Over 70 defrauded in largest Johor affordable home scam
More than 70 people in Johor have been left poorer after they were tricked into paying RM13,000 each as a “downpayment” for Johor Affordable Homes (RMMJ). The Star reported that the victims of the biggest RMMJ scam to date had handed their money to “middlemen” who promised that the houses would be ready by the end of 2018. However, the over 10 conmen they spoke to have since disappeared or given excuses about project delays. Johor Housing and Rural Development Committee chairman Dzulkefly Ahmad admitted that this was the biggest RMMJ scam so far and warned the public who want to purchase a house to do it online and not via middlemen. (Malay Mail)

Cagamas, World Bank to co-host inaugural Asian conference on Affordable Housing
Cagamas Bhd and the World Bank Group will be co-hosting the first Asian conference on affordable housing titled ‘Constructing & Financing Affordable Housing across Asia’, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur on April 2 and 3. The conference will bring key figures from the public and private sector, finance and fintech leaders, innovators, as well as green and disaster resilient housing experts to discuss solutions and challenges in building and financing affordable housing. The theme of ‘Solutions for safe, adequate, affordable housing for all’ for the conference was chosen to reflect the urgent need for quality affordable housing among the Asian urban population. (The Edge)

PM: Many countries eager to invest in Malaysia
Many countries, including leading nations in Europe, are keen to invest in Malaysia and set up various joint ventures, including in the aerospace sector. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he had received visits from delegations of various countries at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition (Lima) 2019. “They all say they want to cooperate with Malaysia and explore the setting up of manufacturing plants for whole aircraft or components. We will have follow-up meetings with them so that we can set up these manufacturing plants,” he said. In fact, said the prime minister, there were many other proposals for investments into Malaysia but these had to be studied carefully so that problems do not arise in the future. (NST Online)

FT Minister: Rimba Kiara project’s RM150m cancellation cost developers’ figure
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abd Samad said the estimates for compensation to cancel the Rimba Kiara condominium project was based on a suit filed by developers. The developers had asked for RM150 million in damages and compensation in a suit filed against the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), when the authorities had revoked the project’s approval. Khalid reportedly said DBKL would be the one footing the ‘RM150 million compensation’ bill, as it had granted the development order to the developer. “However, I was made to understand that the Court would ultimately decide the cost,” he added. The proposed project has been scaled down from the initial 4.9 hectares to 3.2 hectares, with half of it to be for the longhouse residents’ housing and the other half already rezoned for use as mixed development. (Malay Mail)

Islamic banking in 2019 to grow at the same rate as 2018
Financing growth of the Islamic banking sector is expected to come in at around 10% to 11% this year, RAM Rating Services Bhd said, which is pretty much the same as the rate of growth in 2018. The local rating agency said Islamic banking continued to expand at a much faster pace than conventional loans last year, coming in at 11% compared with the latter’s 3.3% growth. It grew 10.3% in 2017. “However, it may take longer to achieve Bank Negara Malaysia’s 40% target for Islamic financing as a proportion of the overall system’s loans by 2020,” it said. As at end-January 2019, Islamic financing comprised 32% of the overall system’s loans. (The Edge)