MACC probe awaits ‘mystery project’ in Medan Imbi
Questions have risen over how a private company was able to develop a six-storey office building and several durian kiosks on two plots of government land valued at RM20 million in Medan Imbi, Bukit Bintang in 2016, without paying “a single sen” in rent or premium. The Federal Territories Ministry is set to lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the issue, which it believed involved corruption and abuse of power involving several figures from the previous administration. The two lots, owned by the Federal Territories and measuring 16,000 sq ft, were originally a playground and open area filled with trees. It has now been replaced with an office building and durian kiosks. “The two lots were developed by the same company. The question now is, how did they (the company) manage to develop government land?” said Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad, noting that the land was neither paid for nor leased to the company. (NST Online)

JB’s high-rise residences vacancy rate expected to hit an unprecedented high
The vacancy rate of Johor Bahru’s high-rise residences is expected to hit above 50% for the first time in 2019, said CBRE | WTW Johor Bahru director Tan Ka Leong. Tan pointed out that the 2019 market outlook for high-end, high-rise residential in Johor Bahru will remain challenging. “Landed residential property transaction volume was down 20% while high-rise residential property transactions dropped 50% last year. There were also fewer high-end residential transactions in 2018,” he noted. Tan foresees prices and rents moving downwards in 2019 and for the first time, the vacancy rate will break through the current 50% resistance level in 2019. The situation is just as bad with the purpose built office and retail sectors in Johor Bahru, with vacancy rates expected to rise from the current 26% to 35% in 2019. (The Edge Markets)

Safeguard properties with Landlord123 mobile app
Damaged property and irresponsible tenants are the bane of landlords everywhere, but with the launch of Landlord123, landlords can now manage and safeguard their most valuable asset in a single app. Landlord123 is a mobile app for landlords to manage and keep track of their rental properties. It offers landlords measures to avoid becoming a victim of property damage and other uninvited situations, which are highly preventable. It is also a paperless, hassle-free way for landlords and property managers to keep track of rental properties. Landlords usually do not have time to conduct inspections regularly, and do not wish to invade the tenant’s privacy. As a solution, the Landlord123 app prompts on-the-spot photo updates from the tenant on selected dates.(Business Insider)

KIP Mall Kota Warisan may be injected into KIP REIT
KIP Mall Kota Warisan, the retail mall in Sepang owned by the Kepong Industrial Park Group, may be injected into KIP REIT. “We are currently exploring the possible injection of KIP Mall Kota Warisan into the fund by the year 2020, and will also continue to look at any yield-accretive third party properties for acquisition,” said Datuk Chew Lak Seong, managing director of KIP REIT Management Sdn Bhd. KIP Mall Kota Warisan is part of the 37-acre KIP Sentral development in the Kota Warisan township. KIP Sentral, which is envisioned as Kota Warisan’s future commercial hub, also comprises Core SoHo Suites, shop lots and KIP Hotel. (The Edge Markets)

RTS service likely to start after 2024, Singapore warns
Singapore has cast doubts that a rail service linking the republic to Johor Bahru will commence in 2024, as initially projected, and has blamed Malaysia for the delay. Singapore’s transport ministry said the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link Project was falling “behind schedule and not progressing well”. Based on the bilateral agreement, the JV company comprising Singapore’s SMRT and Malaysia’s Prasarana Malaysia Berhad should have been constituted by June 30, 2018. An RTS Link operator should also have been appointed by the two countries by Sept 30 last year. As a result of these delays, the commencement date of RTS Link services will likely be delayed beyond the original target of 31 December 2024. (Free Malaysia Today)