Park, bungalows proposed for Highland Towers land redevelopment
The land currently occupied by Highland Towers — which have stood vacant for 26 years after the tragedy that claimed 48 lives — will be redeveloped into a recreational park with 50 bungalows in the future. Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the development will begin after the status of the 10 remaining property owners has been resolved and the two standing tower blocks are demolished. “In the long run, the developer plans to develop a recreational park and 50 bungalows around it as it is not a high-risk development, and the park will benefit the area’s residents. The name Highland Towers will remain as it is part of history,” she said. (Malay Mail)

RAC plans to develop 4 railway sites worth over RM1bil
Railway Assets Corp (RAC) plans to develop more than 81ha of its plots of land with the private sector, as the corporation speeds up the monetisation of its assets worth billions of ringgit. The proposed redevelopment of the identified plots, including in strategic areas such as Ipoh, is estimated to be worth RM1 billion in GDV. RAC’s plots are seen as strategic as they are located at the centre of state capitals, largely to support the country’s rail network. Two of the most precious sites in Kuala Lumpur (KL) — Brickfields and Sentul — have been redeveloped and the values of the sites ballooned to billions of ringgit. The plots of land which RAC plans to develop are in Ipoh, Perak; Kempas, Johor; Shah Alam, Selangor; and KL, near Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) headquarters. The four sites are part of a larger business plan which comprises eight railway land sites, totalling more than 160ha. (The Malaysian Reserve)

Mah Sing is spending RM28m for digitalisation initiative
Property developer Mah Sing Group Bhd has spent slightly above RM6 million out of RM28 million allocated for digitalisation effort. Executive director Datuk Steven Ng Poh Seng said the company has embraced digital initiatives in every part of its property journey – from sales and marketing, construction management and quality assurance, customer experience and engagement to property management. The company has spent RM6 million out of its budet of RM28 million. This is at a very initial stage. What we are doing here is basically to cut down all the papers so that customers have easy access. They can look at our projects via our apps. Over the medium to long term, we are looking at data analytics. With data and artificial intelligence, we can study our prospective buyers’ behavior,” said Ng. (NST Online)

EPF may cease to exist in our lifetime — CEO
The rising gig economy and an ageing population are expected to cause a decline in the percentage of workers who contribute to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), according to its CEO Tunku Ali-zakri Alias. “There might actually come a point in time in our lifetime when the EPF might no longer exist, because the amount of money being taken out will no longer be able to supplant the amount of money coming in,” he said. The gig economy is a labour market characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work. This is as opposed to permanent jobs where private sector wage earners contribute to the EPF while civil servants have public pension coverage. With Malaysia set to become an ageing nation by 2030, contributions to the fund could decline as more people retire and withdraw their money. Among the immediate challenges for the pension fund is to convince contributors to keep their money with the EPF and for the fund to remain relevant amid a changing labour market. (The Edge)

CapitaLand REIT said to pursue Khazanah JV-owned S$1.5b office tower
CapitaLand Commercial Trust, Singapore’s biggest office landlord, is among suitors in talks about a potential acquisition of the Duo office and retail development in Singapore. The real estate investment trust has been negotiating the purchase of a 39-story office building called Duo Tower, along with the connected Duo Galleria mall, according to sources. The property could be valued at more than S$1.5 billion (US$1.1 billion). Other parties also remain interested in the asset, which is located in the Bugis area on the fringe of Singapore’s central business district. The development is owned by M+S Pte, a joint venture set up in 2011 between Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Singapore state investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte. (The Edge)