Penang to have first cooperative town in Malaysia

The Cooperative Commission of Malaysia (SKM) is set to build a new town in Sungai Ara, Penang. Executive chairman Datuk Nordin Salleh said the project would be developed by SKM’s subsidiary, Sungai Ara Berhad (Tunas Muda). He said the new town, which will comprise residential units and various other amenities, is an initiative by SKM to help its members own affordable homes. It will be the country’s first ‘cooperative town’ and estimated to cost RM1.6 billion. The project covering 83.3 hectares and involves 3,867 housing units, various facilities and infrastructures such as a mini stadium, football field, clinic and mosque is expected to be completed within three years. (Malay Mail)

Proposed commercial development law may be incorporated into current housing Act

The proposed commercial development Act may be incorporated into the existing Housing Development Act. Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the ministry would also take into considerations feedback from the architect fraternity. PAM past president Dr Tan Loke Mun said developers have resorted to selling units with commercial titles such as serviced apartments, which has caused confusion in the market. Zuraida said architects could play a greater role in improving people’s living conditions, particularly those staying at low-cost housing schemes. “The challenge is to change people’s mindset. With a nice design, people will be more inclined to take care of the properties,” she said. (NST Online)

Condo calamity: Developer’s sale permit will be suspended

The sales licence of the developer of a condominium block in Taman Desa, which partially collapsed on Feb 14, will be suspended. Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the Attorney-General’s Chambers would suspend the Advertising Permit and Developer’s Licence (APDL) pending investigation. She said the National Occupational Safety and Health Institute (Niosh) has been asked to expedite its investigation over the incident. She said such investigations would normally take about a month to complete. The Address, a 202-unit, low-density residential project situated next to a public school began construction at the end of 2017. It was met with complaints from Taman Desa residents including on noise pollution coming from the site. On Jan 23, 2018, a crane toppled at the construction site and caused damages to an adjoining property, the Tiara Faber condominium. (NST Online)

(Source: Malay Mail)

Investor concerns over Covid-19 may affect Johor property market in 1Q

The Johor government does not rule out the possibility that the property sector in the state could be impacted following investor concerns of a prolonged Covid-19 outbreak that has spread to several countries, including Malaysia. State Housing, Communications and Multimedia Committee chairman Dzulkefly Ahmad said hence, the state government would continue to monitor the development of the property market in Johor. “Properties could also be impacted if the situation were to prolong for three to six months. I think it will have an impact on the property industry, especially those that involve foreign buyers,” he said. Dzulkefly said foreign investor concerns were also caused by a prohibition imposed by some countries on their citizens from travelling to Malaysia even though the Covid-19 infection in the country is still not at a serious stage. To date, Singapore and China are among the top 10 countries buying properties in Malaysia for investment purposes. (The Edge)

Cruise ships coming from China barred from docking in Malaysia

A temporary ban has been imposed on all international cruise ships that departed or transited from any of the ports in China from entering Malaysian waters. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail made this announcement in light of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. She said following the detection of one positive case of Covid-19 among the MS Westerdam Cruise passengers, close contact tracing activities were immediately carried out. Of the 145 passengers of the cruise ship who had landed in Malaysia, one American woman tested positive for the virus. She said there were no new reported cases today, bringing the total number of patients receiving treatments to 14 and total number of cases discharged to eight. (NST Online)