Gobind: Broadband prices to fall at least 25% by year end
Broadband users should expect prices to fall by at least 25% by the end of the year, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo. This follows the implementation of the Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing (MSAP) by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) on June 8. Gobind said the relevant parties are currently in commercial discussions to finalise the wholesale prices, which are expected to be concluded by July/August. He also announced that the government would consider recognising access to internet as a basic human right in Malaysia, even a constitutional right. This is because broadband services are critical for the transformation of our nation into a digital economy and to ensure that all Malaysians have access to information. (The Edge Markets)

Ministry’s decision to ensure projects adhere to build-and-sell concept welcomed
The National House Buyers Association (HBA) has hailed the announcement by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government that it will streamline all housing projects to ensure that they adhere to the build-and-sell concept. “This is indeed good news for the rakyat who have been pleading for years for this concept to be adopted in order to put some organisation into the housing industry, and to ease nightmares brought about by the housing industry,” said HBA Secretary-General Chang Kim Loong. Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the move to BTS concept was to ensure the issue of abandoned housing projects stretching for long periods to be thoroughly addressed. Zuraida said other aspects to be revised were loan processes from banks to ensure that the people would be able to own a home. (The Sun Daily)

PR1MA housing in Penang now under state govt control
The Penang government will be taking charge of 1Malaysia People’s Housing (PR1MA) projects in the state to ensure they are completed as planned, said state executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo. Housing and local government minister Zuraida Kamaruddin had given the state government the green light to take charge and ensure the projects are implemented smoothly. The ministry is now in the process of sorting out its portfolio and the different projects that were spread out over different agencies. The state had approved three PR1MA projects in the state, one in Batu Ferringhi and two in Kampung Kastam, back in 2016. However, there had been snail-paced progress for the projects since the approvals, thus the state government will be conducting checks on these projects to make sure there is no delay in the construction progress. (Malay Mail Online)

Malaysia falls 3 spots in world digital competitiveness
Malaysia has fallen three spots to 27th position in the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2018, its lowest overall score in five years. According to the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Center’s report, the majority (29) of contries in the study showed improvement this year, but SEA nations such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia recorded a decline. Meanwhile, Singapore, which was ranked number one in the last five years, was overtaken by the United States in the study of 63 economies. Other countries in the top five were Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland. The overall ranking was based on three factors: knowledge, technology and future readiness. Malaysia maintained its knowledge ranking at 17th place while dropping four rungs to 22 for technology and two spots to 29 for readiness towards digital transformation. (Free Malaysia Today)

Property company sues NSTP, reporter for RM250mil
A property company is seeking RM250 million in damages from The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Bhd (NSTP) and one of its reporters, Che Wan Badrul Alias, over an article linking it to the Kuala Lumpur Vertical City (KLVC) project. Synergy Promenade Sdn Bhd (SPSB) said it had filed the suit after Berita Harian, which is published by NSTP, failed to issue an apology for the said article. “Berita Harian in its article falsely accused SPSB of wrongdoing in the transfer of Felda assets which led to the agency incurring losses.” It was previously reported that FIC Sdn Bhd, an investment arm of Felda, appointed SPSB as KLVC’s main developer. (Free Malaysia Today)