Penang Hill to transform heritage bungalows into hotels
Penang Hill will soon have several new accommodations for tourists, state Tourism, Heritage, Culture and Arts Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said. He said the three heritage bungalows, namely, Hillside, Woodside and Convalescent would be transformed into hotels. The Hillside bungalow, which will be operating as the Hillside Retreat, is being renovated and is expected to begin operations by the end of this month. Meanwhile, the Woodside Bungalow is in the process of deciding the land border. “As for the Convalescent bungalow, which will be an eco-friendly hotel with 250 to 300 rooms, an RFP will be called for once land issues are settled,” he said. At present, there is only one hotel at Penang Hill, the Bellevue Hotel. It was reported that the Federal Government recently allocated RM100 million for a cable car project on the hill. (NST Online)

Guan Eng, PKR rep tell Penang to rethink assessment rate hike
Two backbenchers including Lim Guan Eng raised their constituents’ concerns over the state’s assessment rate review at the Penang legislative assembly and urged the state government to reconsider. Both Lim and Ong Khan Lee (PKR — Kebun Bunga) said ratepayers have complained against the assessment rate review that were seen as too high. Ong asked the state to defer the assessment rate review for another two years. He pointed out that home owners also must pay the RPGT when they sell their property, including those they inherited, so the assessment rate review will further burden them. The assessment rate review for both the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP) will be effective from 2020. (Malay Mail)

Saudi Aramco makes IPO offer to Petronas
Saudi Aramco has approached Malaysian state energy company Petronas to participate in the former’s initial public offering (IPO), a move that could help strengthen their ties. The Saudi government plans to sell 2% of state oil giant Aramco in a domestic listing on December 11, sources said. The approach comes as Petronas nears the start of commercial operations at a US$27 billion refinery and petrochemical project built jointly with Aramco in southern Malaysia. “However, we will not be providing any further comments on this matter at this time.” (NST Online)

Mandatory monthly maintenance charges to be imposed on strata unit owners in Sarawak
The Strata Management Bill, 2019, has been passed in the State Legislative Assembly today, making it mandatory for unit owners to pay monthly maintenance charges for common facilities in and around their property. Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian said no less than 10% of the monthly charges would be put aside as a sinking fund for major repairs, replacement and repainting works. He added that the charges also applies to each unsold unit, which becomes the responsibility of the developer to pay. The Bill also makes it mandatory for strata development to form a management body and outlined its duties and powers, as well as the establishment of a Tribunal to settle disputes between parties of the strata building community. (The Borneo Post)

Telco towers not harmful to health, says MCMC
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has reiterated that telecommunications towers near housing areas will not cause health problems. It said the towers were constructed or placed following existing guidelines. This includes the distance between the tower and the housing area. The Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Field (RF-EMF) emission level from telecommunications towers in the country are also under control at all times, which is below the recommended limit. MCMC said mobile communications technology used radio frequencies clustered under the non-ionising radiation (NIR) category. Based on studies, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had concluded that exposure to EMF from telecommunications transmitters did not affect biological systems or pose any health impacts. (NST Online)

(Source: BusinessWorld)