Malaysia starts auction of luxury yacht Equanimity
Malaysia has started an auction of financier Low Taek Jho’s $250 million luxury yacht that investigators allege was bought with funds embezzled from investment company 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). Bidding on “Equanimity” starts Monday and will end Nov 28. No estimate was given on the amount expected to raise from the sale. The yacht is among more than $1.7 billion in assets that the U.S. claims were acquired by Low and his accomplices with money allegedly siphoned from 1MDB. A Malaysian court approved in August an application by the government and 1MDB to dispose of the boat that they said was costing “substantial and escalating expenses” to maintain. (NST Online)

Rehda: Properties in new launches to be at least 5% cheaper
Following numerous calls for lower property prices, the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) has come out to say that house buyers can now expect prices to be at least 5% lower for new launches. This is partly attributable to 2.5% to 5% of savings for developers after the exemption of the sales and services tax (SST) on basic construction materials and all construction services. However, the quantum of savings for developers is dependent on the type of developments and will only be applicable to new projects, as prices for previously launched projects during the goods and services tax (GST) era would have been agreed upon with the contractor, and are already in various stages of completion. (The Sun Daily)

Inheritance Tax may further dampen property market – PEPS
It is inappropriate to introduce the inheritance tax now despite the need for the government to widen its tax base to raise revenue as its implementation will further dampen the property market, says the Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector Malaysia (PEPS). It said it understood that the Government was toying with the idea of imposing taxes like the inheritance tax and real property gains tax to tide over the shortfall of revenue from the withdrawal of the goods and services tax (GST) and the introduction of the sales and services tax (SST), as well as to lessen its debts and liabilities. In view of the current downside of the property cycle, the tax, if implemented, would further dampen the property market. PEPS also recommended that the current real property tax structure (last revised in 2015) to be maintained until the property market stabilises. (The Edge Markets)

BOVAEP: No need for separate board for property, facility and strata managers
There is no need to establish a separate board to register and regulate property, facility and strata managers as the three professions are already being regulated by different bodies, said the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVAEP). Its president Nordin Daharom was replying to a report that KPKT and the Malaysian Institute of Property and Facility Managers (MIPFM) will be discussing the viability of having a separate board of property and facility managers. Nordin also stressed that the registration of property managers comes under the Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers Act 1981. Strata managers are regulated by the Commissioner of Building under the Strata Management Act 2013, while the facility managers are regulated by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB). (The Edge Markets)

Putrajaya to close Tabung Harapan on Dec 31
Tabung Harapan Malaysia (THM) will be closed on Dec 31, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng. He said in a statement that the Cabinet had agreed to close the fund which was set up seven months ago. “Malaysians who wish to donate can do so before Dec 31,” he added. Lim said the accumulated total of THM as at 3pm on Monday was RM196,322,746.30 which encompassed contributions received from individuals, organisations or bodies as well as interest from fixed deposit accounts administered by the National Audit Department. (Free Malaysia Today)