Property market on recovery path amid govt initiatives

The property market is expected to be on the recovery path in line with the gradual economic recovery, supported by the implementation of various government initiatives and assistance, said the National Property Information Centre (Napic). It said the property market performance recorded a significant increase in the first half of 2021 (1H 2021) as compared to the same period last year. In the Malaysia Property Market Report for 1H 2021, it said a total of 139,754 transactions worth RM62.01 billion were recorded, showing an increase of 21.0% in volume and 32.1% in value compared to the same period last year. The volume and value of transactions across the sub-sectors showed upward movements. “All states recorded higher market volume except for Wilayah Persekutuan (WP) Putrajaya. The four major states namely Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor and Pulau Pinang formed about 50% of the total national residential volume,” it shared. Construction activity, Napic noted had recorded an increase in completion, starts and new planned supply. (The Sun Daily)

Gym reopening subject to NSC approval, says deputy minister

Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker today said that the authority to reopen gyms lies with the National Security Council (NSC) and that his ministry has submitted its proposed standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the agency to consider. Ti clarified his remarks, which were earlier reported by The Star, that gyms in states currently under Phase 2 and 3 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) can reopen tomorrow. “We have submitted the new SOPs to the NSC, and it is up to the NSC gazetting it first before gyms are allowed to open. So gyms will only be opened when the proposed SOPs are gazetted,” he said. Earlier this week, the Youth and Sports Ministry proposed that sports premises, such as fields and gyms, be allowed to operate. Last week, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced the Health Ministry (MoH) was drawing up ventilation guidelines for gyms, together with the NSC. (Malay Mail)

Friday prayers allowed in KL, Putrajaya mosques with up to 500 congregants

Friday prayers at mosques in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya which are in Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), are allowed to be held with up to 500 congregants, effective Friday (Sept 17). Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) director Datuk Mohd Ajib Ismail said 250 congregants were allowed for the same purpose in seven zonal mosques as well as kariah (vicinity) mosques, while for Friday prayers surau, it was 150 people, and surau with special permission to hold the Friday prayers (100 people). “Lectures and ‘tazkirah’ (talks) are allowed with attendance not exceeding the number of Friday prayer congregants for the tazkirah prior to Friday prayers, and not exceeding the number of congregants for obligatory prayers for other lectures, with physical distancing of 1.5m,” he said. (The Star)

Green zone parking areas for delivery riders in KL

The Federal Territories Ministry will create special ‘Green Zone’ areas in 10 locations around Kuala Lumpur specifically as motorcycle parking lots for food and parcel delivery riders. Federal Territories deputy minister Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias said the initiative would help facilitate and speed up the delivery of food and parcels by the riders. “We already have a pioneer Green Zone area at Menara Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur that can be used by delivery riders. In addition, I have also discussed with the Kuala Lumpur mayor to implement this project immediately at 10 other areas,” he said. Jalaluddin said the ministry would expand the pioneer project to Putrajaya and Labuan, adding that they would serve as examples to other states to implement such projects. (The Edge)

Four Penang tourist spots tapped for test runs

Despite its many tourist attractions, four potential key spots in Penang have been identified for the island’s reopening. State tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said Penang is proposing a test run for the reopening of spacious outdoor tourist attractions in the state before embracing full resumption of travel activities. He said the test run is aimed at fine tuning and improving the health protocols at tourist attractions, and would be conducted in collaboration with the Association of Tourist Attractions Penang (ATAP) at outdoor attractions that have sizeable spaces. “They are The Habitat, Tropical Spice Garden, Penang Tropical Fruit Farm and Penang Bird Park,” he said. “This test run will be conducted with strict adherence to health protocols, which will limit the test run to three days per week and will only be applicable to fully vaccinated visitors who have pre-booked their tickets online prior to the visit. Visitors for each attraction will also be capped at 30 persons at any one time,” he said. Meanwhile, hotels in Penang are all set to welcome domestic tourists. (The Star)

KPMG to pay RM333mil to M’sian govt as 1MDB settlement, says Finance Ministry

KPMG has agreed to a settlement valued at RM333mil (US$80mil) to resolve all claims related to its fiduciary duties on auditing of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) accounts for the period of 2010 to 2012, says the Finance Ministry. The settlement with KPMG, valued at more than 800 times the audit fees earned by KPMG, represents one of the largest 1MDB-related settlements by an audit firm in South-East Asia. Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said this demonstrates the government’s resolve to diligently pursue recovery efforts against all parties involved in 1MDB and its related entities. The ministry said the settlement will conclude the civil suit filed on July 6, 2021, against KPMG, which will expedite the payment of monies to fulfil 1MDB’s outstanding obligations, and save the court’s time and public resources. It said this settlement will not affect or compromise Malaysia’s claims against individuals like Jho Low and other parties related thereto, and who are still being actively pursued in relation to the 1MDB financial scandal. (The Star)