Thailand, Malaysia set for talks on Bangkok-KL high speed railway line
With the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed railway (HSR) agreement signed, Thailand and Malaysia are set for talks on the construction of a Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok HSR. Thailand’s Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisiht told the Nikkei Asian Review he hoped to meet his Malaysian counterpart Liow Tiong Lai soon to discuss the 1,500km HSR. The proposed Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok route will extend the line all the way through the Malay Peninsula. The Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur route is part of the pan-Asia railway network plan proposed by former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad in 1995, which runs all the way from Singapore, to the southern Chinese city of Kunming, through Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. (Free Malaysia Today)

Hua Yang unveils RM220mil project in Penang
Property developer Hua Yang Bhd has launched its RM220 million GDV project in Penang, which comprises 480 units of serviced apartments and 15 retail shops. The 4.32-acre development is the first phase of a freehold mixed development project located along Jalan Baru in Penang. The company plans to continue offering affordable housing in Penang in line with the rising demand for affordable homes in the country. The company has successfully expanded into the Penang property market with the positive reception of its maiden project Meritus Residensi. Currently, Hua Yang has a total undeveloped landbank of 335 acres in the northern region with a potential GDV of RM1.9 billion. (The Malaysian Reserve)

Ministry welcomes call to expedite sex offenders registry
The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry welcomed the call to expedite the sex offenders registry in Malaysia to monitor the movement of sex offenders for safety reasons. The urgency of the matter was stressed by Selangor DAP’s Yeo Bee Yin who highlighted the news of the impending return of convicted serial rapist Selva Kumar Subbiah from Canada after serving his 24-year jail sentence. The functions of the Child Act Amendment 2016 (Act A1511) had been expanded to contain information on offenders for crimes including sexual offences, but the functions are different from the proposed sexual offenders registry under the Registration of Criminals and Undesirable Persons Act 1969. (Malay Mail Online)

Plantation, property, new focus for Tabung Haji
Lembaga Tabung Haji will be focusing on plantation and properties for more recurring and sustainable income source to its business for the next three years to 2020. For its plantation division, the pilgrims fund will focus on replanting rather than venturing into greenfields and has allocated RM2 billion for investments into overseas property investments. For property, the investment would be towards acquiring properties in Australia and the United Kingdom. (New Straits Times Online)

1H good time to buy properties, says feng shui master
The first half of the year will be a great time for potential buyers to purchase properties as they may be able to get better incentives from developers looking to sell under the current weak market sentiment, said Feng Shui Master Kenny Hoo. The period between January and June would be when prices were deemed most reasonable as developers would offer discounts and rebates. However, this trend will not likely continue into 2H as the market is expected to improve. Hoo said house hunters should consider purchasing properties located either towards the southern or northern region of Kuala Lumpur, such as Cheras, Sungai Long, Semenyih and even Kajang and Seremban. Hoo also advised home owners to use more blue in their decoration in the northern part of their house to enhance their feng shui. (New Straits Times Online)

Multi-storey carparks in 13 public housing areas ready by year end
The multi-storey car park projects in 13 public housing areas in the capital city is expected to be ready by year end, which will be a relief to residents who face critical shortage of parking lots. The areas include Bandar Tun Razak in Cheras, Wangsa Maju and Segambut. The multi-storey car parks have between 700 to 800 parking bays each, and come complete with multi-purpose hall, futsal courts, hawker centres, stalls and prayer rooms. The design of each carpark, which costs between RM13 million to RM14 million, would be customised to cater to the needs of nearby residents. (Astro Awani)