Malaysia continues RTS project with a new cost of RM3.16bil
Malaysia has agreed to continue with the Rapid Transit System (RTS) route with a new cost of RM3.16 billion. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the latest cost resulted in a savings of 36% or RM1.77 billion compared with the original cost of RM4.93 billion. “We will go ahead with the project and solve a little bit on the issue of traffic congestion. Details of the project would be discussed with the Singapore government,” he said. On Oct 18, the Malaysian Transport Ministry had received cabinet approval to continue with the RTS route project with changes to the structure, scope and specification of the route. On the question of when both parties would sign the new agreement so that construction work on the project could be initiated immediately, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said it was expected to be done early next year. (The Sun Daily)

Rehda Selangor in favour of lower foreign buyer threshold
The Selangor branch of Rehda is in favour of the state reducing the threshold price for foreigners buying high-rise properties, and is currently in discussions with the state government, according to its chairman Zulkifly Garib. Foreigners are not allowed to buy residential landed properties in Selangor, unless the property is issued with a landed strata title as in gated communities. Describing the budget announcement as “a good move”, as it makes completed unsold units more attractive to foreign buyers, Zulkifly said the measure is expected to help “a little”. Another “plus point” of the move is that it is controlled and regulated, he added. He also does not think the measure will result in an influx of foreign buyers into the country — foreign ownership in Malaysian property is only in the single digit — but instead serve to spur the property market. Rehda Selangor Deputy Chairman Datuk Ho Hon Sang agreed the move will help developers to clear some of their unsold stock, and reinvest into new property developments. (The Edge)

The PNB 118 under construction (Source: Wikipedia)

Merdeka 118 is more than 42% complete, says Zeti
The Merdeka 118, soon-to-be tallest building in Kuala Lumpur, is more than 42% complete, having reached 84 floors with full completion expected by 2021. The flagship development of Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) overlooks Malaysia’s two national landmarks: Stadium Negara and Stadium Merdeka. PNB chairman Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said the Merdeka 118 features integration of the historic and contemporary architecture. “Upon completion by 2021, the tower at a height of 835m, will be a new landmark on the Kuala Lumpur skyline,” she said. Having commenced construction in 2016, the 635m tower will house South-East Asia’s highest observation deck. The Merdeka 118 targets to achieve a triple-platinum rating with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, GreenRE and Green Building Index certification, which will make the tower the first in Malaysia to earn such a rating. (The Malaysian Reserve)

Clean and sustainable Malaysia through National Cleanliness Policy
The National Cleanliness Policy to be launched this Sunday is set to transform Malaysia into a clean and sustainable nation through habits and lifestyles that places emphasis on good hygiene practices. Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the policy would take effect next year, spanning a decade until 2030 with a review to be done midway in 2025. The policy will focus on five clusters, along with 14 comprehensive strategies, besides outlining 87 action plans to be carried out by the Federal and State governments, local authorities and the relevant agencies. Zuraida said the objectives were also in tandem with the country’s initiative to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030. (The Sun Daily)

‘Different PSC at KLIA, klia2 major hurdle for RAB implementation’
The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) said the government’s intention of having different passenger service charge (PSC) rates at KLIA and klia2 poses a major hurdle for the implementation of the regulated asset base (RAB) framework. The government had agreed with most of the details of the RAB, except for the equal PSC rates to be charged by both airports. The government does not intend to subsidise the rates for klia2. Mavcom had introduced the RM73 PSC for international departures to non-Asean destinations in 2018. However, Transport Minister Anthony Loke in August this year announced a cut in the PSC to RM50 for international travellers flying beyond Asean from klia2 and other airports except for KLIA. (The Edge)