Cops: RM2bil lost to scams
The country loses an average of RM2bil every year to scammers, says Bukit Aman. The data, shared by the police, was tabulated over a period of five years. “On average, cases under CCID (the Commercial Crimes Investigation Department) show losses of about RM2bil yearly. Bukit Aman CCID director Comm Datuk Seri Mohd Zakaria Ahmad said e-commerce scams and telecommunication fraud topped the list of the most losses. Most of the phone numbers used for tele-scams are normally prepaid ones, despite the need to register the purchaser’s personal information when buying one. He also urged banks and other relevant parties to plug holes in their security to prevent leaks of personal information. (The Star Online)

KL lowest among 40 cities in terms of work-life balance
In a recent study that examined which cities around the world promoted the most holistic work-life balance, Kuala Lumpur ranked 40 out of the 40 cities surveyed. The study by US-based mobile access technology company Kisi compared data on work intensity, institutional support, legislation, and liveability and ranked cities based on their success in promoting work-life balance to their citizens. An index encompassing 20 factors determined the top 40 metropolises around the world, based on work-life balance, policies, and urban infrastructure. Helsinki, Munich, and Oslo topped the list as cities which promoted the most holistic work-life balance. On the other hand, the most overworked cities in the study were Tokyo, Singapore and Washington DC, with Kuala Lumpur taking the fourth spot. The study also found that citizens in Oslo work the least number of hours per week, at 38.9, while Kuala Lumpur has the second highest number of people (22%) working 48 hours or more per week. (The Star Online)

KL home prices contract three quarters in a row
House prices in Kuala Lumpur have contracted for three consecutive quarters year on year, statistics from Napic and Bank Negara Malaysia show. For the third quarter of 2018, house prices fell 1.8%, and in the fourth quarter, contracted by 0.8%. In the first quarter of 2019, prices dropped 1.2% y-o-y. Property observers say this is a reflection of the move towards affordable housing as well as the price discounts dished out by developers. “The current oversupply of property boils down to pricing — it is still a pricing issue. The market has to do a lot more correction to reach the right level. Developers have to do a bit more. For example, rather than giving freebies, they should cut prices. It must translate into putting the money back with the buyer,” said CBRE|WTW managing director Foo Gee Jen. (The Edge)

Malaysia expected to experience hot and dry weather until October
Malaysia is expected to experience a hot and dry weather with less rainfall until October, said Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change deputy minister, Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis. She said apart from Malaysia, neighbouring countries Singapore and Sumatra, Indonesia are expected to experience the same climate. “We expect to experience a shortage of rainfall with warmer and drier weather this year without the El Nino and La Nina phenomena until October,“ she said during a meeting on cross-border haze pollution. The annual meeting involving four other Asean countries, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, was held to monitor and detail the steps taken in addressing the cross-border haze. (The Sun Daily)

Malaysia firm to develop housing project in Mecca
A Malaysian construction company, Olie Scape Holdings Sdn Bhd (OSH) will be involved in a housing project in Mecca to provide accommodation for Haj pilgrims from Southeast Asia. Group chairman Datuk Shahoran Johan Ariffin said the residential township project was expected to accommodate up to 300,000 pilgrims. “The project is still in the discussion stage but the Saudi Arabian government has approved the project’s construction plan,” he said. Shahoran said the project in the form of high-rise houses located between Medina and Mecca would be equipped with various facilities including a park. It will also be integrated with the high-speed rail system. (Malay Mail)

Muslim pilgrims pray near Kaaba at the Grand mosque in Mecca (Source: Reuters)