Melaka International Cruise Terminal ready by September 2020
The RM682mil Melaka International Cruise Terminal, which is part of the Melaka Gateway project, is expected to be completed by September next year. Datuk Michelle Ong, CEO of the deep-sea port project’s developer KAJ Development Sdn Bhd, said piling works started yesterday and this was critical because three test piles — measuring 53 metres, 45 metres and 43 metres in length — would identify the design of the entire terminal. Once piling works are completed, the design of the terminal will be completed and the project can take off. Last year, KAJ Development’s port operating licence for the Melaka Gateway and cruise terminal jetty was cancelled, but the company appealed against the government’s decision and regained its operating licence last month. The international cruise terminal is expected to be completed in September 2020 or earlier. (The Star Online)

Property market may have finally bottomed out, says Knight Frank
The property market may have finally “bottomed out” and is currently clawing its way up for a slow recovery with various domestic and foreign events amid uncertainties and challenges, as observed by property analysts. Knight Frank Malaysia managing director Sarkunan Subramaniam concurred the performance of the residential sub sector mirrors the national trend. “The volume and value of residential transactions have also continued to improve since the first quarter of 2017 (1Q17). These positive signs appear to indicate that the market may have bottomed out and is in a slow recovery mode,” he said. The least active period was in 2Q18 with corresponding value of RM32.6 billion. Most analysts and valuers have already pointed towards a recovery period, after the market’s less than satisfactory performance in recent quarters. (The Malaysian Reserve)

MBSB in midst of restructuring for banking unit to be holding company
Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) is undertaking an internal restructuring that will result in its wholly-owned banking subsidiary — MBSB Bank Bhd, formerly known as Asian Finance Bank Bhd — being the group’s holding company within the next two years. MBSB still has to convert its conventional assets worth about RM1 billion to Islamic assets, which make up about 10% to 12% of its asset portfolio. MBSB Bank obtained its banking licence to undertake Islamic banking in April last year. Once the group completes this internal restructuring, it will open up more opportunities to attract more investors and investments, said its president and CEO Datuk Seri Ahmad Zaini Othman. He said the higher loan growth target will be supported by the group’s new revenue stream such as trade finance, wealth management and internet and mobile banking, besides alternative financial services or peer-to-peer financing. (The Edge)

Ministry: 16 pieces of Mindef land trespassed since May
As of last May, as many as 16 pieces of land owned by the Ministry of Defence have been trespassed. In a statement, the Defence Ministry said the intrusions involved agricultural activities, building structures, squatter homes and houses of worship, as well as illegal logging. It also said that these acts of trespassing by the public could have several implications, including losses to the government as Federal Land meant for the Defence Ministry had been illegally occupied and was not generating income. It could also pose safety issues especially on shooting range and manoeuvre land where the safety of the intruders could be at risk when the armed forces personnel conduct military operations and training there. The Defence Ministry has taken action by submitting enforcement applications to the relevant authorities, issued evacuation notices, putting up fences around the land, notice boards prohibiting entry, as well as drawing up land rental or lease agreements for development. (Malay Mail)

Cabinet to decide on Taman Rimba Kiara project
The Federal Territories Ministry is awaiting Cabinet decision on the controversial Taman Rimba Kiara (TRK) development project. Minister Khalid Samad said the ministry had submitted the papers on the solutions for the TRK issue and were waiting for comments from other ministries and the Attorney-General Chambers (AGC). “The federal government might decide to either revoke the development order (DO) for the project and pay compensation of at least RM150 million, or agree to a scaled-down project.” If cancelled, a new housing solution would have to be found for the longhouse residents. Kuala Lumpur City Hall had in 2016 approved the housing development on 4.86ha land in TRK, which was designated as a public open space under the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020. (NST Online)