Govt to study proposal on imposing vacancy tax for unsold luxury condos in Klang Valley

The government will study the proposal to impose a vacancy tax on developers to address the number of unsold luxury condominium units in the Klang Valley, Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Edmund Santhara Kumar said. A vacancy tax is a tax where any property that is left vacant and unsold for a certain amount of time is charged a penalty based on a percentage of gross selling price. Similar tax practices are imposed in several major cities around the world such as Vancouver in Canada and Melbourne in Australia. “From the ministry’s point of view on the proposal to impose such tax, since the number of unsold units is less than 4% to date, there is no need for now but such a proposal would be studied further,” he said. According to data by NAPIC, there were 2,260 unsold condominium units within the Klang Valley, of which 498 comprised luxury units worth RM1 million and above as of the second quarter of 2018. (Malay Mail)

e-Census: Less than one million Malaysian households have filled up the form

Since the Malaysia Population and Housing Census 2020 started on July 7, the number of households using the e-Census form to fill in their information has not reached one million, said chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin. He said that the Statistics Department had targeted that 10 million people would be using the online system in the first phase of Census 2020, which would end on Sept 30. In getting more people to use the e-Census, he said that there was a need to increase publicity efforts such as promoting it on social media and engaging celebrities with a high number of followers to spread awareness of Census 2020. At the same time Mohd Uzir, who is also the Census 2020 commissioner, admitted that the long census period had caused people to procrastinate. The census project, which is in its sixth edition, involves about 32.7 million people and nine million homes, and will be carried out in two phases. The first phase is being implemented through the e-Census, while the second phase, using the face-to-face interview method, will be from Oct 7 to 24. (The Star Online)

Flexi hours, work-life balance top factors for Malaysian employees

Being able to balance work with life and having flexible working hours are key factors for Malaysian employees who are happy at work, while feeling that they could be paid more by their employers is a leading cause of dissatisfaction, a recent survey has shown. In the survey by market research firm Vase, a total of 1,042 Malaysians who are currently employed were asked to rate their satisfaction level at their current workplace. More than half or 57% of those polled said they were “very satisfied” with their workplace now, while 40% said they were “not satisfied” and felt there is room for improvement. The remaining 3% said they were “extremely dissatisfied”. The top five reasons for those who said they were “very satisfied” were flexible working hours (37%), work-life balance (35%), superiors who are understanding (30%), being able to freely express their own thoughts and ideas (29%) and a great salary (28%). Read the full article here. (Malay Mail)

Sivagangga cluster ‘Patient Zero’ jailed five months and fined RM12k

The person responsible for the Sivagangga Covid-19 cluster in Kedah was sentenced to five months’ jail and fined RM12,000, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob revealed. The index patient who broke his mandatory home quarantine has been identified as causing at least 40 others to be infected, some of which were third-generation cases. The defence minister said the authorities viewed the transgression seriously in a stern warning to the public amid growing concern over the emergence of new clusters as the government has eased restrictions. The emergence of new clusters has prompted calls for stern punishment against those found breaching the Covid-19 mandatory quarantine. Ismail Sabri said yesterday the authorities have acted against 270 individuals for failing to remain under home quarantine. (Malay Mail)

Dewan Rakyat passes Supplementary Supply Bill

The Dewan Rakyat has passed the Supplementary Supply Bill (2019) 2020 for additional expenditure totalling RM7,005,753,850 for services in 2019 after it was debated at the committee level. The Bill was tabled by Finance Deputy Minister I Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri and passed after the third reading, receiving majority support from MPs. The additional expenditure was being sought for excess transfer from the 2019 Consolidated Account to the Development Fund totalling RM1.072 billion, and RM778.6 million was to meet unexpected expenditure in 2019. A sum of RM5.155 billion was for direct additional allocations to ministries and departments which had been given approval to spend in excess of allocations for finance matters committed in 2019. (Malay Mail)