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SINGAPORE: Leaders of Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to a high-speed rail link between here and Kuala Lumpur.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is on a working visit here, and his counterpart Lee Hsien Loong described the project as a “game changer.”
The link will cut travel time between the two capitals to 90 minutes. In a joint statement on Tuesday, both leaders also noted the possibility of a third road link between both countries.
They also expect operations of the new ferry terminal in Tanjung Puteri to commence this year.
On Monday, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said both sides have agreed to go ahead with the Rapid Transit System (RTS) linking Johor Baru with the republic.
He said both countries had a year to draft the plans on the preferred option for the RTS, and under phase one, the alignment and station scheme options would be identified.
It is learnt that among the options being considered is a bridge or an underground tunnel link.
Source by: The Star
PENGERANG: The landscape of this once fishing village, which was surrounded by oil palm and rubber plantations, is fast changing with the area being earmarked as one of the country’s leading oil and gas hubs.
The multi-billion-ringgit project spanning over 8,100ha, will house several oil refineries, petrochemical and liquefied natural gas terminals, including Petronas’s Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Develop-ment (Rapid) project.
Pengerang, which is located about 100km from Johor Baru, is also famous for its seafood restaurants serving lobster dishes in Sungai Rengit and also its sandy beaches in Desaru.
The Government’s investment arm Khazanah Nasional is also pouring billions to develop five-star resorts, two water parks and an international golf course in Desaru.
In less than two years, the area has become more accessible via the new Senai-Desaru Highway which has shortened the travel time to the area by an hour compared to over two hours previously via the trunk road from Kota Tinggi.
Many regard the transformation taking place in Pengerang, which has two state constituencies namely Penawar and Tanjung Surat, as a blessing with hopes of more job opportunities, better facilities and infrastructure.
There are also those who are worried about the high cost of living including the spiralling cost of rental in the area, higher prices of groceries, land grabs by the government, poor public amenities and also worries about pollution.
Resident Ema Ereina Abdul Karim, 25, from Bandar Penawar, hopes that the development would help revive some of the abandoned buildings including housing and apartment projects in Desaru.
“In the last four years there have been a lot of activities and new projects and I hope that this will bring about more job opportunities for the locals as salaries here are still low compared to Johor Baru,” she said.
Hotel: A view of the entrance to the 40-acre Lotus Desaru Beach Resort in Desaru.
Another issue she pointed out was maintaining cleanliness of the surrounding area and also the drains.
“I also hope that the government will do something to improve the Senai-Desaru Highway as it is a huge letdown because it is frequently under maintenance, riddled with potholes and is also uneven,” she added.
For water treatment plant operator Ishak Ahmad, 40, who has been living in the area with his family since 1985, described the changes as tremendous.
“It used to be a jungle here with really bad roads. Now we have a highway and traveling to this area is so much convenient.
“We also do not need to go to Kota Tinggi for our groceries as now we have a supermarket here which offers everything,” he added.
Ishak hopes for more housing projects to cater for the students of the four institutions of higher learning in the area.
“I also hope that something can be done to attract more Chinese and Indians here as presently Bandar Penawar is predominantly a Malay community with only a handful of non-Malays,” he added.
For businessman L. Krishnasamy, 52, who runs a sundry shop in Ladang Sungai Papan hopes that ongoing developments would bring more Indians to the area to work in the oil and gas industry.
“Those days, there were more than 100 families in the estates.
Growth industry: Artist impression of a new oil storage terminal in Pengerang.
“However, many have moved to Johor Baru and Pasir Gudang looking for better opportunities.
“The dwindling number of Ind-ians here is very glaring, for example, our SJK(T) Ladang Sungai Papan only has two pupils.
He added that the price of land had also shot up from RM5,000 to
RM8,000 for 0.4ha land to about RM100,000 to RM200,000 now.
“I hope that the Government will also help the non-Malays including providing water and electricity supply and also asphalt roads to some of the villages including Kampung Tanjong Bintan,” he said, adding that they also needed fertilisers and insecticide.
For Ong Poh Yin, 33, who runs a coffeeshop in Sungai Rengit, worries about the pollution that may be caused by the oil and gas project.
“I am concerned for the safety of my two children aged two and nine years old,” she lamented.
Ong added that while she welcomed the development taking place in the area, she hoped that the Government would not hurry things and would take the time to appoint proper officials to engage with the community.
“There are a lot of rumours going around and the Government should do something to clarify and explain matters to the people,” she said.
Resident Chua Yeng Kee, 53, said while business has gotten better these days with more outsiders in the area, the cost of rental has shot up with shops which used to be let out for RM1,600 per month were going for RM4,000 now.
Getting connected: Vehicles driving along the new stretch of the Senai-Pasir Gudang-Desaru expressway.
“I have a lot of family members here and hope that the Government will be able to settle the issues concerning Chinese graves here,” he added.
Chua, who has three grown up children, hopes that Sungai Rengit would not lose its identity with all the development taking place.
“I hope tourists will still continue to come here for lobster and I can still hang out with my friends chatting over a cup of coffee,” he added.
However, the high cost of living always lingers in the mind of housewife M. Banu, 30, who moved to Sungai Rengit with her husband and two young children three years ago from Puchong, Selangor.
“I find the cost of living here higher than the Klang Valley.
“Everything here is expensive including vegetables and fish.
“One kg of selar fish is almost RM12. Each month I have to travel to Johor Baru to get my groceries and provisions,” she said.
Banu added that public transport was also a problem due to the irregular bus schedules at the terminal.
Banu hopes that with the developments taking place, more public amenities and infrastructure would be added including better schools, tuition centres or even a hypermaket for the locals.
The Pengerang parliamentary will be a keenly contested seat this coming general election with both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat trying their best to woo its 37,225 voters, mainly Malays.
Source by: The Star
Happy Thaipusam to all our Hindu brothers and sisters.
CITY folk can now unwind at the Kinta riverfront in Ipoh after a hard day’s work.
A RM100,000 viewing deck near the River Information Centre is completed, and water activities such as boating and canoeing are in the pipeline.
Perak Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) director Datuk Abdul Razak Dahalan said a jetty had been constructed near the centre.
To kick-start the activities, he said the department planned to organise boating and canoeing competitions.
“If all works out well, we can hold the competitions later this month.
“Once we are more settled, we hope to seek participation of private sectors to carry out the water activities on a regular basis,” he told The Star recently.
Abdul Razak added that once the long-term plan was in place, visitors to the riverfront would be able to go for boat rides in the evening.
He said the department hoped to have permanent water-based activities by middle of next year.
DID spent RM1mil on the lighting and landscaping at the stretch of the river to beautify the area.
There is a hotel located along the riverfront, beside a replica of the famous San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge. Plans are also in the pipeline to create a vibrant nightlife.
Abdul Razak was happy to note that people were seen fishing, especially in the evenings.
The place he said was livelier now, and there were a lot more fish to catch, as thousands of fish fry have been released into the water since 2011.
“My advice to the people is to keep the place clean, and not vandalise the facilities provided.
“All the activities are for the people so that they will have somewhere to go to, especially in the evening,” he added.
Abdul Razak said the lighting at the Kinta riverbank, control board and other facilities that were vandalised last month would be repaired soon.
He said it would cost about RM50,000 to carry out repairs.
It was reported on Nov 25 that the colourful lighting at the riverbank that had been earmarked to be a happening area in the city had been stolen.
The lighting were installed in August to beautify the place and were set up so that they shone right to the water and changed colours after a few minutes.
He said even the electrical facilities and the information board at the DID information centre were vandalised. A rubbish bin was also found broken.
Source by: The Star
JOHOR BARU: Fears of tropical storm Sonamu hitting Johor struck residents here when strong winds blew away tree branches and advertisement billboards in several areas.
Residents in some areas reported of downpour, uprooted trees and the sky turning unusually dark.
Nurse Anabelle Quah, 29, said she was driving home to Seri Alam from the city centre when she saw a whirlwind of dried leaves blowing across the street.
“It was not raining, but twigs and shrubs along the roadside were strewn all over the road,” she said.
“I also saw a broken tree branch that narrowly missed a lorry,” she said, adding that she had read in The Star about typhoon Sonamu heading towards the coastal areas of Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan.
“I am scared that it may also move to the south.”
Housewife Janet Pereira, 54, from Skudai, said she was airing her laundry in the afternoon when she felt a strong gush of wind and the sky suddenly turned an eerie dark.
“A downpour followed and some trees in my housing area were uprooted,” she said, adding that she had not seen such a storm since moving into the area six years ago.
Permas Jaya resident Nishanti Singh, 22, said the storm, which lasted about two hours from 3pm, caused damages to household items.
“I heard a loud noise in my living room and found that some glass decorative items had toppled over and shattered due to the strong winds that blew in from the window,” she said.
However, a meteorological department spokesman said the storm that hit Johor Baru and other districts like Muar and Mersing were not linked to the Sonamu.
“It was an ordinary storm with heavy rainfall and strong winds in the southern part of the peninsula,” he said, adding that the winds passed through several areas in Johor from the South China Sea.
Source by: The Star
Picture by: ezli007.blogspot
CYBERJAYA residents will enjoy the comforts and conveniences of the township’s first shopping mall, when it becomes operational in the first quarter of 2014.
The Dpulze shopping centre is part of an integrated development that consists of two hotels, two blocks of serviced apartments and an integrated neighbourhood mall located at Cyberjaya’s central business district along Persiaran Multimedia.
Developed by Dpulze Ventures Sdn Bhd, the project sits on 4.3 acres of freehold land and has a gross development value (GDV) of RM500mil.
The mall, which is owned and managed by Dpulze Ventures, has a gross floor area of 400,000 sq ft and 1,000 car park bays.
Dpulze Ventures executive chairman Kan Ah Chun says the development is designed to cater to the needs of a sustainable township.
Kan, a former banker, also sits on the board of Bursa Malaysia Main Market-listed plantation group Malpac Holdings Bhd.
He is also the former executive chairman of Main Market-listed apparel group Sequoia Holdings Bhd (now known as Yen Global Bhd).
Among the anchor tenants for Dpulze are TGV Cinemas (eight screens), Jaya Grocer, U Bowl Centre, Song Box, Yamaha Music School and an international fitness chain.
“As of December 2012, we have achieved more than 50% tenancy.”
He says that tenants being sourced are aimed at providing the township with holistic products and services.
Based on the company’s research, the primary catchment is middle to upper income earners (RM8,000 to RM9,000 per month).
“With that in mind, we have tenants ranging from grocers, home specialty stores, education, international fitness centres to family entertainment outlets.”
The mall sits below two blocks of serviced apartments consisting of 505 units of single and two-bedroom layouts.
The units, from 558 sq ft to 676 sq ft, and priced from RM400 per sq ft, were sold out within six months after being launched in late 2010. Each unit comes with one car park bay.
“The two hotels and serviced apartments give DPulze a guaranteed market for our tenants,” says Kan.
The idea for the mall came a few years ago when Kan noticed that there was a lack of services catering to business travellers in the township.
“In 2009, the initial plan was to build hotels here. Other than Cyberview Lodge Resort, the nearest hotels with five-star comforts are in Putrajaya. So, there is a need for business hotels – four star and below – in Cyberjaya,” says Kan.
Dpulze Ventures bought the 4.3-acre site from land owner Cyberview Sdn Bhd and master developer Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd.
Kan and his team negotiated with Tune Hotels and the Ascott Group to set up hotel services.
Tune Hotel will have 162 rooms, while Citadines by The Ascott Ltd will offer 203 units of serviced accommodation.
However, after doing a market survey, Kan realised that there was also demand for a family-oriented neighbourhood mall within the township.
Based on a 2010 survey by Stratos Consulting Group Sdn Bhd, there are 180,000 residents within a 15-minutes driving radius of Cyberjaya.
This is projected to increase to 310,000 residents within 2014 and 2015, in tandem with the township’s economic growth and the completion of a number of residential developments.
Kan also pointed out that Cyberjaya has 500 companies with multimedia super corridor status, 40 multinational corporations as well as a working population of 76,900 people and 65,000 students.
“The mall is projected to serve 450,000 people by end-2015. There is a lot of retail opportunities in this township as it is under-served.”
Source by: The Star
Picture by: en.wikipedia.org
Good news, folks! I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to know everything about properties before you can make money from them. (Of course, having stated that, I must also add that the more you know, the higher are your chances of making money here – as in everything else.)
So what do you have to do to make the big bucks here? Simple: concentrate on the success factors of property investment.
And what are success factors? Very simple: they are the things that we must do to be successful in the venture. See folks, in every thing we do, there are things that we must do and there are things that are nice to do. If we want to be successful in the venture, we have to concentrate on the must do things, which are called the critical success factors. We must spend more time, effort and energy on these critical success factors. By doing so, we are concentrating on things that matter.
If we have time, only then we do the nice-to-do things.
Incidentally, this applies to everything we do, not only in business. It applies to our job, career, personal relationships, religion, health and even happiness.
And surprise, surprise, two of the critical success factors for property investment are listed below.
Buy at a low price
This is the Big Kahuna rule in property investment – buy at a low price. Buy below market value and buy at a discount. Never ever pay full retail price. In property investment, you make money when you buy. If you can do this, then you are fifty percent there already.
So again, first and foremost and above it all, buy at a price below market value. In fact, the lower the price, the better. This way, you already build in your profit. And profit is the name of the game.
If you cannot pay below the market value, then pay the market value and no more. This rule however, suggests that you know what the market value of the property is to begin with. However, being an outsider and a layman, how do you know what is the market value of the property? A-ha! The first trick question.
Well, I can tell you that a good rough estimate would be what other similar houses in the same area are selling for.
Obviously, paying a price above the market value is no way to make money. You are hoping that there are greater fools than yourself. While you can still make money this way, a much better strategy is of course to buy at a discount. That way, even if you could only sell it at the market value itself, you would still make a handsome profit. That will tie in nicely with a handsome you.
We’ll talk more about how to go around buying properties below market value in later articles. One hint – auctions.
Select an excellent location
The three most important points of property investment are location, location and location. If I sound like a broken record, it’s because the above line has been beaten to death by all property players. It’s been repeated so often that it has lost the novelty and it’s not even funny anymore. Still, I must admit that the point they are trying to make is as valid as ever – that location is a critical success factor in property investment.
I cannot stress enough on the importance of location. Location is as important to property investment as oxygen is to living beings. Without it, nothing else matters.
For example, compare a link house in Bandar Utama and an individually designed hacienda in the woods a hundred miles from KL. Which one would you invest in? I believe most of us would pick the Bandar Utama house, even if it were smaller. Why? Because it has the better location.
Fine – select an excellent location. Point taken, job done. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, compadre. The solution does not end there. Because when we mention location, all of us have our own idea of the perfect location. We tend to be biased towards our own wants and needs. To Napoleon, the perfect location would beParis. To Kublai Khan, theForbidden City is heaven on earth. To us, the perfect location is a place near the office or near the school for our children or neighbouring our parent’s house or simply close to our favourite watering hole. In other words, we measure location with our own eyes.
The reality is a little bit different. While those places may be perfect for us, they may not be so hot to others.
This being the case, it is obvious that if we want to make the million, we have to invest in a place where others find irresistible. In other words again, we have to measure location in other people’s eyes. And when I say others, I mean thousands others. Prime examples are Subang Jaya, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, Bangsar, Bandar Utama and Damansara. Say what you want about these big five neighbourhoods, there’s no denying that Malaysians love ‘em. They love them so much that three hundred thousand people are packed into Subang Jaya/USJ alone! And that is some love right there.
So if thousands others are in love with a particular suburb, then that is the perfect location for property investment. It doesn’t matter that the place is noisy, dusty or grid locked by toll plazas. It doesn’t matter if you find the place not conducive to serene living because of the permanent traffic jams; as long as there are thousands other folks willing to pay you a million ringgit for it, then that’s the place you should invest in.
Yes, I know that this sounds pretty much like democracy. So if tens of thousands of people like the place, then that’s the place you should vote with your money.
In the big picture, there is only one thing that makes a particular area attractive – jobs. If there are jobs around the area, then there will always be a need for houses. More jobs equal more houses. That is why properties in cities like KL cost a bomb. Everyone wants to stay there and make lots of money, even if they have to pay a million ringgit to do so.
So there you go folks, two of the success factors in property investment. Get both of them right, and banks will be coming to you to borrow money!
Picture by: inman.com
PETALING JAYA: Developer SP Setia Bhd is moving into the Embassy Row in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, with plans to build and develop commercial and residential properties worth RM1.04bil.
Its unit, Setia Hicon Sdn Bhd, has succeeded in its tender to acquire the land currently occupied by the British High Commission in the Embassy Row for RM294.97mil.
The tender has been accepted by the the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom.
There is a three-storey building, two-storey clubhouse with ancillary buildings and a swimming pool on this land, measuring about 134,075 sq ft, according to SP Setia in a filing with the stock exchange yesterday.
“It is also adjacent to the ultra-high end residential enclave of Ampang Hilir/U-Thant which has low-density luxury apartment developments as well as large, individually-designed detached houses with the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), home of the Petronas Twin Towers, less than 1km west of the property,” it said. The land is accessible through Jalan Ampang, the Ampang-KL Elevated Highway, the Duta-Ulu Klang Expressway and the Middle Ring Road 2.
It is also within easy walking distance to the Ampang Park light rail transit station.
The purchase price of RM294.97mil had been calculated at the rate of RM2,200 per sq ft. The price also took into account the location of the property in the immediate vicinity of KLCC within the golden triangle and its future development potential, SP Setia said.
SP Setia will pay a deposit of RM29.5mil which is 10% of the purchase price upon the execution of the sales and purchase agreement (SPA) with the seller while the balance of RM265.47mil is payable on April 15 next year. The company will fund the purchase through a combination of internal funds and/or bank borrowings, of which the actual mix will be determined later.
The SPA also stipulates a condition that SP Setia shall grant the seller a tenancy of its property for one year subject to an extension of not exceeding six months from the expiry of the initial term. The tenancy period may, however, be changed to an earlier date by the seller with a month’s prior notice to SP Setia.
They said land acquisition was expected to be completed during the first half of financial year ending Oct 31, 2013, SP Setia said.
After this, the British High Commission will relocate to the 27th floor of Menara Binjai at the intersection of Jalan Ampang and Jalan Binjai next to the Ampang Park LRT station.
It was reported earlier that the decision to sell the land could be due to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office having to cope with a budget reduction and this relocation would help it cut costs.
Source by: The Star
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