Sime to benefit most from Carey Island port project
Sime Darby Bhd is set to benefit the most from the proposed new port development in Carey Island, Selangor, where the plantation-based conglomerate is the largest landowner. The new port – the third port development in the Klang Valley – will hasten the unlocking of land value at Carey Island over the next 20-30 years. The accessibility of Carey Island has improved in recent years with the completion of the South Klang Valley Expressway, while the completion of West Coast Expressway (targeted by 2019) will further improve its accessibility. The 20-year project will comprise the development of an integrated port and related infrastructure, industrial parks and free trade zones, commercial and residential buildings. (The Star Online)

DBKL to vet applications to use English names for buildings
The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) said it will not simply approve applications to name buildings in the English language, after a condominium in Kuala Lumpur was named “St. Petersburg”. Such applications would be handled by a committee on buildings and commercial residential schemes set up in 2010. Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Mhd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz reportedly said DBKL could approve the usage of foreign languages as long as the terms were not wrong and did not have “certain meanings”. The names of buildings in foreign languages can also be used for temples and schools, except for the names of roads, he said. (Malay Mail Online)

Kedah Maly reserve land mortgage issue resolved
The mortgage problem faced by Malay reserve landowners in Kedah, who could not get bank loans using their properties as security since November last year, has been resolved. The Kedah government has declared financial institutions established under Malaysian law as “Malay”, which means that banks in Kedah can once again accept Malay reserve land as security and the relevant government agencies can now process the required paperwork. The legal problem with Malay reserve land in Kedah started late last year. The Court of Appeal in September decided that mortgages on Malay Reserve land with banks or financial institutions not listed in the second schedule of the Kedah Malay Reservation Enactment were null and void. The case is still pending at the Federal Court. (Free Malaysia Today)

SPAD: All e-hailing services okay, for now
All types of e-hailing services are allowed as long as it doesn’t go against existing road regulations, said SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar. He explained that such services could operate for the time being as there was yet to be any specific law against them. “Anything that gives best services to the public, we welcome them but must be according to the regulations,” he said. He added that in the near future, all e-hailing services would be properly regulated after amendments to the Land Public Transport Act 2010. (Malay Mail Online)

Chinese tour agencies promoting Malaysia
Tour agencies in China are promoting Malaysia even harder with news that tourists from the republic are making a beeline here. Among the factors contributing to this encouraging development were close ties between the Malaysian and Chinese governments, increased frequency of flights including that of budget airlines, widespread use of the Chinese language in Malaysia, and efforts in promoting Malaysia by the Malaysian tourism bureau and mainland tour agencies. Suggestions to boost tourism include loosening visa requirements, security maintenance in coastal areas in Sabah, and training of more Chinese-speaking guides. The number of travel documents issued to Chinese tourists between March and December last year saw a 74% increase year-on-year. (The Star Online)

Singapore’s property agent industry shrinking further in slow market
Singapore’s property agency industry continues to shrink as more agents throw in the towel and smaller agencies close shop amid keen competition in a tepid market, with technological disruptions also nibbling at the transactions pie. The number of licensed property agencies fell 1.6% while the number of registered agents fell by about 3% as at Jan 1, 2017, according to the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA). Agency chiefs noted that competition has become more intense and while the number of residential transactions picked up last year, they were still low compared to the heydays before residential cooling measures. (AsiaOne)

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