it is catching up in the final quarter with more launches, which should raise the value of its launches to about RM450 million. Whatever that is not launched this year will go into next year, when it targets RM800 million worth of launches, which are a mix of residential and commercial properties. The company is targeting sales of RM450 million for next year. (The Edge Markets)

Negeri Sembilan will not raise assessment rates for 2017
The assessment rates in Negeri Sembilan will not be raised next year despite the hike in the value of property in several areas in the state. Although the decision would impact in terms of revenue, it was still made to ease the burden of the people who were currently faced with the high cost of living. An exemption from paying business permits to hawkers would also be continued until end of next year. “It involves the ordinary workers, the types who conduct their businesses under an umbrella, and not fixed like night market traders. Nevertheless, licences to conduct business are still needed, it is only the permits that are exempted.” (Astro Awani)

Penang govt, Opposition to cooperate to resolve housing issues
The Penang DAP-led government will work together with the Opposition to resolve the state’s housing issues. A joint motion will be signed to urge the federal government and Bank Negara to review the loan application rejection rate for affordable houses, which is as high as 70%. The issue of owners of affordable houses renting out their units, especially to foreigners will also be included in the motion to be sent the earliest, by next week. (Malay Mail Online)

Work starts on MRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya line
MRT Corp will start awarding the first of nine station packages for the second MRT project – the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) line – next week. The 24-station SSP line will be 52.2km, with a 13.5km underground portion. Seven main viaduct packages and system packages have been awarded, with three more remaining. Work on the SSP line has already begun, said MRT Corp CEO Datuk Seri Shahril Mokhtar. (The Star Online)

RM1.23bil JV Johor rail terminated due to lack of clear timeline
KUB Malaysia Bhd said the mutual termination of the RM1.23 billion rail project in Johor with Malaysia Steel Works Bhd was because the government had failed to give a definitive timeline for the project. The JV company was to build and operate the 100km intercity rail transit system in Iskandar Malaysia. Both companies had followed the direction of the Economic Council (EC) since a presentation of the train project in 2011 to finalise certain issues with the Ministry of Transport, coordinated by three transport ministers, and had earlier this year finalised the proposal for re-tabling. However, in a meeting on April 15, KUB and Masteel were informed that they had to undertake additional ‘social routes’ for the commuter train service. It was concluded that the additional routes will render the project economically unviable. (The Edge Markets)