Seremban is now a city

Yang di-Pertuan Besar Negri Sembilan Tuanku Muhriz Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Munawir on Monday (Jan 20) proclaimed Seremban as a city and opened the Seremban City Council (MBS) Complex. On Nov 12, 2008, the state government has approved a proposal to merge MPS and MPN into one entity, besides upgrading it into MBS. MBS has commenced its operations as an entity beginning Jan 1, 2020. Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar, Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun, said that with the formation of MBS, it was hoped that the city of Seremban could handle the changes of the world without borders and maintain the beauty of a clean and green city. (The Star Online)

Penang unlikely to impose unsold property tax: Jagdeep

The Penang government would not likely consider introducing the unsold property tax to address the property overhang issue in the state. State Housing, Local Government, and Town and Country Planning committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo today said that the overhang issue in Penang was still manageable and it would not need to impose such a tax. “Of course, we will not go there, at this point in time, over maybe never ever … but this is how serious the (property) overhang is in Malaysia,“ he said. Jagdeep was commenting on Johor’s consideration to impose the tax to penalise developers for selling residential units at high prices. (The Sun Daily)

Berjaya Times Square Hotel KL in RM15 million makeover

Berjaya Times Square Hotel Kuala Lumpur is undergoing an RM15 million makeover that will see all its rooms, ballrooms and meeting rooms upgraded this year. Berjaya Hotels & Resort (BHR) chief operating officer, Foo Toon Kee said, 2020 is a key year for the hotel, primarily because of Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020). The whole refurbishment program for the hotel consists of the guestroom’s renovation in two phases. 88 rooms under the first phase of this exercise will be ready by May 2020 and the phase 2 target is to complete by the second half of 2020. “We are upgrading the hotel to provide top-class facilities for MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) delegates which the hotel is renowned for,” said Foo. The whole exercise to upgrade the hotel, which boasts a total room count of 650, will be completed by the end of this year. The last major refurbishment for the five-star hotel was carried out in the year 2009-2010. (NST Online)

Zuraida: Pengerang to become smart city in five years

Pengerang in Johor has been targeted to become a smart city in five years, said Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin. She said a 121-hectare (ha) area in the south of the district had been set aside as a smart city zone whereby its early development must comply with the guidelines of the Malaysia Smart City Framework which was launched by the government in September last year. Other than Pengerang, which had been upgraded to Pengerang Municipal Council (MPP) on November 11 (2019), five other cities which were listed as pioneer cities to achieve the Malaysia Smart City Framework were Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Johor Baru, Kuching and Kulim, Kedah. Compared to Pengerang, Zuraida said the changes of the other cities towards becoming smart cities would be implemented in stages to take into account the existing infrastructural situation in the cities concerned such as the road and traffic light systems. (Malay Mail)

More enquiries doesn’t mean more property sales, say agents

Property industry players are skeptical that an increase in the number of property enquiries from China-based buyers will result in many sales. Henry Butcher chief operating officer Tang Chee Meng and Melaka-based developer Anthony Adam Cho said capital controls in China made it difficult for Chinese buyers to purchase property overseas. They were responding to a statement by a Chinese holding company, Juwai IQI Group, that said there were twice the number of Chinese enquiries about Malaysian property in the first quarter of 2019 compared to 2018. There was also an increase in the fourth quarter of 2019. However it remained to be seen if the enquiries would result in sales. “We must first resolve the issue of low wages relative to the rising cost of living. People just won’t have the purchasing power,” he added. (Free Malaysia Today)