SUKE incident: Works Ministry says stern action will be taken

The Works Ministry and the Malaysia Highway Authority (LLM) are carrying out safety reviews, including assessing the implementation of responsibilities at all levels, following the parapet wall slab accident along the ongoing Sungai Besi-Ulu Klang Elevated Expressway (SUKE) construction. Senior Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, in issuing a warning to all parties involved in the construction, said all quarters must comply with all processes, procedures, specifications and the contract set at the construction site without any compromise. “Strict action will be taken against negligent individuals during the construction,” he added. At the same time, he said the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) and Malaysia Highway Authority (LLM) have also been instructed to conduct a comprehensive audit at an immediate rate related to works involving public safety. A one-sq metre concrete slab from a construction site of SUKE fell on a Proton Saga BLM driven by a woman at the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) at 5.45pm on Saturday. The 25-year-old victim was rescued by members of the public with injuries on her left arm before being sent to hospital for treatment. (NST Online)

(Source: The Star Online)

EPF records gross investment income of RM15.12b in 2Q

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) recorded a gross investment income of RM15.12bil in the second quarter ended June 30,2020 during extremely volatile and challenging conditions. The retirement fund said equities, which contributed 54% to total gross income, registered RM8.11bil in investment income. This was followed by fixed income instruments, which contributed RM6.17bil. Real estate and infrastructure, as well as money market instruments, contributed RM470mil and RM370mil respectively. However, net investment income declined to RM13.46bil after the cost write-down on listed equities, which the EPF described as prudent practice to ensure its long-term investment portfolio remains healthy. Chief EPF officer Tunku Alizakri Alias said the extremely volatile and challenging conditions seen from the early part of 2020 showed no signs of normalising. He cited ongoing issues, such as the US-China trade tensions and low oil prices, remain unresolved and Covid-19 continued to run havoc in unprepared countries around the world. (The Star Online)

Johor govt to confiscate private land used as illegal dumpsites

The state government will confiscate private land used as illegal dumpsites in the state, effective next year. Johor Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Ayub Jamil said action would be taken against landowners who have repeatedly ignored warnings by the authorities. He said 189 illegal dumpsites had been identified in the Johor Bahru and Iskandar Puteri districts this year alone, with 88 of them found to be owned by repeated offenders. “Fines (have been issued) and court trials have been conducted. But if the City Council and the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Corporation (SWCorp) have given advice and such cases continue to occur with having a long-term impact on the environment, then action to confiscate the land can be taken, as contained in the National Land Code,” he said. (Malay Mail)

Scientex to buy 202-acre land in Pulai for RM185m

Scientex Bhd is acquiring 202 acres of land in Pulai, Johor, for RM185 million, bringing its total landbank to more than 5,700 acres. This will sustain the group for over 10 years, Scientex said in a statement. The group said its wholly-owned subsidiary Scientex Quatari Sdn Bhd is acquiring the eight parcels of freehold land, located near the group’s existing developments, from Lee Pineapple Company (Pte) Ltd. The newly acquired land would also complement the group’s 661 acres of land in Pulai, comprising mixed residential and commercial developments, which have a completed GDV of RM900 million and future GDV of RM4.4 billion. The lands are surrounded by Sri Pulai Perdana 2, Bandar Pulai Jaya, Bandar Baru Kangar Pulai, Taman Pulai Mutiara and Taman Pulai Mutiara 2. (The Edge)

Zuraida: Airbnb issue to be finalised by year-end

The standardisation of several issues, including regulations, licensing and taxes involving the hotel sector and global online accommodation service provider, Airbnb, will be finalised by the end of this year. Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the standardisation would take into account various aspects and determine the best methods beneficial to both parties as Airbnb had the potential to contribute to the national economy. “It involves the Housing and Local Government Ministry together with the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, the state government and the Malaysian Productivity Corporation (MPC) to find a way on how we can standardise the issue as a whole,” she said. It was earlier reported that the government would finalise the standardisation of a number of issues, including regulations and taxes involving hotels and Airbnb, in an effort to help the sector which was severely affected by Covid-19. (The Star Online)