Wednesday, 31 August 2016

(NST) Maglev trains set to revolutionise Johor

JOHOR BARU: The proposed plan for a Maglev (magnetic levitation) train service here, as revealed by Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, will spur a new economic playing field for Johor and create a big leap for Johor Baru in terms of transport infrastructure. 

A Chinese company is conducting a study on the project’s feasibility. 

The project will be developed under a private finance initiative, and is expected to cover a rail network that spans from the eastern to western suburbs of Iskandar Malaysia in south Johor. 

If approved, the project will make Malaysia among a handful of countries that have Maglev trains. 

Johor Indian Business Association president S.P. Sivakumar said global economic giants, such as China, were setting their sights on Johor to invest in large-scale projects. 

He said the state owed this to Sultan Ibrahim, a visionary ruler in tune with the future of the global economic shift. 

“Good infrastructure will attract huge investments to the state, and the Maglev trains will be a step in the right direction. 

“The trains will spur a new economic playing field for Johor, allowing China to prioritise Johor when deciding on expanding its manufacturing companies here. 

“Johor’s economy is expected to grow faster than other states. The state will be an economic powerhouse, and, with that, more people will be coming to live and work in Johor,” said Sivakumar, who is also Malaysian Indian Commerce Association president. 

In an exclusive interview with the New Straits Times published yesterday, Sultan Ibrahim said a company was studying the possibility of setting up the Maglev project in Johor. 

The ruler said the project would link Pasir Gudang, Kempas, Iskandar Puteri and others areas, and the company would also look at the Maglev entering Singapore, in view of the massive traffic jam at the Causeway every day. 

A Maglev vehicle travels along a guideway that uses magnets to create lift and propulsion. 

Among the well-known services of this kind is the Shanghai Maglev Train, known as Transrapid, which connects Pudong International Airport and the outskirts of central Pudong in Shanghai, China, along a 30.5km track. 

Seri Alam Properties Sdn Bhd senior general manager (township division) Frankie Tan Kiat said Maglev trains caused less pollution and moved faster than existing train systems in the Klang Valley. 

“If the system is built here, it will create a big leap for the city, as such trains are only available in China, Korea and Japan. 

 “A Maglev project in Johor means the state will have a transport system that is better than some major cities in Europe that still rely on trams and commuter trains.” 

Tan said the projected growth in the population of southern Johor required an efficient and green transport system that would provide transportation between the different areas in greater Johor Baru.

(The Star) Developing Tanjung Surat

KOTA TINGGI: The South-East Johor Development Authority (Kejora) is planning to develop Tanjung Surat as an eco-tourist destination.
Its Rural and Urban Planning division manager Daud Abd Rahman said they are in the midst of conducting a feasibility study.
“We will identify the type of economic activities, natural attractions as well as food and other interesting points that could be further improved in the area,” he said when met at Kampung Tanjung Belungkor during the #mohngetehharikebangsaan@kklw 2016.
Tanjung Surat assemblyman Datuk Syed Sis Syed A. Rahman who was also present at the programme,said the plan has been brought to the recent district action meeting for further discussions.
“This area is suitable to be developed as an eco-tourism attraction because of Pulau Tanjung Surat which consists of three villages namely Kampung Nyor, Kampung Tanjung Surat and Kampung Linting.
“Apart from that we have a few other villages situated across the island including Kampung Belungkor,” he said.
He added they are hoping to build a resort as well as seafood restaurants, handicraft shops and others attractions to improve the standard of living of residents.
Syed Sis hoped Kejora would come up with excellent development plans for the area and proceed with them soon.
Some 800 participants including students, teachers, the public and government agency staff took part in the pre-merdeka celebration.
Among the activities organised were colouring contests, lucky draw, singing of patriotic songs, photo opportunities and breakfast comprising the village’s specialty of nasi lemak daun sipoh, kuih jongkong, lempeng kelapa, teh tarik and coffee.
Daud said the objective of the “Moh Ngeteh” programme was to instil patriotism among employees of the Rural and Regional Development Ministry and the public.
The programme was held simultaneously at 160 locations nationwide on Aug 29.
Kejora organised the programme at nine locations including its headquarters, Tanjung Balau Fishermen Museum, Kampung Tanjung Belungkur, Bandar Tenggara, Bandar Taman Sri Lambak, Mini RTCs in Kampung Contoh Kahang, Tanjung Sedili, Layang and Mawai.
Other than Kejora, the programme involved 12 other government agencies under the ministry including the South Kelantan Development Authority, Kedah Development Authority, the Terengganu Tengah Development Authority and Community Development Department.

Also involved were Majlis Amanah Rakyat, Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority, Orang Asli Development Department, National Key Result Areas, Infra and Felcra.

(The Star) Fun with foam party

More than 1,000 parents and children made their way to the project site of Manhattan Condominium for some fun in the sun during the Water Park Foam Party last Sunday.
The party was organised by Miclebina Properties Sdn Bhd, the company behind the first condominium project that comes with its own water park-cum-wading pool.
The development is located on a prime stretch of Jalan Pasir Puteh.
Miclebina Properties Sales and Marketing Manager Fu Kuan Thye said the foam party was a way to introduce the condominium project to residents living in the area.
“We want them to know what makes our condominiums special. We observed that most projects generally have the same features like security and swimming pools.
“Here, we have a water park made for the enjoyment of residents, especially families with children.
A guest (right) consulting a staff on the project.
A guest (right) consulting a staff on the project.
“Through this party, they get try out our water park facilities like the mushroom, the tornado slide and the children’s playground,” she said, adding that the event was also aimed to encourage families to spend quality time together.
Other than playing with foam, guests had the chance to participate in question-and-answer sessions, play games and a lucky draw during the party.
Besides the water park, the freehold development, comprising 436 units across four blocks, also comes with a swimming pool, jacuzzi, sports complex, clubhouse and outdoor facilities such as barbecue pits, golf putting green, reflexology path and yoga sundeck.
Fu added two of the four blocks had already been opened for sale, with 90% of the units already sold.
“We will be launching the final two blocks in October,” she said.
Each of the block consists of nine levels and prices range from RM200,000 to RM1mil.
There are seven unit sizes, ranging from 794sq ft to 2,805sq ft.
Parents and children playing together in a kids room at one of the show units of the condominium.
Parents and children playing together in a kids room at one of the show units of the condominium.
The layouts range from two bedrooms to four-plus-two bedrooms, and between two and five bathrooms.

The project offers multi-tier security encompassing key card access at the entrance that has a guardhouse, perimeter fencing, 24-hour patrol, CCTV surveillance, and card access to each block, floor and unit. The project is expected to be completed by June 2018.

(The Star) Bike-share system in Penang next year

A RM1.85mil bicycle-sharing system is expected to take off early next year at 25 strategic locations on the island, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
He said the Link Bike Sharing System would be operated by Fast Rent Bike (Penang) Sdn Bhd, with 250 bicycles accessible under the state’s maiden public bike-sharesystem.
“The scheme is an initiative by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) which is working with the operator to set up the docking stations.
“It will be a new way to connect and commute within George Town. Anyone can pick up a bike from any of the 25 stations and return it to another station.
“Penang will be the first to have such a bike-share system in the country, bringing the state closer to being an international city like Melbourne, Amsterdam, Tokyo and others,” he said at the system’s soft launch at the Penang City Park on Sunday.
Fast Rent Bike (Penang) Sdn Bhd director Ken Yeoh said the system was being touched up, adding thata card or QR code system would be utilised to release the bicycle from the docking stations.
“By paying RM3 for a day pass,the user will get to enjoy a free 30-minute ride followed by a RM1 fee for every subsequent hour.
“We will also get some security deposit to ensure that the bicycle is returned but all this is still being worked out at the moment,” he said.
Among the proposed bike-sharestations are at Weld Quay (opposite the ferry terminal), Light Street (Fort Cornwallis), Jalan Padang Kota Lama (City Hall), Beach Street (Malaysia Tourism Office, OCBC Bank, MBPP Building, junction of Armenian Street), Bishop Street (junction of King Street), Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (The Star Pitt St), Chulia Street (Little India, AirAsia office), Muntri Street, Acheh Street (opposite George Town World Heritage Inc office), Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah (MWE Plaza), Farquhar Street (opposite E&O Hotel), Penang Road (Federal Hotel, Campbell Street junction, Kimberley Street junction), Magazine Road (1st Avenue Mall), Jalan Datuk Keramat (Gama), Kelawei Road (Gurney Plaza), Gurney Drive (Paragon Mall), Straits Quay Marina Mall, Karpal Singh Drive (opposite Starbucks) and Queensbay Mall.
Giving the thumbs up to the bike- share idea, student Shamini Vasu, 19, said hopefully, the system would be like the one in the United Kingdom.
“I was there last year and used the bike-sharing system to travel from campus to campus or to other places for just a pound. The fact that we are introducing it here is simply cool.
“Not only is it environmentally friendly, it is also good for health and can benefit many, especially in our tourist sites,” she said.
Businessman Khaw Siang Hee, 54, commended the system as it would boost Penang’s cycling initiative.
Earlier, Lim flagged off more than 3,700 cyclists on a 84km ride around the island for Ideal Property Group’s Campaign for a Lane (CFAL) event.

Organiser and G Club chairman Datuk Dr Lim Seh Guan thanked Ideal Property executive chairman Datuk Alex Ooi for stepping up to sponsor the eighth edition of the event.

(The Star) Grand dinner to evoke memories

The Grand Dinner series featuring fine Cantonese cuisine, in conjunction with 16 years of culinary excellence, is all the buzz at The Oriental Group of Restaurants.
Preparing a menu to celebrate the occasion has kept director and group executive chef Justin Hor and his team busy as they brainstormed on ideas and recipes to come out with a myriad of colourful dishes showcasing the culinary heritage of the Cantonese people.
He said over the years, the Grand Dinners have incorporated a variety of themes and featured old master chefs and international chefs from famous culinary regions in Guangzhou.
The team was also involved in developing taste-making menus to highlight definitive dishes from the 1960s, Hong Kong cuisine and other iconic themes.
This year’s theme focused on the emotions of nostalgia and sentiment, explained Hor.
“Food evokes memories and evergreen recipes transcend time. A taste of a dish we love can make us feel nostalgic and sentimental.
Chef Justin Hor cutting open the traditional stuffed whole Chinese cabbage served with stuffed broccoli and dried scallop sauce
Hor cutting open the Traditional Stuffed Whole Chinese Cabbage served with Stuffed Broccoli and Dried Scallop Sauce
“I am taking age-old recipes that many people may remember fondly from their past, and recreating them in this modern age,” he added.
For this year’s Grand Dinner series, Hor has identified 11 flavourful dishes – Baby Pomfret with Cili Padi and Crispy Minced Garlic, Crispy Clam Roll Marinated with Five Spices; Sea Grass with Shredded Yam tossed in Chef’s Special Sauce; Black Squid Ink Ball Coated with Sesame Seed; Pork Ear served with Baby Black Fungus; Imperial Rejuvenation Soup, Roast Baby Hk Pigeon, Traditional Stuffed Whole Chinese Cabbage served with Stuffed Broccoli and Dried Scallop Sauce, Steam Fresh Water Prawn on Glutinous Rice, Sweetened Red Bean Paste Double-Boiled with Old Guangzhou Orange Peel and Peony White Lotus Paste and Crystal Pumpkin Dumpling.
Using squid ink to give the dish its dark shade, the Black Squid Ink Ball coated with sesame seed was tasty.
The inclusion of sesame seeds helped give the delectable treat a rich, nutty flavour and crispy texture.
Another memorable dish was the Imperial Rejuvenation Soup. This treasure box of flavours had 14 ingredients including abalone, superior shark’s fin, sea cucumber, Japanese dried scallop, Japanese mushroom, fresh fish maw, Yunnan ham, pork tendon, quail’s egg, huai san, superior tong sum, ginseng, conch and wolfberries.
1 Hor cutting open the Traditional Stuffed Whole Chinese Cabbage served with Stuffed Broccoli and Dried Scallop Sauce 2 Steam fresh water prawn on glutinous rice.3 Black squid ink ball coated with sesame seed4 Crispy clam roll marinated with five spices.— Photos: P. NATHAN/The Star
Black squid ink ball coated with sesame seed
These premium ingredients were double-boiled for six hours using a recipe Hor learnt from his master, retired chef Fok You Wing from Hong Kong.
The set menu is available until Sept 30 while a la carte dishes are available from Sept 1 to 30.
The set menu is priced at RM2,888 nett per table of 10.
A pork free menu is available at Maju Palace.
Crispy clam roll marinated with five spices.
Crispy clam roll marinated with five spices. — Photos: P. NATHAN/The Star
NOBLE HOUSE, No.19, Jalan Delima, Off Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur. Tel:03- 2145 8822; 03-7956 9288 (Oriental Pavilion), 03-7957 8488 (Oriental Banquet), 03-2415 8822 (Noble House), 03-7932 3288 (Noble Mansion), 03-2284 8822 (The Ming Room), 03-2284 8833 (The Han Room), 03-9283 8833 (Oriental Viva) and Maju Palace (03-2691 8822). Business hours: 11am to 3pm, 6pm to 11pm, daily. Non-halal.

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

(The Star) Jamming in the park

Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is calling out to all budding rock stars to jam away at their monthly free jamming session which kicked off on Aug 27.
DBKL Culture, Arts and Sports Department director said AB Salim Mansor said they were giving opportunities to musicians to tap their talents at the event.
“The cost of renting a studio is high, so we are giving opportunities to musicians to play for free.
“We will set up a stage, public address system and some instruments.
“All they have to do is maybe bring their guitars and jam away.
Hundreds from nearby residential areas watching the Kuala Lumpur Street Jam at Taman Tasik Permaisuri in Cheras on Aug 27.
Hundreds from nearby residential areas watching the Kuala Lumpur Street Jam at Taman Tasik Permaisuri in Cheras on Aug 27.
“It will be set up at a different park every month to reach out to more people.
“Musicians are advised to get details on the next location and register with DBKL music unit prior to the date, although walk-ins will also be accepted,” he said.
Salim said this jamming session was continued with DBKL’s bi-monthly Kuala Lumpur Street Jam which would usually be held in Dataran Merdeka or Medan Pasar.
“This is the first time we are bringing this Street Jam out from its usual place.
“We wanted to get closer to the people this time as we will soon celebrate National Day,” he said at the street jam at Taman Tasik Permaisuri in Cheras
Poey Sting performing at the Kuala Lumpur Street Jam.
Poey Sting performing at the Kuala Lumpur Street Jam.
“Response is good, hundreds of people from the nearby residential area came to the event.
“We kicked off with the singing of Negaraku followed by patriotic songs,” he said.
Local artistes present included Zamani Slam, Zarul, Umbrella, Poey Sting, Ibnor Riza and Linda Eva.
There were also performances by DBKL cultural artistes.

For details, call the organising department at 03-2617 6265.

(The Star) Two sections of OWL yet to be completed

The deadline for the one-way loop (OWL) project has been extended.
The project which was supposed to be completed today, had to be put off because of two pending works at the Jalan Yong Shook Lin area and an access ramp from Hilton Petaling Jaya onto the loop’s Jalan Barat.
Petaling Jaya mayor Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain confirmed that the OWL would be delayed.
“What’s left to do is the road resurfacing of Jalan Utara and also the ramp access leading in and out of Hilton Petaling Jaya onto Jalan Barat,” he told reporters after a MBPJ full board meeting yesterday.
A press statement issued by Petaling Jaya City Council’s (MBPJ) public relations officer Zainun Zakaria said the new estimated date of completion for the OWL was Oct 4.
For the Jalan Yong Shook Lin portion, the road will be closed in stages to enable the dismantling and installation of new “interlocking pavers”.
Work will begin on Sept 5 and is estimated to be completed by Oct 4.
“Road users are advised to be careful when driving as only one lane will be open,” Zainun said.
She added that as the road had been used to host the PJ Half Marathon, last week’s PJ Fair and the GP Selangor Run this weekend and work could only start next Monday.
As the OWL is nearing completion, stakeholders and motorists still have many reservations about MBPJ’s implementation of the traffic system and its practicality.
What had irked stakeholders the most, whose homes or businesses were along the loop, was the number of the issues they highlighted had not been addressed.
About 20 representatives from the Section 14 Resident’s Association adjacent to Jalan Utara, along with business and building representatives voiced concern over the loop affecting their businesses.
The meeting chaired by former MBPJ councillor Mak Khuin Weng, touched on a proposed roundabout for Jalan Utara C, which one business owner said would not benefit existing businesses.
“We looked at the traffic plan and it showed incoming and outgoing traffic criss-crossing each other, how is that safe?” asked the business representative, who asked not to be named.
“We would like to ask the mayor to scrap this plan and come up with something more workable,” the representative said.
Istara Condominium Residents Association chairman Francis Hartmans said instead of using tiled pedestrian paths along the main road like before, MBPJ was now using concrete filler.
“These are heat-traps which will make walking less conducive compared to before,” said Hartmans.
Section 14/1 to 14/15 Residents Association representative Selve Sugumaran G. Perumal claimed that the loop did not conform to Public Works Department (JKR) regulations.
These shortcomings include the kerb colour – which is currently grey concrete – and are supposed to be in black and white for better visibility, particularly at night, he added.
“On top of that, the majority of the right side of the loop around Jalan Utara has become a carpark, as people park along the buildings on the right because parking space in these buildings is inadequate.
“If that is the case, can residents be allowed to park on the left side then, since we also face the same problem of insufficient parking space in our housing area?” said Sugumaran.
He said the stakeholders want MBPJ to show the public that it had the necessary recommen-dation from the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) and approval from JKR to implement OWL.
At the same time, the group is also looking at seeking legal assistance to challenge the loop’s validity in court if necessary.
Meanwhile at the Jalan Timur side, Amcorp Mall’s management has proposed to the city council to break up the traffic divider along Persiaran Barat and install traffic lights at the Lorong Sultan-Persiaran Barat intersection.
This, they said, would allow traffic from Lorong Sultan to head directly to the Amcorp Mall and PJX office towers.
Currently, vehicles have to head out to Jalan Timur and use an opening in the divider along the street to make a U-turn and head to the office complexes. The opening in the divider was created in March for the traffic exiting Amcorp Mall to head directly to Jalan Timur and OWL, especially during the evening rush hour.
The proposed second opening is estimated to be 150m away from the first one.
Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran, who visited the site with council officers, said the proposal still had to be studied by the OWL’s traffic consultant and road safety auditor.

“Installing traffic lights will help control the traffic flow entering from Jalan Timur so that traffic vehicles exiting the mall can still move out onto the OWL,” he said.

(The Star) Contra flow on Jalan Gasing flyover starts tomorrow

In a move to reduce traffic congestion, during peak hours in the evening on working days at the Jalan Gasing and Jalan Othman intersection, the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) will carry out a trial run for a contraflow on the Jalan Gasing flyover heading Jalan Kelang Lama starting tomorrow.
The contra flow involves vehicles coming from Jalan Gasing intersection and heading towards Jalan Templer and Old Klang Road.
The contraflow will be activated from 5pm to 7pm, from Mondays to Fridays which, means traffic coming from NPE into Jalan Gasing during that period will be closed.
Currently, the one-way Gasing flyover only caters to motorists entering Jalan Gasing from NPE to bypass the traffic lights at the Jalan Othman, Jalan Templer and Jalan Gasing intersection (formerly known as Othman roundabout).
When the contraflow is activated, motorists from the NPE and Jalan Kelang Lama will not be able to use the flyover but will instead be directed to the traffic light intersection.
“The jam along Jalan Templer, Jalan Gasing and the NPE is getting worse especially during peak hours and we need to find another solution for this,” said MBPJ public relations officer Zainun Zakaria.
She added contra flow would only be for a three-month trial period from Sept 1 to Nov 30 this year. The council will then decide whether to continue or stop the contra flow after that. This contra flow will benefit motorists heading towards Maju Jaya, PJS, Subang Jaya and Shah Alam via the NPE.
To ensure traffic is smooth, MBPJ will be placing proper barricades before and after the flyover, all the way to the NPE exit.
“We will also be engaging help from the police and the NPE concessionaire and will be stationing enforcement officers from MBPJ during the trial period,” she said, adding that MBPJ motorists should follow the signages and the traffic personnel stationed there.
According to MBPJ, this is their second attempt to resolve the traffic congestion at the busy Jalan Gasing and Jalan Othman intersection.
Last year, MBPJ turned the Othman roundabout into a traffic light junction; which saw traffic improving slightly during the morning peak hour traffic.
However, traffic from Jalan Gasing towards the NPE and Jalan Kelang Lama junction remained heavy during the evening rush.
“We found out that traffic flow is different during the morning and evenings and we hope this contra flow will help with the after work rush,” she said.
This contra flow plan was approved during MBPJ’s full board meeting last month. “I have been discussing this matter with MBPJ since I took office and I am glad they are trying out my proposal to use the contra flow during the evenings,” said Bukit Gasing assemblyman R Rajiv, who was confident that traffic would improve after this.

(The Star) Amcorp Prop sees neutral impact from Brexit vote

PETALING JAYA: Amcorp Properties Bhd (Amcorp Prop) is seeing a largely neutral impact from the Brexit vote as the property developer’s target market is the ultra high-net worth (UHNW) clients who are able to withstand the short-term effects, said managing director Ben Lee.
“We are targeting the UHNW and we have captured very good sales actually, more so with the interest rate cut there, it will be positive for us as well. We have RM60mil exchanged and reserved and another RM70mil under negotiations,” Lee said after the company’s AGM.
“The British pound has come down but for our two major projects that are ongoing there, 97% of costs have been pinned down, so there will be little effects as the costs can’t change much.
“The two projects are Holland Park, Campden Hill and Burlington Gate, Mayfair. More than 70% of the buyers are foreigners (not from the UK), so it is not surprising that they come in when the pound has weakened,” he said.
Despite the Brexit episode, the company would still be selling at above its planned return on investments. “There is our costs, of which is how much we build, then above costs is our business plan returns. We are selling above the targeted business plan returns,” Lee said.
Amcorp Prop has about 61% of its invested assets overseas. It presently has projects in London, Tokyo and Sibu, Sarawak.
The company owns four projects in London with a percentage share of gross developlent value (GDV) of £632mil (RM3.3bil). Other than Holland Park and Burlington Gate, Amcorp Prop also has a 50% and 30% share, respectively, in Kilmuir House, Belgravia and Bankside Quarters, Southbank, all located in London.
In Japan, the company owns a 38.5% share in three projects respectively: Concieria Nishi Shinjuku Tower’s West; Westminster Nanpeidai, Shibuya; and Court Annex Roppongi, Minato-ku with total gross development values of 6.9 billion yen (RM269mil).
Its township development in Sibujaya, Sarawak, with a GDV of RM2bil has undeveloped landbank of 630 acres that is expected to last over 15 years.
Moving forward, Lee said the company is “scanning the market” for further buying opportunities in London and Japan. “In Japan, we are looking for more deals as have a balance uninvested amount there,” he said.
Amcorp Prop had recently signed a 70-million-euro 50:50 joint-venture agreement with Grosvenor Europe Investments Ltd and Grosvenor Fund Management Spain, SLU to carry out property development in Madrid, Spain.

“We would like to replicate the successes in the UK with Grosvenor to other places including in Madrid,” he said.

(The Star) Kumpulan Europlus to call for last 2 WCE tenders

SUBANG: Construction-and-property firm Kumpulan Europlus Bhd will be calling for the tenders of the last two remaining packages of the West Coast Expressway (WCE) project in September and year-end.
The company’s chief executive officer Datuk Neoh Soon Hiong said 24% of the expressway have been completed with some portions progressing further than other portions because of an earlier start.
He told reporters following the company’s AGM that nine of the 11 packages comprising the works for the expressway have been given out with work commencing on five of the packages.
“The two remaining packages, namely Packages 11 and 7, will be open for tender in September and the year-end, respectively,” said Neoh.
“The company expects the WCE concession to contribute an estimated RM6bil in revenue over a period of five years.
“Our main focus now is to complete construction of the expressway within the five-year timeframe, which is end of 2019.
“We will look for opportunities to be involved in the construction of the highway,” said Neoh.
Kumpulan Europlus also has a 30% stake in a joint venture with IJM Corp Bhd for an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract in the WCE project worth RM5.04bil.
The bulk of the company’s revenue comes from the expressway due to a new accounting standard that obliges it to recognise revenue during construction.
“The actual revenue will only come into play after completion of construction and commencement of toll operations,” said Kumpulan Europlus chief financial officer Lyndon Felix.
The company’s gearing ratio stands at 1.66 for FY2016, predominantly due to the financing of the WCE project.
The company’s the 40%-owned Bandar Rimbayu township, which has a total gross development value (GDV) of RM11bil, will provide earnings for the next 15 years.

“The property market is soft, but being a township, we are able to tailor our products to suit the market demand,” said Neoh.

(The Star) UEM Sunrise posts net profit of RM54.7mil

PETALING JAYA: Property developer UEM Sunrise Bhd posted a 34.8% decline in net profit to RM54.7mil for its second quarter ended June 30 compared with the previous corresponding quarter due to a couple of one-off gains recorded a year ago.
The drop in earnings was also because of lower margins recognised in the quarter from additional rebates and discounts and more affordable product offerings, said the company in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.
According to UEM Sunrise, the corresponding quarter last year recorded higher other income from the dividend distribution from a subsidiary under creditors’ voluntary liquidation, and recognition of liquidated ascertained damages from a contractor and interest income.
Nevertheless, it managed to chalk up a higher revenue of RM537.8mil for the said quarter, contributed by the sale of developed land and recognition of revenue from property development in Australia starting from the second half of last year.
For the first half of the year, the company’s net profit was lower at RM57.7mil compared with RM137mil in the previous corresponding period.
It said the lower pre-tax profit in the cumulative quarter was also caused by higher finance costs due to an increase in borrowings and lower interest cost qualified for capitalisation.
Revenue for the first six months was higher at RM795.6mil against RM789.8mil in the same period a year ago.
UEM Sunrise said total property development sales for the period declined to RM427.1mil from RM600.4mil in the same period last year, mainly due to a lower contribution from international sales.
Meanwhile, unrecognised revenue as at June 30 this year stood at RM4.3bil as compared to the RM3.8bil recorded in the same period in 2015.
Going forward, executive director Datuk Izzaddin Idris said sales for the first half of the year had been encouraging.
“Despite the softer property market in Johor, Melia Residences received positive response, given its strategic location and attractive price point.
“We originally intended to launch Phase 1 only, which has 107 units with a gross development value (GDV) of RM66mil, but due to the strong interest, we decided to launch two additional phases, ultimately a total GDV of RM262.8mil with a total of 366 units for 2016. As at mid-August, overall sales inclusive of bookings for Melia Residences was 60%,” he said.
He said the company was encouraged by the strong interest in Camellia, where the double-storey terrace homes were selling at a starting price of RM590,000 per unit with a minimum built up of 2,174 sq ft.
“In the month or so since its launch, sales inclusive of bookings for the 109 units of Camellia’s first phase reached 59% and we are now bringing forward the launch of the second phase.

“Both Melia Residences and Serene Heights Bangi are expected to contribute positively to our sales for the year,” he said in a statement.