KPKT conducts BDA study to get true picture of housing sector

The Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) is in the midst of conducting the Big Data Analytics (BDA) Study on Housing from last February to obtain a true picture of the position and availability of data related to the housing sector in Malaysia. Its deputy minister Datuk Seri Ismail Abdul Muttalib said the study, expected to be completed in May 2022, would determine the direction of the development of the BDA system which includes data, technology, processes, skills and costs required to develop the system. “This study aims to assist in addressing unsold properties and to find out a more clear and accurate position of the housing market for the development of a sustainable and efficient real estate sector,” he said. In addition, Ismail said the ministry was also in the midst of developing the Housing Integrated Management System (HIMS) which will enable developers to refer to the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 (Act 118) and other related regulations on a single platform. (The Sun Daily)

PM launches National Trade Blueprint 2021-2025 to improve Malaysia’s trade competitiveness

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has launched the National Trade Blueprint (NTBp) 2021-2025 with the aim of helping Malaysia strengthen its position as a leading exporting nation and to improve its competitiveness in trade globally. The prime minister said this five-year blueprint is also expected to benefit Malaysians by leading to higher income. In a virtual launching ceremony, Ismail Sabri said the five-year blueprint has eight strategic thrusts and 40 recommendations, adding that it will draw together opportunities to strengthen Malaysia’s position in the international arena. “It addresses necessary structural changes for the export sector to thrive through strengthening of trade facilitation, logistics, standards conformance, market access, sustainability, digitalisation and technology, investment and branding,” he said. The Blueprint will elevate the nation’s trade competitiveness and strengthen its position as a leading export country, he added. (Malay Mail)

Langkawi international tourism travel bubble open to all countries

The international tourism bubble for the Langkawi pioneer project will be opened to tourists from all countries, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said. She added that the no-restriction policy was adopted as strict procedures would be in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 at the resort island. “The procedures include ensuring arriving tourists use tour agents registered with the ministry… If anything happens, like infection cases, the agent will be held responsible,” she said. The international tourism bubble, she said, was introduced to help the economy recover from the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that the government could not afford to wait for too long to reopen the tourism sector to foreign tourists as it would cause locals to lose their jobs. The international tourism travel bubble for Langkawi is slated to begin on November 15. (Malay Mail)

Deloitte: Govt may consider extending HOC campaign to the secondary markets

The government may consider extending the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) campaign to the secondary markets, thereby providing a wider range of properties for homebuyers to choose from, according to Deloitte Malaysia. Its tax experts said the current HOC only applies to new properties registered under the campaign by specific developers. “The HOC, which is available until Dec 31, 2021, may be extended to boost the property market,” the professional services firm said. For those struggling to repay their home loans, Deloitte Malaysia said, the government could consider providing income tax relief on interest accrued on these loans after the moratorium period ends. On losses saddled by banks after businesses close down and credit taken goes bad, the firm said this has a knock-on effect on future lending. Hence, it advised the government to look at how tax rules can help cushion this blow, such as by incentivising business rescue financing, and by giving a special tax credit. “Tax incentives can also be used to encourage lending and investment in specific projects and market segments in line with the government’s objectives,” the company said. (The Star)

Malaysia urges WHO to address vaccine inequity immediately

Malaysia has called on vaccine inequity to be addressed immediately with more equitable distribution and dose delivery swapping by countries that have excess supply. Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that from the country’s point of view, vaccine and equity have been one the greatest moral failings in humanity’s collective response to the Covid-19 pandemic. He said while the world was told vaccines would be available, their delivery has fallen far short of what was planned. Khairy said Malaysia suggests that WHO moves towards a new equitable plan of distribution for antiviral and Covid-19 vaccines for children, and supports the call by the world body’s director-general for an international agreement on pandemic response. However, he said the agreement must not just be inclusive and accountable but also equitable and transparent. (The Star)