Cabotage policy for Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan abolished from June 1
A shipping policy that has been blamed for the higher costs of goods in East Malaysia has been scrapped. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that the exemption of the cabotage policy for Sabah and Sarawak as well as Labuan would start from June 1. The 30-year-old policy limits the shipment of goods from the peninsula to Sabah and Sarawak to only Malaysian-flagged ships. The cabotage policy was introduced in the 1980s as a way to promote Port Klang as the nation’s main transshipment hub as it would require goods from outside the country to go through the port before being shipped to Sabah. (The Star Online)

Johor housing developers must allot 40% for affordable homes
The Johor state government has no jurisdiction to put a price cap on real estate properties in the state, but instead has set in place strict measures for developers to include affordable home packages in their housing projects. It has imposed a provision to all housing developers to allocate 40% of its project for affordable housing, which is among the highest percentage fixed by any state in Malaysia. It is one of the measures taken to control escalating house prices to ensure that the low- to middle-income group can own homes and are not burdened by high loan repayment. Another provision to protect the abuse of illegal ownership transfers was set with a 10-year moratorium against any transfer of ownership for any Johor Affordable Housing Scheme or RMMJ. (New Straits Times Online)

High speed rail terminal project not affected by Bandar Malaysia issue
The construction of the high-speed rail (HSR) terminal in Bandar Malaysia will not be affected by changes in the status of the master developer of the project. A consortium led by MRCB is still in negotiations with Bandar Malaysia – now wholly owned by the Ministry of Finance Inc (MoF) – to build an integrated transportation terminal for the HSR project, as it had signed an agreement directly with Bandar Malaysia. Negotiations are ongoing on the design and details of the project and it depends on the alignment of the HSR,” said a source. (The Star Online)

Malton says not in talks with EPF, Dalian Wanda on Bandar Malaysia
Malton Bhd said it is “not” in talks with the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and China-based Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd to jointly bid for the Bandar Malaysia project in Sungai Buloh. The statement was in response to a news report on the speculation, following the lapse of a planned 60% stake sale by IWH CREC. (The Edge Markets)

Lebuh Kiara Recreational Park (Photo: The Star Archives)

Taman Rimba Kiara condo project to proceed despite lawsuit
The housing development project at the Taman Rimba Kiara site in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI), Kuala Lumpur, will proceed despite the opposition encountered, said Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan. The development involved the construction of a 29-storey affordable apartment project and eight service apartment blocks. The TTDI Residents Association had stated yesterday that it would take legal action if the project proceeds, as it would disturb the Rimba Kiara recreational area. It was also opposed because it was claimed it would add to the population density from 74 people for every 0.4 hectare to 979 people. (Malay Mail Online)

MK Land to dispose Kamunting land for RM72mil
MK Land’s wholly-owned unit, Dominant Star Sdn Bhd, is disposing of nine parcels of leasehold land measuring approximately 79.25 hectares in Kamunting, Perak for RM72 million. The land was acquired in 1997 with the cost of investment amounting to RM5.65 million and expected to record a net gain of RM32.14 million. The disposal consideration will be utilised for working capital, corporate tax, real property gains tax and estimated incidental expenses (RM47mil), while the remaining (RM25mil) will be used for project development expenses. (The Star Online)

Kimlun bags RM263mil MBJB office complex job
Kimlun Corp Bhd’s 40%-owned JV company JBB Kimlun Sdn Bhd has bagged a RM263 million contract to construct an office complex block for Majlis Bandaraya Johor Bahru (MBJB) in Plentong, Johor. The project’s duration is 30 months from the date of site possession, and is expected to be completed in October 2019. (The Edge Markets)

Ampang Park Shopping Centre -Yusof Mat Isa/MMO

MRT Corp: Ampang Park land acquisition in court’s hands
MRT Corp has denied that public feedback has been ignored in its proposal to demolish the Ampang Park shopping centre. In response to allegations by Ikhlas, the company said it had met with shop owners several times in 2015 regarding the proposal. MRT Corp had given an offer of mutual agreement for co-existence, where it proposed for the MRT line to be built underground. However, this option was rejected by the owners when they did not came back with any decision or an alternative proposal by the agreed deadline. The proposed land acquisition is to pave way for the Ampang Park MRT Station. (Malay Mail Online)

Western Australia to get A$2.3bil road, rail budget
Western Australia will get a A$2.3 billion (RM7.4 billion) road-and-rail infrastructure package in the federal budget. A little over half of the funds will be spent on the state’s Metronet rail project, with the rest paying for smaller road and bridge projects. The landmark WA Infrastructure Package marks a significant change in federal funding for the state, which will reduce congestion across roads in Perth, and will improve road safety across regional Western Australia. About A$1.86bil will come from funds previously allocated to a freight rail-link project in Perth that has since been cancelled. (Bloomberg)