Malaysia to take possession of 1MDB-linked yacht from Indonesia
Malaysia is making arrangements with Indonesia to take ownership of a luxury yacht linked to the 1MDB multi-billion dollar financial scandal. The Cayman Islands-registered Equanimity, believed to be worth some US$250 million, was seized in February off the Indonesian tourist island of Bali. Lawsuits allege that US$1.7 billion worth of assets were allegedly bought with the stolen funds, which US officials are seeking to recover. Those assets include a 300-foot (90-metre) yacht bought by Jho Low, a former unofficial adviser to 1MDB. A senior maritime official familiar with the talks told AFP that the super yacht was in Indonesian waters off Batam near Singapore. Malaysia’s anti-corruption authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Jho Low, accused of being a key figure in the scandal surrounding sovereign wealth fund 1MDB. (NST Online)

Central data system needed to address public housing woes
Housing and Local Government Deputy Minister Senator Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad said such a system would allow the authorities to readily identify genuine buyers of public housing units. “It will readily verify (via their name and MyKad number) their status and give priority to those without a home, especially eligible first-time buyers from the lower-income group,” he said. “At the same time, the system will also prevent abuse by unscrupulous people with strong political and business connections, in amassing a wealth of homes.” He highlighted Singapore’s Housing Development Board (HDB) scheme, which had succeeded in ensuring that more than 90% of its citizens owned affordable homes. New measures and initiatives would have to be implemented, including encouraging developers to be more competitive, easing housing loan requirements, and getting banks to consider accumulated family income and part-time wages for loan applications. (NST Online)

MIPFM urges building owners to only hire registered property managers
The Malaysian Institute of Property and Facilities Management (MIPFM) has urged building owners to only engage with registered property or facility managers to ensure that they have a means to take action against errant service providers. The institute also called for the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) and the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVAEAP) to come down hard on property and facilities managers who fail to carry out their services and endanger lives. CIDB is urging facilities management service providers to register with them while BOVAEP has embarked on a year-long campaign beginning January to recruit property managers. (The Edge Markets)

MRCB plans commercial hub after launch of Alstonia in Bukit Rahman Putra
Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd (MRCB) will introduce a hybrid residential development in Bukit Rahman Putra, Sungai Buloh, Selangor this September. Dubbed Alstonia, the 4.11 acres of freehold gated-and-guarded strata development comprises a mix of garden villas and condominium unit, with a total GDV of RM243 million. Both will share common facilities such as pool, gym, multipurpose hall, landscaped walkway, etc. The key design concept of Alstonia is based on the “kampung” (village) resort feel. After Alstonia, an integrated commercial development is planned for launch by end of 2019 on a 4.55-acre plot next to it, comprising shop units, retail podium and one block of serviced apartments. The project will focus on pedestrian-friendly connectivity between different components within the development. (The Edge Markets)

Employers of illegals urged to settle compound or face travel ban
Starting next month, employers who do not settle their compound with the Immigration Department will be blacklisted and prevented from leaving the country. They will also not be allowed to have any dealings with the department until they pay up the compound, in a move that has outraged employers and bosses who call this “unfair” and “unnecessary”. Employers have claimed that some 100,000 out of the 700,000 applications for rehiring illegal foreign workers were rejected. From Sept 1, employers who have not settled their compound payments with the Immigration department following the end of the rehiring programme in June would be blacklisted. (The Star Online)