Concern over 40% hike in cement prices

June 17th, 2019 No comments 中文版


The business community in Penang have raised concerns to the Finance Ministry over the 40% price hike in cement.

Real Estate and Housing Deve­lopers’ Association Penang chapter chairman Datuk Toh Chin Leong said the increase would affect property prices.

He said they were worried that the price hike could be due to a mo­­nopoly by certain companies controlling supply to increase profits.

“This was among our concerns as we do not know why this happened so fast.

According to reports, Hanson Buil­ding Materials Malaysia Sdn Bhd announced a price increase of ready-mix concrete effective Saturday.

Citing the recent 40% price in­­crease in cement and other significant rises in input costs, the company said customers in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor would have to pay about RM40 per cubic metre more than the current price, depending on the mix design.

Federation of Malaysian Manu­facturers Penang chairman Datuk Dr Ooi Eng Hock said the sudden increase would affect the price of affordable housing projects.

“We foresee that it will affect 15% to 20% of the housing costs, as well as the cost to build factories,” he said.

Penang Master Builders and Buil­ding Materials Dealers Asso­ciation adviser Datuk Lim Kai Seng described the sudden increase as “unfair”.

He said the price per 50kg for cement could have gone up to RM16, as compared to between RM9 and RM12 previously.“The materials for cement are locally sourced. Such an increase is really unfair as it will affect construction works, especially contracts which have been signed.

“We cannot increase the prices now,” he said.

Guan Eng said he would bring up the matter to Domestic Trade, Consu­me­­rism and Cooperatives Affairs Mi­­nister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasu­tion Ismail in a meeting this week.

“After listening to the business communities here, we are told that the price hike will create a chain effect, resulting in changes in prices for development projects involving roads, houses and factories.

“About 85% of the cement supply comes under one company and this can negatively impact the industries. There is no reason for such a hike,” he said.

In a statement, the Cement and Concrete Association of Malaysia said over the past few years, the cement industry has been suffering from an increase in electricity tariff, following the withdrawal of the Special Industrial Tariff and the implementation of Imbalance Cost Pass Through, increase in packing materials and rising cost from imported fuel, materials, engineering spares and equipment.

“While the industry has been absorbing these cost increases, cement prices in Peninsular Malay­sia have been on a downward trend since 2016 and has reached a level that is not sustainable.

“Collectively, the cement industry provides hundreds of thousands of jobs directly and indirectly.

“These jobs will be put at risk if the industry continues to operate at a loss,” it said.

The association added that the cement industry was “highly capital intensive” and needed a reasonable return on its investments to meet the expectations of all stakeholders.

Source: TheStar.com.my


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PTMP and PSR would not be scrapped at all cost

June 17th, 2019 No comments

ptmp-overall-mapMega projects planned for the state, such as the RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) and Penang South Reclamation (PSR), may be modified, scaled down or even reviewed depending on the situation and change in circumstances.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, however, insisted that both projects would not be scrapped at all cost, despite continuous opposition from various quarters.

Speaking to the New Straits Times in an exclusive interview recently, Chow said this was probably the final opportunity for the state to lay the proposed PTMP projects.

Explaining, he said if the PTMP was implemented 20 to 30 years down the road, imagined how many houses need to be torn down to find the alignment.

“We proposed as much as how the island can support… Nothing more than that.

“Transport mobility, logistics and telecommunication infrastructures are all necessary for any state to move forward. We have travelled to many other places and things that distinguished them from us are these components.

“Having such infrastructures will enable us to face challenges in the future, and more importantly, this is the only one project that the island can afford physically,” he said.

The PTMP project, announced back in 2015, consists of a light rail transit (LRT) system, an undersea tunnel and highways, among others.

To fund the PTMP, the state plans to embark on a massive reclamation to create three man-made islands, with a total land area of 1,800ha.

Elaborating, Chow said there were a lot to be put into the PTMP, in order to finalise the agreement, especially the technical aspects and the design.

“This is why we have yet to sign the agreement. The cost and the value of the land involved are big issues to be finalised, and even then, it can still throw a spanner into the works if we cannot agree to the terms.

“We are committed to the project but also to good governance. We will still negotiate for the agreement where we want to put the dot in the ‘I’ and also the cross in the ‘T’.

“I do not see calling off the project at this juncture but can come up with compromise.

“Also, we have yet to get approval for the LRT, and once we get it, we can decide which system to use. It is still very open and we will also look at cost saving aspects,” he said.

Chow expects the approvals for components in the PTMP to be obtained within this year and works to begin within a year.

He explained that the LRT and PSR should start together or better still for the reclamation to go ahead first as it is the funding model.

Chow, however, stressed that the intention of the reclamation was not solely to fund the PTMP but the lands, to be reclaimed, are necessary for future developments, for the next 30 to 50 years.

“The reclamation will take about 15 years to complete. Along the line, if there are any changes in circumstances, such as federal funding, it can be reviewed,” he added.

Source: NST Online


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MAPEX – Home Ownership Campaign 2019

June 15th, 2019 Comments off

Mapex 6

For those of you who want to enjoy the benefits of what the HOC 2019 campaign has to offer, it’s not too late! Make your way to the Malaysian Property Expo (MAPEX-HOC 2019) at Gurney Plaza Penang from 20th June – 23rd June 2019!

Organized by the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA) Malaysia, the MAPEX- HOC 2019 will be held at the Gurney Plaza in Penang from 20 to 23 June (Thursday-Sunday) from 10am to 10pm.

Make sure to mark your calendars and join MAPEX – HOC 2019 this 20th – 23rd June at Gurney Plaza, Penang ( new wing )! Don’t miss out on the last chance to enjoy the HOC 2019 campaign packages offered and grab the great deals while you can before the campaign ends! You won’t know what you’ve missed until it’s gone!

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Scientex buys land to expand property development to Penang

June 14th, 2019 No comments


Scientex Bhd is buying six parcels of freehold land measuring 7.83 million square feet in Penang to expand its land bank for property development activities to the north from the southern part of Peninsular Malaysia. These land banks are located less than 5km away from Setia Fontaines mega township development by SP Setia.

Its unit, Scientex (Skudai) Sdn Bhd, inked the agreement to buy the land in North Seberang Perai from Palma Indah Sdn Bhd for RM109.59 million today.

The land bank expansion was in line with the group’s vision to build 50,000 affordably-priced quality homes throughout the nation by 2028, Scientex said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

The company, which is also a packaging manufacturer, said the proposed acquisition would be funded by internally generated funds, bank borrowings and issuance of sukuk murabahah.

The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of next year.

Source: Bernama

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Penang rolls out rent-to-own houses

June 12th, 2019 No comments 中文版

rto-penangThe Penang government is encouraging more people to own homes through its rent-to-own (RTO) scheme.

State Local Government, Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the state was happy to introduce the RTO scheme to those who could not afford to even buy low-cost homes, due to the high loan rejection rate by banks.

“The RTO scheme is unlike renting the People’s Housing Project (PPR). The RTO scheme allows the tenants to become owners after renting for a period of time.

“We have applied the RTO scheme on two projects in south Seberang Perai – Taman Seruling Emas and Taman Sungai Duri Permai.

“Tenants of Taman Seruling Emas only pay RM100 a month and a RM20 maintenance fee for 15 years. The Government subsidises RM5,000.

“The actual price of the unit is RM25,000 but we are only charging the prospective buyer about RM22,000.

“As for the Taman Sungai Duri Permai low-cost housing project, the tenants pay RM150 per month and RM20 maintenance fee for 23 years.

“The RTO scheme for the two projects was successful,” Jagdeep told a press conference at the K Park low-cost housing project off Jalan Kuala Jalan Baru, Balik Pulau, on Monday.

Jagdeep said the RTO scheme would also be applied on K Park.

“The project has four blocks of low-cost flats. Two blocks of flats will be sold via the RTO scheme to help the needy. The state Housing Department will be supervising the process.

“The Penang government will continue to urge the Federal Government to address the high loan rejection rate,” he said.

He also said that the state has identified another RTO scheme housing project in Kampung Tok Subuh, central Seberang Perai.

Property developer Ideal Property Group senior construction manager Ang Eng Huat said the construction works of the project was 70% completed.

“It is scheduled to complete by the first quarter of next year,” he said.

Source: Buletin Mutiara


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