Residential Tenancy Act to be enforced in two years
The proposed Residential Tenancy Act is targeted for implementation in two years’ time to boost the rental market. National Housing Department senior principal assistant director Noorihan Abd Halim said the first phase, which involves a study and data collection, is expected to be completed this year, while the act will be formulated next year. The act will assist us in determining the affordable rent based on location, as well as laws to protect tenant-owner involved in house renting. Noorihan said with the act in place, it will also protect tenants and owners from any dispute that might arise for the duration of the rent, as currently there is no tribunal for issues relating to housing rental. (The Star Online)

Zuraida: Big data to help solve property overhang issue
A big data system is needed to solve property overhang issue in Malaysia, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said, adding that such a system will be a ‘game changer’ for the local property industry. She said the lack of a big data system has hindered the government in understanding the local housing needs. “Rest assured that we are working on establishing the big data system as outlined in the National Housing Policy 2.0,” she said. Zuraida said the government is currently in discussion with several international agencies to invest into the local housing market. She stressed however that these agencies will be participating as financiers to the finished products instead of being developers. “We are currently in discussions with entities from China, South Korea and Middle East with Cagamas Bhd as a conduit and administrator to the deal,” she said. (NST Online)

Cagamas plans shared equity home ownership scheme
The National Mortgage Corporation of Malaysia (Cagamas Bhd) is currently working on a shared equity home ownership programme, with the revelation of a blueprint anticipated by end of the year. Cagamas intends to propose the scheme, which could see the mortgage agency guaranteeing up to 100% of the housing price, to the ministry. “It is a very interesting scheme where they (Cagamas) will be able to provide the 20% deposit from the buyers’ side, where the 80% normally comes from the bank,” said Housing Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin. When queried on how long the scheme would take to develop, Cagamas president cum CEO Datuk Chung Chee Leong said there are issues that Cagamas needs to iron out, but added that he hoped a blueprint can be produced by year end. (The Edge)

Najib remitted, received money for unlawful activities, claims prosecution
Lead prosecutor in the Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s corruption trial told the High Court today it would establish that he had remitted and received money for unlawful activities. In his opening statement, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas said the prosecution would prove that the accused was engaged in money laundering by receiving RM27 million in December 2014, which was later remitted to a third party. On the same date, another RM5 million was received, as proceeds of an unlawful activity, and remitted to another company. Thomas said the prosecution would also prove that Najib had engaged in laundering RM10 million on Feb 10, 2015. “Evidence will also establish that in December 2014, the accused’s credit card was charged US$130,625 (about RM533,028) for expenses made at Chanel… in Honolulu, and that the personal cheques were issued for, among others, payment for renovation works carried out at the accused’s residence at No. 11 Jalan Langgak Duta, Kuala Lumpur, and in Pekan, Pahang,” he said, adding that cheques were issued to various Barisan Nasional component parties. (NST Online)

Najib arriving at court (Source: NST)

Genting buys Equanimity for US$126mil
The superyacht Equanimity has been sold to Genting Malaysia Bhd for US$126mil (RM514.14mil), says the Attorney-General’s Chambers. “The US$126mil purchase price will be paid by Genting and received by Court by the end of April 2019. “This will rank as the highest recovery to date for the government of Malaysia from its 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal,” said Attorney General Tommy Thomas. Thomas said it received a few other offers above US$100mil (RM408.05mil) but the US$126mil (RM514.14mil) purchase price from Genting was the best offer it had received over five months since the Equanimity was put up for sale. He added that as the Genting offer was negotiated directly with the government, no agency commission was payable and this resulted in a savings of US$4.4mil (RM17.95mil). (The Star Online)