1MDB land surreptitiously sold to Chinese firm
Despite a freeze imposed by the Penang state government on transactions involving 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) Air Itam land in Penang, all 234 acres have been surreptitiously sold to China-based Silk Road Southeast Asia Real Estate Ltd, according to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng. The land was sold for 4.25 billion yuan (RM2.7 billion) on Aug 24, 2017, netting a profit of RM1.32 billion based on the original RM1.38 billion purchase price. Although the full proceeds from the disposal have been received, the transfer of shares to Silk Road has yet to be completed. A source familiar with the issue said the transaction reeks of money laundering, as the Chinese buyer did not subsequently seek the transfer of the shares. The land has many encumbrances and would have been a challenge to develop due to being fragmented and home to some 1,200 “ground tenant” dwellings. (The Edge Markets)

New housing policy 2.0 in Sept likely to focus on reducing prices
The new national housing policy 2.0 expected to be announced in September will focus on reducing house prices by lowering the compliance costs. This is currently being considered for the public housing segment, which will be a subset of the broader national housing policy. The compliance costs include various charges developers pay local authorities and encompasses land conversion fees, and contributions for utilities like electricity, water and Indah Water, which drive up house prices. Compliance costs could be reduced if the various housing-related processes are shortened. Under this public housing segment, the ministry is working with private developers to establish an affordable housing threshold for private developers and public agencies. The policy also calls for a systematic and integrated database to be set up by January 2019 between the National Housing Department and the National Information Property Centre (Napic). (The Star Online)

Govt to form committee to tackle legal loopholes involving architects
The Housing and Local Government Ministry will set up a committee to study a legal loophole where the architect of a development project is able to issue its Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC). “Prior to the CCC, it was called the Certificate of Fitness and was issued by the local authority. But some time in 2008 legal amendments were made which changed it to CCC, and which architects as a professional entity could issue it,” said minister Zuraida Kamaruddin. Another committee has been formed to look into PPA1M residents’ grouses of structural defects and lack of Sales and Purchase Agreement. The committee will consist of individuals from the developer, the residents and agencies’ representatives. (Malay Mail Online)

Ivory Properties says Cheras apartments project is off
Ivory Properties Group Bhd has terminated a MoU with Taman Segar Management Corp and Upper Label Sdn Bhd for the redevelopment of apartments in Cheras, which would have marked its foray into the affordable housing segment in Kuala Lumpur. Under the year-old MoU, the three parties had planned to demolish and redevelop three blocks of 35-year old apartments with 300 units and build 800 units on the 4.45-acre site. Last year, the property developer said the purpose of the MoU was to have an understanding with Taman Segar residents to proceed with an application to Kuala Lumpur City Hall. The developer was to award 300 units to the residents as compensation while the remaining 500 units were to be sold at about RM300,000 each. (The Sun Daily)

Bandar Tun Razak to get FIFA-standard field
The Jalan Budiman recreational field in Bandar Tun Razak, Cheras will be turned into a FIFA standard football field, thanks to Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd and Sinerjuta Sdn Bhd. The recreational field would be relocated next to the Saidina Othman mosque. The football field will come complete with proper drainage system to avoid puddles and to maintain the quality of turf. The toilet will be also upgraded to fit more cubicles and a new changing room. And a grandstand that can seat up to 700 people will also be built. The developer agreed to build the football field following complaints that the replacement field built in 2016 was too far away. That replacement field was to make up for a 2.09ha land, which included a football field on Jalan Jujur, that taken for redevelopment. (The Star Online)