Signature-enabled cards to be phased out from Jan 1
There are just 15 days left for credit and debit cardholders to switch to the new personal identification number (PIN)-enabled payment cards. From Jan 1, the industry-wide transition from signature to PIN would be completed and cardholders would be required to key in their six-digit pin for transactions. Those who have yet to activate their cards may be stalled at the counter when making payments at counters when using their old cards. In anticipation of cardholders who may not be able to remember their PIN, there will be a PIN bypass period until July 1 next year when cardholders can sign instead of entering their PIN for purchases. The signature system would be completely turned off after the six-month period. (The Star Online)

RM16bil Pan Borneo Highway jobs awarded
Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (LBU) has awarded all the 11 work packages under phase one of the Pan Borneo Highway project on Sarawak’s side for a total sum of RM16.49bil. A total of 20 firms had secured construction work contracts for this single biggest and most ambitious infrastructure project for both Sarawak and Sabah. The 11 packages will cover a total length of 746km from Telok Melano in southern Sarawak to Miri in the north, and includes the construction of some 114 bridges, 57 pedestrian bridges, 17 interchanges and 595 bus shelters as well as other facilities. Phase two of the project will cover Limbang Division in the northern tip of Sarawak which borders Sabah. (The Star Online)

Slight improvement for property market in 2017, says Lee
Malaysia’s property industry is likely to see a slight improvement next year helped by the better economic growth, says Second Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong. The nation’s GDP was expected to grow by between 4% and 5% next year on the back of increasing commodity prices, such as oil and gas, with the property market likely following suit. Statistics from NAPIC showed property transactions value in Kuala Lumpur fell by 19.1% year-on-year, while volume dropped 22.3%. Buyers are now paying more attention to value-added features like security, privacy, covered parking space, landscape garden and many others. (Astro Awani)

The Melaka Sentral wet market will be torn down and replaced with a modern building, due to unstable earth movements. (Photo from The Star)

The Melaka Sentral wet market will be torn down and replaced with a modern building, due to unstable earth movements. (Photo from The Star)

Melaka Sentral wet market to be replaced with modern building
The Melaka Sentral wet market with structural defects will be demolished to make way for a modern building. The market was deemed no longer safe because of the damage to the building’s structure, believed to be due to an active underground soil movement. The new market will cost the government RM25mil and will have all that complements the green technology concept. The affected 342 traders who will be moved to a temporary site, will be offered lots at the new market. The temporary market will be on a 2.02ha site in Bachang and that all the traders are expected to move by the end of this month. The new market is scheduled for completion by mid-2018. (The Star Online)

KWAP buys Cap Square Tower for RM511mil
KWAP has bought the 41-storey Menara AIA Cap Square in Kuala Lumpur from Germany-based Union Investment Real Estate GmbH (UIRE). It is the largest office building sale in Malaysia in 2016. The move is seen as a demonstration of the Malaysian pension fund’s confidence in the country’s office market. Menara AIA Cap Square’s current tenants include AIA and Citibank. The building will be KWAP’s second property in Kuala Lumpur after the 39-storey Integra Tower along Jalan Tun Razak. (The Edge Markets)

Klang Valley prepares to face water cuts until Dec 24
The water supply cut by Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) starting from today until December 24 as part of its water rationing will be a major inconvenience for Selangor residents especially with the Christmas holidays around the corner. This latest disruption is due to maintenance work at the TNB substation in Bukit Badong, Hulu Selangor. Syabas said it would ensure that the water supply would be distributed efficiently to the affected areas namely Petaling, Klang/Shah Alam, Gombak, Kuala Langat, Hulu Selangor, Kuala Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, after the treatment plants that would be affected resume operations. (Malay Mail Online)

8th Zika case in Malaysia in 67-year-old man from PJ
A 67-year-old man from Petaling Jaya, Selangor is the eighth confirmed Zika case in the country. The man, who initially sought treatment for fever, dizziness and diarrhoea on Nov 28, had tested negative for dengue. It was confirmed on Dec 9 that the man tested positive for Zika. It was found that he was in Kuala Lumpur, Shah Alam and Perak from Nov 14 to Nov 28. (New Straits Times Online)