Dr M warns of possible trade sanctions on Malaysia
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said his exports-reliant country could be hit with trade sanctions amid rising protectionism highlighted by the US-China tariff war. He did not mention the source of possible sanctions on the South-East Asian country, but said he was disappointed that proponents of free trade were now indulging in restrictive trade practices on a “grand scale”. “Economically, we are linked to both markets, and physically we are also caught in between for geographical reasons,” he said. The United States and China were two of the three biggest export destinations for Malaysia between January and August this year. Singapore was the top destination. There are also concerns that India, one of the biggest buyers of Malaysian palm oil, would restrict imports of the product due to a diplomatic row. (The Star Online)

‘Reconsider RTO financing scheme price limit’
The federal government has been urged to reconsider the RM500,000 property value limit for the Rent-To-Own (RTO) financing scheme, as it is still considered very high for many prospective buyers. Penang State Local Government and Housing Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the RM500,000 price limit did not make sense, as there were several types of affordable housing in Penang which were priced below RM300,000. He said the Penang government allowed the RTO scheme for affordable housing up to RM150,000, as it was for those who cannot get loan from banks. Jagdeep added that those who could afford to buy RM500,000 properties do not need help. “Those who need help are the ones who cannot afford RM42,000 low cost and RM72,500 low medium cost properties. It is more important to prioritise them. That is Penang’s stand,” he said. (NST Online)

OCR Group to launch ‘tallest development’ in Kuantan
OCR Group Bhd aims to launch Vertex Kuantan, its second project in the city, by the first half of 2023, said group managing director Billy Ong Kah Hoe. The mixed development, dubbed the “tallest development in Kuantan”, will have a GDV of RM268 million. Meanwhile, Ong said the group had also seen a healthy take-up rate of 85% for the first phase of its affordable housing project, PRIYA Scheme Kuantan, which is a 50:50 joint venture between OCR’s subsidiary O&C Properties (Kuantan) Sdn Bhd and Yayasan Pahang. The development is currently the largest affordable housing scheme in Kuantan, and is slated to be completed in the second quarter of 2021. (The Sun Daily)

30,000 rooms needed in Genting Highlands
Hotels in Genting Highlands would need 30,000 rooms to cater to the demand from future tourists, especially when the outdoor theme park starts operation by 2020. Grand Ion Delemen Hotel Genting Highlands general manager Jack Lim said only 16,000-odd rooms were currently available at all hotels in Genting Highland combined, and there was still a shortage of 14,000 rooms to accommodate a huge influx of tourists to the popular hill resorts, especially when the theme park is completed. The outdoor theme park in Genting Highlands could attract an additional two to 2.5 million visits per year, adding on to the 25 million visitations received in 2017, said Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd. The research house also expects the outdoor theme park to help increase the overall spending by the younger crowd, who prefer to spend more on gaming-related activities in Genting Highlands. (NST Online)

Ministry: Flash floods warning for residents in low-lying areas in Malaysia
Residents in low-lying and flood-prone areas have been warned to be cautious and brace themselves for flash floods, as the transition phase between the southwest and northeast monsoons, continues until early November. The Ministry of Water, Land, and Natural Resources said local authorities in each state have been asked to conduct regular checks on local drainage systems and other waterways, including rivers and ditches to ensure the flow of water is not clogged with waste or plant scraps. Thunderstorms, with heavy rainfall and strong winds over short periods of time, will occur mainly in the late afternoon, in the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, as well as parts of Sabah and Sarawak. So far, flash floods have been reported in Perak, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. (Malay Mail)