Customs cancel plan to extend GST on over 60 food items
The Royal Malaysian Customs Department has cancelled a plan to extend the goods and services tax (GST) to more than 60 food items starting from July 1. The decision was made after referring the matter to the finance ministry, Customs said in a statement yesterday, without providing any reason. It was reported that the affected food items include include eel, swordfish, corn, frozen vegetables, imported fruits (avocado, apricot, grape, cherry, peach and plum) and margarine. (The Edge Markets)

PTMP: RM17bil worth of projects approved by Penang
The Penang government has approved a sum of RM17 billion from an estimated total cost of RM46 billion for the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) project. The RM17 billion cost includes the Bayan Lepas LRT from Komtar and the Pan Island Link 1. The total cost of the PTMP as proposed by its project delivery partner SRS Consortium, was RM46 billion for the railway and highway which also included three major roads and undersea tunnel project by Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CSZ). (Malay Mail Online)

SP Setia acquires Melbourne land for RM1.37bil project
Property developer S P Setia has successfully won the bid for its sixth land parcel in Melbourne, opposite its first Melbourne project. The 1,714 sq m site was acquired for A$61 million (RM198 million) in a highly competitive bidding by CBRE. The developer is planning to launch a high-rise residential development on the site in 2H2017 with an estimated GDV of A$419 million (RM1.37 billion). (The Edge Markets)

Scaffolding demand to soar in 2017
Scaffolding, a temporary structure that supports work crew and materials to aid construction, will be more in demand this year. The construction industry is anticipated to grow by 8% this year, underpinned by several mega infrastructure and real estate projects, raising the sector’s overall value to RM170 billion. Scaffoldings are used during construction to prevent the equipment from falling or to act as weather protection for workers. The scaffolding business is currently valued at about RM40 million per annum and this was expected to grow in the years to come. (NST Online)

Prasarana driving towards world-class transport services
Public transport operator Prasarana Malaysia Bhd has emerged as a truly full-fledged transit company with its expansion in Penang, where it has now entered into the ferry services industry. The company is also expanding into other sectors, building its non-fare revenue-generating components such as TODs, beefing up its LRT capacity and roping in e-hailers to help ease congestions as well as cutting transportation costs for passengers. Today, Prasarana connects the public to major destinations with its LRT, Monorail, Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and bus services in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kuantan and Kamunting. The national multi-modal public transport operator expects to be in the black by 2018 or 2019, after decades of losses despite increasing revenue and ridership. (Malay Mail Online)

Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia launch joint maritime patrols
The Trilateral Maritime Patrol (TMP) arrangement between Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines has officially been launched. “The main objective of this initiative is to ensure that militant threats such as the Islamic State (IS) do not use the Sulu Sea to gain entry into our countries, more so following the Marawi city incident,” said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein. The TMP has established set procedures that include information sharing, improved communications, and joint air and sea patrols by the three nations. (The Star Online)

Trilateral Maritime Patrol launch

The trilateral maritime patrols (TMP) were launched yesterday from Tarakan Island off the coast of North Kalimantan in Indonesia (Photo from