Full MRT line services to begin on Monday
Cheras and Kajang residents will have easier rail access to popular areas in Kuala Lumpur when the final phase of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line starts its run on Monday. The completion of the entire MRT line, with the final stretch being from Semantan to Kajang, is expected to change the lives of city folk drastically. Commuters can travel the entire 51km line from Sungai Buloh to Kajang within an estimated time of 84 minutes. There will be seven interchange stations in the SBK Line — Sungai Buloh, Muzium Negara, Pasar Seni, Merdeka, Bukit Bintang, Maluri and Kajang. (The Star Online)

MM2H participants contributed RM4.9bil in property purchases since 2012
The Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme has contributed RM4.9 billion to Malaysia’s real estate sector since 2012. The programme has been well received and the tangible benefits and total receipts the programme has contributed to Malaysia’s economy from 2012 until now, amount to RM12.8 billion, with property purchases among the largest contributors. MM2H has also raked in RM52 million in visa fee collection, RM4.9 billion in fixed deposits and RM148 million in automobile purchases. China remains the top participating country with almost 8,714 approved participants, followed by Japan, Bangladesh, UK, Iran, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, Pakistan and India. (The Edge Markets)

OCR offers buyback scheme for luxury condo project
The weak property market has given birth to many “innovative” marketing packages, the most recent being a guaranteed buyback scheme for a high-end property. O&C Resources Bhd’s (OCR) is one of these, where its “The Pano” project at Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur is offering to buy back units from buyers within a year’s time upon vacant possession. Buyers can expect to reap a gain of 15% to 20% from their purchase price, depending on unit type. According to an agent, the purpose of having the buyback scheme is a reflection of the company’s confidence in the project as well as to bring profit to the house buyers. The project was launched early this year and more than 80% of the units have been taken up, according to the sales agent. (The Sun Daily)

Artist’s impression of The Pano (Image from OCR)

Mah Sing looking for more land, focus on affordable properties
Mah Sing Group Bhd, which currently holds a 2,183-acre (883.43ha) land bank, is still on the lookout for more potential land buys. Over the past few months, Mah Sing has announced several development land acquisitions in Cheras, Sentul, Titiwangsa and in Bukit Mertajam, Penang. The group announced last week that it was axing two deals inked three years ago to focus on affordable properties instead of luxury real estate. It plans to undertake a residential development called M Vertica in Cheras. It will feature affordably priced serviced apartments, with estimated GDV of RM2.2 billion. For the Bukit Mertajam land, Mah Sing intends to develop an industrial business park comprising light industrial factories and shop offices. (The Edge Markets; NST Online)

Damansara Realty Bhd eyeing profitability in FY17
Damansara Realty Bhd (DBhd) is aiming for a balanced contribution from its property and integrated facility management (IFM) businesses, which it hopes would return it to profitability in FY17. The company had been wallowing in losses for the last three consecutive years, from FY14 to FY16. The company had embarked on a strategic restructuring exercise which entailed the restructuring and integration of its IFM solutions business and expansion of its project management and consultancy (PMC) services to support its property development ventures. It is currently engaged in four projects in Kuantan, Pahang, Johor Bahru and Putrajaya, of which two would be launched this year while the other two were in the development stage. (The Star Online)

DBKL seizes 550 units of PPR, public housing
Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has seized 550 of the 45,000 housing units leased under the People’s Housing Project (PPR) and public housing (PA) for breach of conditions. DBKL’s clean-up operation since January was to ensure that leased PPR and PA housing units were not misused by the original tenants. The high demand for housing has prompted some original tenants to exploit the situation by leasing their units to third parties. Those caught will have their lease agreements revoked immediately, and the units will be given to those among the 80,000 poor on the waiting list. (Free Malaysia Today)

Malaysia drops to 32nd in International Property Rights Index
Malaysia is currently ranked at 32nd place out of 127 countries for the 2017 International Property Rights Index (IPRI), down six places from last year. Malaysia’s latest score is disconcerting as it is now “clustered” among countries like Rwanda and Panama. Malaysia also ranked seventh out of 19 in the Asian and Oceania regions, with overall score in the ranking decreased to 6.61 out of 10. This year’s IPRI, however, saw world property rights average increase, with New Zealand on top with 8.63 points. Singapore and Japan were the only two Asian countries to be in the top ten category, earning an IPRI of 8.36 and 8.32 respectively. (Malay Mail Online)

(Photo from The Sun Daily)

Kelantan approves public caning through Syariah law amendment
The Kelantan state assembly has approved public caning with an amendment to the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment 2002. The sentencing can be carried out in public or prison depending on the court’s decision, and is in accordance with the religion, as in Islam the sentencing must be done in public, said Deputy Menteri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah. Among the amendments are the introduction of public canings and the acceptance of video and other electronic equipment as evidence in court trials. (The Sun Daily)