More than 200 killed in Sri Lanka bomb blasts on Easter Sunday
More than 200 people were killed and at least 450 injured in bomb blasts that ripped through churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, the first major attack on the Indian Ocean island since the end of a civil war 10 years ago. Though it’s not clear who’s behind the eight explosions that forced the country of 21 million people to go on lockdown, they are “certainly acts of terror,” said Manisha Gunasekera, high commissioner of Sri Lanka to the UK. The explosions blew out the tiled roofs of churches and hotel windows, killing worshippers and hotel guests in the process. Images and footage showed bloodied pews, broken glass, and plumes of smoke. There was no immediate claim of responsibility by any terror group. But seven people were arrested following the attacks. (CNN)

Government to revive Bandar Malaysia project
In a Cabinet meeting last week, the government has decided to revive the Bandar Malaysia Project after it was abruptly terminated in May 2017. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the project is expected to generate tremendous impact on urban development for Malaysia, by drawing foreign direct investments and generating an expected GDV of RM140 billion. “It will draw major international financial institutions, multi-national corporations (MNCs) and Fortune 500 Companies to locate their regional headquarters in Bandar Malaysia,” he said. He also said the project will include the construction of a People’s Park, 10,000 units of affordable housing, bumiputera participation throughout the project, and priority for the use of local content in the construction process. (The Sun Daily)

Artist impression of Bandar Malaysia

Govt mulls equity swap for KWAP, Tabung Haji’s 1MDB bonds
It is learned that to reduce 1MDB’s debt burden, no thanks to the Barisan Nasional administration, the new government is proposing that the RM2.4 billion bonds held by Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) (KWAP) and Lembaga Tabung Haji currently be converted into equity stakes in the Bandar Malaysia project. A large bulk of 1MDB’s bonds, amounting RM24 billion, are believed to be held by foreign investors. The RM2.4 billion sukuk held by the two institutions will be redeemed for RM3 billion under the terms, according to a source. It is not known what the conversion ratio conveyed to the two institutions is. Another source said this debt-to-equity swap plan is one of the proposals on the table. KWAP, Tabung Haji, and TRX City Sdn Bhd, which owns the Bandar Malaysia project, could not be reached for comment. (The Edge)

Khalid Samad to propose halving Taman Rimba Kiara development size
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad said he will submit to Cabinet a 50% reduction of the proposed Taman Rimba Kiara high-rise project. The revised plan would comprise four blocks of 41- to 45-storey high-end serviced apartments (878 units) and a 17-storey block of 204 affordable housing units for the Bukit Kiara longhouse residents comprising 1,082 units in total. The new plan was reportedly agreed upon by the project developer, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), and one of the two longhouse residents’ associations, Pertubuhan Penduduk Perumahan Awam Bukit Kiara. “The development will not encroach into the park and more people frequent Taman Persekutuan, not Taman Rimba Kiara (TRK), which is smaller in size,” he added. (Malay Mail)

Zuraida plans to turn rubbish into ringgit
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin has big plans to change the country’s waste management industry during her first term in office. Her idea will see a centralised waste park handling plastic waste recycling projects. Any plastic waste factories outside the boundaries of the park will be deemed illegal. The waste park will also include scrap metal recycling, particularly from irreparably damaged vehicles. She said that all state governments have been notified of the ministry’s plans. Acknowledging the logistical challenges, however, she foresees some states such as Selangor and Johor requiring two parks, while small states may share one park. The parks will focus on upcycling waste products and turning garbage into money. She expects the first waste park to begin operations in two years’ time. (Malay Mail)