Iconic Penang ferry service to continue – Finance Minister

The iconic Penang ferry service will remain in service, said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz. He said the Federal government had approved an allocation of RM30 million to Penang Port to take over the ferry service. “The government will ensure that Penang Port continues with the Penang ferry services which is iconic and of heritage value,” he said. Earlier, the Penang Port Commission had announced that the Penang ferry service, which had been operating for 126 years, would be replaced by speedboats from Jan 1. (Bernama)

No stamp duty exemption for property transfer between parents, children

The government has no plans to provide stamp duty exemption for transfer of property from parents to children, said Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz. He said the 100% exemption in stamp duty was only for transfer of assets between husband and wife. “The government has announced a remission of 50% in stamp duty for transfer of property based on love between parents and children. This is to encourage property transfer between parents and children to be done when they are alive to avoid problems in property claims after the death of one of the parties concerned,” he said. Tengku Zafrul said the remission of stamp duty was also intended to reduce cases of inheritance claims in court. He said the stamp duty remission is applicable since Jan 1 this year and only involves recipients who are citizens. (Free Malaysia Today)

Developers remain cautious on 4Q performance

Developers remain cautious of their financial performance outlook for the final quarter this year (4Q20) on the back of slow conversion rate and the reintroduction of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) across most states during the period. Data compiled by Bloomberg showed that eight of the top 10 property firms listed on Bursa Malaysia posted a net profit increase in 3Q on a quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) basis, signalling a gradual recovery in the property market. The only two companies which recorded a QoQ loss were Sime Darby Property Bhd (SDP) and SP Setia Bhd. On a year-on-year (YoY) basis, only three of the top 10 companies had registered higher profits, namely IOI Properties Group Bhd, UOA Development Bhd and Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd. Developers expect the operating environment to remain challenging and uncertain moving forward. The recovery of the property investment and hospitality segments have been impacted by the reinstatement of the CMCO by the government in light of the resurgence in Covid-19 cases. (The Malaysian Reserve)

Proposal to change age definition of senior citizens from 60 to 65 years

Changing the age definition of senior citizens from 60 years to 65 years were among the proposals presented by the Social Welfare Department (SWD) in the National Senior Citizens Advisory and Consultative Council (MPPWEN) meeting. In the meeting chaired by Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun, the Time Bank Volunteering Schemes for Senior Citizens in Malaysia was also proposed by the Institute of Labour Market Information and Analysis (ILMIA). Other proposals presented at the meeting are the Private Aged Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 2018 (PAHFAS) by the Health Ministry, and the study and drafting of an act governing retirement homes by the National Housing Department. A registration and mapping system for senior citizens was also mentioned, namely the eWe System developed by SWD. The eWe system is to identify demographics, skills, expertise and needs of senior citizens. “This system is also a database to look at the need for re-employment and the interest of senior citizens in preparation for the ageing nation status in 2030,” the ministry stated. (Bernama)

Penang to gazette more forest reserves as water catchment area

Penang will gazette a further 3,790.54 hectares of its permanent forest reserve as water catchment areas under the National Forestry Act 1984. Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said in 2004, the Penang government had gazetted 6,288,295 hectares as water catchment areas under the state Water Supply Enactment 1998. It covers some 3,565 hectares of permanent forest reserve in which 70% was allocated to the preservation of watch catchment forests since 2004. Chow said the Penang Forestry Department was currently in the process of gazetting, which should be completed and published by June next year. So far, seven states in the Peninsula including Kedah, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perlis, Selangor and Terengganu have gazetted 100 per cent of its land as water catchment areas as proposed. (Bernama)