Study finds Malaysians are a worried lot
Half of Malaysians surveyed under the National Worry Index (NWI) are unsure whether the country’s future direction is on the right track. The index – released by think-tank Emir Research – found a further 24% of Malaysians categorically saying the country’s future direction is on the wrong track. Believed to be the first of its kind in Malaysia, the index gauged how worried people are at a national level. It showed Malaysians are close to the maximum worry level, with an NWI score of 0.77 on a scale of 0 to 1. The NWI found most are extremely worried about the economy, cost of living, jobs and security. Bread-and-butter issues ranked high with 86% worried about the cost of basic needs and unaffordable homes, followed by lack of job opportunities at 77%. It also found the top concerns among the different races in Malaysia differed, with the Malays and other bumiputras being most worried about corruption and power abuse. Meanwhile, Chinese and Indians were found to be more concerned about youth unemployment and lack of job opportunities respectively. (The Star Online)

Government is updating e-Lelong system
The government is improving the e-Lelong System infrastructure to ensure the structure runs smoothly before it is implemented comprehensively at the 12 High Courts in peninsula Malaysia next year. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said the move was undertaken after a pioneer project was implemented at four high courts, namely, the Kuantan, Temerloh, Ipoh and Taiping from 2017. Liew said the e-Lelong system would not affect the activities of the traditional auctioneers on the condition they were registered auctioneers to carry out the work of auctioning immovable public property at the high court. The e-Lelong system was the first developed in Malaysia to handle online public auctions in real time, which boosts the opportunity of the public to own fixed assets, specifically residential homes at actual prices without price manipulations. (The Sun Daily)

Mah Sing Group to continue replenishing prime lands
Mah Sing Group Bhd will continue to replenish its prime lands with a key focus on affordable property projects, especially in the Klang Valley, Johor and Penang, should opportunities arise. The group will also explore joint venture prospects, said its founder and group managing director, Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum. Leong said Mah Sing was looking at land located within well-established neighbourhoods equipped with ready amenities and easily accessible infrastructure, coupled with strategic access to highway connectivity. This year, it acquired three plots of prime land, with the second acquisition (M Luna, KL North) announced in July and the third acquisition (M Adora, Wangsa Melawati) in August. (NST Online)

Tropicana eyes RM3b GDV in 2020 despite weak property conditions
Tropicana Corp Bhd, controlled by tycoon Tan Sri Danny Tan Chee Sing, says it is on track to achieve its targeted GDV of RM2.5 billion in new launches for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2019 (FY19). Despite the muted growth experienced by the property market and conscious consumer sentiment, the property developer is already targeting new launches amounting to a GDV of RM3 billion in FY20. Tropicana said while the overall prospects for the industry continue to remain challenging in the short term, it believes that there will still be demand for properties in prime locations with attractive pricing. It added that it remains well-positioned to deliver sustainable earnings performance for the rest of the year, anchored on 14 on-going projects located in the Klang Valley and southern regions of Peninsular Malaysia. (The Edge)

Better plan needed to eradicate urban poverty
A better plan is needed to eradicate urban poverty in Malaysia in the long term, says Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad. He said while the government as well as non-governmental organisations have come up with various programmes to address the issue, they were mostly piecemeal in nature and unable to wholly eliminate the problem. The minister said urban poverty was a longstanding issue caused by urbanisation, where people from rural areas migrate to towns in search of better opportunities. “Unfortunately, not all who migrate to towns and cities find success. In the end, they are trapped in a vicious cycle. Housing is one of the main issues affecting urban folk,” he said. (The Star Online)