Movie Animation Park Studios to open in Q2 2017
The much awaited Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) in Bandar Meru Raya, Ipoh – the first in Asia – will finally open its doors in the second quarter of this year. Perak State Development Corporation (PSDC) chief executive Datuk Aminudduin Md Desa said the project is in the final stages of completion and ready for operation. MAPS will offer 40 attractions in six themed zones with 15 unique, fun and thrilling rides, 23 interactive attractions, five international shows and entertainment, blended with unique characters like Dreamwork, Smurfs, Boboboi, Stunt Legends and the Adventurers. The 21-hectare theme park cost RM520 million to build and expects to draw 1.4 million visitors yearly. (The Sun Daily)

IRB: RM114bil collected in taxes for 2016
The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) collected RM114.015 billion in taxes for 2016, which made up more than half of overall government revenue for the year. IRB chief executive Datuk Sabin Samitah said it is the department’s responsibility to ensure that the government has enough funds for its development programmes. Employers share that responsibility too as they collect taxes from their employees and pass it on to IRB so cooperation is in the best interest of both parties. He then encouraged all businesses to submit their E-forms electronically especially since e-filing is now mandatory for companies. (Malaysian Digest)

Property market set to improve
Property consultancy firm Rahim & Co expects the Malaysian property market to see recovery within the next year or so, forecasting property transactions to grow approximately 10% over the next 24 months. Although the market had been declining since it peaked in 2012, the rate of decline in transactions is seen to be slowing down. While 2017 would still be a slow year for the property market, it is hoped that the decline will halt within the next 12 to 18 months, and gradually pick up from there. Meanwhile, based on data, the local market has a 10-year cycle. This means that the local property market sees a dip every 10 years and remains subdued for about two to three years before rebounding. (The Edge Markets)

Econpile bags RM570mil contract from Malton
Econpile Holdings Bhd has bagged its single largest contract to-date, a RM570.4 million deal from Malton Bhd’s unit Domain Resources Sdn Bhd to carry out foundation and basement works for a mixed development project in Pusat Bandar Damansara, Kuala Lumpur. The works include contiguous bored pile, piling works, basement structure works and earthworks for a nine-block office and three blocks of serviced apartments on top of a four-storey retail podium. The development is reported to be Pavilion Damansara Heights, which has a RM7bil GDV. (The Star Online)

Artist's impression of Pavilion Damansara Heights (Image from Pavilion Damansara Heights)

Artist’s impression of Pavilion Damansara Heights (Image from Pavilion Damansara Heights)

Land meant for TNB quarters used to build hotel
PKR’s Nurul Izzah Anwar has questioned the construction of apartments, offices and a hotel on a plot of land that she claimed was reserved for the building of quarters for Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) staff. A notice board at the construction site, however, lists several projects, including a parking lot, apartments and offices to be built on the plot of land. Parents of students at two nearby schools – Sri Dasmesh International School and SK Bangsar – were unhappy with the construction work and complained that it was a hazard to the students. (Free Malaysia Today)

New coat of paint for KL public housing buildings
DBKL is set to give all buildings of the People’s Housing Project (PPR) and Public Housing (PA) in the federal capital a new coat of paint. The painting job is expected to be completed by July. A uniform colour will be used, but has yet to be selected. Allocation for the project will come under the 1Malaysia Maintenance Fund, and cover 33 PPR and 37 PA areas in the city. DBKL would also upgrade the infrastructure at all the PPR and PA facilities, such as repairing lifts, providing additional car parking bays and installing CCTV cameras in lifts. (Astro Awani)

MPSJ pushes for city status
The Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) submitted its application for city status to the state government last year, raising residents’ concerns about the possibility of higher assessment tax. However, MPSJ president Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan assured that obtaining city status does not automatically mean a hike in assessment rates, as that will require the state government’s consent. Nor Hisham stressed that MPSJ was ready for city status as they had not only met but surpassed the criteria needed. “We have facilities and infrastructure such as the urban forest that was launched last year and an upcoming project to have a single-loop, 10km cycling track in Putra Heights near the LRT station. Now we are focusing more on improving our services,” he said. MPSJ has also scored high in the Malaysian Urban-Rural National Indicators Network on Sustainable Development (MURNInets). There are two city councils in Selangor: Shah Alam, which achieved city status in 2010, and Petaling Jaya in 2006. (Star Metro)

mpsj criteria for city status