Government scraps MRT 3 project
The Klang Valley mass rapid transit line 3 (MRT 3 or Circle Line) project, reported to cost between RM40bil and RM45bil, will not proceed, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. It was planned as a loop line to integrate the existing two lines, with most of its stations underground. He also said the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) was still being studied, and that Malaysia was open to re-considering its decision on the HSR, depending on discussions with Singapore. “If this country is to avoid bankruptcy, we must learn how to manage our big debts by doing away with projects that are not beneficial to the country,” he added. (The Star Online)

SST to be reintroduced beginning Sept 2018
Malaysia will reintroduce the sales and services tax (SST) beginning September 2018 to replace the goods and services tax (GST). Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told reporters that the Finance Ministry will provide more details on the SST on Thursday. “The SST was previously 10%. We will roll out the SST beginning September and meanwhile, the zero-rated GST will kick off on June 1, as per what we have announced,” he said. (The Edge Markets)

Malaysia to keep JB-S’pore RTS link but looking to reduce costs
Malaysia will go ahead with plans to build a cross-border MRT line between Johor Baru and Singapore, but wants to look at ways to lower costs, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke. The government has agreed to continue with the Rapid Transit System (RTS) link, a 4km line that will connect Bukit Chagar station in Johor Baru to Woodlands North. “We want to review the terms and conditions, and the Finance Ministry will look into how to reduce the cost of the project,” he said. (The Straits Times)

Bursa Malaysia skids to 5-month low amid global sell-off
Fears over a looming US-China trade war and a political crisis in Italy jolted global financial markets today, with the Malaysian bourse tumbling as much as 66.33 points or 3.74% at one point, exacerbated by uncertainty on the domestic front amid the review and revocation of several mega projects. The FBM KLCI slumped to an intraday low of 1,709.51 points in the afternoon session after Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad announced the scrapping of the MRT3 project. The construction index saw the sharpest decline of 8.52 points or 3.79% to 216.04 points, followed by the properties and the finance indices, which fell 4.75% and 3.09% to 1,009.87 points and 17,188.82 points, respectively. (The Sun Daily)

DBKL cancels PPR, public housing repainting contracts worth RM180mil
The contracts of 10 firms appointed to repaint Public Housing and People’s Housing Project (PPR) buildings in Kuala Lumpur involving RM180 million have been cancelled with immediate effect. The move was decided and announced by Kuala Lumpur mayor Tan Sri Mhd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz following some disputes over the award of the contracts without going through open tender. It was found that these 10 appointed contractors are the same contractors who carried out the renovations of the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) offices as well as those of the former Federal Territories Minister and his deputy. Repainting works that were ongoing would be allowed to be completed. (Malay Mail Online)