Thursday, 11 September 2014

(The Star) RM2.2mil project in PJ Old Town includes new drain and retention ponds

Flash floods at Jalan Railway 1/2 in Petaling Jaya Old Town that had been occurring for 40 years will be a thing of the past when new drains are constructed at the area this month.

The RM2.2mil project is expected to be completed in February next year.

The drainage project will include the construction of two retention ponds and a 1.5km-long open drain.

The 0.6m-wide and 0.6m-deep drain will stretch from the start of Jalan Railway 2/28 to the end of Jalan Railway 1/2 where it will meet the existing monsoon drain.

Resident Tan Kok Beng, 64, who moved to the neighbourhood in 1975, said his house would be flooded within minutes of a downpour.

He added that the water would not recede until the rain stopped.

“We are so thankful that our flooding issues are finally addressed,” he said.

The existing drains were built over 50 years ago and were too small to cater to the heavy rain.

In addition, he said the drains were poorly maintained and were clogged with rubbish most of the time.

“City council workers do clean up the drains but it floods even when there is no rubbish in the drain,” he said, suggesting that there was another reason for the floods apart from old and clogged drains.

Petaling Jaya city councillor Tony Cheong said the project was the biggest drain project by the council this year.

He added that the council had allocated RM12mil for drain projects around the city, this year.

Altogether there were five drain projects for the year, while six more were ongoing projects from last year, said Cheong.

Bukit Gasing assemblyman R. Rajiv said in his constituency alone he had identified six flood- prone areas where the drains needed to be upgraded.

The areas are Taman Kanagapuram, Jalan Carey, Jalan 18/11, Section 12, Jalan 1/3 and Section 17/21 HJ and Section 17/21I.

Section 17 and Jalan Railway 1/2 were the two more serious flood-prone areas, he added.

“The council’s engineering team is now working on drains at Section 17,” he said, hoping to put in requests to upgrade the drainage system in other areas before the end of the year.


(The Star) Compensation and priority to buy residential units will be offered to TOL holders

Jinjang Selatan Tambahan (JST) residents are still hoping for land titles despite Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib announcing the approved development plans for a mixed development project for the area.

During a dialogue between the mayor, developer and the residents at the site on Sept 7, Ahmad Phesal said the government had the right to approve any development there as the land belonged to it.

“The Cabinet decided on Dec 16 last year for Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and Zil Property Bhd to develop the 30ha plot. DBKL paid a premium of RM111mil to acquire the land and worked with Zil to develop it. The development plans were approved by DBKL on June 26, 2013 and the development order issued on June 10.

“The land has been divided into 10 parcels, The development plan involves, among others, the construction of office buildings, low-cost apartments, medium-cost apartments, medium low-cost apartments, shop-offices, convention centres, serviced apartments, and a hotel.

“Our records show there are 530 former Temporary Occupancy Licences (TOL) holders, 156 longhouse units, 410 squatters, a temple, 10 to 15 shops and five restaurants in the area. Rest assured all will be considered in the relocation plan to facilitate the project.

“TOL is temporary and the government has the right to pull it back at any time. Those affected need to understand that TOL land was never meant for any permanent structures. The longhouses are also meant as transit homes,” he said.

Ahmad Phesal said they had discussed suitable compensation for the residents and they would be given the priority to purchase residential units at the site.

“Former TOL holders have the option of choosing either a 750 sq ft low-cost apartment with three rooms and two baths worth RM42,000 or RM42,000 cash. If needed, a government valuer will evaluate the current house they are residing in (excluding the land value) and pay more if the value is higher.

“Meanwhile, longhouse residents and squatters will be given priority to purchase the low-cost apartments and will be given a consolation of RM9,000 each. Which means they would be able to purchase the low-cost apartment for only RM33,000.

“Every household will also receive RM1,000 ex-gratia payment to assist relocation and rental allowance of RM450 for 36 months, the duration of construction. The residents could also opt to stay at PPR Pinggiran Bukit Jalil temporarily, as there are many vacant units there.

“Meanwhile, the workshops, shops, factories and kindergartens, both legal and illegal, will be given RM42,000 each. There is also one temple in the vicinity which will be given RM300,000,” he said.

Ahmad Phesal said the compensation was still being finalised.

The announcement was not well received by the residents as many had hoped for land titles.

Resident Ravi Kumar Merdaka Sathasivan, 34, said the people felt shortchanged as their neighbours from a previous squatter area had received land titles.

“Our former neighbours who were relocated to Jinjang Utara Tambahan have got land titles.

“We were relocated from Kawasan Batu 6 Jalan Kampung, Kampung Malaysia Batu Caves and Jalan Klang Lama to JST in 1969. The area was a former mine, with many trees and a water retention pond. Our forefathers had to manually clear the land and build the houses which are standing strong until today. No agencies came forward to help build the houses and a lot of hard labour was needed to make the area livable.

“We have been applying for land titles since the 1970s but nothing has turned out.

“Slowly, the amenities improved and electricity supply was connected in 1981. The drainage system was implemented and roads were tarred and named in 1983.

“We have lived here for 45 years and helped build the economy of the area. All the facilities such as places of worship, schools, hospitals, public transportation, police station, as well as the fire and rescue station are close by. The only thing we are missing is security for our homes, which we have been fighting for all these years,” he said

JST Residents’ Association secretary K. Selvakumar said the residents would decide the next course of action by the end of the month.

“We appreciate that the mayor has fulfilled his promise to meet and explain the development plans for our area. However, we are disappointed for not being consulted before the approval was given.

“I am still hoping the grant will be awarded to us and hope the approval for the project will be pulled back,” he said.

(The Star) Residents left in the dark about development of Federal Hill land

Residents living in Bukit Persekutuan, also known as Federal Hill, in Kuala Lumpur woke up one morning to discover an excavator stripping bare a plot of land in their backyard. The 2.5ha institutional land located at Lot 55, Jalan Travers on Federal Hill, has been stripped off its trees and greenery and now looks like a wasteland.

Needless to say, residents are worried that it could be another development in the offing.

“We do not want to speculate or accuse anyone right now, so we wrote and even visited Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) requesting for information on the project. Sadly, nothing has been forthcoming,” resident Tan Lye King said.

“We are very concerned about this new development and hope that the authorities will talk to us and tell us what is happening.

Residents even carried out a land search on the land and were even more perplexed as the section describing the land status had been left blank.

“All this is very fishy and we want answers. We are disturbed because this is an institutional land, which means it is meant for public facilities that would benefit the community like a police station, community park or even a fire department. But we are willing to give DBKL the benefit of the doubt,” Tan said.

Another resident Pook Li Yoon said the last time a development project had been proposed in the area, the residents objected and the local authorities, including the Federal Territories Ministry, scrapped the project.

“Former Federal Territories Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin and former Kuala Lumpur mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail cancelled the mega project after we protested and also because the land in question was institutional, which means it is not meant for commercial purposes.”

“I hope the current administration will respect and honour the decision made by their predecessors,” Pook said, adding that residents would not keep quiet about the matter.

Another resident, who only wished to be known as Lim, said, “DBKL has always promoted the LA21 programme, which is aimed at ensuring sustainable development at a local level.

“And the programme is all about getting the community to be involved in public participation with DBKL, the private sector and other government agencies. We have written to them and visited them, but until now, not a word from them,” said the frustrated resident.

In 2005, the land was given to a developer in a land swap deal to build two 30-storey blocks and one 16-storey structure as well as a five-storey podium.

This project was clearly contrary to the low-density and non-commercial proposal for the area in the KL Structure Plan 2020.

Many residents said they had decided to buy properties in Federal Hill because the sales and purchase agreement clearly stated that the land was institutional and not commercial.

Finally bowing to pressure after dialogue sessions with the Federal Hill community, DBKL and the Federal Territories Ministry agreed to comply to their requests and maintain the development plan for Bukit Travers as an institutional land.

When contacted, Raja Nong Chik, who is the Lembah Pantai Umno chief, said the government of the day must keep their promise.

“Back then, we decided that there would not be any commercial development at the site; I hope the land remains as institutional land,” Raja Nong Chik said.

Raja Nong Chik added that he would speak to the mayor and the Federal Territories Minister to find out what was taking place at the site.

Meanwhile, when told about the ongoing land clearing, DBKL planning deputy director-general Datuk Mahadi Che Ngah said he needed time to investigate.

“Give me some time. I prefer to go to the ground and see for myself first before commenting,” he told StarMetro.

(The Star) Take advantage of extended deadline

It has been seven days since the deadline to object the proposed amendments to the Petaling Jaya Local Plans (RTPJ) was extended, but the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) received only about 1,400 objection forms.

The new deadline to submit the objections for both the RTPJ 1 and 2 is Sept 22.

The majority of the objections received, over 1,000, were against the proposed Damansara-Shah Alam Elevated Highway (Dash) under RTPJ1.

Another 300 were against the rezoning of a temple land in SS4B.

Damansara Utama assemblyman Yeo Bee Yin said aside from the objections to Dash and the land in SS4B, the feedback on proposed rezoning of other parts of the city had been very few.

She expressed worry that the majority of Petaling Jaya residents might not be aware of the RTPJ draft objection exercise, or found it difficult to obtain reference materials on the draft amendments.

The SS2 area had 172 properties up for proposed rezoning from residential to limited commercial, mainly centred around Jalan SS2/75 (63 properties), Jalan SS2/55 (72), followed by Jalan SS2/66 (29), Jalan SS2/24 (five) and Jalan SS2/72 (three).

Other city areas such as Jalan SS24/9 and Jalan SS24/10 are also being proposed as limited commercial areas, affecting 47 property lots in what is already a crowded business area with the Taman Megah badminton court and Ming Tien food court.

“When we queried MBPJ on the proposed rezoning, the answer was that the majority of the properties there are already ‘limited commercial’, and the change would make the renewal of the business licences there more straightforward,” said Yeo.

However, those living in the nearby areas such as “limited commercial” might be affected in terms of traffic and noise, she added.

“We are not taking sides, the aim is to let people know about the local plans’ draft amendments, and if you have views or objections on the matter, you need to speak up now,” said Yeo.

Yeo is now in the midst of arranging a date for council officers to brief Damansara Utama constituents on the RTPJ draft amendments.

“We have downloaded the PDF of the draft amendments, printed and photocopied them in black and white for any PJ resident who want a copy to refer to,” she said, adding that the copies could be obtained at her SS21/1A office.

MBPJ is also selling coloured hardcopies of RTPJ 1 and 2, CDs containing draft amendments and addendums at its headquarters.

(NST) Residents hope for new bridge

KAJANG: Once the temporary bridge connecting Kampung Batu 3 in Jalan Bangi Lama with Semenyih town is demolished next week, residents are hoping the authorities will consider building a new one.

The temporary bridge was built 10 years ago by the concessionaire of Lebuhraya Kajang-Seremban or Lekas Highway for its lorries to transport construction materials.

After the completion of the highway six years ago, villagers have been using the bridge as a short cut to Semenyih.

The decision to demolish the bridge on Sept 15 came after a meeting between the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj), Lekas, Irrigation and Drainage Department, Selangor Water Management Authority and representatives from Kampung Batu 3 recently.

Kampung Batu 3 Village Safety and Development committee (JKK) chairman Isman Ishak said he hoped MPKj would consider building a new bridge that would help motorists to access Semenyih faster.

“With the bridge, we don’t have to take the road which located 1km away from their village to get there.

“This bridge has made our lives easier as it allows us to reach our destination without taking the old road.

“Besides the villagers, workers from goat and cow farms nearby are also using the bridge,” said Isman, adding that the bridge was used by residents from some 50 houses there.

He said the villagers had been working together to maintain the bridge.

“We clean up the garbage that is trapped in between the bridge pier. However, we don’t have enough funds to maintain the bridge’s structure.

“We are disappointed with the decision, but we understand that no one wants to be responsible for any untoward accidents because of the poor condition of the bridge.”

An MPKj official said: “We are concerned about the safety of the villagers because the highway operator was not willing to maintain the bridge, so we decided to demolish it before any untoward incident occurs.” By Farhana Syed Nokman

(NST) ‘Squatters to be rehoused first’

GEORGE TOWN: The developer of a proposed mixed-development project in Batu Ferringhi here yesterday said its top priority, once all the necessary approvals have been obtained, is to build low medium-cost homes for squatters first before it proceeds with the rest of the project.

Orientside Development Sdn Bhd director Datuk P. Hari Menon said the company would surrender the necessary land as required from all landowners to the state, which was meant for upgrading the Batu Ferringhi main road.

“Within the proposed site, we will construct a road measuring 36.5m in width, and this road is will be part of the state’s proposed North Coastal Road in the area. We plan to upgrade Jalan Sungai Emas to benefit the surrounding existing and upcoming property developments in the area.”

On Friday, the New Straits Times reported that the proposed project would cover more than 13.3ha of land and would include affordable and high-end dwellings, a hotel and a shopping mall.

Also on the drawing board, Hari said, were plans to surrender 0.526ha of the developer’s land for the extension of Sekolah Kebangsaan Batu Ferringhi, which is located within the proposed development site.

“We have made provision for 350 units of three-bedroom flats, measuring 65 sq m, to be given at no cost to eligible squatters on the land.”

He said a further 140 units of similar accommodation would be handed over to the state government.

“Our intention is not to uproot the affected families and children who are working in the vicinity and attending the nearby school.”

The company is offering subsidised rentals to eligible families, who are required to move out and make way for their new homes to be constructed.

“We will only commence with other phases of the project once the squatters have been rehoused.”

He said other phases of the project would take between 12 and 15 years to be ready and they would be constructed in tandem with the supporting infrastructure.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

(The Star) Weida to unveil RM330mil ‘Ardena’ soon

KUCHING: Weida (M) Bhd is expected to unveil its second high-rise residential project in the upmarket neighbourhood of Mont’ Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, in the next quarter.

Group managing director Datuk Lee Choon Chin said the project to be previewed had been named “Ardena” with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM330mil.

Weida’s maiden property project – Urbana Residences – in Ara Damansara, Selangor, recorded robust sales with some 90% of the 356 serviced apartments taken up when it was launched last October. The project has a GDV of RM231mil.

“Works to the foundation and basement slabs (of Urbana Residences project) have been completed, and our in-house project management team is working closely with the various appointed consultants and contractors to ensure that the construction of the project is carried out within a balanced perimeter of quality, speed and cost.

“The group is now poised towards delivering Urbana Residences to its customers by second half of 2016,” Lee said in the company’s newly-released 2014 annual report.

He said with the success of the maiden project, the group had plans under way to embark on more residential developments in Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley.

According to him, Weida had embarked onto a full-scale staff recruitment exercise with a view to expand the portfolio of its property development activities.

“Although the various cooling measures announced by the government on the property sector has dampened transactions in 2013, with a slight decrease in the sale of new launches, the group remains committed to its long-term ambition of building its property development arm into premier developer while maintaining a balaced and sustainable growth for the group,” added Lee.

Sarawak-based Weida’s core business is in the manufacturing of polyethylene-based building materials. The group owns five manufacturing plants in Malaysia and one in the Philippines, and remains as the country’s market leader, with a dorminant position in Sarawak and Sabah.

Lee said the group was a leading provider of modern environmental engineering products and solutions in the areas of water and wastewater infrastructures, products and services for both urban and rural applications.

(The Star) Ideal Sun City expects to raise up to RM21mil from placement

PETALING JAYA: Ideal Sun City Holdings Bhd expects to raise up to RM21.23mil from its proposed placement of up to 42.45 million new shares.

The company told Bursa Malaysia that based on an indicative issue price of 50 sen per share, it expected to raise gross proceeds of up to RM21.23mil, which it would use to purchase investment properties on Penang island.

Ideal Sun City said the 42.45 million new shares would be placed out to independent third parties to be identified later and that the placement would account for about 30% of its paid-up capital.

It proposed to purchase 46 units of commercial space known as Ideal CEO executive suites in Penang for RM18mil from Ideal Concept Intelligence Sdn Bhd. It also plans to buy four units of three-storey shop-offices in Penang for RM8mil from Ideal Capital Intelligence Sdn Bhd.

“The proposed acquisitions are related-party transactions,” it said, as the vendor for the 46 units of the commercial space are owned by Datuk Ooi Kee Liang, while the second purchase of the shophouses would be from Datin Phor Li Wei.

Both of them are directors and major shareholders of the company, collectively holding 30.51% equity interest.

Through its acquisitions, Ideal Sun City, which is predominantly involved in the provision of project management service for property development, will diversify 25% of its net assets into property investment holding.

It has also proposed to double its share capital to RM100mil comprising one billion shares.

The private placement would allow it to increase its shareholders’ funds as well as enlarge its asset base, the company said.

The placement will also allow the group to raise funds to finance the proposed acquisitions, while increasing its net asset base without incurring interest costs as compared to borrowings.

The company added that barring any unforeseen circumstances, the acquisitions would be made in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Ideal Sun City’s proposals are subject to approvals from Bursa Securities, its shareholders and the Penang state authority.

M&A Securities Sdn Bhd is the principal adviser for the proposals, while TA Securities Holdings Bhd has been appointed independent adviser.

(The Star) 30-year rent-to-own plan for those who cannot get bank loans

SEREMBAN: Those who cannot secure bank loans for the 1Malaysia People’s Housing Scheme (PR1MA) can own the units they are staying in by paying rental for up to 30 years, under a government plan.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Rent-to-Own (RTO) scheme was designed to allow potential buyers, who could not afford these units or had been turned away by the banks due to various factors, to own PR1MA units.

“Under the RTO scheme, the ­buyers will have to pay rent for, say, 20 or 30 years and will eventually own these units. On our part, we will work something out with the banks and get them to help out in its implementation,” he said during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Seremban Sentral PR1MA project here yesterday.

Both the Government and PR1MA, said Najib, had to intervene as there were cases of ­genuine buyers who could not come up with proper documents to support their applications.

“We have to intervene because we know owning a house is a priority for most Malaysians,” he added.

As of last year, PR1MA, which has over 700,000 interested buyers on its national registration system, has already approved the construction of 80,494 affordable units.

Najib, who was supposed to only launch the construction of 3,196 high-rise apartments for the project, also approved an additional 2,000 units following a suggestion from Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

“I support the Mentri Besar’s idea for an additional 2,000 units as there is extra space. This is for the benefit of the rakyat,” he said to applause from the crowd.

Although the price range for these units had yet to be determined, Najib said these would be at least 20% cheaper than the prevailing market rate.

The first phase of the project, comprising the construction of 1,504 apartments, will be com­pleted in two years while another 1,692 are scheduled to be finished within 30 months.

The 30ha project is being jointly carried out under a public-private partnership among PR1MA, the Public-Private Partnership Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department, Railway Assets Corporation, Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd, the state government and developer Brunsfield International Group.

The site is located behind the existing Seremban KTM station in the heart of town.

(The Star) Marking 20th year with a campaign

Premier developer Mah Sing Group Berhad celebrated its 20th anniversary on Sept 6 and 7 with the launch of a two-month campaign where guests were invited to be tenants of their properties and rewards and exclusive deals were made available.

Themed “20 Years of Building Memories”, the launch was held in the newly renovated sales gallery in Icon City, Petaling Jaya.

During the campaign launch, guests were introduced to Icon City through a new scale model, detailing the components of Icon City and the gallery.

The 8.1ha Icon City is located at the intersection of Federal Highway and the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP). It has an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM3.2mil.

Phase One of Icon City features shop offices, Gourmet Street shops, serviced suites and two tower carpark bays for tenants and visitors.

Most of Phase One has been sold with the rest expected to go by the end of the year.

Phase Two of Icon City will be launched next year and comprises a five-storey retail mall, a boutique hotel, service residences, a corporate office tower as well as four boutique office towers.

Mah Sing Group Berhad chief executive officer and executive director Ng Chai Yong said the company has evolved from a new property developer in 1994 to a fully-integrated property developer in the region, which now offers high-rise and landed residential homes, integrated commercial centres and Grade A offices and niche concept industrial parks.

“Not only have we diversified our product offerings, our operating regions too have grown to Greater KL, Klang Valley and its fringes, Johor Baru and Iskandar Malaysia, Penang and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah,” he said.

Mah Sing Group Berhad managing director and chief executive Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum said the company always plans for a 20% growth each year.

“We will continue to deliver good quality homes to give tenants peace of mind,” he said.

For now, the company has no plans to head to the East Coast or overseas.

The launch over the weekend featured the company’s current projects under one roof.

Guests were given an insight into the 18 participating projects in the two-month campaign — D’Sara Sentral, Icon City, M Residence 2 @ Rawang, Southville City@KL South, Kinrara Residence, Icon Residence@Mont Kiara, M City, Lakeville Residence and Aspen@Garden Residence in the central region; The Loft@Southbay City, Legenda@Southbay, Ferringhi Residence and Southbay Plaza in the northern region as well as The Meridin@Medini, i-Parc Tanjung Pelepas, Meridin Bayvue, Sierra Perdana and V Square, Austin Perdana in the southern region and Mah Sing’s maiden project in Sabah, Sutera Avenue.

Each project will offer attractive sales packages, providing customers with optimal value for their money.

Members of Mah Sing’s distinctive buyer loyalty programme, MClub, will enjoy an added incentive with every repeat purchase or introductory purchase during the campaign period.

Additionally, purchasers during the celebration will be treated to Mah Sing’s exclusive 20th anniversary sales and promotional packages through the Buyers’ Appreciation package and a Buyer-Get-Buyer reward package.

In conjunction with the celebration, Mah Sing Group will be having a roadshow.

On Sept 17 and 18, Mah Sing Group will meet customers at Meridin Bayvue’s sales gallery in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor Baru.

The celebration then heads up north to Penang’s Southbay City Sales Gallery on Oct 4 and 5 and later to their brand new Kota Kinabalu Convention Centre sales gallery on Oct 18 and19.