Putrajaya aims to collect RM155bil in taxes for 2020

The government is looking to collect RM155 billion worth of taxes for 2020, 5% more than the RM147 billion it targeted last year, according to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng. “The amount of gross tax collected for the entire country in 2019 by the IRB was RM145.08 billion,” Lim said. When asked as to why the government had set a higher target, given 2019’s tax collection had missed its target by RM2 billion, Lim said the government always sets a higher target. Lim said the government feels engaging with taxpayers is the best way forward, to ensure better tax collection. When asked if the government would continue the special voluntary disclosure programme (SVDP), Lim said no. (The Edge)

Critical service incentive allowance stays’

The Critical Service Incentive Allowance for civil servants will stay and its status will only be decided by the Cabinet at the end of the year, sources said. The first Cabinet meeting of the year yesterday discussed at length on the premature announcement of the elimination of the allowance which created much controversy, said a source. In a Dec 20,2019 circular, the Public Service Department (PSD) announced that the government would no longer give Critical Service Incentive Allowance to 33 professions who will be joining the civil service next year. These jobs include medical officers, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, engineers, air traffic controllers, architects, marine architects, legal officers, agricultural officers, vocational training officers, marine officers, research officers, among others. (The Star Online)

High-end residential market making slow comeback: Knight Frank

The high-end residential market is believed to have bottomed out mid-last year, setting the tone for the segment to slowly make its way back evidenced by the higher number of launches in the second half of 2019, according to a report by Knight Frank Malaysia. In its “Real Estate Highlights 2nd Half of 2019” report, Knight Frank noted that 2019 saw the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) taking shape with the completion of Menara Prudential and Exchange 106. Complementing these commercial developments are residential projects such as Core Residence @ TRX, Conlay, and Agile Embassy Garden. Knight Frank Malaysia managing director Sarkunan Subramaniam said there has also been an increase in the level of foreign buyer interest in Malaysian properties. Meanwhile, in the general residential segment, the report noted several key policies as announced under the National Budget 2020 are expected to further stimulate the market. (The Sun Daily)

Sunway Property sets higher sales target of RM2bil for 2020

Sunway Property is targeting sales of RM2 billion in 2020 after raking in RM1.55 billion last year, surpassing its target of RM1.3 billion. Sunway Bhd property division managing director Sarena Cheah attributed its success in 2019 to being quick to react to a market that is now more sensitive in terms of products that purchasers want to buy, well-located properties, right pricing, partnering banks to provide financing packages for purchasers and the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC). Describing the property market as “fragmented”, she said certain locations are not doing very well and yet there are certain locations where house prices are still appreciating. She opined that the property oversupply situation in Malaysia will slowly correct itself. Cheah said the group will launch RM3.5 billion worth of properties this year, of which 70% will be in Singapore, in line with its plans for geographical diversification, and RM1 billion in Malaysia. (The Sun Daily)

Kerjaya buys land in KL for RM13.03mil

Kerjaya Prospek Property Bhd is acquiring five parcels of leasehold lands along Jalan Puchong/Jalan Klang Lama in Kuala Lumpur for RM13.03 million to complement an existing development there. The developer is acquiring Kerjaya Property Sdn Bhd (KPSB) which is developing a project in the area called Bloomsvale. Upon the completion of the corporate exercise, Kerjaya Prospek will inherit the RM1.2 billion Bloomsvale project, comprising two blocks of serviced apartments, a hotel, office suites and a shopping mall. (NST Online)