Malaysian squash queen Nicol David announces her retirement
Malaysian squash queen Nicol David has called time on her squash career after 20 years. The 35-year-old and eight-time world champion will officially retire at the end of the 2018/2019 Professional Squash Association (PSA) season in June. “After more than 20 years playing squash for Malaysia, competing on the professional tour and achieving the utmost best from my career being the only Malaysian athlete to achieve these accolades and to be recognised as the greatest female squash athlete of all time by my peers, I can proudly say that I am ready and happy to announce my retirement at the end of this seasonal tour,” said Nicol. The Penangite ends her illustrious career with 81 PSA titles from 102 finals. She also held the world No. 1 spot for a record 109 months consecutively from 2006 to 2015. (The Star Online)

DPM working with UN on age-friendly city in Malaysia
The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, together with the United Nations Development Programme, is in the midst of planning an age-friendly city, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. She said the main purpose of the project was to encourage more public participation in local planning with the aim of creating an environment that is child-, elderly- and disabled-friendly. Currently 77% of Malaysia’s population resides in the urban areas, and that number is expected to increase to 80%, or 26 million people, by 2030. A large population in the cities would mean urbanisation challenges such as solid waste disposal, traffic congestion, air pollution, inadequate affordable housing, and more. (Malay Mail)

Developers in Catch-22 situation over IBS adoption
Plenty has been said about the industrialised building system (IBS) in Malaysia, but adoption in the private sector remains slow as developers lament the Catch-22 situation. While the government is pushing for greater adoption of IBS on one hand, which requires a high start-up cost, it is also urging developers to lower property prices at the same time. According to the Construction Industry Development Board, adoption in the private sector stood at 35% as at January 2019, while the target by 2020 is 50%. In contrast, over 70% of government projects have adopted the system, boosted by the requirement that projects exceeding RM10 million must have a minimum IBS score of 70. The key issue for developers in adopting IBS is that most developers do not have the economies of scale to effectively use the construction system, which in turn increases development cost. To counter this, the works ministry had suggested that private companies bundle their projects to achieve economies of scale by collaborating with the ministry of housing and local government. (The Edge Markets)

Exclusive look inside the Forest City IBS factory in Johor

No change in Pulau Jerejak’s name: Penang CM
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow has refuted a claim by heritage groups here that Pulau Jerejak’s name has been changed to “Queens Island.” He said ‘Queens Island’ is merely the name of a development being built on Pulau Jerejak. “(The developer) does not own the island. The development (only involves) 80 acres of the island,” he said. Earlier, the Penang Heritage Trust (PHT) angrily claimed that the name of the historic island of Pulau Jerejak had been changed by a developer on the island, showing brochures of some of the projects being built on the island – including ‘Queens Residence’ and ‘Queens Island Condo and Villa’ – which contain no mention of the name Pulau Jerejak. The developer’s master plan includes the construction of a bridge connecting Pulau Jerejak with the mainland, 1,200 residential units, a marina, and four star and five star hotels. (NST Online)

BLand ventures into Iceland real estate in RM57.5m deal
Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand) is planning to venture into Iceland’s property market through the acquisition of Iceland real estate firm Geirsgata 11 EHF (GE11) in a US$13.99 million (RM57.54 million) deal. BLand said the proposed acquisition will provide an opportunity for the group to venture into property development and investment in Iceland and in particular, branded hotels and residences. GE11 was incorporated in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1998 and its principal activities are provision of real estate, lending activities and related operations. It owns leasehold real estate at Geirsgata 11, of 101 Reykjavik, currently being leased from Faxaflóahafnir sf. (The Sun Daily)