New master plan for Kampung Baru on drawing board
The Kampung Baru Detailed Development Masterplan (PITPKB), launched in January 2015, will be scrapped, says Kampung Baru Development Corp (KBDC) chief executive Zulkarnain Hassan. He said a new master plan, initated by Kuala Lumpur City Hall, is on the drawing board and the focus will be to provide sustainable living. “The intention is to meet the plot ratio allowed by City Hall. If it says the plot ratio is 10, we will accommodate and come up with a proper new layout. We want Kg Baru to be a new sustainable township,” said Zulkarnain. The initial PITPKB was expected to create around 7.3 million sq m of residential and commercial developments spread over 60.7ha, generating over RM60 billion GDV. Zulkarnain said the new master plan will look at iconic structures and the standards will be on par with buildings located within the 40ha KLCC development in the central business district of Kuala Lumpur. (NST Online)

Don’t rush into property crowdfunding, homebuyers advised
Industry experts have lauded the government’s move in introducing property crowdfunding as an alternative form of financing for first-time homebuyers but warned homebuyers to be wary of the risks before participating in such schemes. CBRE-WTW managing director Foo Gee Jen said, “The SC “must be very firm with the message that this platform is an alternative investment and that it does not equal to total ownership of the house (unless the homebuyer successfully acquires the house at the end of the tenor).” He said it is important to educate the public on how the scheme works as well as the risks involved. Through the platform, homebuyers can raise financing through the crowd and use the period of tenor to accumulate financial resources. The platform is only open to Malaysian first-time homebuyers aged 21 years old and above while the residential property listed on the platform must be completed with Certificate of Completion and Compliance, and valued at a maximum of RM500,000. (The Sun Daily)

Big data to aid in making better property development decisions
Rehda Institute trustee and MKH Bhd managing director Tan Sri Eddy Chen emphasised the need for better data to help developers and property-related industries make better building decisions. “Doing business now has to be complemented by accurate and current data, which is not influenced by gut feeling, emotion or the perception of the market. We cannot second-guess the market,” he said. Chen, who is also Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia chairman, added that it was important to gauge “effective demand” and not just focus on supply, and this required good data. Developers were encouraged to be more “predictive” and “data driven”, with data and analytics playing a role in the sale of their products to the right demographic. With good data, there would be a level of confidence among buyers and sellers going forward. There would also be improved conversion rates as developers and bankers would be able to identify their target markets. (The Edge)

The Chinese-speaking robots by (Photo from Twitter/

China to lead the way in property technology
The fast-emerging technology and Internet industry has been shaping real estate business and industry experts said China will lead the way in property technology (proptech). Albert Ovidi, chief operating officer of JLL Asia Pacific, said real estate is also advancing fast, thanks to the development of technologies. He believed artificial intelligence, blockchain, virtual and augmented reality and the Internet of Things (IoT) are the future of property technology and also a field where China excels. “China will be the world leader in AI by 2030,” he said. China already owned approximately 20% of the global market share of Internet-connected devices, which made China a leader in the field. Experts believed that proptech, especially the application of big data, can largely reshape the way a city is designed and planned in China. (The Star Online)

Deloitte office raided over 1MDB case
Police have carted away about 11 boxes of documents in a raid at the office of audit firm Deloitte Malaysia yesterday, as part of a continous probe into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal. The seven-hour operation, which started at 10.45am, was conducted at the company’s office in Taman Tun Dr Ismail. Deloitte is the first audit firm raided by police in relation to the 1MDB case. It was reported that the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) had fined Deloitte RM2 million in January for failing to discharge its statutory obligations, including not immediately reporting irregularities in its audit. The fines were in connection with the RM2.4 billion sukuk murabahah programme issued by Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd in 2014. Deloitte was the statutory auditor for Bandar Malaysia and 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd for the financial years ending March 31, 2015, to 2016. (NST Online)