People advised to be careful over haze
Following the emergence of the haze in several areas of the country caused by forest fires in Indonesia, the Ministry of Health has advised the people to cut down on outdoor physical activities, which would lead to haze and hot weather-related illnesses. Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah urged the people to wear face masks and use umbrellas, as well as wear caps when outdoors. He also advised people to drink plenty of water and to seek immediate treatment if they are not well. The haze will have an effect on the weather in Penang, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Negeri Sembilan and Putrajaya in the peninsula and Kuching, Serian and Samarahan in Sarawak. (The Star Online)

Penang exco says will blacklist developers demanding premium for price-controlled homes
Penang will ban developers who make buyers pay beyond fixed prices for low-cost, low-medium cost and affordable housing units, state exco Jagdeep Singh Deo warned. He said developers may offer extra renovations and facilities as options to buyers but they must make it clear that these are not compulsory. Buyers must be able to purchase base units at the fixed price of RM42,000 for low-cost or RM72,500 for low-medium cost units, he said, adding that failure to comply would result in blacklisting. “Those having such issues must report this to the state housing department immediately so that we will take action against the developer,” he said. (Malay Mail)

(Photo from The Star)

TNB getting ready for open market
Tenaga Nasional Bhd’s (TNB) internal restructuring to split its power generation and retail businesses into RetailCo and GenCo could lead to two separate listing entities under the two segments. The restructuring may also pave the way for market reforms that will see new players in the electricity supply industry. TNB on Monday announced that it would set up two new wholly-owned subsidiaries to house the domestic power generation business (GenCo) and the electricity retail business (RetailCo). The structure for the remaining businesses such as transmission and distribution network, international business and corporate centre remains unchanged at the group level. The reorganisation is expected to be completed by September this year. It was to prepare for the upcoming reforms in the electricity supply industry with the government expected to reveal the Malaysia Electricity Supply Industry 2.0 next month, Kenanga Research said. (NST Online)

Singapore mansion sells for record RM692.5 million
A Singapore mansion sitting on a sprawling plot of land has been sold for a record S$230 million (RM692.5 million), the latest in a string of eye-catching property deals in the wealthy city-state. The 7,900 sq m plot – rare in land-starved Singapore – is near the glitzy Orchard Road shopping belt, the Unesco-listed Botanic Gardens. Records show that the Nassim Road property was transferred to SG Casa, a firm offering trustee and fiduciary services, on July 4. The sale has set a record for a Singapore home in terms of the total transacted price, and adds to a recent spate of luxury property transactions, including Dyson’s purchase of Singapore’s priciest penthouse. Real estate prices in Singapore have staged a recovery in recent months, and Chinese investors have been leading a return of foreigners to the safe-haven market despite hefty levies. (NST Online)

Second giant panda born in Malaysia named Yi Yi
The name of second giant panda born in Malaysia was finally revealed yesterday as “Yi Yi”. According to Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar, the name meant “friendship” in Mandarin and was chosen to commemorate the over four decades of Malaysia-China ties. Yi Yi, born on January 14 last year at the National Zoo, is the second offspring of giant pandas Xing Xing and Liang Liang that China loaned to Malaysia. The panda cub will stay in Malaysia for two years more than the two-year period set in the Malaysia-China Giant Panda International Conservation Agreement. (Malay Mail)

Malaysia’s second giant panda cub, Yi Yi. (Source: Malay Mail)