Power rebates from Jan 1

Domestic, commercial and industrial account holders of Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) will generally enjoy a rebate of between 3.6% and 9.2% in the first half of next year. As many as 7.5 million domestic users will be paying between 3.6% and 9.2% less for their electricity usage during the period, said Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah. For commercial users, the rebate will be between 4% and 5.2% whereas for industrial users, the reduction will be between 4.6% and 6.1%. Shamsul said the TNB account holders stand to enjoy a rebate of 2 sen per kilowatt hour from Jan 1 to June 30,2021. “The government has agreed to also maintain the TNB basic tariff average at 39.45 sen per kilowatt hour for 2021, ” he said. (The Star Online)

MIEA supports Residential Tenancy Act

The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) supports the government’s initiative to enact the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) which in general is a good move to protect tenants and landlords. MIEA president Lim Boon Ping said the act should provide a win-win formula for both the landlords and tenants. The RTA, currently being drafted by the ministry is expected to be tabled in early 2021 and aims to protect both owners and tenants. Among the provisions will be mechanisms to address landlord and tenant disputes. Currently, landlords and tenants have had to rely on a number of provisions in the National Land Code 1965. “It is important to state that race has nothing to do with the capability of a person to service one’s rental obligations. We should be more concerned whether the individual, no matter what race, is capable of being a good tenant,” he said. (The Star Online)

Malaysia to go it alone with HSR project, pay RM300m compensation to Singapore

Malaysia is set to pay RM300 million in compensation to Singapore after deciding to terminate the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) contract and instead undertake the project without Singapore’s participation, a source said. This comes as the long-drawn negotiation between the two sides is reaching its end-December deadline. The source said the project will now see the line stretching from Kuala Lumpur to Johor Bahru, as opposed to the previous plan to link the capitals of both countries — one of the busiest flight routes in the world. The project was first announced in September 2010, under the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) Government, and subsequently deferred until end-2020 after several changes. (The Edge)

Penang’s Gurney Drive to be transformed by end of 2023

The development of Gurney Drive’s foreshore will be completed by the end of 2023, which will see features such as water gardens, an artificial beach and a coastal grove created on reclaimed land by then. Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state government will call for bids for various projects on the reclaimed area, including the Gurney Wharf, which is estimated to cost an overall RM176 million. Spanning nearly 5km eastward from the foreshore of Gurney Drive, the 131-acre reclamation was completed in September 2019 but has stalled since then. Chow said works on the Gurney Wharf will begin in the second quarter of 2021, with seven consultants hired to carry out design and other works on behalf of the Penang government. The reclamation of the foreshore was carried out by Tanjung Pinang Development Sdn Bhd (TPD) as part of a deal to reclaim Seri Tanjung Pinang (STP) Phase II further up north. No costs to reclaim the 131-acres were disclosed. Of the 131 acres handed over, 40 acres would be used for the Gurney Wharf project, 50 acres as in-lieu payment for the undersea tunnel and roads project and the remainder would be government reserve land. (Free Malaysia Today)

Artist’s impression of the Gurney Drive reclaimed land at Tanjung Seri Pinang (Image from The Star)

Govt writes off Pahang’s RM2.1 bln water supply debt

KUANTAN, Dec 23 — The federal government has agreed to write off the Pahang state government’s debt of RM2.1 billion through the water services industry restructuring agreement, said Minister of Environment and Water (KASA), Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man. He said it involved rural area water supply debt amounting to RM1 billion while the balance would be transferred by novation to Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad (PAAB). PAAB would build water assets in Pahang before leasing these to Pengurusan Air Pahang Berhad (PAIP), he added. According to Tuan Ibrahim, the loan payment would be restructured for a period of 45 years at a competitive rate of 3% for the existing assets and 4.5% cent for new assets. “PAIP will be given a moratorium on the lease payment for five years to help it build a strong financial base. This agreement also enables the people of Pahang to receive better water supply services, besides cutting losses due to loss of treated water.” Pahang was the eighth state to sign the agreement following seven years of negotiation that started in 2013, with Kedah and Perlis expected to follow suit in January. (Bernama)