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Thursday, 31 August 2017

(NST) Sunway pumps RM1.1b into Sunway Iskandar development


KUALA LUMPUR: Sunway Bhd is pursuing its masterplan to create Nature’s Capital City with world-class amenities in Sunway Iskandar starting next year.

Having launched a total of RM1.1 billion worth of developments in Sunway Iskandar in the last three years, managing director of Property Division for Malaysia & Singapore Sarena Cheah said Sunway will bring in market-driven innovations and community service-centric fundamentals within the next five years.

“Aligned with Sunway Group’s commitment to sustainability, we intend to build further with two pillars – market-driven innovations and community service-centric township, while driving liveability and connectivity at the core.

“The aim here is to make Sunway Iskandar a world-class ecopolis in Iskandar Malaysia, by introducing first of its kind concepts that would add sustainable value for all the stakeholders within our community,” she said.

Serena said Sunway will set up first build-and-buy-online homes, the first large format retail village, the first Xpark in Iskandar Malaysia and the first infirmary for the community in Sunway Iskandar.

Targeting the younger demographic, Sunway Property’s latest launch is the unique integrated Sunway GRID development with a gross development value of RM374 million, spanning across 5.2 acres.

The residences will represent the first build-and-buy-online homes launched in the Malaysia and Singapore.

Serena said this will allow purchasers to customise their units online before purchase, and design their homes from anywhere around the world without visiting the show gallery.

The personalisation factor, combined with the most affordable price starting from RM350,000 in the vicinity of Medini, is expected to attract the influx of youthful demographic that is anticipated to be in Johor, she added.

Another pioneering development will be the developer’s first large format retail village in Malaysia and Singapore, the 24-acre Sunway Big Box Village.

Serena said unlike other retail centres, the Sunway Big Box Village will be designed in an open concept, the all-new retail experience.

It will encompass 500,000 sqft GFA in retail space, and will be completed by quarter four of 2018.

The first adventure-based extreme park of its kind in Johor and Singapore will be developed adjacent to the Sunway Big Box Village.

The 32-acre XPARK, scheduled to be partially open by end of next year, will be filled with extreme and lifestyle sports activities that would offer residents and visitors of Sunway Iskandar the natural surroundings.

It is designed with a wide variety of elements that are intended for recreation for adults and kids such as Go-Kart, kayaking, glamping spots, long-range archery and a kids pump track.

new retail and leisure elements will be fortified by a hotel which will be linked to the mall making Sunway Iskandar a destination for lifestyle shopping, leisure, and entertainment in its own right.

Construction works for the hotel is scheduled for the first quarter of 2018 and will be completed by the second half of 2019.

(The Star) Tee: Our fruits can help attract more tourists

GELANG PATAH: Johor aims to use its position as one of the largest fruit producers in the country to attract more foreign tourists.

State tourism, domestic trade and consumerism committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said agro-tourism was among the successful products that has done extremely well among foreign tourists.

“Foreign tourists like sampling the kampung way of life while here.

“They like to eat local fruits, especially Musang King durian as it is different from other types of fruits,” he said after launching the Tropical Fruits Fiesta held at Forest City here.

The event was organised by Johor Fruit Farmers Association and will be held in Forest City until Sept 12.

Tee pointed out that the government, through the Johor Agriculture Department, had allocated RM400,000 to help farmers plant coconut trees and durian trees in rural areas throughout the state.

“In 2015, Johor produced 91,469 tonnes of durians, with some exported to countries such as China due to high demand for the king of fruits there,” he added.

He said due to these factors, local tourism players were working closely with fruit farmers in Johor to bring in more tourists.

Tee added that tourists would be able to visit the fruit farms here and eat as much fresh fruits as they wanted.

“The smart partnership between both tourism players and fruit farmers has become a win-win situation for them.

“Not only has it helped to attract more foreign tourists to take part in agro-tourism but fruit farmers have also benefited as they are making more profits from tourists visiting their farms,” he said.


(The Star) Terengganu to set up tourism hub in China

Kuala Terengganu: The state is going to be the first in Malaysia to have a tourism hub in China and it will be set up in Huaxi, dubbed its ‘richest village’ and located in Jiangsu province, to attract more Chinese tourists to the state.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman said the provincial government had approved a 0.4ha of land to build a pavilion based on the Terengganu traditional house concept at a cost of RM3mil in the Chinese town.

He said a memorandum of understanding had been signed with the provincial government on this initiative and that the construction of the pavilion would start soon.

“The Terengganu pavilion in Huaxi will also be a centre to market various products by the state’s entrepreneurs, while an exhibition showcasing its tourism attractions will be held from time to time,” Ahmad Razif said after opening the Terengganu Chinese Peranakan Festival 2017 in Kampung China here.

He said the state government was also discussing with several provincial governments in China to start special direct flights to bring tourists from these provinces to Terengganu.

“Hopefully, if the cooperation goes smoothly, we can achieve our target of attracting 80,000 tourists from China to Terengganu next year,” he added. — Bernama


(The Star) Toyota to invest in Grab

TOKYO: Toyota Motor Corp is pushing deeper into the ride-sharing business.

Japan’s biggest carmaker will invest an undisclosed amount in Grab, South-East Asia’s leading ride-hailing operator, and said it would work with the company to provide services in the region.

The latest deal comes a year after Toyota bought a small stake in Uber Technologies Inc as part of alliances it is stitching together to explore new revenue models.

“Through this collaboration with Grab, we would like to explore new ways of delivering secure, convenient and attractive mobility services to our fleet customers in South-East Asia,” Shigeki Tomoyama, a senior managing officer at Toyota, said in a statement.

Automobile manufacturers are working with and competing against technology companies to figure out how to make money from services to drivers as automation, electrification and on-demand transportation threaten to reshape the current model of individual car ownership.

Honda Motor Co has also invested in Grab, its first in a ride-sharing company, in a partnership aimed at expanding motorcycle-hailing operations in South-East Asia.

Toyota’s investment in Grab will be through the six billion yen (US$55mil) Next Technology Fund set up in April by unit Toyota Tsusho Corp for opportunities in innovative technologies, products and services.

Grab is aiming to raise US$2.5bil from the latest round of funding, of which it has previously announced US$2bil in investment from Didi Chuxing and SoftBank Group Corp. That will take Grab’s valuation north of US$6bil, a person familiar with the matter said in July.

Toyota would record and analyse driving patterns in 100 Grab cars in Singapore, and offer recommendations on what connected services it can provide Grab drivers, the two companies said in separate statements.

“We are confident this will benefit our driver partners,” Grab co-founder and CEO Anthony Tan said in one of the statements. “We look forward to exploring other ways to collaborate with Toyota in the future.”

Carmakers globally are racing to place bets on which companies will emerge as the dominant players in ride-sharing. General Motors Co has joined forces with both Uber and Lyft, while Volvo Cars had partnered with the former and Tata Motors Ltd’s Jaguar Land Rover with the latter. Volkswagen AG has created a mobility services division under the Moia brand and invested US$300mil in ride-hailing provider Gett Inc.

Beyond ride hailing, Toyota is also collaborating with US car-sharing company Getaround to promote the carmaker’s new mobility service platform. It started testing a new suite of car-sharing apps and services this month with Servco Pacific Inc in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Toyota City-based automaker is boosting spending in what it calls the “crucial fields” of artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies to as much as a quarter of its total R&D budget, from about a fifth previously. President Akio Toyoda has said a “paradigm shift” is underway in the auto industry, forcing a reevaluation of traditional business models.

The danger of falling behind became clear in May, when then-Ford Motor Co CEO Mark Fields was forced out after losing the confidence of the board and of investors that he could keep pace with the rapid pace of change in the industry.

For its part, Grab – which counts more than 1.2 million drivers across seven countries – has also been expanding partnerships beyond automakers.

It’s collaborating with Tokyo Century Corp on leasing and rental cars for drivers; it is integrating its services in Singapore with CapitaLand Ltd’s network of shopping malls, serviced apartments and offices; and, it has teamed up with the Lippo Group, the Indonesian conglomerate founded by billionaire tycoon Mochtar Riady.

In South-East Asia, Grab claims to have a 95% share in third-party ride-hailing and 71% in private vehicle hailing. The market is expected to increase five-fold to US$13.1bil by 2025, according to a study by Google and Temasek. — Bloomberg


(The Star) CGC launches CGC-Glenmarie LRT station

PETALING JAYA: Credit Guarantee Corporation Bhd (CGC) is targeting an exposure to five million commuters every month through the rebranding of the Glenmarie Light Rail Transit (LRT) station on the Kelana Jaya Line.

The company which officially launched the renamed station called CGC-Glenmarie LRT Station is the fourth to do so under Prasarana Malaysia Bhd’s station naming rights programme after AirAsia-Bukit Bintang monorail station, Bank Rakyat-Bangsar LRT station and KL Gateway-Universiti LRT station.

“We think there are at least 80,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating along the Kelana Jaya Line. In Malaysia we have about 600,000 SMEs and two thirds of the SMEs are in the Klang Valley.

“This is why we decided to bid for the naming rights for this station,” CGC’s chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Zamree Mohd Ishak said at a press conference after the launch yesterday.

“We are also excited that when the LRT 3 is ready that this would be a major interchange going to the Shah Alam and Klang areas,” he added.

He noted 230,000 cars used the Subang Airport Road beneath the station every day and this would help it increase awareness of the firm.

Zamree said that he was unable to disclose the amount that CGC bid for from Prasarana due to a non-disclosure agreement that had been signed with the latter.

The CGC-Glenmarie LRT station also has a park and ride facility with 570 parking bays which is an added value to the station, it said in the press release.

The said station is located some 100 meters from the CGC headquarters in Kelana Jaya.


(The Star) Bison proposes private placement to raise up to RM78mil

KUALA LUMPUR: Bison Consol-idated Bhd has proposed a private placement exercise to raise up to RM77.52mil, to be used mainly to buy industrial land with an office block in Petaling Jaya that will serve as its future corporate office.

The MyNEWS.com chain store operator said it planned to issue up to 31.01 million new shares, representing up to 10% of the total number of the company’s issued shares.

The issue price will be determined later, but in its announcement to Bursa Malaysia, Bison gave an indicative price of RM2.50 per placement share. (The counter closed at RM2.60 yesterday, down 2 sen.)

Of the estimated gross proceeds totalling up to RM77.52mil, Bison said it would set aside up to RM50mil to acquire a 17,869-sq-metre plot of land in Kota Damansara, where a single-storey warehouse with an annexed three-storey office block are located.

The company also intends to relocate its corporate office to the annexed office block.

It said its present corporate office at KIP Industrial Park in Kuala Lumpur was inadequate to support its enlarged staff force and operational requirements.

Of the remaining gross proceeds from the placement, up to RM24.39mil will be allocated for working capital.

Of this portion, Bison said, it had earmarked RM20.4mil for the construction, development and operations of a proposed food preparation and packaging facility in Rawang Industrial Park. It intends to supply ready-to-eat food to its outlets.

Bison expected the proposed private placement to be implemented in a single tranche within six months from the date of approval of Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd or any extended period approved by the regulator.

Bison also announced yesterday a proposed 1-for-1 bonus issue of up to 341.08 million new shares to reward its shareholders and to increase its capital base to reflect its current scale of operations.


(The Star) Sunway eyes mergers and acquisitions

PETALING JAYA: Sunway Group’s holding company, Sunway Bhd, is set to expand its portfolio of core businesses to create new avenues for growth domestically and regionally.

Founder and chairman Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah said with the evolving business landscape, the group will explore new horizons in efforts to drive the business in the decades ahead.

He however did not elaborate.

“There is so much to do strategically in our bid to create value for shareholders.

“And to achieve this, we are always on the lookout for talents and more experienced management with global outlook to help lead the company,” said Cheah after Sunway Bhd’s EGM yesterday.

To aid the group’s transition to next level, Cheah said the appointment of Pemandu Associates chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala as co-chairman of Sunway Bhd was timely.

“After all, who better to help with our transformation than ‘Mr Transformation’ himself,” Cheah said.

While Cheah will continue to lead Sunway Group as the executive chairman, Idris will chair board meetings and help chart the strategic direction and realise Cheah’s vision for the diversified conglomerate.

Meanwhile, on Sunway’s expansion plans, Cheah noted that the group will be on the lookout for opportunities such as mergers and acquisitions instead of just growing organically. But, he did not divulge further, as this was still in early stages of discussion.

The group’s construction segment has an outstanding order book of RM4.3bil.

With a good track record and delivery on time, Cheah said the group was confident of securing jobs here as well as in China, Indonesia and Myanmar.

“We will be on the lookout for new technology and methodology to improve efficiency and productivity, with the aim to be the top three construction firm in the country,” he affirmed.

On the property side, managing director for property development division Sarena Cheah said: “We will continue to look for transit-oriented developments since they are located close to MRTs, LRT, BRT and/or monorail stations.

“This will enable us to optimise value,” she said.

After acquiring five parcels of landbank with a gross development value (GDV) of RM5.5bil this year, the group’s total landbank currently stood at 3,330 acres, with GDV of about RM54bil.

In the meantime, Cheah said apart from Sunway’s tie up with Harvard Medical School and Cambridge University, Cheah said the group still aimed to be in the forefront in terms of research to bring in new medical research methods and techniques.

“We have more than 400 Australian researchers and academicians.

“I will be visiting Cambridge University soon to sign an agreement to set up a clinical research centre at Sunway to facilitate research work on stem cells, diabetes and orthopaedic type of treatment, among others,” he added.

For the second quarter ended June 30, 2017, Sunway Bhd’s net profit rose 27.6% to RM196.94mil or 9.62 sen per share, from RM154.36mil, or 7.62 sen per share, driven by all business segments, except quarry. The higher profits were also boosted by the share of higher fair value gains from the annual revaluation exercise done on Sunway REIT properties of RM56.8mil.

Revenue was up 7.4% to RM1.24bil, from RM1.16bil, on contributions from its business segments, except for property development and quarry.

A dividend of 7 sen per share was declared during the quarter, up from 5 sen, a year ago.


(The Star) KLIA helpdesk to assist tourists from China

SEPANG: The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is the first airport in South-East Asia to have a Chinese Travellers Affairs Helpdesk to make arrivals easier for tourists from China.

The desk, located before the Immigration counter, will have two Mandarin-speaking volunteers to help Chinese tourists with directions and essential information.

A similar helpdesk will also start operating at KLIA2 from tomorrow.

The desk will operate from 7pm to midnight, when most flights from China arrive. From October, its hours will be 5pm to 1am to accommodate higher tourist traffic.

“These initiatives will boost the confidence of Chinese tourists in choosing Malaysia as a holiday destination,” said Tourism Malaysia chairman Datuk Dr Siew Ka Wei after launching the helpdesk at KLIA here yesterday.

Tourism Malaysia said in a statement that tourist arrivals from China were increasing again after a slowdown in 2014.

“Siew told reporters after the launch that the helpdesk was a collaboration of Tourism Malaysia, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, the Immigration Department, the Embassy of China in Kuala Lumpur and the Malaysia China Welfare Advisory Society. — Bernama


(NST) Office space supply: MRT lines to boost occupancy


THE market for office space in the capital and surrounding regions has been under pressure due to oversupply, but this could change with the completion of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang MRT Line (MRT Line 1), according to Knight Frank Malaysia.

Its managing director Sarkunan Subramaniam said MRT Line 1, coupled with the ongoing construction for the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya MRT Line (MRT Line 2) would boost demand for office space in established and upcoming decentralised locations.

“The quality of office stock for both Kuala Lumpur and Selangor continues to be upgraded with the completion of more Grade A and dual-compliant (MSC+GBI) buildings that cater to the requirements of large corporations and multinational companies,” he said, adding that refurbishment and redevelopment opportunities abounded for well-located older and lower-grade office stock.

Based on Knight Frank’s “Real Estate Highlights for the First Half of 2017” report, the cumulative supply of purpose-built office space in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor stood at 99 million sq ft as of the first half of the year.

There were eight completions during the review period, adding some 2.63 million sq ft of space to the existing stock.

On the city centre, cumulative supply increased to 51.4 million sq ft following the completion of Menara Public Bank 2, a 40-storey newly completed Grade-A office tower with a net lettable area (NLA) of 420,000 sq ft in Jalan Raja Chulan.

In the fringes of the capital, the completion of Menara Ken @ TTDI, The Pillars @ KL Eco City and Menara SUEZCAP 1 has brought cumulative supply to 27.3 million sq ft.

Menara Ken @TTDI, located in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, is a brand new 13-storey Grade-A office tower with an NLA of 300,000 sq ft. The MSC-compliant tower, certified with LEED Platinum, BCA Green Mark Platinum and GreenRE Platinum, offers typical floor plates of 25,000 sq ft.

In Selangor, the cumulative supply has increased to 20.2 million sq ft following the completion of SunGeo Tower, Block G and Block H of Empire City Damansara and Mercu Mustapha Kamal (Tower 1).

SunGeo Tower forms part of the Sunway Geo integrated development which also comprises retail shops, office suites and residential components. The 17-storey Grade-A tower, with an NLA of 161,000 sq ft, comprises 14 levels of office space, three levels of retail space and a sky gym.

The report also mentions several buildings which will be completed in the second half of the year, adding more supply into the market. This includes JKG Tower in Kuala Lumpur; South Point Office and Setia Tower on the fringes of the capital; and Menara Star 2 and Block J of Empire City in Selangor.

Over the next three to four years, several more Grade-A towers will be completed.

This includes The MET Corporate Towers by Naza TTDI Sdn Bhd and partner Triterra Metropolis Sdn Bhd. The MET sits on a 0.99ha site identified as Met 8, one of the eight precincts within the 30.5ha integrated development in Jalan Duta.

The Met comprises a 42-storey tower and a second 30-storey tower, with net saleable area of 450,000 sq ft and 150,000 sq ft, respectively. The estimated gross development value (GDV) of the two buildings combined is RM650 million.

It is slated for completion by 2021. Tower A, targeted at retail buyers and investors, offers office suites ranging from 818 sq ft to 2,584 sq ft on its Executive levels, 3,606 sq ft to 4,231 sq ft on its Premier levels and 16,104 sq ft per floor on its Prestige levels, priced at about RM900 per sq ft.

The developer is looking to sell Tower B to a single buyer.

Sunrise Innovation Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of UEM Sunrise Bhd, will undertake a mixed development project on the site of the Malay College Old Boys Association (MCOBA) building in Jalan Seputeh, off the Federal Highway.

The proposed development, with a GDV estimated at more than RM750 million, will feature a new office building, a banquet hall with a capacity for 1,200 persons and two blocks of serviced apartments.

Anzo Holdings Bhd will develop a car showroom centre and four blocks of signature office towers on a 1.16ha commercial site in Petaling Jaya. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Harvest Court Properties Sdn Bhd, has entered into a collaboration agreement with landowner Captive Max Sdn Bhd to jointly undertake the project, with an estimated GDV of RM420 million. It has an estimated gross floor area (GFA) and net floor area (NFA) of 500,000 sq ft and 350,000 sq ft, respectively.

Paramount Corp Bhd is developing a mixed use project at the former site of KDU University College in Jalan Universiti, Petaling Jaya. The 2.1ha Atwater project has an estimated GDV of RM730 million and will comprise two office towers, two residential towers and retail lots.

OCCUPANCY

According to the report, the overall occupancy rate for Kuala Lumpur was 80.7 per cent (compared with 82.8 per cent in the second half of last year) during the period under review as high supply pipeline and weak demand from its traditional occupiers in the oil and gas and banking sectors continued to impact the office market.

As for decentralised office locations on the fringes of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, the overall occupancy rates remained fairly stable at 90.9 per cent (compared with 91.6 per cent in the second half of last year year) and 77.8 per cent (compared with 78.6 per cent in the second half of last year).

Occupancy was supported by improved connectivity following the completion of the LRT extension and phase one of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang MRT Line 1.

(NST) Mitraland's Lakepark project takes off


MITRALAND Group is investing RM11 million to develop the 3.2ha Lakepark @ Gravit8, its RM1.3 billion lifestyle integrated development in Port Klang, Selangor.

The Lakepark, which is a collaboration between Klang Municipal Council (MPK) and Mitraland, will feature a lush landscaped lake, integrated walkways as well as a jogging track and fitness stations, thereby offering residents and the public more recreational and outdoor opportunities.

Surrounding the Lakepark are themed serviced apartments, SoVos, retail mall, corporate office towers and a boutique hotel.

The Lakepark would also act as a water retention pond, said Mitraland chairman Datuk Johan Ariffin.

Mitraland would maintain the Lakepark at its own expense for five years before handing it over to the relevant authorities, said Johan after the ground-breaking ceremony officiated by MPK president Datuk Mohd Yasid Bidin in Port Klang here, recently.

Designed by Walrus Design, whose past works include the Kota Kemuning Wetlands, Desa Park City Central Park and Tropicana Metropark, Lakepark will combine elements of aesthetics and functionality that will appeal to young urbanites.

“Lakepark will enhance the value of our Gravit8 properties while introducing a perfect setting for community activities and leisure,” said Johan.

Meanwhile, Mitraland also contributed to the less fortunate during the event.

A total of eight charitable funds and organisations received donations worth RM90,000 from Mitraland.

The recipients were New Straits Times English Development Programme, Star Foundation, Sin Chew Foundation, Nanyang Press Foundation, The Edge Education Foundation, Lions Education Fund, Pertubuhan Al-Khaadem and Kiwanis Club TTDI.

(NST) Tropicana shines with 8 wins


THE unique DNA that sets Tropicana Corp Bhd apart from other developers has led to the firm scooping eight awards at the recent PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Malaysia) 2017.

The DNA focuses on accessibility, connectivity, innovative concepts and designs, generous open spaces, amenities, facilities, multi-tiered security and quality.

Tropicana has been innovating and redefining the art of living through the creation of integrated developments by incorporating residential and commercial components to build thriving townships that are well-connected and easily accessible.

Tropicana, which is best known for its Tropicana Golf and Country Resort development in Petaling Jaya, won the Best Developer (Malaysia) award.

PropertyGuru Malaysia chairman Tunku Ali Redhauddin Muhriz presented the award to Tropicana marketing and sales executive director Ung Lay Ting.

Tropicana Residences won two awards for Best Condo Development (Malaysia) and Best Luxury Condo Development (Kuala Lumpur), while Best Green Development was picked by Tropicana Gardens.

Tropicana Aman won Best Housing Development (Kuala Lumpur) and the award for Best Mixed Use Development was won by the Tropicana Metropark integrated community project in Subang.

The developer was also given two special recognitions for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable development.

The 35.4ha Tropicana Metropark development, which sits on prime freehold land in the Subang Hi-Tech Industrial Park, offers varied components comprising serviced residences, retail units, business suites, SOHOs (single office home offices), office towers and a mall.

It will have, among others, a 3.7ha central park and a new flyover linking it directly to the Federal Highway.

The design concept for Tropicana Metropark was inspired by the world’s most livable city, Melbourne, and its Yarra River with the holistic influences.

The PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards recognised the year’s most outstanding developments in the residential, commercial and design sectors in Kuala Lumpur, Iskandar and Penang.

A total of 21 awards and special recognitions were presented to 17 shortlisted developers.

In Iskandar Malaysia, Johor, UMLand’s Seri Austin township picked up two awards for Aster 2 — double-storey semi-detached house and the coveted Best Housing Development (Malaysia) title.

The developer also took home an award for Best Condo Development (Iskandar), and was given special recognitions in CSR and sustainable development.

Two separate awards were also presented for Best Mass Market Developments - condo and landed — both of which went to LBS Bina Group Bhd.

(NST) Magna Prima may develop 1.06ha in KL


MAGNA Prima Bhd may develop the prized 1.06ha site in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, by itself, instead of an outright sale. It will fetch a gross development value (GDV) of RM2.2 billion.

A new development plan is in the works for the freehold land, where the Lai Meng primary school was formerly situated, according to sources.

“Magna Prima is still open to selling the land if they get a good offer but if it takes too long they will develop the land on their own or in a joint venture with a reputable developer.

“They have been holding the land for seven years and it is time they do something about it. I think the timing is just right as the market is expected to perform better in the second half of next year and onwards. It would be best now to unlock the value of the land,” a source told NST Property.

Magna Prima had bought the land seven years ago for RM1,350 psf or RM148.2 million cash.

The small-cap developer had intended to carry out a mixed project with a GDV of RM1.8 billion at a plot ratio of 1:12.

The proposed project would be made up of two 60-storey iconic towers. One would be a grade A office with Green Building Index features while the other will have a combination of serviced apartments, a hotel and offices.

In 2015, Magna Prima decided to sell the land to strengthen its balance sheet and re-focus on other niche projects.

It was reported that Magna Prima was looking at a price tag of about RM3,500 psf for the land, which works out to RM400 million.

Retirement Fund Inc was interested in buying the land two years ago. The pension fund had offered about RM3,300 psf but nothing was finalised.

According to Hua Yang Bhd chief executive officer Ho Wen Yan, offers are still coming in for the land, which is 300 metres from the KLCC.

“The interest is there because not much prime land in the vicinity of KLCC are still available for development. So there are always offers, but Magna Prima is not actively marketing it.

“In fact, they have just appointed a new architect and are looking at resubmitting for a higher plot ratio currently. So it is possible the land may be developed,” he said last week after the company’s shareholders’ meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

Ho had said previously that he hope the Lai Meng land project would take off in the next financial year or in two years to realise the potential of the company’s investment in Magna Prima.

Hua Yang is the single largest shareholder with about 30.95 per cent stake in Magna Prima.

(NST) New growth area: Ever vibrant and vivacious Bukit Jalil


THE last time Bukit Jalil (previously, Bukit Jalil Estate) had a major makeover was for a world-class sports event, the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.

The government had invested slightly over RM2 billion to build the infrastructure, refurbish existing venues and construct the National Sports Complex (NSC), comprising Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Putra Stadium, National Hockey Stadium, National Aquatic Centre and National Squash Centre.

After the games ended, Bukit Jalil turned into a ghost town waiting for action. But not long after that several property developers started acquiring large parcels of land to build houses, condominiums, serviced apartments, shop lots, offices and retail, making the place vibrant and attractive.

Bukit Jalil is now seen as a new growth area in the south of Kuala Lumpur. The population is growing, it is well-connected by major roads and highways, and the public transportation is up to standard with the Light Rail Transit stations located near the national stadium.

It is also home to Technology Park Malaysia, Astro, Bukit Jalil Golf & Country Resort, the International Medical University (IMU) and the Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation.

One of the key attractions in Bukit Jalil is still the NSC.

Nineteen years after the Commonwealth Games ended, the NSC played host to yet another world-class sports event, the SEA Games 2017.

But this time, the games were held in much better facilities that are compliant with the latest international standards (IAAF, FIFA, FIH and FINA).

In 2015, Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) was awarded a RM1.6 billion contract to rejuvenate the NSC in two phases, and make it the new KL Sports City that could rival Singapore’s iconic Sports Hub.

Phase One, which was completed in time to host the SEA Games, involved a facelift for the stadium and other sporting facilities in the area.

Costing about RM499.21 million, Phase 1 included the refurbishing, renovation and upgrading of the National Stadium, Putra Stadium (now renamed Axiata Arena), the hockey stadium and the Aquatic centre.

The works for the national stadium is complete with a new facade and a silver vertical structure.

Designed by global mega architecture firm Populous, the stadium has been shortlisted for an award at the 2017 World Architecture Festival under the New and Old Completed Building category in Berlin, Germany.

The stadium is the largest in Southeast Asia after Indonesia’s Gelora Bung Karno had a reduction in capacity in 2007. Based on the capacity of 90,000, it is also the 24th largest in the world.

The Axiata Arena has 11,000 permanent and 2,232 retractable seats, making it a flexible space for indoor sports and events.

The hockey stadium can fit up to 12,000 people while the aquatic centre has an olympic-standard swimming pool, warm-up areas and a diving pool.

The second phase will commence soon.

This phase involves creating the KL Sports City — a fully-integrated sports hub that will consist of new, world-class infrastructure, including high-performance sports training facilities, a sports rehabilitation science centre, youth park, public sports facilities, sports museum, youth hostel, convention centre and a sports-focused retail mall.

URBAN REGENERATION

Some of the signature developments that came up since the Commonwealth Games were Sri Rakyat Apartments, Jalil Damai Apartments, the two-storey Ritz shop offices and Jalil Sutera by Bukit Jalil Development Sdn Bhd.

Berjaya Land Bhd also built exclusive bungalows and high-rise developments such as Savanna and Savanna 2, Covillea, KM1 East and West, Greenfields, Arena Green, Green Avenue and The Link Business Centre.

The establishment of tertiary institutions like the IMU and Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU) attracted many families to live in Bukit Jalil.

Despite the market slowdown, developers continue to build in Bukit Jalil thanks to demand.

WZR Group, the developer of The Earth Bukit Jalil, is one of the pioneers who helped in the transformation of Bukit Jalil by developing four-storey shop offices and residential units worth RM860 million on a 6ha site.

In 2011, the first phase of the shop offices were launched, followed by Phase 2 known as Paraiso, comprising two 40-storey condominium blocks. Spanning 3.2ha, it offers 762 units with built-up areas of 960, 1,100, 1,226 and 1,480 sq ft, priced from RM493,760, or 495 per sq ft.

The project has a gross development value (GDV) of RM450 million and is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2021.

Other ongoing projects include The Havre, a fully-residential high-rise property by Aset Kayamas, Skyluxe On the Park by SkyWorld Development Sdn Bhd, Paraiso Residence @ The Earth Bukit Jalil by Wealth Plateau Sdn Bhd and The Link 2, (Phase 1) by Berjaya Golf Resort Bhd, a wholly-owned unit of Berjaya Land.

Skyluxe has 43-storey and 44-storey towers with a total 477 units of various designs and build-ups ranging from 661 sq ft to 1,224 sq ft. The launch price was RM700++ per sq ft.

The Link 2 comprises two blocks of serviced apartments, shoplots and shop offices. The serviced apartments are selling from RM640 to RM700 per sq feet after rebates.

Next year, projects like The Rainz, The Andes and Parkhill Residence are expected to be completed. These are either condominium or service apartments selling from RM555,000, or RM505 psf, to more than RM953,190, or RM630 psf, onwards.

“Properties are not all that cheap anymore in Bukit Jalil. If you bought an apartment 10 years ago, the price would be double now. Nevertheless, people are still buying because there is road and highway connectivity to other major cities around.

“There are also reputable universities nearby, a golf course and now, a major mall project is coming up by Malton Bhd, and we can expect more buying in Bukit Jalil. Somehow, a mall can still attract buyers,” said a property consultant.

Recent transactions of certain condominium and serviced apartments in Bukit Jalil like The Treez Jalil Residence, Z Residence and KM1 Bukit Jalil show a slight increase in price.

BUKIT JALIL CITY — AN URBAN METROPOLIS

Among the biggest developments in Bukit Jalil is the 20.2ha RM4 billion Bukit Jalil City integrated development with residential, commercial, office and retail components by Malton.

Launched in 2015, the project is being developed in collaboration with Pavilion Kuala Lumpur and is expected to be fully completed in 2021.

The project has four major components: the Pavilion Bukit Jalil shopping mall, Signature Shop Offices (112 units), The Park Sky Residence (1,098 serviced apartment units), Park Point Shop Office and The Park 2 (709 units of serviced apartments).

The Park 2, featuring two towers, has an estimated GDV of RM720 million. Tower 1 consists of 385 units and Tower 2 has 324 units.

Tower 1 was launched in March and has a take-up rate of over 90 per cent.

Underpinned by a strong demand for own stay and investment, coupled with the fact that this would be the last residential component of the Bukit Jalil City project, Tower 2 continues to showcase sterling success with almost 70 per cent of the units being sold prior to the launch last month.

To meet the strong demand from buyers, Malton brought forward the release of the 52-storey Tower 2, which was originally slated for sale at a much later date.

The executive director of Malton, Hong Lay Chuan said the company was confident of achieving another remarkable success with Tower 2.

“Being the last residential tower, savvy investors and home buyers are taking the last opportunity to own property in Bukit Jalil City. The two dynamic brands, premium lifestyle and location, are the drawcards for The Park 2 and buyers are quick to pounce on the benefits. This proves there is still a high demand for high-rise residential in niche locations, and projects which offer strong concept, branding and delivery,” he said during the launch.

Hong noted that people are buying The Park 2 thanks to its premier location — sitting right between the regional Pavilion Bukit Jalil shopping mall and the lush green 32.16ha Bukit Jalil recreational park.

The Tower 2 units, with built-ups ranging from 750 sq ft to 1570 sq ft, are selling from RM630,000 onwards. They are partially furnished with quality fittings.

Meanwhile, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur retail chief executive officer Datuk Joyce Yap expects Pavilion Bukit Jalil City mall to achieve retail sales turnover of RM1.7 billion in the first 12 months of operation.

The mall will be managed by Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, which is also managing Malton’s Pavilion Kuala Lumpur mall in Jalan Bukit Bintang.

According to Yap, 70 to 80 per cent occupancy was expected when it starts operation in the fourth quarter of 2020.

With a net lettable area of 1.8 million sq ft, Pavilion Bukit Jalil City mall is poised to be a regional mall in term of brands mix, flagship stores and concept.

Once completed in 2020, the mall and also the offices will provide thousands of employment opportunities, and Bukit Jalil’s population and employment are projected to increase by about 24.2 and 51.6 per cent to 464,300 and 273,121, respectively, from 2000.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

(The Star) Mr DIY rolls out its 300th store

Mr DIY has opened its 300th store at The Mines shopping centre in Seri Kembangan, Selangor to serve customers in the vicinity.

The new store spans 1,394sq m of floor space, featuring a wide range of 20,000 product varieties across nine departments — household, hardware, electrical, car accessories, toys, stationery, gifts, sports as well as jewellery and cosmetics.

Mr DIY Trading Sdn Bhd marketing head Andy Chin said they expect the latest store to do well.

“Apart from its strategic location, this store has a larger retail space compared to the average store size of 743sq m.

“To mark this milestone, visitors can look forward to more activities specially crafted for this store,” said Chin.

To celebrate the opening of the new store, Mr DIY gave away RM2,050 worth of cash vouchers to the first 50 customers and mystery gifts to the first 300 customers while those who spent a minimum of RM30 received a complimentary umbrella.


(From left) Mr DIY Trading Sdn Bhd area manager Aya Lee Choy Wan, director Khoo Kwoy Kock and Chin at the opening of the 300th store celebration.



Additionally, three lucky customers with a minimum spend of RM50 stand a chance to participate in the upcoming Grab-All-You-Can game where they can bring home all products grabbed off the shelf within 30 seconds.

Speaking about the company’s expansion plans in Malaysia, Chin shared that it was targeting a total of 360 stores by the end of this year.

“We strive to offer our customers the convenience to shop at lower rates. While we expand our reach in the country, we are also creating job opportunities.

“Currently, there are 5,000 employees and the figure will increase to 6,000 following the upcoming store openings,” said Chin, adding that the retail chain served 110 million customers per year and aimed to achieve RM1.25bil in revenue this year.

Mr DIY also has 45 stores in Thailand and three in Brunei.

“We are targeting to enter the Indonesian market either in October or November, with the opening of 10 to 12 stores,” concluded Chin.


(The Star) Condo with every reason to make owners happy

Boutique property developer Trinity Group Sdn Bhd’s Trinity Lemanja, located in Jalan Metro Prima, Kepong, is the first freehold project launched in the area.

The development is located near amenities such as Aeon Metro Prima, KL Tzu Chi Jing Si Hall, Kepong Metropolitan Lake Garden, The Challenger Sports Centre, Kepong Sentral KTM Station and the upcoming Metro Prima MRT station.

Trinity Lemanja has a gross development value of RM320mil and is located on a 1.13ha freehold plot.

Conceptualised as a safe and conducive haven for those who desire a place to truly call home, the name Lemanja comes from le meng jia which means happy and harmonious dream home in Mandarin.

Comprising 583 units ranging from 960sq ft to 1,173sq ft, prices start from RM453,000 onwards.

The two-wing, 40-storey condominium is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

“As a boutique property developer, we have always focused on the affordable luxury segment.

“Our key strategy is to ensure our development projects meet the current demands and needs of our target customers with an emphasis on value creation.

“We believe that every home owner deserves to live their dream lifestyle and Trinity Lemanja seeks to fulfil that aspiration,” said Trinity Group Sdn Bhd founder and managing director Datuk Neoh Soo Keat.

Units at Trinity Lemanja are specifically designed to enhance space efficiency, with units starting from three bedrooms and two bathrooms, making the development ideal for first-time home buyers.

The element of comfort extends beyond the home and is reflected in the residents-only clubhouse spanning 3,700sq ft, fully equipped with facilities for private functions and family gatherings.

Residents will also be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle with the convenience of the Sky Gym on the rooftop overlooking the KL city skyline.

The SereniTea Garden and Oxygen Grove aim to bring wellness to the body, mind and soul, alongside other clubhouse facilities.

Trinity Lemanja also emphasises safety via a four-tier security system that includes a guarded main entrance with surveillance. Residents will be granted card access to parking and lift lobbies.

The surrounding areas of the project will have perimeter fencing with a 1.8m brick and anti-climb wall and CCTV monitoring.

Trinity Lemanja is accessible via six major highways such as the Damansara Puchong Highway, New Klang Valley Expressway, Sprint Expressway, Middle Ring Road 2, Duke Highway and the upcoming Duke 2 Highway.

It is also within close proximity to seven schools including SJKC Kepong and International School@ParkCity, six shopping centres and three medical centres.

“This year marks a significant milestone for Trinity as we focus on three developments – Trinity Aquata, Trinity Lemanja and an upcoming project in Mont’ Kiara.

“As we continue to build desired homes for our target markets, we consciously place strong emphasis in providing facilities within each development and contributing to the surrounding areas through infrastructure enhancements,” Neoh added.

Trinity has invested over RM15mil in past projects for infrastructure improvements.

Similarly, Trinity is working with the relevant local authorities and will allocate RM2mil to improve road infrastructure in surrounding housing areas neighbouring Trinity Lemanja.


(The Star) Putrajaya starts using fast-charging system for electric buses

Putrajaya will be the pioneer city to test a revolutionary new technology for electric vehicle (EV) buses that will allow the vehicles to fully charge their batteries in only 10 minutes.

This is a tremendous difference from the technology currently used in electric vehicles, where batteries must be left to charge overnight to be fully charged.

This pilot project, dubbed the “Putra NEDO EV Bus Project”, is the result of a collaboration between Putrajaya Corporation (PPj) and Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO).

Federal Territories Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Adnan Md Ikshan was present to officially launch the project at Putrajaya Sentral.

“The ministry believes that the implementation of this demonstration project in Putrajaya will put us on track towards turning Putrajaya into a sustainable, low-carbon, and green city by 2025,” he said.

“We hope the operation of EV buses eventually results in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from the transportation sector in the city.”

NEDO executive director Makoto Watanabe said that this was the first ever demonstrative operation of Super Quick Charge (SQC) Large EV Buses in a city, worldwide.

Representing the Japanese Consortium of corporate partners involved in the project, Toshiba Infrastructure Systems and Solutions Corporation director and corporate vice-president Isao Aoki said some of the technology supporting this project was not even deployed in Japan yet.

“It is necessary to promote effective measures with a strong top-down policy to realise a green city, and I hope that Putrajaya can become the first model city in the world with zero-emission buses,” he said.

PPj president Datuk Seri Hasim Ismail said Putrajaya has eight of these single-decker buses, which began commercial operations in June, servicing two 23km routes in Putrajaya and Cyberjaya.

Hasim said they would add another two single-decker buses to the fleet by the end of the year, with an additional two double-decker buses sometime next year to be used mainly for tourism purposes.

The buses can run for up to 30km on a full charge before requiring to stop at an SQC terminal to recharge.

Three SQC terminals are located in Putrajaya Sentral with one more at the Bus Depot in Precinct 14.

While the technology for the battery is imported from Japan, the bus is manufactured, maintained and managed locally.


(The Star) A blue waterfront for KL

The first phase of the River of Life (ROL) project has transformed the confluence of Sungai Klang and Sungai Gombak into a landmark waterfront in Kuala Lumpur.

Called Blue Pool (Kolam Biru), the waterfront enhances the focal point of the historic Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Samad, the oldest mosque in the city, located in Jalan Tun Perak.

Equipped with a Dancing Symphony Fountain, Blue Corridor, fog and lighting effects, visitors can expect a stunning visual and sensory experience when visiting the place.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who launched the Blue Pool, said the ROL project was an Entry Point Project under the Economic Transformation Programme aimed at increasing the livability index of city folks.

“The project will bring great impact to Greater Klang Valley, in line with transforming the capital of Malaysia into a city on par with international standards.

“Aside from ROL, once the other projects such as the Tun Razak Exchange, Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) second and third lines, and the Light Rail Transit third line are completed in five to six years, Kuala Lumpur will be great.

“Our rivers are our heritage so I hope enforcement officers taking care of the Blue Pool will carry out their duties and prevent people from throwing rubbish into the river,” he said at the launch held at the bridge in Leboh Pasar Besar, Kuala Lumpur.



Najib (left) at the launch of the first phase of the ROL project. Looking on is Tengku Adnan.



Guests at the launch were treated to a musical performance of the Dancing Symphony Fountain.

Created as a tourism product, ROL’s aim is to clean and beautify eight rivers in Greater Klang Valley. Its overall progress stands at 72%.

The mega project comprised three major components – river cleaning, river beautification as well as commercialisation and tourism.

As of August 2017, 81% of the 110km total-river-stretch were cleaned and 49% beautification works was completed.

A pedestrian bridge, built to connect Masjid Jamek to the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and Dataran Merdeka, will cut travelling time by 50%.

Visitors to the area can touch the water at the cantilevered pond, while the Blue Corridor, the walkway beside Sungai Klang and Sungai Gombak, provides a surreal feeling with 1,551 nozzles fitted to create atmospheric fog effects.

“The project will boost tourism value and increase the value of buildings in the vicinity.

“This will be an iconic attraction for tourists,” said Najib.

Also present were Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.


(The Star) Books and reading spaces for free

It may be arguable that the best things in life are free, but this is starting to ring true, at least when it comes to books, with the mushrooming private-run libraries in the Klang Valley, offering everyone books and spaces for free.

The people who made this happen do not mind putting in time and money on a long-term basis, with the intention of serving the community they are in.

In addition to addressing the absence of a reading habit in our society, they create a space close to the hearts of many and mobilise like-minded people to better society.

And, these libraries are located in interesting and unexpected places.

An old village house

A half-century-old wooden house meant to be demolished has became a crowd-puller since July. The emergence of Little Giraffe Library in Batu 11 New Village, Cheras, has brought new happiness to villagers even though it also brings heavier traffic into the area.



The Little Giraffe Library is designed and built by several architecture graduates.



Several architecture graduates in their 20s used their skills, recyclable items and an initial sum of RM5,000 to transform the building into a raved-about attraction oozing rustic nostalgia.

Not only is it filled with thoughtfully categorised children’s books, it is designed to promote children’s mental and character development with features such as a speakers’ corner and exhibition lane.

Out of love for the village in which he was born, curator Lee Soon Yong shoulders the task of running the community library that was operating from a cabin before this.

The books were first collected for an art carnival initiated by several villagers six years ago, and the titles were added on over the years.




The people behind Booku - designers Quek (left) and Lim.



“I think the timing was right. The cabin could not accommodate that many visitors, and this house needed to be rescued. I felt the need to do something for my village,” he said.

Lee returned to Malaysia after working in Lijiang, China, for several years.

“No doubt Lijiang is a beautiful place but this is where my home is,” he said.

The team’s intention to build the library was welcomed by all who supported with cash, time, resources and expertise, such was the warmth of a new village.



Rumah Attap 84 Library offers a space for urbanites to read and do work, for free.



“Having been born here and then moving out to an urban setting makes me appreciate the new village culture even more. I always treasure those weekend visits to my grandparents’ house here.

“With social media expediting globalisation, it is easier for us to be influenced and that is why it is all the more important for us to appreciate and emphasise on our uniqueness,” he added.

Why is it important to have a library? To Lee, it fills a void.

“We did not have facilities like this when we were growing up to encourage us to read. It was only later that we realised how much we missed.

“The environment we grew up in did not cultivate the reading habit from young, so we hope to do it for the next generation,” he said.

The team of four combines everyone’s strengths to make things happen, and to pay the monthly rent of RM1,000.

A section of the library is used as cafe with one of the founders selling fruit rojak and the other making beverages and desserts to sustain the library’s operations, but patronage is not compulsory. Meals can also be sent from other vendors anywhere in the new village, so it is another source of income for villagers.

“We hope to make it work and promote this model as a prototype for more community libraries to be set up and self-sustained, instead of depending on funding,” Lee said.

The team is finding the most ideal system to catalogue the books so that the public can soon borrow them.

“Residents like this place, you should come see us at night, many treat it as their home and just lepak here after work,” Lee added.

Little Giraffe Library is located at 114, Jalan 15, Batu 11, Cheras. Tel: 012-6322 955 (Lee) or 016-3318 427 (Chua).

The architects’ office

Over in Old Klang Road, another group of architects are generous enough to open up part of their firm to be used as a library called Booku.

The idea was mooted about two years ago when the ground floor of the two-storey terrace house was turned into a meeting area, leaving the space unoccupied most of the time.

Designers Doris Quek and Lim Huei Miin thus suggested that the space, as well as their principals’ collection of books, could be better utilised if shared with fellow bibliophiles.

They were spurred by the success of the Kaktao46 library in Kuala Sepetang, a community project led by their former lecturer and heritage conservationist Teoh Chee Keong.

As soon as the library was opened, it quickly generated warm support from many who came in with their book donations and volunteered their time to man the space.

The team tagged all the books and listed them online, but even so, they felt it was too passive to just wait for the public to discover them.

Soon, they began to organise reading sessions, video screenings and relevant activities such as city walkabouts to boost interaction.

“These activities are basically about sharing and promoting the joy of reading.



A corner of the Rumah Attap 84 Library that promotes the latest books and magazines



“Often, even when we enjoy a book, we may not be able to find another person to share our thoughts and feelings about the book with,” Quek said.

Taking it a step forward, the reading sessions have inspired the readers to produce their own creative works.

One of the latest is the Toyscape project in which designers and readers created six toys for children to encourage learning.

While the library’s popularity is increasing through word of mouth, the team has only the time to run it on Sundays.

They are trying to develop a volunteer system with an allowance scheme to sustain the effort.

One of the ways considered is to sell the readers’ creative works as the effort has unearthed some hidden talents.

“We are still fine-tuning the mechanism and figuring out how to keep this library running, as a sole voluntary system will not be able to sustain it for long.

“But so far, it has been an amazing and fulfilling journey because we are able to do our part to make our community lively through this, and even help to discover talents. I am moved,” Quek, 30, said.

Lim, 25, who was a librarian at school, applies the Dewey Decimal System to classify books here. The books are listed on https://booku.libib.com/



There are sometimes books to give away too, at the Little Giraffe Library.



“The response we receive from the public makes us want to do more.

“It is getting harder for working executives to develop their talents, but here, there’s a draw and a push for them to do it.”

Booku is located at 24, Jalan Sepakat 9, Taman United, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-7971 3678.

Former foreign workers’ quarters

The recently re-purposed Zhongshan Building in Kampung Attap also houses a library that focuses on books on the humanities, called Rumah Attap 84.

The place was started in February with books transferred from the now closed Humanities Library housed in the Chan’s Clans Association in Kuala Lumpur.

The task is taken up by three groups – Amateurs, In Between Cultura and an artist – all with a humanities background.




The Booku Library, makes good use of space in an architectural firm to serve the community.



It was created because the founders felt the need for a space – physically and figuratively – for studies and discussions on topics they feel strongly about.

It turns out, judging from the popularity of the talks and courses held here, that a lot of people in society are in need of such a space, too.

“I feel happy that we can gather like-minded people, and I feel touched that they are ever willing to collaborate and contribute for the community,” said one of the founders, Show Ying Xin, 29.

“I suppose that’s because we all understand that we can only influence the next generation for the better when we do this,” she said.

One of the events was Archive of The Other, which involved a walkabout around Kuala Lumpur to study the life and culture of the foreign worker community.

She acknowledges that the trend of private-run libraries in the Klang Valley offered mainly Chinese books, and expressed a wish to increase English and Bahasa Malaysia titles here.

“Such is the trend because this kind of setup used to be a tradition among the Chinese community,” she said.

The library has been running through online crowd-funding and walk-in donations, but the team is not considering any form of commercialisation for its operations.

The response online has been encouraging, and they have started a new drive through MyStarter to try to get another RM20,000 (https://www.mystartr.com/projects/rumahattaplibrary) to sustain the space.




(From left) Rumah Attap 84 Library’s founders Show and Wong Kee Tat, 34, with volunteers Lim Yong Xin, 20, and Low Choon Chyuan, 23.



Show said the team would soon put up a borrowing system so that readers could bring the books home.

Members of the team have their full-time jobs, but have no qualms spending time here.

“Humanities graduates are, in another sense, culture workers, it is our job to help create an atmosphere that encourages intellectual discourses.

“We don’t see it as a noble thing because we do not think we are sacrificing anything, it is just an ‘indie’ effort, like many others being done for the community, ” she said.

Rumah Attap is at 84c, Jalan Rotan, Off Jalan Kampung Attap, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 012-500 5787 (Show).