LRT3 gets green light to continue after cost slashed by 47%
The Cabinet yesterday approved the continuation of the LRT3 project at a final cost of RM16.63 billion. In his announcement, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the cost was reduced by 47% from RM31.65 billion, thus saving Malaysians RM15.02 billion. “This (is inclusive of) all project costs, including but not limited to Work Package Contracts (WPC), land acquisition, project management, consultancy fees, operational and overhead costs, as well as interest during construction,” he said. The 37km line aims to alleviate traffic congestion along one of the most important and densely populated economic development corridors in the Klang Valley, from Klang to Petaling Jaya. Among the key steps taken to reduce costs was reduction in number of trains, size of the LRT train depot, and streamlining the size and design of LRT3 stations. (NST Online)

Govt to regulate e-hailing industry starting today
Starting today (12 July), all e-hailing companies must register with the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) and comply to a set of regulations. Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the move to regulate the e-hailing industry was aimed to give a level playing field for the taxi industry and e-hailing operators. The regulations were also in line with the taxi industry, involved conditions to apply for licence; conditions for vehicles; conditions for driver worthiness and conditions for operation. E-hailing companies will need to register with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) and the Cooperative Commission of Malaysia (SKM). There are currently about 10 e-hailing companies in Malaysia. (NST Online)

Sentoria buys 150-acre Morib land for RM20.25mil to build theme park
Sentoria Group Bhd has bought 150 acres of land in Morib, Kuala Langat in Selangor for RM20.25 million, to be used for development purposes. The purchase price comprises RM2.97 million for water theme park land (22 acres), resort and convention centre land for RM5.13 million (38 acres), Safari Park land for RM10.53 million (78 acres) and a boutique hotel land for RM1.62 million (12 acres). Sentoria said the land acquisition will enable the group to increase its access to more land bank to further establish its position in property development. (The Edge Markets)

Dosh: Most work-related casualties occur at construction sites
Construction companies in Johor, especially in Iskandar Malaysia economic growth corridor, must be more proactive by focusing on the safety aspects of their workers, said Johor Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) director Saiful Azhar Mohd Said. Out of the 26 work-related casualties recorded in the first six months of this year, 16 occurred at construction sites. The remaining 10 casualties were at factories and plantations, with 80% of the deaths at the construction sites involving foreign workers. Johor had recorded 45 casualties at work sites last year, of which 27 cases were at construction sites. Most of the construction workers died after falling from high places while working on high-rise buildings or after being trapped between heavy equipment or machinery. (The Star Online)

Govt mulls raising minimum property prices for foreign buyers
The government is looking into increasing minimum property prices for foreign buyers in efforts to retain Malaysian buyers’ interest and ease the competition between the locals and foreigners in property market. Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) secretary general Datuk Mohammad Mentek said a new thresholds will be set based on the condition of the local currency. For example, RM1 million is currently at around US$250,000, which is actually quite low if we consider the current economic condition, he said. Mohammad said the government has been considering a range of ideal prices to be fixed. However, he declined to divulge what is the expected timeline for the government to impose the new limits. The revised minimum prices would help shift the property developers’ interest from luxury development to affordable homes. At present, the threshold for residential property purchase for foreign interest is capped at RM1 million, excluding properties in Penang Island, Perlis, Melaka, Kedah and Sarawak. (The Malaysian Reserve)