Minister warns of U-turns and fines for errant travelers

Those attempting unapproved balik kampung interstate travel will be ordered to turn back by the police – and slapped with compounds on the spot. Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who announced that the “double whammy” was enforced yesterday, said that except for those who had received police permission to attend to emergencies, there would be no compromise on such travel. The National Security Council decided that police could issue compound notices to motorists who were asked to turn back at roadblocks. He said those who somehow managed to get to their hometowns using alternative routes would be dealt with when they return. Despite interstate travel being barred during the CMCO, 2,412 vehicles attempting to cross state lines were ordered to turn back by the police on Wednesday. (The Star Online)

Non-Muslim houses of worship in green zones can reopen from June 10

Non-Muslim houses of worship in green zones nationwide will be allowed to reopen starting June 10, says Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Entrance is however limited to a maximum of 30 people on the premises at any one time, while children below 12 and senior citizens above 70 are not allowed to enter, he said. The permission is also only for Malaysians, he said, adding that non-Malaysians are not allowed. The houses of worship are also only allowed to be open on important days according to the respective religions, just one or two days a week. Congregants must also have their temperatures scanned, and use face masks and hand sanitiser. So far, 174 religious premises have been given the green light to reopen. Of these, 84 are Hindu and Buddhist temples, 15 are Chinese temples, 67 are churches and eight are gurdwaras. Marriage ceremonies at temples and churches or religious institutions are still prohibited. However, the Council of Churches of Malaysia had decided that churches will remain closed until the Movement Control Order (MCO) is fully lifted, with the decision to be be reviewed judiciously when the time comes. (The Star Online)

Rehda Malaysia marks 50th anniversary

The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) Malaysia celebrates its 50th anniversary yesterday, signifying half a century of property development representation. The association held a simple plaque-signing and cake-cutting ceremony at Wisma Rehda.. “Throughout the 50 years of our formation, we have played a vital role in the betterment of the property industry and nation, by being a key partner to the government in its various initiatives. We have also stood alongside the nation as it goes through many trials and tribulations, including the current Covid-19 global pandemic, and strives to continue supporting the government and industry to ensure the vitality of our economy,” said Rehda Malaysia president Datuk Soam Heng Choon. Rehda – initially known as Housing Developers’ Association (HDA) – was established May 21, 1970 with only 13 members. Today, the association has over 1,500 members all over Peninsular Malaysia with 11 state branches and a youth wing, which are responsible for a majority of the total real estate built in Malaysia. (The Edge)

Rehda Malaysi’s National Council members held a signing and cake-cutting ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the association (Source: The Edge)

Country Garden secures RM495m Sukuk to confirm positive outlooks

Country Garden Real Estate (CGRE) has successfully issued three tranches of Islamic Sukuk for a total of RM495 million in March, with the longest tenure among them being seven years. These issuances are reflection of the positive reception of the company’s most significant project, ‘Forest City’, as well as demonstration of confidence that Malaysian capital markets have in both Country Garden Group and CGRE’s long term growth in Malaysia. CGRE’s Islamic Medium-Term Note (IMTN) Program was set up in 2015, which was the first ever Ringgit Sukuk issued by a China-related corporate entity. Forest City Johor, which is located adjacent to Singapore and situated in the Iskandar Special Zone of Johor, is currently the Group’s largest overseas project. Malaysia is currently one of the world’s biggest markets for Islamic finance. (The Edge)

GuocoLand aiming for better financials

GuocoLand (Malaysia) Bhd is banking on its current three property projects in Greater Kuala Lumpur worth RM6 billion to weather the storm as it aims for better financials. Managing director Datuk Edmund Kong Woon Jun said the group may do better moving forward as there’s progressive sales coming in from Emerald 9 and Emerald Hills in Cheras, as well as Emerald Rawang. As of May 10, the group’s unbilled sales stood at RM820 million. GoucoLand reported its eighth consecutive loss-making quarter recently, attributed to higher selling and marketing expenses, administration expenses, and finance costs. GuocoLand said the group’s business operations have been impacted by the implementation of the MCO in mid-March 2020, where it has inevitably disrupted its operations in the property development, property investment and hotel segments. It is selling Menara Guoco for RM242.1 million, and about 260.5ha in Jasin, Melaka for RM119.26 million to pare down its borrowings. (NST Online)