The year 2012 has come and gone in the blink of an eye, and with it the announcement of numerous key projects and schemes that have kept the Malaysian property scene exciting for the past 12 months.
That is not to say that 2013 will be any less interesting; aside from the numerous properties slated to be launched or completed within the given year, there are many other developments scheduled to be revealed in the near future that will interest buyers, developers and investors alike.
This is particularly true for some of the country’s hottest real estate markets such as Penang and Johor. Several noteworthy developments and infrastructure projects have been planned for 2013, and even the property market in East Malaysia is slowly but surely growing.
Incidentally, the wealth of those from East Malaysia has been growing at a much faster pace compared to its property market thanks to palm oil, timber, as well as oil and gas. Chan Wing Kwong, executive director of Bolton Bhd, noted that as property investment is seen as a good hedge against inflation, this (combined with the current lack of choice in East Malaysian properties) has led to these investors turning their gaze towards projects in Peninsular Malaysia.
A New Phase of The Atmosphere
Located in Seri Kembangan, Selangor, this project by Tempo Properties Sdn Bhd has established itself as a standard among commercial developments thanks to the unique hybrid ‘shopping mall’ design applied to its commercial centre. Sprawled over 20.1 acres, the centre is the second phase of The Atmosphere, which aims to be a central hub that integrates retail, leisure and office elements.
The commercial centre was first launched in 2009 and has a gross development value of RM370 million. The final stage of the launch, called phase 2E or Lava, consists of 54 retail and office units and has an expected completion date of end 2013. The project has the distinction of being South Klang Valley’s first commercial development to earn a Green Mark certification from the Singapore Building and Construction Authority.
One of Malaysia’s leading property developers, MK Land Holdings Bhd is committed to helping the country’s low-income earners own their own homes by continuing to build affordable homes. According to its Chairman Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar, the company is targeting Cyberjaya, an area where many other developers aim to build high-end residential units, as the site for their affordable housing development.
He said, “MK Land’s plan to continue building affordable homes is in line with the government’s intention to help the people own houses, particularly in the Klang Valley, through the 1Malaysia People’s Housing Scheme (PR1MA).” Tan Sri Mustapha went on to add that the company was also set to share its experiences on affordable housing and cooperate with the government to undertake housing schemes that would be beneficial to Malaysian citizens.
Klang’s Third Bridge
Traffic jams in Klang may soon be a thing of the past thanks to the planned construction of a third bridge that would help ease the congestion. According to Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, the Public Works Department and the Klang Municipal Council have already been directed by the state government to make the relevant preparations such as calling for the project tender.
The bridge will have a length of 2km and be built across the Sungai Penang and Klang Straits, where it will help divert traffic going into Klang from Kuala Langat and Port Klang. Tan Sri Abdul Khalid added that the state government had proposed to utilise RM300 million for the project, which is expected to be completed within two years. “If the tender could be awarded by February, the project could start after two months,” he stated in a media report.
An area that is also set to experience a significant decrease in traffic congestion is one of Malaysia’s most historic states. The Melaka Tram project is an undertaking by Mrails International Sdn Bhd and Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI). The project costs RM272 million and is scheduled to begin in February next year, with operations due to begin roughly one year later.
The tram will operate on liquefied natural gas. With a given speed of 40kph, the tram is designed to transport a total of 120 passengers at any one time. Its starting depot is located next to the Ayer Keroh toll plaza and goes all the way to Melaka’s heritage zone, bringing the total distance travelled to approximately 40km. The tram’s route will also cover 11 of the state’s major tourist spots such as the Botanical Gardens and Melaka Zoo.
New Year, New Rails
The first quarter of 2013 will see the government coming to a decision on whether to implement the high-speed bullet train and the Gemas-Johor Bahru electrified double tracking projects (EDTP), which have an estimated combined value of RM35 billion.
The high-speed rail line under consideration will connect Kuala Lumpur to Singapore and is under a public-private partnership between both countries. The project is expected to cost between RM20 billion and RM25 billion, and studies are being conducted on the possibility of linking it to Laos, Thailand, Vietnam as well as several cities in China.
A study on the project’s feasibility by the Land Public Transport Commission is expected to be completed soon and, should it be found viable, pre-qualification bids will be called for by mid-2013.
The 200km Gemas-Johor Bahru segment of the project is part of the EDTP that is currently being constructed and represents the last stretch of the rail system. Several of Malaysia’s prominent developers such as Gamuda Bhd have expressed interest in bidding for the project. Upon completion, it will run the length of Peninsular Malaysia, with the two end points being Padang Besar in the north and Johor Bahru in the south.
MBSB Sets Eyes on Sarawak
Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) has targeted several major property developments in Sarawak as part of its business expansion plans for 2013, one of which is the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Sarawak’s new campus. The company already has five sales and services centres in the state, and is confident that it has the expertise and experience necessary to provide property financing services for large scale property endeavours.
In particular, UiTM Sarawak’s new campus will occupy 404ha of Kota Samarahan, and this welcome addition to the existing facility will provide accommodation for another 4,000 of the university’s students. It will complement the permanent campus housed in Mukah, which is scheduled to be completed in October 2015 and will accommodate a total of 2,000 students.
Datuk Ahmad Zaini Othman, MBSB’s president and chief executive officer, said, “The high level of confidence and trust placed on us by depositors, especially in Sarawak, certainly bodes well for the company’s expansion plans.” He expressed his strong belief that Sarawak held great business potential for the company, which opened its first Sarawak branch in the capital city of Kuching 13 years ago.