enforcement director Datuk Mohd Roslan Mahayudin (centre) giving a press
conference on the raids which yielded luxury vehicles and cash. Despite the crackdown by the authorities, investors continue to patronise M Mall, which is operated by MBI.
|Sales done: According to Knight Frank Malaysia, there are pockets of success by some developers reporting bookings and sales for their affordable homes during the movement control order period despite the fact that physical viewings were disallowed.|
DEMAND for residential properties in Penang is expected to remain steady during the second half of 2020, especially if the homes are from renowned developers with good quality products.
Knight Frank Malaysia executive director Mark Saw says there are pockets of success by some developers reporting bookings and sales for their affordable homes during the movement control order (MCO) period (from March 18 to May 3), despite the fact that physical viewings were disallowed.
“In this challenging environment, developers with a strong brand name and good delivery of quality products should still achieve decent returns and the gap between higher and lower quality properties will become more evident with better sales for those able to deliver.
“These factors will play a critical role in determining the success of developments. It has become a buyer’s market and many deals are being offered by developers to attract first-time buyers as opposed to investors who have been temporarily sidelined, ” he tells StarBizWeek.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Saw says buyers’ preferences and timings may change, with decisions being put on hold due to job security, ample choices and rentals being more competitive.
CBRE|WTW director Peh Seng Yee says the pandemic’s impact has been softened in the second half of the year with the recovery MCO (which was implemented from June 10).
“As housing is a necessity and with the bank loan moratorium, the residential property sector has been cushioned from the worst impact.
“Hence, the residential market is expected to remain resilient for the second half of 2020. Significant growth is not expected yet as the issue of property overhang, lack of spending confidence by consumers and stringent lending policies by banks are expected to still linger for the remainder of the year.”
Additionally, both Saw and Peh agree that the reintroduction of the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) was a much-needed boost to the local property market. The government reintroduced the HOC in June under the Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana).
Peh says the HOC is expected to continue to spur the buying momentum for residential properties in Penang over the short term.
“Developers are experiencing a pick-up in bookings by buyers compared with the first half of 2020, which was mainly affected by the MCO.
“However, the encouraging bookings have yet to be fully translated into good actual sales, due largely to stringent lending policies by the bank and the challenges and uncertainty in the economy and job market.”
Saw also believes the HOC will be a short-term reprieve for the local property market.
“The HOC initiatives will only be a temporary measure. For the long term, developers should carry out proper feasibility studies to determine the marketability of their products before commencing developments and ending up with unsold units.”
According to Saw, the volume of residential transactions in Penang decreased 19.7% to 2,748 units in the first quarter of 2020 compared with 3,422 units in the fourth quarter of 2019.
“The value of transactions in the residential sub-sector during the first quarter (RM1.06bil) indicated a drop of 17.2% compared with RM1.28bil in the fourth quarter of last year, ” he says.
Under the HOC, stamp duty exemption will be provided on the transfer of property and loan agreement for the purchase of houses priced between RM300,000 and RM2.5mil.
Meanwhile, the exemption on the instrument of transfer under the HOC is limited to the first RM1mil of the home price, while full stamp-duty exemption is given on loan agreement effective for sales and purchase agreements signed between June 1 and May 31,2021.
The government has also announced real property gains tax (RGPT) exemption for Malaysians for the disposal of up to three properties between June 1,2020 and Dec 31,2021.
The HOC was kicked off in last January to address the overhang problem in the country. The campaign, which was initially intended for six months, was extended for a year.
It proved successful, generating total sales of RM23.2bil in 2019, surpassing the government’s initial target of RM17bil.
Meanwhile, Knight Frank in its Real Estate Highlights Research for the first half of 2020 says that amid the current global recession, Invest Penang has revised downwards its foreign direct investment (FDI) target for 2020 to RM5mil.
“This will be supported by the shift towards Industry 4.0 and the various tax incentives and reinvestment allowances as announced under Penjana that seeks to promote Malaysia as a choice destination for FDIs.”
To clear RM2.6bil worth of 3,043 overhang units in the state, Knight Frank says the Penang local government, housing, town and country planning committee has announced that the state will reduce the minimum price threshold for foreign property ownership by up to 40% starting from June 11,2020.
“Ceiling prices for stratified properties on the island will be reduced by up to 20% from RM1mil to RM800,000 and on the mainland, from RM500,000 to RM400,000.”
In the high-end condominium segment, Knight Frank says IJM Perennial has put on hold the development of The Light City.
“Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the group had indicated that it would resume development in August 2020. To be developed over a period of more than four years, Phase 1 will feature a mall with 680,000 sq ft net lettable area, the Penang Waterfront Convention Centre, a four-star hotel with 500 rooms, offices and the ‘Mezzo’ residential condominiums.
“Meanwhile, for Phase 2, there are plans for a 300,000-sq-ft mall, a five-star hotel with 250 rooms, offices, the ‘Essence’ residential condominiums and possibly an experiential theme park. It is worth noting that the commencement of Phase 2 will be determined by the sales of the Mezzo condominiums and the occupancy of the mall.”
As for the office sub-sector in Penang, Knight Frank says the average occupancy rate for four prime buildings monitored in George Town remained stable at 89%.
“According to the latest National Property Information Centre report, the average occupancy rate in the state continued to hold steady at 81.4% in the first quarter of 2020 (compared with 81.3% in the fourth quarter of 2019).”
( From left) Chow looking at the Penang NCER human capital graphic info. With him are John, state executive councillor Datuk Abdul Halim .
Millennials now make up over a third of the workplace and overwhelmingly value flexibility in where, when and how to work. And top talent has been increasingly clustering in dense urban areas and has been unwilling to commute to suburban office parks
We found that data availability and transparency in the real estate sector is less than what we were used to when we were
Penang Smart Parking Apps is now the latest method to pay your parking fees.
Here are a step by step guide on how to use it as it will be a mandatory starting from the year of 2021.
If you like this video, do give this video a thumbs-up, COMMENT and SUBSCRIBE to this channel for more and be safe while driving!
Majlis perbandaran/bandaraya di Pulau Pinang telah memperkenalkan aplikasi (app) Penang Smart Parking (PSP) yang membolehkan kita membayar caj kupon parking tempat letak kereta menggunakan smartphone secara online dengan mudah.
Saya tunjukkan bagaimana cara untuk daftar (register), tambah nilai kredit (reload) dan membuat bayaran parking kereta (Park N Pay) menggunakan apps Penang Smart Parking (PSP).
Dalam video ni saya menerangkan dengan ringkas cara guna apps Penang Smart Parking. saya harap sedikit sebanyak dapat membantu anda semua.
Jangan lupa SUBSCRIBE GUYS.
|Councils should tackle car parking woes|
Pix for representational purpose only.
While Malaysia strives to move into the 5G era, the current 4G mobile network connectivity is still found wanting in many areas in the country, including the Klang Valley.
Mobile users in areas such as Taman TAR in Ampang, Jalan Damai Jasa in Alam Damai, Cheras Hartamas and certain areas in Subang, Selangor, face connectivity issues.
Wong Sew Kin, a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering, Multimedia University, said there are areas within the Klang Valley that face a drop in network signals.
“Even places near my house in Bukit Beruntung, Rawang, have no signal at all let alone the internet,” he said, adding that more needs to be done for telecommunications infrastructure in Malaysia if it is to be on par with nations such as Singapore and China.
“We are venturing into 5G now but there are still problems with connectivity. We should address this to solidify our mobile network infrastructure so that we are able to make quick and steady advancement without having to worry about minor issues. It is important that we iron out the kinks.”
He added the lack of network signals can be attributed to the lack of base stations, or simply known as telco towers, in certain areas.
“As far as I know, the building of base stations has nothing to do with the government as it’s usually up to the telcos and they prioritise providing network connectivity in highly populated and commercial areas.
“However, the government can play its part by providing incentives for telcos to set up more base stations to ensure that we are fully connected,” he said.
Anusha Ravi, a resident of Alam Damai in Kuala Lumpur, told theSun she often has to direct her e-hailing drivers through the phone to her residence as the drivers are unable to use navigation apps due to the poor network signal.
A resident of Taman Billion in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, said he has faced poor network coverage for years despite being close to commercial areas.
“I have complained about this many times but nothing has been done,” he said, adding that he has to walk some distance away from his house just to make a call.
However, another expert who declined to be named, specialising in base station construction and installation, said the government is already doing all it can to ensure connectivity.
“The government, through the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission’s Universal Service Provision fund, provides contractors and telcos opportunities to develop network infrastructure and connectivity in under-served areas, especially rural places.
“To my knowledge, sometimes we face issues such as a drop in network signals due to lack of base stations within a certain range. Sometimes there is no land to build base stations in between.”
Telcos sometimes face problems when planning to build base stations due to protests by residents in the area.
For instance, residents in Taman Sri Puteri, Bayan Lepas in Penang, successfully lobbied for the removal of telco towers in their area recently.
Among their reasons was that the towers were too close to their homes and thus were a health hazard.
Tutela, an independent crowdsourced data company, noted in its “State of mobile Networks 2019: Southeast Asia” report last year that Thailand beat Malaysia in a test where a mobile connection was good enough for basic internet usage.
The Philippines and Indonesia came out third and fourth.
“All four countries in the report are relatively close when it comes to basic quality. Thailand takes first place, with users able to make a voice over internet protocol call – a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband internet connection or check emails at least 92.5% of the time when connected to one of the country’s networks.”
New decade, new Malaysian education: For the sake of our children and our future, Mazlee’s replacement should be a
qualified and capable
THE Penang government should first study the assessment rates for different categories of properties before imposing a blanket tax on everyone which is unfair, says Citizen Awareness Chant Group (Chant) legal adviser Citizen Awareness Chant Group (Chant) (pic).He said the state should look into the categories of assessment rates like those imposed in developed countries before imposing the rates on ratepayers.
“The lowest charged fees should be for the disabled (OKU) owners and those in the B40 group.
“For owner-occupied properties, they should be charged a lower rate and the highest rates should be imposed for commercial and industrial offices, ” he said at a press conference at Jalan Pykett on Wednesday.
Yan Lee said although commercial properties like restaurants and hawker complexes would be paying higher assessment, it is fair as commercial properties have more rubbish to be cleared.
“These premises frequently take up the cost for public health inspection and council cleaning services.
“So, there should be a categorisation of how the rates are charged, like different rates for properties that are also rented out, vacant or used for commercial purposes, ” he added.
Yan Lee said in developed countries, there are categories which include owner occupied, rented out properties, unoccupied properties, rented out long-term or Airbnb properties, residential properties used for offices and industrial properties.
“But, as the state is moving forward and following the footsteps of a developed country, there is also the question of how these categories can be monitored.
“In this case, the state should consider having an enforcement team like in Australia to check on the properties at random.
“With the usage of a digital camera similar to those used for parking fine routines, photos can be taken when checks are done on the properties.
“We hope the state would do a study to look into this and try to implement the system, along with imposing different rates for the different properties, ” he said.
Earlier, it was announced that an assessment rate review would see almost all residential property owners in Penang paying more in assessment taxes.
On the island, a total of 255,280 out of the 263,544 property owners would have to pay more in the revised assessment tax, while the increase would involve 196,347 out of 215,586 houses on the mainland.
Following the announcement, the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Seberang Prai City Council (MBSP) started hearing sessions for objections against the review in October.
It was reported that MBPP had received a total of 54,459 objections from over 322,000 ratepayers, while MBSP received a total 40,666 objections from 327,000 ratepayers.
Meanwhile, Yan Lee said that in the case of the parcel rent, (previously known as the quit rent), commissions should be applied based on how the land is used.
“The increase in the quit rent was announced earlier from RM10 to RM30. Quantum-wise, the amount is not a lot, but percentage wise, it is a lot, ” he said.
Earlier, the quit rent came into effect where rates are calculated based on the total plot of land which the building was built on and rates for parcel rent are based on the size of each unit.
M Mall in Penang where MBI investors can exchange their virtual coins is now almost deserted.
IT may seem like it was not so long ago that money-game was practically on everybody’s lips especially here in Penang,
My close friend even invested in MBI Group International which was one of the most popular investment schemes then.
At its peak, one would be considered the odd one out for not investing in the scheme.
How times have changed. Now, my friend is telling me that he has not heard from his upline for months.
It was a far cry from the time when the upline would tell him how good the scheme was, and even spell out a time frame to cash in on the investments.
Most investors have now resigned to the fact that their investments are as good as gone. They feel ashamed to lodge police reports and many just suffer in silence for fear of people teasing them.
However, their counterparts from China were less forgiving.
In October, hundreds of them staged a peaceful protest near the Chinese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Wailing and sobbing, they urged the Chinese government to help them recover the hundreds of million ringgit they had invested in the Penang-based company.
In Penang, several groups of Chinese investors also vented their frustration at a hotel and the jetty of an island resort here, where both properties are said to be associated with the company.
The last we heard, three of them even went to the extent of dropping fake bombs at a house in Bukit Gambier out of desperation.
The house belongs to the son of MBI Group International founder Tedy Teow. Luckily, no untoward incidents took place.
Another friend of mine told me that he started believing in karma after putting faith in the money- game.
He is now convinced that what goes around, comes around. This is his story.
He put in a sum of money in BTC I-system, a scheme which claimed to invest in bitcoin digital currency.
Without even knowing how the investment works, he managed to get back his capital within two months, plus a few thousand of ringgits extra in the next few months. Then the scheme collapsed.
He then took the plunge again in another scheme. He was confident of easy money again, especially after being told he was among the first few to join the investment. He was not so lucky this time.
The profit that he got in the first investment ended up paying for the second scheme that went bust.
I have seen many people whose relationship with family members had become strained all because of these dubious schemes.
Direct Selling Association of Malaysia (DSAM) president Datuk Tan Chong Guan reminded the public that there is no free lunch in this world.
“Where there is no sales but a return is promised on investments, this is a sign that it is a money-game, or a pyramid scheme, ” he was quoted then.
If you still could not figure out or get a clear explanation on how the investment will make money, then you better opt out.
If it involves any chain-recruitment that offers commissions for bringing in new affiliates, or sophisticated or complicated investment schemes that sound too alien, then you better avoid it.
Always remember that one has to work hard to earn one’s keep.
But believe me, money-game would always re-emerge in other forms, just like the online scams as long as there is human greed.
|Design engineers at fault in landslide tragedy | The Star Online|
GEORGE TOWN: The State Commission of Inquiry (SCI) tasked with investigating the Tanjung Bungah landslide in October 2017 has found the design engineer of the slope primarily responsible for the incident that claimed 11 lives.
The SCI, in its 116-page report made public, has recommended that the engineer be investigated by the police under Section 304A of the Penal Code for gross negligence.
Besides the engineer, the commission found another design engineer responsible for being “contributorily negligent” for allowing excavation to be carried out without design, engineering calculations and supervision.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the commission found that the slope failure was a man-made tragedy and entirely preventable if those in charge had taken necessary and proper steps to ensure the stability of the slope and the safety of the workers.
“The landslide did not develop overnight, it was a disaster waiting to happen over a period of time.
“There were ample warnings which were sadly unheeded or inadequately heeded,” Chow said of the report at a press conference at his office in Komtar here yesterday.
Chow said the report, dated July 22 this year, was a result of public hearings conducted over 26 days with testimonies from 28 witnesses.
“The commission also considered voluminous documents, reports, photographs and drawings, as well as the opinions of six expert witnesses.
“The report provides further analysis of the background facts, excerpts of testimonies recorded during the hearings and findings on liability against several parties,” he said.
The commission also found the Occupational Safety and Health Department negligent for failing to take adequate steps to ascertain the extent of the danger posed by the unsafe slope, by not promptly issuing a prohibition notice after its visit to the site on Aug 18, 2017, which was two months before the fatal incident.
Chow said copies of the report would be sent to the police, Attorney General’s Chambers, Board of Engineers Malaysia and other authorities involved.
“The report also contains nine recommendations that the commission hopes will serve as guidelines and prevent such incidents from recurring,” he added.
On Oct 21, 2017, a temporary slope in the construction site of a high-rise apartment block in Tanjung Bungah collapsed while workers were trying to stabilise it. Tonnes of earth crumbled, killing 11 workers.
The full SCI report can be bought at Level Three, Komtar, for RM50 per copy between Sept 3 and 30. For more details, call 04-650 5480.- Source link
Chow: Agencies have to act against negligent engineers
|Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow|
GEORGE TOWN: It is up to the relevant agencies to take action against the consultant engineers who were found negligent, resulting in the Tanjung Bungah landslide tragedy, says Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
“It is up to the agencies and the police to take action as recommended by the State Commission of Inquiry (SCI).
“I have also directed the Town and Country Planning Department, Penang Island City Council, Seberang Prai Municipal Council and other related agencies to come up with recommendations to improve hill development.
“It was discussed at the State Planning Committee meeting and I have directed state housing, town and country planning and local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo to head the committee and come up with the recommendations within a month, ” said Chow at Komtar here yesterday.
It was reported that the SCI tasked with investigating the Tanjung Bungah landslide in October 2017 had found the design engineer of the slope primarily responsible for the incident that claimed 11 lives.
The SCI, in its 116-page report made public, had recommended that the engineer be investigated by the police under Section 304A of the Penal Code for gross negligence.
Besides the engineer, the commission found another design engineer responsible for being “contributorily negligent” for allowing excavation to be carried out without design, engineering calculations and supervision.
Penang Island City Council engineering director A. Rajendran, who was also present at the press conference, said the stop-work order on the project was lifted after the developer completed mitigation works.“However, different engineers have been overseeing the project since work resumed some time ago, ” said Rajendran.
On Oct 21,2017, a temporary slope at the construction site of a high-rise apartment block in Tanjung Bungah collapsed while workers were trying to stabilise it.
Tonnes of earth crumbled, killing 11 workers. – Source link
GEORGE TOWN: Waves of excitement swept through Penang when the Transport Minister announced that the Bayan Lepas light rail transit (LRT) has received conditional approval.
It is seen as a move to reduce traffic congestion in the city and create a next wave of growth for the state.
The approved 29.9km Bayan Lepas LRT will bring convenience not only to the local folk but also tourists and investors, said Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers Penang chairman Datuk Dr Ooi Eng Hock.
Ooi, who is positive that the project will spur growth on the island, believes the LRT will bring in another wave of development into the state.
“The LRT will divert traffic congestion. It will attract new investments, make life easier for our workforce.
“I believe it will boost the state’s economy with another wave of growth,” he said yesterday.
Following the Transport Ministry’s conditional approval of the project, Ooi added that it is the first step for a change in landscape and behaviour of transport mode in Penang.
Yesterday, the Transport Ministry gave conditional approval to the Bayan Lepas LRT project.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke in a statement said that after a detailed study of the application by Penang Economic Planning Unit (BPEN) to develop the Bayan Lepas LRT project, approval with 30 conditions for the state to comply was given on Tuesday.
Loke said the conditions included a detailed environmental impact assessment (DEIA) approval including traffic, social and heritage assessments.
The state must now exhibit documents on the project for three months, and the final go ahead will only be decided after the public responses are evaluated, said Loke.
“I welcome public participation from the people, NGOs and all stakeholders in this public review.
“The relevant documents are to be exhibited in public places including government offices.
“The state government must also upload a copy of these documents on a website for online viewing.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow thanked the Federal Government and said the state is committed to fulfilling all requirements.
“We will wait for the official letter from Transport Ministry to proceed and initiate public viewing of the documents,” he said.
The RM8.4bil Bayan Lepas LRT together with a monorail, cable cars and water taxis, is part of the state government’s RM46bil Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).
This LRT will begin at Komtar in the northeast corner of the island and head south through Jelutong, Gelugor, Bayan Lepas and Penang International Airport, ending at the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) development.
It is expected to provide a fast route to the airport and will traverse densely populated residential, commercial and industrial areas.