Malaysia to abolish, amend 117 laws
The government is seeking to abolish, amend and reintroduce a total of 117 laws, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong. Liew, who is in charge of legal affairs, said the abolishment of some of these laws was in its final stages pending further discussions with stakeholders and lawmakers. Without providing details, Liew made it clear that only laws that the government deemed oppressive would be repealed. Liew also said the government was determined to abolish the Sedition Act 1948. He said in its place, a new legislation would be tabled to protect the people and Malay rulers. Meanwhile, Liew said the people were free to criticise the government’s actions, policies and conduct. (NST Online)

Glomac revises downwards property launches to RM780mil
Glomac Bhd has revised downwards its property launches to RM780 million in the current year ending April 2019 from its RM1.06 billion initial target, in view of continued challenging real estate market. Group managing director and CEO Datuk Seri FD Iskandar said the upcoming launches would remain in the mid-market and affordable segments targeted at millennial buyers. “About 65% of the RM780 million will be priced at RM500,000 and below,” he said. On Glomac’s wishlist for the upcoming 2019 Budget, FD Iskandar expressed hope that the new government would introduce measures to reduce cost of doing business and not impose additional taxes. He also suggested the government-driven ‘home ownership campaign’ be carried out, which collaborates stakeholders from bankers, lawyers and developers, especially for affordable homes priced below RM500,000. (NST Online)

No more middlemen in hiring of foreign workers next year
There will be no more middlemen, who earn super-high profits, in the hiring of foreign workers in Malaysia soon. The joint committee between the home ministry and human resources ministry on the management of foreign workers has decided to discontinue the practice of outsourcing foreign worker recruitment to agencies as early as next year. It also intends to implement a multi-tier levy system, which is expected to result in a 20%, or higher, increase in levy, by next year. According to Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, there are at least 100 companies handling over 26,000 foreign workers involved in the outsourcing system. “Our goal is to avoid undesirable things happening [to the foreign workers]. There [have] been complaints [about agencies], that there is unfair treatment of the workers, cases of human trafficking, and various issues related to foreign workers,” he said. (The Edge Markets)

The landslide at a construction site in Bukit Kukus – Photo by Sayuti Zainudin

Housing Ministry probing Bukit Kukus construction site after landslide
The Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) will study whether there were violations of the standard operating procedures (SOP) on works carried out at the construction site of the paired road at Jalan Bukit Kukus in Paya Terubong, resulting in the recent landslide. Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the evaluation report was expected to be ready next week. As at 6pm today, nine bodies were found, with one other victim believed missing. The incident that buried containers and the workers’ kongsi at the construction site, also resulted in four people being injured. (Malay Mail Online)

Call for audit income of PPR tenants
A lawmaker has suggested Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to audit the income of its People’s Housing Project’s (PPR) tenants. Setiawangsa Member of Parliament Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the audit was necessary as some of the tenants were from the high income group and not eligible for the PPR houses. The audit will ascertain whether the tenants’ income had increased or the housing units were obtained through improper means. He said only those with income below the minimum level should be allowed to continue to stay at the PPR units at the rental rate of RM124 a month. He also suggested that tenants with high income be imposed rental rate of RM250 a month. (The Sun Daily)