JB-Singapore RTS to proceed, says Dr M
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has confirmed that the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link (RTS) project would go ahead. He however said the government would need more time, before it could proceed with the project, which was suspended until end of the month. “We will announce the details later. As for the (KL-Singapore) High Speed Rail, we have to postpone it by two years because the cost is too high,” he said. It was reported the suspension date for the project was extended from Sept 30, following a request by the Malaysian government. The RTS project was scheduled to begin construction this year and was expected to be completed by December 2024. (NST Online)

PPA welcomes zero tax penalty for housing, healthcare withdrawals
The Private Pension Administrator Malaysia (PPA) lauds the government’s move to allow Private Retirement Scheme (PRS) members to make pre-retirement withdrawals for healthcare and housing purposes without having to pay any tax penalty. Under the 2020 Budget, the government introduced the zero per cent tax penalty for pre-retirement withdrawals from PRS’ sub-account B — which holds 30% of the savings — for healthcare and housing purposes. PPA CEO Husaini Hussin said in recognition of the rising healthcare costs, the government also allowed for PRS withdrawals for immediate family members. Introduced in 2012, the PRS is a voluntary savings scheme for Malaysians aged 18 years old and above to help them to save for their retirement. (The Sun Daily)

More foreigners expected to buy high-rise units in Johor
The Johor property market could see an increase in transactions for high-rise residential units next year as foreigners will be allowed to buy properties worth RM600,000 and above in urban areas. Experts said the government’s move to reduce the pricing threshold from RM1 million will open the floodgates for foreign buyers, especially those from Singapore. A property worth RM600,000 would cost only S$197,000. This is considered cheap when compared with neighbouring countries, they said. Last month, Johor’s Housing, Communication and Multimedia Committee chairman Dzulkefly Ahmad said the state government was considering lowering the threshold for foreigners, with houses priced from RM600,000 accounting for 70% of unsold properties in Johor. (NST Online)

Picture by Yusof Mat Isa/Malay Mail

Traditional Kg Baru homes to be preserved as galleries, cafes
The traditional Malay houses that now sit in the shadow of the gleaming Petronas Twin Towers in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, will be relocated and preserved as part of the redevelopment project. The redevelopment master plan includes a Heritage Park, where these houses will be relocated to make way for mixed development, Veritas Design Group vice-president Lilian Tay said. The Heritage Park is part of various elements in the Kampung Baru redevelopment master plan. Houses that are not located where new structures will be built, will remain in their original location. Last month the government offered to buy out landowners at the federal capital’s oldest Malay enclave, at a rate of RM850 per square feet, in order to develop the prime inner-city location. (Malaysiakini)

SP Setia and Lendlease invest RM500m to expand Setia City Mall
SP Setia Bhd and Australian real estate giant Lendlease are spending RM500 million to expand Setia City Mall’s by 62% or an additional 450,000 sq ft. Setia City Mall is set to be the largest shopping and leisure destination in Shah Alam after the expansion is completed in June 2020. Setia City Mall is Malaysia’s first green retail mall when it received the Malaysian Green Building Index accreditation back in 2012. It was designed to save on usage of energy and water. The expanded mall will feature Lulu’s Hypermarket and Departmental Store as its main anchor tenant for the new wing, occupying 150,000 sq ft. There will also be a 12,000 sq ft playland for kids, and the expansion will see an additional 1,800 parking bays to the current 2,500. (NST Online)