SME Bank allocates RM1b financing for local ECRL contractors
SME Bank has signed a tripartite MoU with the Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) and China Communications Construction (ECRL) Sdn Bhd (CCC-ECRL) to facilitate financial solutions to Malaysian subcontractors in the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL project). Under the MoU, SME Bank has allocated RM1 billion in financing for appointed sub-contractors of the ECRL project. The facility is in the form of Term and Revolving financing and is capped at RM50 million for each applicant excluding Bank Guarantees. However, if the amount required is above RM50 million, it will be considered on a case-to-case basis. The facility can be used for contract financing, working capital and purchase of equipment. Currently, the ECRL civil works packaged to Malaysian subcontractors is ongoing in stages for tunnels and temporary works within the Dungun-Mentakab section. (Malay Mail)

Penang’s Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal expansion to start in early 2020
The RM155 million Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT) expansion will start in three months, its project partner Royal Caribbean announced today. Royal Caribbean’s Asia-Pacific managing director Angie Stephen said the expansion plans have been approved and construction partners identified. “The concessionaire was also identified and now we are tying up loose strings so we can expect construction to start in two to three months,” she said. The expansion project is a joint venture between Penang Port Sdn Bhd (60%) and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (40%). Construction work will take about 12 months to complete. The expansion is to allow the terminal to cater to up to 1.7 million passengers a year and accommodate up to 12,000 passengers at any one time. She said it is time for Penang to grow and improve its land experience to cater to visitors from cruise liners docking here. (Malay Mail)


Property firm sues SunCon, Prasarana for LRT3 works encroaching into site
A Klang-based property developer has filed a RM711.77 million lawsuit against Prasarana Malaysia Bhd and Sunway Construction Group Bhd (SunCon), claiming the LRT3 project construction works have encroached into its development site. PNSB Acmar Sdn Bhd is claiming the construction works in relation to the LRT3 project from Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya to Johan Setia, Klang, and the related structures, had “trespassed and/or encroached into the plaintiff’s own development project area, and has resulted in losses and damages towards the plaintiff.” No exact location of the alleged encroachment was stated in the filing. (The Edge)

Penang to receive special treatment for funding applications from KPKT
Having been sidelined by the previous Federal government since 2015, the current administration has vowed to reserve a “special treatment” to Penang’s applications for housing maintenance projects fundings. Penang has requested for RM28.76 million from the Housing Maintenance Programme (PPP) fund and RM72.13 million from the Malaysia Home Maintenance Fund (TPPM) fund for next year. “The ministry deems lift maintenance as highly critical, and as such, priority is given to that. This is what I call the fruit of the change in government in Putrajaya. At least things are moving now after Penang had not received any fundings since 2015. We hope to get a favourable response to our requests,” said State Local Government and Housing Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo. (NST Online)

The distinctive green helmets and jackets of GoJek riders. (Photo: Harian Kompas)

Gojek: It won’t be easy for us in Malaysia
Motorcycle-hailing company Gojek predicted that its entry into Malaysia next year will not be an easy ride. The company’s head of transport Raditya Wibowo said Malaysians were not used to the culture of being passengers ferried on motorcycles. Raditya added that Gojek was making preparations to enter the new market after getting approval from the government to provide its on-demand service platform by January. Raditya said that unlike in Vietnam and Thailand, where Gojek has expanded its operations in Southeast Asia, Malaysians did not traditionally use ojek, a term which refers to motorcycles used as taxis in Indonesia. Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the ride-hailing firm, on a limited scale, would be able to run their operations or proof-of-concept for six months in Kuala Lumpur to prepare and test their service. (NST Online)