Policy changes announced for PR1MA home ownership
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday announced two policy changes to enable more people to own a house under the 1Malaysia People’s Housing (PR1MA) programme. The two changes are raising the household income eligibility from RM10,000 to RM15,000, and shortening the moratoriam on house sale and rental from 10 years to five years. This will enable more people to own a PR1MA house. At the same time, the price of PR1MA houses remained unchanged, at 20% less than the current market price. (Malay Mail Online)

RM3.5bil JV for Jakarta housing project aborted
The proposed joint venture between Malaysia’s and Indonesia’s top property developers – Sime Darby Bhd, SP Setia Bhd, Permodalan Nasional Bhd’s unit I&P Group Sdn Bhd and PT Hanson International Tbk – to develop a RM3.5bil housing project in Jakarta, Indonesia has been cancelled. SP Setia, Sime Darby and I&P had decided not to pursue the project, and exercised the right to terminate the MoU, which was signed in August last yearr. No reason was given for the termination. The proposed project was to jointly develop an affordable housing project in Maja, Tangerang (about 80km from Jakarta. (The Star Online)

HSL to launch projects worth RM160mil
Hock Seng Lee Bhd (HSL) is set to launch several residential and industrial property projects in Kuching and Samarahan with combined GDV of RM160 million. This would include new phases in the company’s flagship mixed development of La Promenade, established residential suburb in Samariang Aman, Highfields estate as well as Vista Industrial Park. La Promenade, which is slated for development over 10 to 15 years, has a GDV of RM2bil. (The Star Online)

An artist’s impression of La Promenade. HSL is set to launch new phases at this mixed development in the coming months.

An artist’s impression of La Promenade. HSL is set to launch new phases at this mixed development in the coming months.

Ekovest unit to undertake RM6bil road project
Ekovest Bhd’s subsidiary, Lebuhraya DUKE Fasa 2A, will undertake the construction of 72.5km of roads in Kuala Lumpur, which will link with the various expressways at a total cost of RM6.32 billion. The proposed project is expected to provide vital connectivity and direct linkage for movement in and around Kuala Lumpur City Centre and completes the missing link for seamless travelling in and out of Greater Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley. The roads include the Kampung Baru link, Istana link and Kapar link expressway. (The Star Online)

KIP REIT plans five more buys
KIP REIT, which is slated for a Main Market listing on Feb 6, says it has five more acquisitions in the pipeline, following its initial acquisition of five KiP Marts and one KiP Mall. The five acquisitions comprise new KiP Marts and Malls, which are currently in different phases of construction. The new acquisitions will see the KiP Mart brand expand to two new states, namely Pahang and Kedah. Two of the new acquisitions will be in Selangor, while Negeri Sembilan, Pahang and Kedah will have one KiP Mart each. A total of 505.3 million units in KIP REIT will be issued, out of which 10.2 million units will be opened to the Malaysian public at a retail price of RM1 per unit. (The Edge Markets)

Penang CM: No approvals granted for Bukit Relau
The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) has not approved any development plans for Bukit Relau, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. No development was currently ongoing at the hill dubbed “Botak Hill”, and the area is being restored. Even if the land was zoned as residential land, the technical specifications must comply with MBPP requirements before the local authority could give approvals for any project. He added that high-rise developments will definitely not be approved. The Botak Hill became a controversial issue in 2013 due to illegal land clearing works and the bared parts are visible from afar especially from the Penang bridge. (Malay Mail Online)

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

Photo from Today Online

Singapore matches Malaysia’s road charge of $6.40 for foreign cars
Singapore will go ahead with implementing a Reciprocal Road Charge (RRC) of $6.40 on all foreign-registered cars entering Singapore via the Tuas or Woodlands Checkpoints from Feb 15. The RRC will be collected together with the Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP), toll charges and fixed Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) fees when vehicles depart from the two checkpoints. The news comes after Malaysia introduced a RM20 road charge for foreign vehicles crossing into Malaysia. (AsiaOne)