Most Malaysians cannot survive 1 week without income
A survey by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has revealed that a vast majority of Malaysians would run out of funds in under a week should they lose their source of income. The Malaysian Reserve reported that BNM’s Capability and Inclusion Survey 2015 found only 32% of people would be able to cover at least a week’s worth of expenses if they lose their job, and called for financial education to be prioritised. It also revealed that a significant number of Malaysians live for the moment and display short-sighted tendencies, focusing on instant gratification, which was particularly prominent among the millennial generation. (Free Malaysia Today)

Malaysia moves up seven places in Economic Freedom report
Malaysia has edged up seven places to rank 65 among 159 countries in 2015, according to the recently-published Economic Freedom of The World Report 2017 (EFW), compared to 72nd placing in 2014. The report, which ranks countries upon the consistency of their institutions and policies in promoting economic freedom, is published by the Fraser Institute in Canada. The 2017 edition was calculated based on the data for the index gathered in 2015. Regionally, Malaysia was ranked fourth among Asean countries after Singapore, the Philippines and Cambodia, followed closely by Indonesia and Laos in the fifth and sixth spot. (The Star Online)

LBS Bina outlines six proposals to boost property sector
Property developer LBS Bina Group Bhd has outlined six proposals for the upcoming Budget 2018, which it believes will benefit first-time home buyers, the property industry as well as the entire Malaysian economy. The proposals include: lowering of personal income and corporate taxes; review of the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT); lowering the minimum threshold for foreign buyers; additional incentives and flexible end financing for first-time home buyers; stamp duty waiver for affordable properties; incentives to encourage developers to implement the Industrialised Building System (IBS); setting up a special fund for developers to build affordable homes, and incentives for township developers. (The Edge Markets)

LBS Bina Group MD Tan Sri Lim Hock San & industry leaders discussing the Wish List for Budget 2018 (Photo from Twitter @lbsbinagroup)

Singapore introduced Bill supporting HSR links with Malaysia
A proposed law to support the building and running of two future rail links between Singapore and Malaysia was introduced in Singapore’s parliament on Tuesday. The Cross-Border Railways Bill will provide for the licensing of operators to run train services and maintain railway assets; the appointment of independent safety auditors; and funding for the projects’ construction, among various clauses. It will also empower the Singaporean government to suspend cross-border train services if there are imminent risks to commuter safety, such as a malfunction or terrorist act. The Bill will support the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) as well as the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link. The Bill will be read for a second time at the next sitting. (The Star Online)

TRX Residences eyes 1Q2018 launch
TRX Residences, the residential component of the 17-acre TRX Lifestyle Quarter, is aiming to launch its first homes sometime in the first quarter of next year. The first phase will comprise about 900 units, but not all of these units will be launched simultaneously. The unit sizes, ranging between 500 and 2,000 sq ft, will be designed to cater for a broader swathe of Malaysian property buyers, said Lendlease Malaysia. TRX Residences will comprise six towers of 40 to 57 storeys each that will offer a total 2,400 homes. (The Edge Markets)

Artist impression of the TRX Lifestyle Quarter

TRX retail mall gets three anchor tenants
More than a quarter of the net lettable area (NLA) of retail space at Lendlease’s Lifestyle Quarter in the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) has been successfully leased to three anchor tenants. 26% of its 1.3 million square feet will be occupied by Seibu, a new-to-market leading Japanese departmental store, an upscale supermarket brand by Dairy Farm Group of Hong Kong, as well as a new concept in cinema and entertainment by Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC). Lendlease’s lifestyle quarters occupy up to a quarter of TRX’s total 70 acres and will be the heartbeat of the financial centre. (The Star Online)

KAJ Development urged to speed up Melaka Gateway project
The Melaka government has directed KAJ Development Sdn Bhd to speed up work on the Melaka Gateway project as its progress is behind schedule. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron said the land reclamation work, which started eight years ago, was supposed to be completed by now but was only 40% completed. This would not only affect the state government’s economy, but also tarnished Melaka’s image as a tourist destination. The Melaka Gateway spanning 1,504.9ha is a private initiative project encompassing mixed development over four artificial islands and is classified as a national project under the National Key Economic Areas. (The Star Online)

Scale model of the Melaka Gateway project (Photo from Aliran)

Sentoria sets sales target of RM450mil for FY18
Sentoria Group Bhd has set new sales target for FY17-18 at RM350mil and RM450mil respectively. However, it expects the property division to face higher development and construction costs. The group is involved in property development, with its own construction arm and also the leisure and hospitality industry. Its 3Q17 results showed unbilled sales from on-going projects in Kuantan, Morib and Kuching at at RM284.6mil. It also has planned launches with GDV of RM497.3mil in the pipeline. (The Star Online)

PKNS HQ in Shah Alam wins two global architecture awards
The Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS) headquarters in Shah Alam has received two top prizes at the 2017 Cityscape Global Awards for Emerging Markets in Dubai last month. Built by Veritas Design Group, the building bagged the two awards under the Low-Rise Commercial (Built) and Sustainability Design categories. The six-storey building has an ascending green roof that can be seen looping back to the lake to connect to a pedestrian walkway, and forms a green promenade that offers people a place to enjoy the surrounding views or to hold events. The building has both Malaysia’s Green Building Index (GBI) Platinum rating and LEED Platinum rating from the US Green Building Council. (Star2)