Malaysia ranks 1st in world’s best healthcare category
Malaysia, with a score of 95 out of 100, was ranked first in the Best Healthcare in the World category of the 2019 International Living Annual Global Retirement Index. According to the International Living website, among top six countries that obtained the best ratings in the category of Best Healthcare in the World for this year, Malaysia ranked first with its world-class healthcare services and sophisticated infrastructure. 13 hospitals in the country are accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI), and almost all doctors were fluent in English, thus communication was flawless. There are both private and public hospitals, and even at private hospitals, the treatment was affordable for minor visits. Prescriptions in Malaysia cost a fraction of those overseas, and “medical staff in Malaysia, are well-trained and informed”, it said. (The Star Online)

DBKL caps plot ratio for development in capital
Property projects, which were previously granted approval in principle with a higher plot ratio than what is permitted under the newly gazetted Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 (KLCP 2020), are required to seek fresh approval from DBKL. The requirement applies to all types of developments, including commercial and residential, in the capital city. However, property projects, which have already been granted the development order, are not affected and are allowed to proceed. The projects that have already been given the development order but have yet to commence are only required to apply for an extension to later date. There is a limit to a plot ratio for all land in KL but all land varies in the ratio, under the newly gazetted KLCP2020. Developers or investors in the past had been willing to pay premium price for tracts in the city centre expecting that the high plot ratio would enable them to make up for it. (The Edge Markets)

MAPEX to offer a range of incentive for house buyers
The Malaysia Property Expo (MAPEX) Home Ownership Campaign is set to offer house buyers a host of incentives, including the possibility of a stamp duty waiver for second-time home buyers. Rehda Penang chairman Datuk Toh Chin Leong said discussions were ongoing with the Finance Ministry to extend the stamp duty exemptions to second-time buyers for properties priced between RM300,001 and RM1mil over a six-month period beginning Jan 1. Other incentives were stamp duty exemption of up to RM300,000 on sale and purchase agreements as well as loan agreements for a period of two years until December 2020 for properties up to RM500,000. He said there would also be a waiver of the 3% levy for foreign purchasers for a limited period of one month in February. “We are in discussions to extend the 3% waiver to June 30 as developers may not be able to respond fast enough to maximise this incentive,” he said. (The Star Online)

(Source: NST)

Tropicana aborts deal to sell Johor land for RM570m
Tropicana Corp Bhd has called off its proposed disposal of 251.59 acres freehold land in Gelang Patah, Johor, for RM569.87 million. The property developer said the sale and purchase agreement (SPA) has lapsed on Feb 1 and shall be rendered null and void. The agreement was inked in July 2016 by the group’s unit Tropicana Desa Mentari Sdn Bhd with Tiarn Oversea Group Sdn Bhd, in which Tropicana expected to realise a gain on disposal of about RM55.5 million. Tiarn intended to undertake a two-phase development on the land, with Phase 1 comprising 60 acres and the remainder 191.6 acres constituting the second phase. The land disposal was expected to complete in the second half of 2022. (The Sun Daily)

Rehda wants banks to provide figures on loan defaulters
Rehda has told banks to come clean with figures on loan defaulters which resulted in the financial institution coming up with stricter policies for people to secure loans to buy houses. Its former Penang chairman Datuk Jerry Chan said Malaysians have been treating housing loan repayment as an important part of their life, and the loan default rate had not gone up much in recent years. The financial institution has been implementing strict policies which, he alleged, had make it difficult for new home buyers to secure loans. “Now the criteria [for housing loans] has changed and salary has gone up as well but people are facing problems,” he said. He said people were willing to make extra income and take up part time jobs so that the they can pay their housing loan. Chan said people were still waiting for the state government’s announcement of reduction of charges imposed on developers for property developments in the state. (NST Online)