Sunday, 31 July 2016

(The Star) Help turn Johor into MICE hub, industry players urged

JOHOR BARU: The Johor tourism and hospitality sector has been urged to make the necessary preparations to support the state’s aim of becoming a MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) hub in the region.
State Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumerism Committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said Johor was aiming at becoming one of the top destinations in the region for business events.
“We are in the final stages of setting up the Johor Convention and Exhibition Bureau, which will oversee the mechanism and work for this purpose,” he said after launching the four-star Amerin Hotel in Taman Perling here yesterday.
The state, said Tee, was now in discussions with the Johor econo­mic planning unit and Iskandar Regional Development Authority to work out a strategic plan on making Johor a MICE hub.

“This will help attract more business tourists, whose spending average is 3.5 times more than leisure tourists,” he said, adding that it is also in line with Johor’s tourism strategic plan to make the state a high-value tourist destination by 2023.

(The Star) Almost all of M’sians using mobile phones

KUALA LUMPUR: It’s official – the number of mobile phone users far outstrips those using personal computers in the country.
The newly released results of the Department of Statistics Malaysia’s 2015 survey of ICT (information and communications technology) use by individuals and households came as no surprise.
In fact, mobile phone usage in the country is found to be edging towards 100%.
The latest survey reveals that the number of individuals using mobile phones has gone up from 94.2% in 2013 to 97.5% in 2015.
“The 3.3% jump is modest but it’s because mobile phone usage has almost reached saturation point,” said the survey.
In contrast, individuals using computers are found at 68.7% – a 12.7% increase from 56% in 2013.
As for Internet usage, the statistics also show a rise in Malaysians’ use of the global system – 75% of consumers still access the Internet from home, with many of them (72.2%) also using it while on the go.
Households using mobile broadband to access the Internet stands at 61.9% while those using fixed broadband to access the Internet is 24.7%.

Popular Internet activities include participating in social networks (84.3%), getting information about goods and services (79.6%), downloading images, movies, music (76.1%), and sending and receiving e-mail messages (68.4%), followed by Internet banking (27.4%), job-related searches and applications (14.7%), and purchasing goods and services online (16.1%).

Saturday, 30 July 2016

(NST) Malaysian house buyers increasingly drawn to high-rise living

JOHOR BARU: Malaysians house-buyers are increasingly attracted to the lifestyle attached to high-rise residential living as it offers affordability, security features and good resale value. 

ExaStrata Solutions Sdn Bhd chief real estate consultant Adzman Shah Mohd Ariffin said that with the Strata Management Act 2013 enforced last year, high-rise house owners' rights are better protected now. 

"Housing statistics showed that as of June 2014, there were almost 5.5 million people in the country living in strata developments. There were 15,621 strata development schemes," he said in his talk titled 'Enhancing Condo Development Value Through Best Practice in Property Management' at the New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd (NSTP) MyRumah Property Showcase at Komtar JBCC today. 

He said properties such as condominiums, apartments and small office and home offices (SoHo) could fetch better rental rates compared to landed property in many areas. 

The MyRumah Property Showcase, which features talks by 24 property gurus, runs until tomorrow and is open between 10am to 10pm.

(NST) Southern KL promises greater property value

THE southern region of Greater Kuala Lumpur promises to show the biggest growth in landed house prices over the next 10 years. 

According to experts, this would be the best time to buy or invest in properties in the area. founder Abdul Aziz Ahmad said Greater Kuala Lumpur was still developing and could see aggressive growth in the future. 

“The area offers the most value for money if buyers or investors decide to make purchases now as prices are still within the affordable range,” he said in an interview with Business Times recently. 

The Greater Kuala Lumpur southern hotspots can be divided into three areas — Sepang, Bangi-Nilai and Kajang-Semenyih. 

According to property author and journalist Khalil Adis, the growth corridor of Kajang-Semenyih holds the most promise for first-time house buyers as properties there are still affordable and have the greatest potential for capital appreciation. 

Aziz said landed residential properties in Kota Warisan and Salak Tinggi, Sepang, were also within the affordable range. Furthermore, the areas were sandwiched between Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). 

“KLIA serves as an economic driver which will boost the airport’s surrounding areas. It will also boost surrounding properties as the KLIA Aeropolis takes shape,” he said.

Economic drivers 

Spanning over 404.7ha, the KLIA Aeropolis is expected to deliver about RM7 billion in foreign and domestic investments. 

Aziz said like KLIA Aeropolis, other economic drivers in the southern part of the country, such as Iskandar Malaysia in Johor and neighbouring Singapore, were the “gravity” that was pulling developments and population down south. 

Malaysia Vision Valley (MVV), a multi-billion ringgit central region development plan, which is expected to generate investments of more than RM417.6 billion by 2045, will create an additional gravity force. 

The 108,000ha MVV will encompass the towns of Nilai, Seremban and Port Dickson in Negri Sembilan. 

Former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar said Labu, located between Nilai and Seremban, would be the central business district of MVV. 

Most landbanks in Labu are owned by Sime Darby Bhd. 

The MMV hotspots will follow the examples of Shah Alam, Damansara, Puchong and Subang Jaya, which have been enjoying aggressive growth in property value once investments start coming in. 

All four are situated between major economic drivers of Port Klang and the city centre, here.  
United Malayan Bhd (UMLand) group managing director Dennis Ng said southern Greater Kuala Lumpur had grown to become the country’s leading property hotspot because of the geographical advantage and spillover effects from the country’s economic activities. 

“The strategic location also puts it in the centre between the nation’s main business, administrative and technology hubs of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya. 

“Kuala Lumpur’s southern corridor now has a population of almost half a million as a result of its commercial and employment opportunities. Its population growth has created an unprecedented demand for commercial and residential properties,” he said. 

The corridor also included an education hub comprising colleges and universities such as Kolej Universiti Islam Selangor, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Ng added. 

Mode of transportation 

Highways and upcoming public transport such as the mass rapid transit (MRT) and the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) networks are other advantages for Greater Kuala Lumpur hotspots, which will appreciate in value in the future. 

The highways include North-South Expressway Central Link, North-South Expressway and Maju Expressway (MEX). 

MEX, which connects Kuala Lumpur City Centre and Putrajaya, will be extended to KLIA. 

In a recent report, Wahid revealed the proposed extension of the West Coast Expressway to Pontian, Johor, passing through KLIA. 

Aziz said there was also speculation that the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya MRT Line would be extended to KLIA from Putrajaya. 

The HSR, meanwhile, will consist of eight stations, namely Bandar Malaysia, Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat, Iskandar Puteri and Singapore, and will be another main booster to property values in the southern region of Greater Kuala Lumpur. 

The HSR link is expected to be operational in 2026. 

Khalil said a property within a kilometre from a train station was highly desirable and could generally command a five to 10 per cent premium in asking price. 

Big boys are there 

Top local developers with global footprints have made their mark on the hotspots, coming up with unique projects to attract buyers. 

These developers include Eco World Development Group Bhd (Eco Majestic and Eco Forest in Semenyih), SP Setia Bhd (Setia EcoHill in Semenyih), UMLand (Albury in Semenyih and Bandar Seri Putra in Bangi) and IOI Properties (Avista near Kota Warisan). 

Others are Sime Darby Property (Serenia City near Kota Warisan), UEM Sunrise Bhd (Serene Hills in Bangi) and Mah Sing Group Bhd (Southville City in Bangi). 

Ng said the presence of many well-known developers in the southern corridor fitted nicely with what property buyers wanted. 

“Real demand will continue to be strong from property buyers who are looking for a place of their own or for investment purposes. This is especially true for southern Greater Kuala Lumpur due to its geographical advantage,” he said. 

Despite the challenging market conditions, many developers were confident of delivering sustainable financial performance, supported by a solid track record, right market positioning as well as a healthy liquidity profile, Ng added.

(The Star) Resolve legal and technical matters before SBST implemented

KUCHING: The Sarawak government wants legal and technical issues to be sorted out speedily with the Federal Government so that the Stage Bus System Transformation (SBST) can be implemented in the state soon.
Infrastructure Development and Transportation Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Masing will be writing a letter to the Transport Minister and to the Prime Minister’s office regarding the issues and hopefully, the matter can be resolved soon.
Seven cities have been selected as part of the SBST pilot project by the Federal Government and Kuching is one of them.
However, the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) faced a technical setback as Sarawak and Sabah are not under its jurisdiction.
The matter had to be referred to the Prime Minister’s department.
State Land, Air Transportation and Safety Assistant Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin said they will be arranging a meeting with the Ministry of Transport and the Prime Minister’s office to sort out these issues.
They will also invite bus representatives to the meeting to help resolve the matter.
“People want efficient and reliable bus service.
“Therefore, I’m happy that five bus companies have formed the Konsortium BBK Sdn Bhd (KBBK) to improve bus services with new and modern buses,” he said during the meeting with Sarawak Bus Transport Company Association (SBTCA) at Bangunan Baitulmakmur yesterday.
He said the cooperation of bus companies was needed and the ministry will give its full support.
He also ensured that SBST will be operated by a Sarawak company.
Once SBST is implemented in Sarawak, a mobile app will be made available to track the buses and check the time schedule, an added convenience for passengers.
Lee encourages the bus association representatives to tell the ministry about any issues they face and ensure the public transport system in the state runs smoothly at 15-minute intervals.
The five companies under the SBST pilot project are City Public Link, Bau Transport Company Sdn Bhd, Biaramas Express Sdn Bhd, Petrajaya Transport and Sarawak Transport Company Bhd.
KBKK chairman William Chan said the Kuching SBST project, with a total investment of around RM100mil, was ready two years ago but they were waiting for approval from the Federal Government.
“I’m confident that once the SBST project is successfully launched here, the same model can be extended to other cities and they will form their own consortium,” he said after the meeting with Lee.
He said currently, four cities in the Peninsular Malaysia namely Kangar, Seremban, Ipoh and Kuala Terengganu are already providing the services under MyBas.
“It’s not fair that because of technical problems, our consortium was not allowed to operate,” Chan told reporters.
During the meeting, Lee and SBTCA also discussed on the Interim Stage Bus Support Fund (ISBSF) which stopped allocating subsidies to bus companies to cover shortfalls in the daily operation since December last year.

“Whatever funding that is due to Sarawak, we would like to propose that the funding be given directly to the ministry so we can manage from here and avoid unnecessary bureaucracy,” said Lee.

(The Star) Pedal car perfect for city tour, says bike rental operator

Like any earnest entrepreneur, bicycle renter Tan Teik Leong, 52, took the dive and recently ordered 13 pedal cars with his partners to tap tourists’ increasing demand for it.
But even as their RM30,000 order comes by sea from China, he fears it will be a total loss.
Penang Island City Council (MBPP) has proposed a by-law to regulate the use of pedal cars or quadricycles in the city.
The proposal has been submitted to the state exco for consideration.
“Why out of the blue? How can the council design a by-law without consulting or interviewing those who are in the trade?
“Some newspapers reported that pedal cars will be banned as of September. I am disappointed with MBPP,” said Tan, who has been renting bicycles to tourists since 2011, in Armenian Street from his shop, Chin Seng Leong.
He said pedal cars first arrived in 2013 but he resisted the urge to join the bandwagon.
“It never really caught on till 2015 and I started renting them out just three months ago. I want to ask the council why it waited so long before suggesting by-laws unilaterally.
Two of Tan Teik Leongs pedal cars waiting for customers outside his shop in Armenian Street.. Star Pic by: ZAINUDIN AHAD / The Star / 29 July 2016
Two of Teik Leong’s pedal cars waiting for customers outside his shop in Armenian Street, George Town.
“If pedal cars are a problem, the council should have stepped forward and taken control of it much earlier.
“It is unfair of the council to keep quiet for years while the market developed itself and then suddenly lay down laws without getting our views,” he said.
Umbrella Bicycle Rental owner K.C. Tan in Victoria Street, who has about 10 quadricycles, said all operators had developed their own rules on the use of this vehicle over the years and urged the council to study them.
“Tourists can get a little rowdy from having fun and so we have set our own rules,” he said.
He said those aged under 14 or over 70 are not allowed to ride unless accompanied by others.
The maximum allowable speed is a docile 5km per hour and the operators make sure that the gear ratios on the pedals and wheels make it hard for tourists to ride at high speeds.
Other rules displayed on Tan’s pedal cars forbid riders from consuming alcohol, riding against traffic or engaging in horseplay while using pedal cars.
Teik Leong said he had even installed car batteries on all of his pedal cars to ensure they would be well-lit when tourists use them after dark.
“Pedal cars are the perfect way to roam the heritage site and seek out street art.
“For families with youngchildren, the pedal car isperfect,” Teik Leong added.
When contacted, Penang Island city councillor Nur Zarina Zakaria called on pedal car renters to simmer down.
“We are not banning pedal cars. We know tourists love them,” she clarified, adding that reports in a vernacular newspaper about the pedal car ban was not accurate.
She said the by-law proposal was at its preliminary stage and after the state exco agrees with it, the council would then structure the regulations.
“We will involve all pedal car renters and get their feedback to understand their business before developing the by-law,” she said.

Among the possible regulations, she said, would be restricting pedal car use to only the innermost areas of the heritage enclave and not allowing riders to venture into busy streets like Penang Road.

(The Star) Unveiling a jewel in the urban park

Property developer IJM Land Bhd and its joint venture partner, Amona Development Sdn Bhd, celebrated the launch of IJM Land Centre of Excellence (ICE) Gallery at Pantai Sentral Park, Kuala Lumpur.
Also known as A Jewel In The Park, the 2,694sqm column-free property gallery accentuates two transparent interlocking geometric glass cubes with organic structures in its interior.
Constructed entirely with glass segments and steel, the property gallery uses natural daylight and takes in views of the surrounding forest.
Focused on flexibility and adaptation, the architecture serves to ensure the maximum use of space as well as to harmonise the building with the surrounding environment.
At the opening ceremony, IJM Land Bhd managing director Edward Chong Sin Kiat said it was important to create a unique structure that would convey the individuality of Pantai Sentral Park.
“ICE Gallery is a significant and important brand-defining addition as we seek to strengthen our brand presence and connect with more customers from the local community,” Chong said.
He added that the name of the show gallery characterised their aspiration to deliver a unique premium experience to their customers.
Designed by leading architecture firm Surbana Consultants Sdn Bhd in collaboration with renowned interior design firm Design Worldwide Partnership, ICE Gallery also highlights architectural models, showrooms and various interactive and experiential exhibits.
At the event, guests were entertained by live jazz music as well as a dance performance by So You Think You Can Dance Malaysia Season 2 winner Cecilia Yong.
IJM Land Bhd central region sales and marketing senior general manager Hoo Kim See said their current focus was on the construction of Inwood and Secoya, Pantai Sentral Park’s first two residential phases.
“The next big step for Pantai Sentral Park will be the development of Parcel 13, which consists of a 30-storey IJM office tower and a 36-storey serviced apartment and this is expected to be completed in 2019,” Hoo said.
Pantai Sentral Park also features the Waterfront Lifestyle and Lake Arena as well as other parks for the public to enjoy.
“With a GDV (gross development value) of RM2.5bil, Pantai Sentral Park also highlights amenities such as the Green Connectors and Boulevards stretch, which serves as a meeting hub for families and friends to hang out while facing the beautiful scenery of the forest,” Hoo said.
Strategically located in Bukit Kerinchi, Pantai Sentral Park sits on a 23.5ha land consisting of seven residential phases and six commercial phases, and is surrounded by an 81ha forest.
The integrated development is expected to be completed within eight to 10 years.
ICE Gallery is open daily from 9am to 6pm on weekdays, 9am to 5pm on Saturdays, and 10am to 5pm on Sundays.

For details, call 1800 88 0456 or visit

(The Star) For a bird’s eye view of Kota Kinabalu

Walk on the wild side - Phoenix Trails
I have been to Kota Kinabalu many times while on transit to Sipadan or Mount Kinabalu and I usually spend less than a day in the city.
However, I recently had to stop over in the city for more than a day because of work.
Eager to fit in a run or hike during my stay, I tried Googling for hiking spots in the vicinity.
Luckily, the hotel I booked was close to the city centre and right next to a forested hill.
I asked the hotel’s general manager Krishnan Mogan about the possibility of a hike and he quickly arranged for housekeeping manager Alex Siau to be my guide.
A walkway along the Signal Hill Forest Trail.
A walkway along the Signal Hill Forest Trail.
It was a gloomy 7.30am when we headed north towards Padang Merdeka, which was already a hive of activity with a Tai Chi exercise group in attendance.
Spotting concrete steps leading into the forest, we started walking up the well-trodden staircase that was fairly wide and clear with hand-rails on one side at the steeper sections.
We gained elevation quickly and after a five-minute climb, we emerged at the top of the road on the other side of the hill.
A short distance down the road, the view of the valley below opened up and stretched to the east.
When the clouds parted, I recognised Mount Kinabalu’s famous silhouette and could just about make out the remaining Donkey’s Ear peak. It was an awesome sight to say the least.
Continuing down the road, we passed the former governor’s residence, and we were back at our starting point after 20 minutes.
Entrance to the former Governor’s residence also known as Istana Kota Kinabalu.
Entrance to the former Governor's residence also known as Istana Kota Kinabalu.
Having warmed up, we attempted to run up the road to Signal Hill Observatory Tower for some cardio exercise.
After a strenuous 15 minutes and breathing hard, we were at the highest point in the city.
The Observatory Tower offers a bird’s eye view of the city centre, as well as a distant view of the Tanjung Aru and Likas Bay areas as well as the South China Sea.
From the Observatory Tower, the Signal Hill forest trail takes you directly down to the base of the hill.
The 250m footpath follows a chain of wooden steps that leads you down and upwards again, before hitting a final steep descent.
The wooden walkway ends just beside the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) community centre.
The saucer-like viewing platforms at the Observatory Tower.
The saucer-like viewing platforms at the Observatory Tower.
With morning traffic picking up, we walked the 2km along Jalan Padang back to the hotel in Bandaran Berjaya.
Along the way, we passed notable landmarks such as the Atkinson Clock Tower, the police station and People’s Park.
My Kota Kinabalu experience went a long way to prove that sometimes, you don’t have to get out of a city to get a good hike.
Getting There
Signal Hill Observatory Tower
Jalan Bukit Bendera Kota Kinabalu
5°59’08.5”N 116°04’45.7”E
Opening Hours: 8am to midnight.
Admission is free.
From Atkinson Clock Tower
For the more adventurous, you can walk to the Signal Hill Observatory from Jalan Istana along Padang Merdeka Kota Kinabalu. Take the left junction at Jalan Bukit Bendera and follow the road uphill to the tower.
Those who are fit can try the 250m jungle trail up to the platform.
The starting point of this trail is beside the DBKK community centre in Jalan Dewan.

It is just a 10-minute walk using the Signal Hill Forest Trail.

(The Star) Sip on tea in a garden setting

The cafe, situated at the lower ground floor, Highstreet of 1Utama Shopping Centre, offers teas, biscuits, scones and preserves in a classy setting complete with a manicured lawn, box hedges and a royal garden swing.
For RM18, customers can opt to have either tea and biscuits or tea and a scone with a preserve of their choice.
Crabtree & Evelyn Singapore and Malaysia country head Wang Whee Min posing with the collection of biscuits and skin care products.
There are four tea selections to choose from – Blackberry Green Tea, Earl Grey Tea, English Breakfast Tea and Mint Green Tea.
As for the biscuit selection, Crabtree & Evelyn recommends their limited-edition Salted Caramel and Belgian Milk Chocolate Chunk Biscuits or All Butter Orange Biscuits, Lemon and White Chocolate Biscuits, Strawberry and Clotted Cream Biscuits and White Chocolate and Raspberry Biscuits.
Customers may try out Crabtree & Evelyn's selection of English cookies, scones and tea at their first ever pop-up cafe in 1Utama Shopping Centre.
The two preserve selections available are Strawberry and Rose Water Preserve and Wild Blueberry and Lavender Preserve.
Customers may also pamper themselves with a hand massage session at the 28-seater Pop-up Cafe.
Crabtree & Evelyn Singapore and Malaysia country head Wang Whee Min said the Pop-up Cafe aims to remind customers of the Crabtree & Evelyn brand.
“Through the years we have been putting together lovely gifts for customers, however we want to make use of the cafe setting to remind them of the fact that Crabtree is a lifestyle brand.
“We hope to provide an avenue for people to take a break from their office and enjoy sitting down and sipping a cup of tea to unwind,” she added.
At the opening of the Pop-up Cafe, customers were also given a chance to explore their creative side with a handicrafts demonstration on how to make a windmill decoration from unused Crabtree & Evelyn biscuit tins, tea bags and sachets.

The Pop-up Cafe is open until tomorrow from 10am to 10pm.

(The Star) Council launches mobile app for parking payment

The Sepang Municipal Council (MPSepang) has launched a mobile app for motorists to pay parking fees called Flexi Parking.
With the new app, said to be the first of its kind in Selangor, motorists can pay parking without the hassle of using coupons or getting tickets.
Flexi Parking is now available and can be downloaded for free on the Apple Store or Google Play.
MPSepang deputy president Muhammad Hafiz Shaari said the new parking method, however, would not mean that the old system would be replaced totally but it was an additional option for motorists.
“The public can use this mobile application on top of the ticket, coupon and the monthly pass.
“We will not raise the parking fee with the introduction of the new application.“The public can use this mobile application on top of the ticket, coupon and the monthly pass.
“The app will notify motorists if the parking time is about to expire.
“Motorists then can top up their parking fee directly from their mobile phone,” he said during the full board meeting yesterday.
On enforcement for the new paying method, Muhammad Hafiz said the council had an application to monitor motorists.
“Once a motorist has registered on the app, we can monitor if the fees had been paid.

All the payments can be made via online banking through the app,” he said.

(The Star) Highway project to be delayed

Work on the controversial Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway (SUKE) will not begin on Aug 1 as planned, as the developer is still awaiting the necessary approvals from the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ).
It had been previously reported that preliminary works were supposed to begin on Monday, but have been delayed following the submission of final paperwork from project developers Projek Lintasan Kota Holdings Sdn Bhd (Prolintas).
MPAJ president Abdul Hamid Abdul Hussain said works were likely to start only in September.
“Prolintas has submitted its application to the council, and we are checking on it.
“There are several conditions that still need to be met, including a complete inventory report on existing street furniture that will be affected during construction.
“This includes elements such as the number of properties that have to be demolished to make way for the highway, bus stops, sign boards as well as the costs involved as well as reimburse the costs to the council,” he said.“There are several conditions that still need to be met, including a complete inventory report on existing street furniture that will be affected during construction.
Abdul Hamid said only when all those conditions were complied could the necessary approvals be granted.
The SUKE project had drawn protests from residents after it was made known that hundreds of private homes would have to be forcefully acquired to make way for the highway.
Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar was recently quoted saying that the project would proceed as planned despite the objections.

SUKE is a 31.8 km, three-lane, expressway that would commence at Sri Petaling and passes through Sungai Besi, Alam Damai, Cheras-Kajang, Taman Bukit Permai, Taman Putra, Taman Permai Jaya, Taman Dagang Permai, Taman Kosas, Ampang dan Taman Hillview before exiting at Ulu Kelang.

Friday, 29 July 2016

(The Star) Good prospects for business, says Uda chairman

JOHOR BARU: Johor offers good growth prospects and opportunities for businesses and companies as the state is progressing and developing fast.
Uda Holdings Bhd chairman Datuk Shafie Abdullah said Iskandar Malaysia would continue to attract domestic and foreign investors and hence spur development in the southern parts of Johor.
He said the influx of investors and presence of new residents in the country’s first economic growth corridor would create demand for residential, commercial and industrial properties.
“We are still upbeat about the property outlook in Iskandar Malaysia,” Shafie told reporters at the company’s Hari Raya open house at Angsana Johor Baru Mall here.
Also present at the event was Uda managing director Datuk Ahmad Abu Bakar with some special guests – 40 senior citizens from Rumah Seri Kenangan Ungku Mohsin Johor Baru.
He said the company would build medium cost and high-end apartments within the next three years in Tampoi areas here to cater to needs of buyers looking for residential properties which suit their budget.
“We will also build affordable houses in Skudai Kiri this year for first-time house buyers from the low and medium- income groups,” said Shafie
Meanwhile, Ahmad said plans were already in the pipeline to develop an integrated development project on a 5.26ha site adjacent to its existing Angsana Johor Baru Mall.
He said the project with a gross development value of between RM500mil and RM1bil would among others comprise a four-star rated hotel, a mini convention centre, a shopping mall and commercial properties.
“We hope to start the project within the next three to five years as there are other details that we need to iron out including improving traffic flow in the area,’’ said Ahmad.
He said the company was also looking at land in Pengerang area in Kota Tinggi district for a township development project as the area would be developed and transformed into a regional oil and gas (O&G) hub.
Ahmad said demand for residential and commercial properties in Pengerang would go up with the on-going multi-billion ringgit Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC).

“The O&G activities in PIPC will definitely boost demand for properties within the southeast areas of Johor,’’ he said.