Malaysia, Singapore in talks to reopen mutual border under dedicated vaccination lane

Malaysia and Singapore have begun talks on opening their borders to each other under a dedicated vaccinated travel lane where air travellers will be allowed entry. Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said she had met with her Singaporean counterpart to discuss the preparations as well as SOPs. “In principle, the proposal has been agreed to by both countries, but not yet approved as the SOP needs to be refined. Discussions will continue and we hope it can happen before Nov 15, ahead of the Langkawi international tourism travel bubble… We have discussed that both countries will only accept tourists who travel by air. For other modes of transport, not yet,” she said. Nancy added that before the border opening proposal could materialise, it needed the approval of the National Security Council, the Covid-19 Quartet Ministers and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. (NST Online)

Survey shows Malaysians expect home prices to climb

Malaysians believe property prices will climb higher by December 2022 and that buyer preferences have changed dramatically during the pandemic, according to Juwai IQI’s survey of Malaysian consumers. The survey conducted from Sept 28 to Oct 21 asked consumers if they believe real estate prices will be higher by the end of 2022, which 87% of respondents said yes. Juwai IQI co-founder and group CEO Kashif Ansari said the ratio was almost identical for both male and female respondents. That is a change from past surveys, when men were almost uniformly more optimistic than women about property prices. “90% of respondents believe this is a good time to buy… before prices climb further,” he said. A total of 83% of respondents said a home office or study space is more important than before the pandemic. Having a larger home has become more important for 72% of respondents. Private green space is more important for 68% of respondents. (The Sun Daily)

Malaysian airports expect ‘surge’ of travellers in coming months

Airports nationwide are ready to welcome travellers back with the lifting of local and international travel restrictions, says Malaysia Airports (MAHB). MAHB said the lull period amid the previous travel restrictions have been used to ensure a safe airport experience in anticipation of travel resumption. “Our staff at all airports are very well prepared to operate at optimum levels of efficiency as we welcome back passengers,” said MAHB in a statement. Apart from the implementation of safety measures to restore air travel confidence, facilities have also been upgraded to further enhance the travelling experience. All 39 airports across the country continue to practise Covid-19 safety measures such as enhanced sanitisation and disinfection exercises, mandatory thermal screening and usage of face masks, sneeze guard screens, sanitiser stations, and physical distancing reminders among others. Local airlines have been reporting strong demands now that the interstate travel ban has been lifted. (The Star)

Sime Darby Property launches Hamilton City in Nilai as part of Malaysia Vision Valley 2.0

Sime Darby Property Bhd has launched Hamilton City in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan in a bid to develop the new growth corridor in Malaysia Vision Valley 2.0 (MVV 2.0). The 2,723-acre Hamilton City is a full-fledged managed industrial township in MVV 2.0 that focuses on medium- to heavy manufacturing-based industries to drive direct investments into the development, as well as to generate socio-economic improvement in the township, according to Sime Darby Property. Hamilton City will be developed by Sime Darby Property in four phases, with Phases 1, 2 and 4 focusing on medium and heavy industrial activities, while Phase 3 will be specifically developed for light industry comprising detached and semi-detached factories with a managed industrial park concept. The launch of Hamilton City industrial township advances the company’s strategic growth plans to transform Sime Darby Property into a real estate development company by 2025. (The Edge)

Heng Huat may build industrial and commercial properties as its first real estate venture

Heng Huat Resources Group Bhd plans to construct industrial buildings or a combination of commercial and industrial assets on several lots of land it is acquiring in Kulim, Kedah, as its first foray into property development. It may also build a dormitory for a centralised accommodation centre on the aforementioned land. The dormitory, industrial buildings, or commercial assets, according to Heng Huat, would complement the developments and workers in and around the Kulim High-Tech Park, it said. Heng Huat, which manufactures and trades biomass material, announced plans to diversify into property development and a series of acquisitions. (NST Online)

Malaysia elected vice-president of 75th World Health Assembly

Malaysia has been elected vice-president of the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) that will convene in Geneva next year. The WHA comprises 194 member states and is the highest decision-making body governing the World Health Organisation (WHO). Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, in a tweet today, thanked all the WHO Pacific Region member countries for unanimously nominating Malaysia for the role. Besides Malaysia, the WHO Western Pacific Region comprise 36 other member countries that include Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Brunei, Cambodia, China and the Philippines. Meanwhile, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah pledged that Malaysia will use its new role to play a greater part in global health. Malaysia is also serving in the executive board of the WHO from 2021 to 2024. (NST Online)