Expect heavy traffic at land checkpoints ahead of Chinese New Year
Motorists can expect long queues at the Causeway over the Chinese New Year period, with some travellers reporting delays of more than three hours before clearing Malaysian Customs on Friday. Traffic is likely to build up even more in the coming days. With many Malaysian workers heading home for the extended holiday period, some set off early to avoid the rush but the congestion was so bad that some bus passengers reportedly decided to alight and walk across the kilometre-long Causeway instead. There are more than 400,000 Malaysians living and working in Singapore. (The Star Online)

‘Local govts must not be slaves to developers’
Local authorities need to put their foot down and not be “slaves” to property developers that launch marketing gimmicks by changing the names of areas to make them more marketable and rake in higher prices for their property. This is because their actions can erase the historical significance and the ties locals have to a place. Local government expert Derek Fernandez said it was the local authorities and not developers who had the final say on the names of neighbourhoods and development projects. As such, he said, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) was solely to be blamed for Kampung Kerinchi being confused as Bangsar South. Allowing a direction sign to “Bangsar South” on the Federal Highway did not help the authority’s case. Fernandez also cited the many Damansara townships in Petaling Jaya with some of the neighbourhoods located as far away as Sungai Buloh. (NST Online)

Deputy minister: Banks should give leeway to B40 group to take housing loans
Banks and financial institutions in the country have been advised to give leeway to housing loan applicants, especially those in the B40 group, by taking into consideration their income from part-time jobs. Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad said it was among the leeways that could be given by those institutions to support the government’s inspiration to give priority to the B40 group in house ownership. He suggested besides the combined income of husband and wife, financial institutions could take into account side income as well, where applicants will have to show evidence of their side income for a reasonable period of six two 12 months to support their applications. (Malay Mail)

Energy Minister Yeo Bee Yin to tie the knot with property man in March
Yeo Bee Yin, the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister will be marrying IOI Properties Group Bhd CEO Lee Yeow Seng, according to Chinese daily Sin Chew. The paper quoted a friend close to Yeo’s family as saying that the wedding will be held at the end of March, although the exact date is unknown. It also reported that the wedding will be held in Kuala Lumpur. Lee, 40, is the youngest son of property tycoon Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng. (Malay Mail)

Police cripple Botak Sern gang
Police have crippled the Botak Sern Gang, which was believed to be active in house-breaking activities, with the detention of 11 individuals including three women on Tuesday. North Johor Bahru District police chief ACP Mohd Taib Ahmad said the suspects, aged from 23 to 28 years, were detained at four separate locations here and in Kulai. “Preliminary investigations believe that all of them who were positive on methamphethamine were involved in four house-breaking cases including at condominiums around here,” he said. He added that investigations found the gang leader had nine records of house-breaking while five other members had various crime records. (Malay Mail)