Zuraida: States should offer land for affordable homes
State governments should offer their lands for the development of affordable houses, said Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin. She explained that this will not affect the pricing of affordable housing as well as the compliance cost. “The chief ministers have the responsibility to ensure that the people will live comfortably. So [we] will come out with a policy where the state government should offer their lands, which are spacious enough and with enough infrastructure around the land,” she noted. Additionally, she said the ministry will be working closely with the Bank Negara Malaysia to allow flexible loans and interest. (The Edge Markets)

Naza TTDI upbeat about high-end property market
Naza TTDI Sdn Bhd is still optimistic about the high end property market and unperturbed by the strong competition from Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC), Bandar Malaysia and Tun Razak Exchange (TRX). Executive director and COO Datuk Idzham Mohd Hashim said the property arm of Naza Corp Holdings Sdn Bhd sees strong demand for its flagship development – KL Metropolis – as it focuses on basic fundamentals of property development. This includes having the right location, good planning and competitive pricing. KL Metropolis, which is expected to command RM20 billion in GDV, will not saturate the market as it sells in phases for about 15 to 20 years until completion, he added. The newly-launched Met Galleria is the first retail component of property development mixed with KL Metropolis, involving a GDV of RM160 million. (NST Online)

Malaysia extends bauxite mining moratorium until Dec 31
The Malaysian government said it has prolonged its 2016 moratorium on bauxite mining until year-end as large stockpiles of the aluminium-making raw material remain uncleared. The moratorium is until Dec 31, as there is still half a million tonnes of bauxite stockpiled at the ports. Malaysia was once the biggest supplier of bauxite to top buyer China, but unregulated mining and run-offs from unsecured stockpiles in the eastern state of Pahang contaminated water sources, turning roads, rivers and coastal waters red. This led to a ban on all bauxite mining activity since early 2016. (NST Online)

Govt assures Malaysia will not become world’s solid waste bin
The government has given assurance that Malaysia will not become the world’s solid waste bin, after China banned imports of solid waste from developed countries and refused to recycle more of the world’s trash. Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin said the government had taken a drastic step by introducing new sets of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and regulations for the application of solid waste import license and revoking the 114 existing licences immediately. “The licence holders need to reapply the licence and meet the new SOP and criteria to ensure that there will be no violation of standards and regulations,” Yeo said. China’s ban on imports of foreign solid waste came into force in January, forcing some developed countries to send their waste to other Asian countries, including Malaysia. (The Edge Markets)

No plans for Go-Jek ride-hailing in Malaysia due to high accident rate
There are no plans to introduce motorcycle ride-hailing services in the country, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke. BN lawmaker Khairy Jamaluddin proposed that ride-hailing, such as Indonesia’s Go-Jek, be introduced here as an alternative means of public transportation. However, Loke noted that motorcycle accidents were very high and introducing ride-hailing would mean even more motorcycles on the road. “Also, it would not be easy to regulate ride-hailing and it would end up becoming a big issue like what happened to e-hailing,” he added. Meanwhile, the Government would focus on increasing the use of public transportation, particularly in the Klang Valley. (The Star Online)