Pahang identifying suitable site for Lynas PDF
The Pahang state government is in the midst of reviewing Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s (Lynas) application to build a permanent deposit facility (PDF) here. State Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Abdul Rahim Muda said the state government recently received an application from Lynas on the potential PDF sites and is scrutinising the suitability of the locations submitted by the plant. He said the application will also be referred to the related agencies including the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) to determine if the site is suitable before approval is given. Last August, AELB said Lynas’ operation permit has been renewed for another six months and the plant must comply with three conditions imposed on them. (NST Online)

‘Najib can be sued as public officer’
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was a public officer and could be sued for alleged misfeasance in public office, ruled the Federal Court in a landmark decision. Federal Court judge Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan who delivered the court’s decision said a prime minister or any other minister are public officers within Section 5 of the Government Proceedings Act 1956. She said at this juncture, the Damansara MP Tony Pua’s claim of prima facie contains the necessary elements to constitute a valid claim. However, whether or not Pua could succeed at trial was a question of evidence, particularly in relation to the alleged damage he suffered, added Justice Nallini. The High Court had struck out Pua’s lawsuit on grounds that Najib was not an officer in public office and hence he could not be sued for alleged misfeasance in public office. (The Star Online)

Residential property overhang “underdeclared’
The overhang in the property sector could be worse than previously thought, as most of the data presented on the matter does not reflect the oversupply of serviced apartments, said Rahim & Co International Sdn Bhd real estate CEO Siva Shanker. “We have this overhang of about 39,000 units but net overhang for the sector is underdeclared as it does not take into consideration serviced apartments, which brings the number to over 50,000,” he said. He added that office space is already oversupplied with more incoming supply and take-up rates not being able to match the new supply, and warned that second and third tier malls are in danger of emptying. Siva noted that the government’s measures to address this concern such as the introduction of the Home Ownership Campaign, banks being more loan friendly and developers slowing the number of property launches down were having some positive effects, but it appeared to be “too little, too late”. (The Sun Daily)

HK buyers could snap up 10,000 local homes over next 6 months
Buyers from Hong Kong could snap up as many as 10,000 units of properties in Malaysia as anti-government protests have brought China’s special administrative region into a gridlock and rioting which has turned violent in recent weeks. Hong Kong citizens have been scouting to purchase properties abroad to escape the mayhem as they predict the situation would worsen as Beijing will tighten its grip on the territory including sending the military. VPC Realtors (JB) Sdn Bhd Asia-Pacific property consultant Bruce Lee predicts the number of units purchased by Hong Kong buyers will reach 10,000 in the next six months if the anti-government protest continues. “They have acquired more than 1,000 units in overall Malaysia to date,” he said, adding that the influx of buyers from Hong Kong could help ease at least 10% of the total overhang units in Malaysia. (The Malaysian Reserve)

New law to regulate dams nationwide in pipeline, says minister
The Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry is drawing up a law to regulate the country’s 104 dams as currently there is none that specifically addresses safety and maintenance. Its minister Datuk Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar also said there is no regulator to check dam development and operational activities. “This is why we need to set up a regulatory framework in Parliament to be applicable to all dams, that includes privately owned and state-owned dams,” he said. He said the Malaysia Dam Safety Management Guidelines (MyDAMS) was implemented in September 2017 and since then, the ministry has to ensure all dams are maintained in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner according to the guidelines. He said out of the 104 dams in the country, some were over 100 years old while many were 50 years old. (Malay Mail)

Bakun Dam in Sarawak (Source: Malay Mail)