Tuesday, 30 June 2015

(The Edge) What’s affordable in Setapak?

  • With the advantage of being close to the city centre, Setapak has witnessed the development of many condominiums. However unlike areas such as KL Sentral and Sentul, it would be inaccurate to say that Setapak has been gentrified as there is a lack of major developments or catalysts to change the area’s landscape. Many of the new projects have been attractively priced to target the mass-market segment.

  • As such, based on’s analysis of transactions in the 12 months to 3Q2014, the average transacted price per unit stood at a reasonable RM446,000. The RM400,001 – RM500,000 price range accounted for the largest market share of transactions (21.3%). Some 86.7% of transactions were for homes between RM200,001 – RM700,000.

  • Notably, there were no transactions above RM1.0 million except for the sale of a penthouse at Platinum Lake PV12 in March 2014 for RM2.68 million, making it the most expensive condominium unit sold in Setapak. 
  • By average transacted price, Platinum Hill PV8 is the most expensive development with an average price of RM708,000. In mid-2014, there were two sales of units at RM1.0 million each, which pulled up the average transacted prices there. 
  • Located just off Jalan Gombak, 288 Residency is the second most expensive condominium with an average transacted price of RM679,000. 

  • The older developments are more affordable. They are led by Idaman Suria with an average transacted price of RM173,000. The units here are compact at 700 sq ft for a 3-bedroom unit. Other less pricey developments include Teratai Mewah Apartments (RM191,000), Genting Court (RM223,000) and Medan Intan Apartment (RM238,000). 

(The Edge) Acmar’s hotel hits snag

KLANG: The construction of the much anticipated five-star hotel, Acmar Hotel and Residence in Klang, Selangor, has hit regulatory snags and its completion is expected to be delayed by at least three months.

Constructed by the Klang-based Acmar International Group, the property developer had initially expected to open the RM350 million hotel to its first customers in November but it has now rescheduled the project to be only completed in the first quarter of next year.

Group executive director Johnson Tee said the group had underestimated the time to obtain the necessary approvals from the authorities as it made significant changes to the hotel’s original design and concept.

“It’s taking more time than what we had estimated and we are now forced to push back our schedule. For instance, the permit for the tower crane was not as easy as we thought,” he told The Edge Financial Daily.

Tee said some management changes had also taken place and that he would personally oversee the construction work.

Tee said Acmar’s hospitality division general manager Uwe Lohage was previously spearheading the reconstruction and he has now been redesignated as the Acmar business consultant.

He added that Acmar has also hired a new senior project manager to help the company complete the much-delayed project.

The Edge weekly in its issue of Dec 15-21, 2014 reported that work on the hotel resumed last year after a 17-year hiatus, when the project ground to a halt during the Asian financial crisis in 1997.

Tee rubbished claims that the project has stalled again due to financial problems, saying that Malaysia Building Society Bhd is providing the credit facilities.

“We have no issues of financing and we are on track to complete the hotel, albeit a small hiccup. The public will be able to see much changes to the building façade once our tower crane goes up,” he told The Edge Financial Daily.

Meanwhile, it is understood that plans to renovate Acmar’s adjoining Klang Executive Club may be postponed indefinitely.

Initial plans were for the club to be incorporated as part of the hotel with a sky bridge linking it to the hotel.

The hotel will have 23 floors divided into two wings, with the top floor being a sky lounge and there will be a total of 488 rooms, suites and serviced residences.

The hotel will cover an area of 1.13ha with a built-up of almost 850,000 sq ft. It will also have two levels of basement car park with 469 bays.

On the group’s D’Rapport Residences in Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Tee said piling works for the high-end condominium have been completed.

He said the project with a gross development value of RM3.5 billion is on track and construction of the tower blocks would start next month.

He added that the Acmar group has yet to decide when to start selling the units, saying it is in no hurry to do so.

Acmar Hotel and Residence is still under construction. Its completion is expected to be delayed by at least three months.

(The Edge) Scientex buys land in JB for RM219m, 3Q earnings up 18%

KUALA LUMPUR: Packaging manufacturer and property developer Scientex Bhd intends to buy 326 acres (132ha) of freehold tract in Pulai, Johor Baru for RM219 million to expand its land bank.

In a statement yesterday, Scientex said the land is situated near Scientex’s integrated township development in Skudai, Johor, known as Taman Mutiara Mas, and various other matured residential areas.

The group’s wholly-owned unit Scientex Quatari Sdn Bhd entered into two conditional sale and purchase agreements; one to acquire 252 acres from Bukit Gambir Co Sdn Bhd and the second for the remainder 74 acres from Jayaplus Bakti Sdn Bhd. The proposed acquisitions will be funded by internally generated funds and bank borrowings.

Pending approvals from shareholders at an upcoming extraordinary general meeting and the relevant authorities, the acquisitions are expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2015 (4Q15).

Scientex managing director Lim Peng Jin said the company remains optimistic about sustained demand for residential properties in Johor despite the generally dampened market sentiment currently, and that the proposed acquisitions will up its ongoing and undeveloped land bank to 1,200 acres from 870 acres.

Meanwhile, Scientex’s net profit rose 18.2% to RM42.96 million in 3Q ended April 30, 2015 (3QFY15), compared with RM36.34 million a year ago, while revenue grew 6.7% to RM455.25 million from RM426.77 million — due to improved contributions from its manufacturing segment and higher sales of affordable residences in Johor.

It also declared a single-tier interim dividend of nine sen or 18%, payable on Aug 7. The ex-date is July 15.

For the nine months ended April 30, Scientex’s net profit rose 9.7% to RM109.28 million from RM99.6 million a year ago, while revenue grew 14.4% to RM1.35 billion from RM1.18 billion previously.

“We are confident of our prospects in FY15, given the rapid fruition and progress of our expansion in the manufacturing segment,” said Lim.

Lim said the group’s unbilled property sales are RM600 million, which should last it until 2017.

(NST) 1MDB’s Bandar Malaysia receives significant interest

KUALA LUMPUR: A significant number of developers have expressed their interest to develop the Bandar Malaysia under the purview of master developer 1Malaysia Development Bhd Real Estate (1MDB RE). 

The investment company has fixed July 10 as the deadline for the ongoing equity partner selection process for Bandar Malaysia. 

Speaking at a briefing session to the media today, CH Williams Talhar & Wong deputy managing director Danny Yeo said the selection process would be completed by the end July for the 197 hectare (486-acre) project. 

“We have invited several property players including big property players but the request for proposal phase is still open to other interested parties. 

“We will vet through the proposals to determine the most suitable developer that has the relevant township development experience and shortlist a few to be further assessed. 

“It is expected that the development would start construction by early 2017 and will span between 20 to 30 years before being fully completed,” said Yeo while not ruling out the possibility of the forming of a consortium of developers. 

The 84 million sq ft Bandar Malaysia would be a mixed development with a composition of 40 per cent residential development, 40 per cent commercial and another 20 per cent allocated for amenities, cultural and transportation. 

The latest land valuation of the said asset was at RM4.3 billion as stated in its financial year ended March 31, 2014. 

The gross development value of the project currently stands at RM150 billion. 

The decision on the selection would lie with 1MDB board with recommendation by CH Williams Talhar & Wong. 

The development is located seven kilometres from KLCC and is intended to transform the area into an integrated transport hub in the city via two MRT lines (Lines 2 and 3), KTM Komuter, the Express Rail Link to KLIA and KLIA2, as well as future access to 12 major highways. 

A wholly-owned subsidiary of 1MDB, 1MDB RE is also the developer of the upcoming Tun Razak Exchange.

(The Star) Jaks Resources to bid for RM2bil worth of jobs

PETALING JAYA: Construction and property outfit Jaks Resources Bhd will bid for RM2bil worth of jobs in the construction sector for its financial year ending Dec 31, 2015.

Chief executive officer Andy Ang said after its AGM yesterday that the company was fairly confident of its prospects, as the economy continues to grow.

“Our success rate historially is usually around 60%-70%.

“Last year, we had secured RM800mil worth of contracts,” Ang said at the press conference.

Its construction order book now stands at RM1.3bil.

The company still derives most of its sales from the property industry.

On the property front, Jaks Resources owns a total landbank of 21 acres with undeveloped ones totalling 15 acres in USJ, Subang Jaya.

“If the timing is good and the market recovers, then we may launch the development in USJ 1 by the end of the year,” he added.

“If prices and locations are right, we may get more land to increase our landbank size.

“We are very particular on location, as although it may cost higher but those are very sellable,” Ang said.

Jaks Resources is also developing the ‘Pacific Star’ property development project in Section 13, Petaling Jaya, with a total gross development value of RM1.2bil that will be recognised over the next few years.

“We will soon launch the final block of serviced apartments for this development,” Ang said.

He said the company would be able to report a stronger top and bottomline growth for this year, driven by its property and construction segments.

“This year, it will be higher and will grow due to the two segments. We also have unbilled sales of RM400mil at present,” he said. The company also said that building material prices were “still manageable” despite the drop in the value of the ringgit.

(The Star) Scientex set to expand land bank in Johor

PETALING JAYA: Scientex Bhd has proposed to buy 326 acres of freehold land in Pulai, Johor, for RM219mil cash via its unit to expand the group’s land bank in the state.

In its filings with Bursa Malaysia, the packaging manufacturer said its wholly owned subsidiary, Scientex Quatari Sdn Bhd, had entered into conditional sale and purchase agreements with Bukit Gambir Co Sdn Bhd and Jayaplus Bakti Sdn Bhd to acquire 252 acres and 74 acres of land, respectively.

Scientex, which is also involved in property development, said it would fund the proposed land acquisitions via a combination of internally generated funds (17.8%) and bank borrowings (82.2%).

“We remain optimistic on sustained demand for residential properties in Johor, despite the generally dampened market sentiment currently. This comes from our substantial focus in building affordably priced landed homes, which still see resilient demand,” Scientex managing director Lim Peng Jin said in a statement.

The group noted that the proposed acquisitions would increase its existing land bank in Johor to about 1,200 acres from the 870 acres currently, as it continued to seek out opportunities to capture anticipated long-term growth in demand from a steadily growing population in the state.

Scientex said the land that it would be acquiring from the two vendors were located near its integrated township development – Taman Mutiara Mas – in Skudai, Johor.

Pending approvals from shareholders at an upcoming EGM and the relevant authorities, the acquisitions were expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.

Located under the jurisdiction of Majlis Perbandaran Johor Bahru Tengah, the new lands were about 33km from Johor Bahru City Centre, and 25km from the customs checkpoint of the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link.

A newly-proposed Pulai Jaya Interchange Exit to the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link would be about 5km away from the land.

(The Star) I-City developer confident of hitting RM500mil sales target

SHAH ALAM: I-Bhd, the master developer of i-City, is confident of sustaining double-digit sales growth to nudge it towards its target of RM500mil in annual revenues in three years.

The revenue growth would come mainly from its property development segment.

Deputy chairman Datuk Eu Hong Chew pointed out that the company’s property development hit a revenue of RM201mil for 2014, which was more than double the RM95mil recorded in the previous year.

“Sales of the property development segment for the first half of this year is 30% higher compared with the first half of last year,” he told reporters after the company’s AGM here yesterday.

The company’s i-City project contributed the majority of the sales for the first half of this year.

Eu said the focus on sales growth was part of the group’s plan to be a RM3bil company.

“Apart from the larger revenue contribution from the property development segment, we expect I-Bhd’s investment property portfolio to reach RM1bil by 2018.

“At the same time, we expect the revenue from the leisure segment to double compared with last year’s revenue of nearly RM50mil,” he said.

The group recently unveiled its RM3bil investment plan for a series of integrated tourism-related products at its 72-acre freehold i-City “ultrapolis” situated along the Federal Highway, hoping to attract over 30 million visitors a year by 2020.

The integrated tourism-related products comprising Leisure Park @i-City, three hotels (including the Best Western i-City Hotel and a planned four-star hotel by Hilton), the CentralPlaza @i-City super regional mall with a riverfront food and beverage (F&B), a convention and performing arts centre and a medical tourism project.

The group has invested RM70mil in its Leisure Park @i-City which draws about 90,000 visitors per week, and it planned to invest up to RM100mil more by 2018.

On CentralPlaza @i-City – a regional mall, to be jointly-developed with the Central Pattana Group, he said the construction work is expected to start in the final quarter of this year. “Furthermore, the mall will be complemented by a riverfront F&B development, deriving from the concept of the popular Clarke Quay in Singapore, to provide visitors a great shopping and dining experience by the river.

“A state-of-the-art convention and performing arts centre will be constructed adjacent to the mall, which is set to be an ideal place to host a wide range of MICE (Meeting, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition) events and world-class performances,” he said.

Due to i-City’s status as Malaysia Multimedia Super Corridor cyber centre, Eu said the group was looking to invest in a robotic surgery centre which would drive a revolution in health services in the country as part of its medical tourism plan.

(The Star) Project 3B plant ops date delayed due to transfer from 1MDB to TNB

As it stands, Project 3B is one of the two major power plants whose construction works have been delayed.The other is Project 4A, which is a contract to build a new 1,000 MW-1,400 MW combined cycle gas turbine power plant in Johor, awarded to a consortium comprising TNB and SIPP Energy Sdn Bhd
As it stands, Project 3B is one of the two major power plants whose construction works have been delayed.The other is Project 4A, which is a contract to build a new 1,000 MW-1,400 MW combined cycle gas turbine power plant in Johor, awarded to a consortium comprising TNB and SIPP Energy Sdn Bhd

PETALING JAYA: The earliest date of commercial operation for the 2x1,000 MW coal-fired power plant in Jimah, coded Project 3B, in Negri Sembilan, has been postponed to June 2019 from the original October 2018.

The delay was to facilitate the transfer of 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) entire shareholding in the project to Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).

In its filings with Bursa Malaysia, TNB said it had received an addendum to the letter of award dated June 3, 2014, for Project 3B that stated that the scheduled commercial operation dates for the two units of Project 3B should, respectively, be not later than June 15, 2019, and Dec 15, 2019.

Project 3B was originally scheduled for commissioning in stages from Oct 1, 2018, when it was awarded to a consortium led by financially distressed 1MDB last year.

On June 19, TNB received the official letter of invitation from the Energy Commission (EC) to acquire 1MDB’s 70% stake in Project 3B.

The national utility company has been offered the job to undertake the development of Project 3B with Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co under a joint-venture company called Jimah East Power Sdn Bhd.

TNB’s effective shareholding interest in Jimah East would be at 70%, while that of Mitsui would remain unchanged at 30%.

TNB and Mitsui have seven days from June 29 to accept the terms of the addendum to the letter of award from the EC.

The financial close for Jimah East has been fixed at no later than Oct 15, 2015.

As reported earlier, the levelised tariff for Project 3B would be fixed at 26.67 sen per kilowatt hour as proposed jointly by TNB and Mitsui. The new rate is 1.5 sen higher than when the project was first awarded to 1MDB-Mitsui early last year.

The net capacity of Project 3B was fixed at 2x1000 MW and its efficiency at 39.5% at full load.

The first confirmation of TNB taking over Project 3B came through Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili on June 17.

The utility company had said it would not pay any premium for taking over Project 3B from 1MDB.

As it stands, Project 3B is one of the two major power plants whose construction works have been delayed.The other is Project 4A, which is a contract to build a new 1,000 MW-1,400 MW combined cycle gas turbine power plant in Johor, awarded to a consortium comprising TNB and SIPP Energy Sdn Bhd.

(The Star) Jamek mosque redevelopment not a new plan

PETALING JAYA: The redevelopment of the Jamek mosque in Kampung Baru under 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) corporate social responsibility activities is not a new initiative, the company said.

It said the redevelopment plan was first announced by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during his visit to Kampung Baru on Feb 5, 2011.

“Yayasan 1MDB contributed RM20mil to the project from 2011 to the present day,” it said in a statement.

1MDB said construction work kicked off in 2012 and the redevelopment was scheduled for completion by the end of next month.

The Prime Minister had wanted the mosque to also be a vibrant community centre for Kampung Baru residents and to serve as a catalyst for the planned development of the area, it said.

“1MDB regrets that various parties have resorted to using the project to serve their own agenda,” it said.

According to its website, 1MDB’s other CSR projects undertaken by Yayasan 1MDB include new canteens for 48 primary schools in Sarawak as well as scholarship and academic grants to study medicine, dentistry and pharmacy for religious school students.

1MDB also collaborated with Dong Jiao Zhong and Huaren Education Foundation to provide academic grants to Unified Examinations Certificate holders from Chinese independent schools to help with their tertiary studies.

It partnered with the Sri Murugan Centre as well, giving academic grants to students who excel in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia and Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia examinations to help further their studies.

Last Friday the Prime Minister, who was opening the mosque’s new main prayer hall, said that the redevelopment project was fully borne by 1MDB.

“I asked for assistance from Yayasan 1MDB, which has come under fire on social media, with this project.

“But this redevelopment is 1MDB’s contribution to Muslims, particularly those in Kampung Baru,” Najib was quoted as saying.

(The Star) Super condos by the sea

If you’re looking for a seafront ‘super condo’ along the coastline of Tanjung Bungah, One Tanjong, a luxurious condominium project by Lone Pine Group of Companies, certainly fits the bill.
Located at the former Tanjung Country Club site and just next to the Penang Swimming Club, this iconic project which was completed in April consists of 147 luxurious sky residences crafted in two 41storey towers (Tower A and B).
The homes are all about luxury in privacy with only two typical units spanning 4,760sq ft each per floor. Each is serviced by two private lifts opening into a specially-designed sunken planter for the creation of a garden or fish pond.
Each unit has a 270-degree view of the sea in front and hill behind, while the penthouse has a 360-degree panoramic view of the sea, hill, city and the landscape facilities.
The gross floor area of the penthouse and top penthouse are about 9,500sq ft and 18,600sq ft respectively with the going price from RM2.8mil onwards.
It’s also near to various food and beverage outlets, international schools and public amenities with the main concept and objective of delivering exclusive luxurious living with seaview, low density, privacy, landscape environment and good facilities.
Embraced by the sky and the sea, One Tanjong is a beachfront condominium par excellence, suburb of the upper class residential neighbourhood that perfectly matches one’s status.
One Tanjong is a magnificent place to call home with unobstructed seaview as far as the eye can see with a private bay for peace and tranquility.
For more details, interested purchasers can log on to or call 04-8278566.
The other project being marketed by the group is the Pine Residence at Paya Terubong, a modern two-tower 29-storey condominium with 222 units comprising apartments and penthouses.
Facilities include a four-storey covered car park and recreation amenities with the gross built-up area between 1,600sq ft and 3,000sq ft, and the going price from RM660,000 onwards.
It’s ideal for big families who want to upgrade, and has a modern and contemporary layout designed for optimum flow of natural light and ventilation.
The typical unit comes with three bedrooms and a study room while the penthouses have four bedrooms, a study room and utility room. Both have spacious living and dining area.
It has a 24-hour security, children’s playground, rooftop sky garden, designed landscaping, swimming pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, gymnasium, nursery, community hall, meeting room, drop-off area and library.
Pine Residence commands a panoramic view of the Paya Terubong Valley, Kek Lok Si Temple and is located near the famed Chung Ling High School and other schools, banks and shopping malls.
Interested buyers can log on to or call 04-8278566 or visit the Star Property Fair at Gurney Plaza and G Hotel from July 9 to 12 from 10am to 10pm.
Touted as the grandest property fair in the northern region, this year’s event will see more than 40 exhibitors partici-pating.
There will also be talks and forums conducted by specialists in their respec-tive fields to provide visitors with useful information on various property-related topics.
Admission is free and visitors stand a chance to win more than RM100,000 worth of prizes including five tablets and handphones plus lots of attractive prizes to be won daily.
For further details or enquiries, please call Maggie Ang at 04-6473388 (ext. 3023).

(The Star) Slow progress in market upgrade affecting livelihoods

The opening of the newly refurbished Chowrasta Market will be delayed as upgrading works have fallen behind schedule by 30%.
Traders are complaining that the delay of the project in Penang, which is supposed to be completed mid next month, has affected their livelihoods.
A fishmonger known only as Koh said his business was badly affected since the upgrading works started almost two years ago.
“Previously, I had a stall in Jalan Kuala Kangsar but was relocated to Jalan Chowrasta.
“Since the relocation, my business has dropped by almost 50% due to the less strategic location.
“From selling 50kg of sardines in a day previously, now I can’t even sell half of that,” he said when met at the market fronting Penang Road.
Koh said the Penang Island City Council had promised to move the street hawkers into the market complex after the completion of the project.
“Now I don’t know how long I still need to wait,” he said.
Another hawker who wished to be known only as Lim, 64, said his business dropped by more than 80%.
“It was supposed to be good this time of the year as Hari Raya is around the corner. But I can’t even sell a pair of shoes in one day,” he said.
Council Building Department director Yew Tung Seang said they were unhappy with the slow progress of the RM12.1mil upgrade.
“If they continue working like this, the project can only be complete early next year.
“The contractor will then need to compensate us about RM7,500 per day for late delivery.
“However, we will not hesitate to take action against them including terminating their contract,” he said.
Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng urged the council to monitor the project closely as the welfare of the hawkers is at stake.
“Next time, I hope the council will consider the reputation of the contractors before awarding them a project,” he said.
It was reported earlier that upgrading works on the three-storey market, built in 1890, started in May 2013.
The works include tearing down existing shops and stalls, replacing them with new ones as well as building two extra levels on the back portion of the market as part of the multi-storey car park for 123 lots.
The new market will have 295 stalls and shops as well as 56 stalls selling dry goods along Jalan Chowrasta.
Other features of the market makeover include opening an entrance from Jalan Kuala Kangsar.

(The Star) Still pushing for city status

The Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) is still pursuing the move to get city status for Subang Jaya.
After much talk, councillors at the full board meeting were given reasons and criteria met for the application.
Izham Hashim said the discussion did not touch on the benefits of Subang Jaya becoming a city.
Loka Ng said the local authority needed to look at providing more cultural centres and highlighted that Subang Jaya did not have a public hospital.
He also asked if MPSJ would look into dividing its area of jurisdiction, with one section in charge of Subang Jaya and the other to look after Seri Kembangan and Puchong.
MPSJ president Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan said they would discuss the matter, adding that there were no problems covering the current areas.
Jaberi Ami suggested that the council widen its area of jurisdiction and include Section 26 to 28.
On a separate matter, Jaberi requested that the state look into changing the way funds were channelled from assemblymen to councillors.
Nor Hisham said with these views and opinions, MPSJ would need to fine-tune the application before handing it over to the State Economy Planning Unit (UPEN).
He said RM35,000 was given to assemblymen to conduct anti-dengue campaigns.
The assemblymen will provide councillors with funds to conduct their own campaigns.
But Jaberi said he had not received any funds as his area was under the jurisdiction of Seri Muda assemblyman Shuhaimi Shafiei.
Jaberi is in charge of Taman Putra Heights and Kampung Bukit Lanchong.
“It’s difficult for me to apply for funds as he is under the Shah Alam City Council and my area comes under Subang Jaya.
Jaberi said the state should look into the matter and ensure that funds were channelled correctly.
During the full board meeting, the council introduced a new payment method for summonses, rent, assessment and water bills.
Now, ratepayers can pay summonses on the spot with the council’s new mPos payment method.
mPos allows ratepayers to pay fines online and is available on Android, iOs and tablets.
Officers from the revenue, enforcement, valuation and property management, building and engineering will carry around tablets with the mPos app.
Nor Hisham said officers would introduce the app to ratepayers around Subang Jaya.
He added that the collection of compounds was expected to increase with the new payment method.
Also introduced at the meeting was the council’s own fertiliser as a result of its biomass efforts.
As the council moves towards becoming a green city by 2030, it has been actively reducing waste disposal through organic waste biomass method.
The biomass method has two concepts — waste-to-wealth and waste-to-energy.
The council is encouraging the waste-to-wealth concept among residents of Subang Jaya by distributing compost bins.
A total of 750 residents are now participating in the Home Composting Programme.
The council is calling on hotels and shopping centres to separate waste and send them to the Integrated Biomass Centre in Bandar Bukit Puchong.
Nor Hisham said this would help reduce waste, especially food waste.
The council will sell the fertiliser at a price as low as RM7.50.

(The Star) ‘Don’t privatise Kelana Jaya park’

Petaling Jaya City Council’s (MBPJ) proposed redevelopment of the Kelana Jaya Municipal Park facilities has got nearby SS7 residents worried that it would have negative impact on the community.
They want the city council to maintain the existing facilities and build facilities for their communal activities.
They too found it wrong for the city council to privatise facilities at a public park and impose a fee on residents.
Residents received news that a tender had been called for redeveloping the park’s structures in a build-operate-transfer scheme.
A check on a public copy of the tender document in the city council’s headquarters showed that the build-operate-transfer contract, included controlling vandalism in the structures; and to restore and maintain cleanliness of the lake and its surroundings.
Despite the building’s vacant status, the metal roll shutters for both male and female toilets are up, and the insides of the washrooms filthy.
Despite the building’s vacant status, the metal roll shutters for both male and female toilets are up, and the insides of the washrooms filthy.
The duration of the contract would run up to a maximum of 10 years, as specified in its conditions.
It is understood that two bidders had already conducted a site visit on June 18 as well.
But when queried after yesterday’s full council board meeting on the matter, Petaling Jaya mayor Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain said he was not aware of the proposed redevelopment plan.
Kelana D’Putera residents association vice-president R. Arasaratnam, said he and other residents first heard of the redevelopment plan during a Residents Representative Council meeting earlier this month.
“The council should have briefed the residents on the plans earlier, with a townhall meeting or general dialogue, instead of letting us know only during the residents meeting,” said Arasaratnam.
It would be nice, he said, if the structures could be converted for community use such as a small library or community service centre, to benefit the local residents.
Once you step inside the structure though, the accumulated filth and vandalism become apparent. According to local residents, the structures are often vandalised by addicts or those looking to conduct vice activities away from the public.
Once you step inside the structure though, the accumulated filth and vandalism become apparent. According to local residents, the structures are often vandalised by addicts or those looking to conduct vice activities away from the public.
The other worry, he added, was that redevelopment would likely mean further crowding of the residential roads, as successful bidders would want to attract large crowds to make their project more viable.
Arasatnam also said that it would be unfair if park-goers and residents are charged a fee to use the park’s facilities if they were privatised, adding that parks were supposed to be public property and the burden of maintenance should not be passed on to Petaling Jaya residents.
“A couple of years back, the council charged RM2 parking charges at the park, but when we complained, this was discontinued,” Arasatnam said.
A visit by StarMetro saw several structures in various state of disrepair, including toilets and kitchen.
From the roadside, the council’s ‘Cuisine Corner’ food and beverage structure directly abutting the lake, in Jalan SS7/15 looks alright. But from the inside, it’s a different story however.
From the roadside, the council’s ‘Cuisine Corner’ food and beverage structure directly abutting the lake, in Jalan SS7/15 looks alright. But from the inside, it’s a different story however.
Filth and rubbish strewn inside structures and in open areas and piles were rubbish were seen in drain channels.
Sahabat Taman Kelana Jaya secretary and SS7 Lengkuk Golf resident association chairman Esham Salam said the park’s business structures had not been financially viable for the past few years.
“We have seen three operators come and go in the last six years.
“Each time none of them managed to last beyond a year-plus,” said Esham, and each time, the council had to expend money to repair the structures after the tenants left.
The drain covers near the toilets are missing.
The drain covers near the toilets are missing.
He pointed out that from an environmental perspective, having the food court next to the municipal lake was not a good idea either, with kitchen waste going into the lakewater.
“For the past 10 years, the water quality has not improved much for the lake,” said Esham, adding that given the situation, they had written to previous mayors asking that the boathouse structure be converted for community use.

Monday, 29 June 2015

(The Star) Adex down slightly

PETALING JAYA: Advertising expenditure (adex) in May fell slightly year-on-year to RM1.23bil from RM1.24bil in the previous corresponding period as advertisers were cautious about their spending following the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST).

PHD Malaysia general manager Jimmy Lim said although the “euphoria leading up to GST” was over, sentiment was still not back to “where it should be.”

“People have accepted that GST is here and we need to accept it and move on.

“However, there is still a lot of news that’s not quite positive and created a cautious sentiment,” he told StarBiz.

Year-on-year ad spend in May was led by in-store media and pay-television, which grew 20.9% and 8.8% respectively.

On the industry outlook for the rest of the year, Lim said it would remain challenging “as the storms from the economic anxiety and the shrinking ringgit are far from subsiding.”

“Brands are still trying to figure out what to do and just when they think the storm was over, another one comes along and it’s back to the drawing board.

“I think it’s alright to plan but planning without any action will not lead them anywhere. I am quite surprised as we now have more options, especially digital which has become more accurate in terms of targeting and more cost effective.”

He said that today, more than ever, brands could have access to better data that allowed for deeper audience insights.

“From developing directional plans based on an understanding of your most important audiences and their behaviours, affinities, associations and interests, to optimising media buys based on knowledge of their purchase processes, audience insights set the stage for digital marketing investments to produce better results that improve over time.”

In the first quarter of the year, adex grew 6% to RM3.3bil from RM3.1bil, driven by growth in pay-television and in-store media, which grew 26.3% and 17.6% respectively.

According to Nielsen data, advertisers spent RM14.06bil last year on domestic media space/airtime (excluding Internet and outdoor media).

Fast-moving consumer goods companies were the four biggest advertisers of the year – Unilever, Nestle, Procter & Gamble and Colgate Palmolive.

(The Edge) Sunway REIT aims for full occupancy of Sunway Putra Mall

(June 26, RM1.60)
Maintain hold with an unchanged target price of RM1.60: We visited Sunway Putra Mall (SPM) to get a closer look of the mall after its soft launch on May 28, 2015. After approximately two years of refurbishment works, SPM has finally reopened with an occupancy rate of 70% after all the tenants started operations on a progressive basis, while management remains committed to bringing the occupancy level to 100%.

Total capital expenditure spent was approximately RM307 million, which involved the creation of approximately 71,000 sq ft of additional net lettable area (NLA), bringing the total NLA to approximately 560,000 sq ft.
The design of SPM was inspired by South-Africa’s Sun-drop Diamond and positioned itself as an urban-chic lifestyle mall. SPM will house over 300 outlets. It has a strong catchment population of two million within a 25km radius, which could potentially attract crowds from Jalan Duta, Jalan Kuching, Bangsar, Bukit Tunku and Mont’Kiara. In addition, we also think that SPM will be able to attract shoppers nearby as it is just within walking distance to the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) and Seri Pacific Hotel.
We noted that there are linkages which direct shoppers to the mall, including the newly-built escalator from the PWTC LRT station and coming soon for Villa Putri, an entrance from the elevated walkway in front of the mall and also an escalator connecting Seri Pacific Hotel and the mall, which is currently in progress.
In view of the current challenging outlook for the retail industry, we think the mall that caters for mid-income earners will perform slightly better compared to super-prime retail malls. Our earnings forecasts remain unchanged as we have factored in the contribution in our financial model. We may revisit our forecasts when occupancy reaches 100%. — HLIB Research, June 26