Penang Sentral first phase to open in December
The Sun Daily reports that Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the facility will include the main bus terminal and a railway hub.
"It is another step to improve public transport connectivity between bus, railway and ferry services, " he told reporters.
“It will make travel in the northern region by public transport easily accessible.
“The rail services frequency to Penang and northern region can be improved especially the commuter services from Butterworth to Kamunting or Butterworth to Alor Setar,” he said.
A catamaran service will be introduced to supplement ferry services. Penang Sentral has an allocated site for the purpose.
“The location for the catamaran was already identified in Penang Sentral,” he said, as quoted by the Malay Mail.
The whole Penang Sentral project is expected to be complete by 2030, and will include Light Rail Transit (LRT) services.
New Zealand bans foreign homebuyers
WELLINGTON (August 15): New Zealand's parliament passed a law on Wednesday to ban many non-resident foreigners from buying existing homes, reports Reuters.
Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand's popular 38-year-old prime minister, campaign promises included clamping down on price growth and reducing the high rate of homelessness. One of the proposed solutions was by banning foreign buyers.
"This is a significant milestone and demonstrates this government’s commitment to making the dream of home ownership a reality for more New Zealanders," Associate Finance Minister David Parker said, as quoted by Reuters.
Buyers from China and neighbouring Australia comprised the majority of foreign buyers, the news wire cited data from Statistics New Zealand.
However, the ban will not apply to Australians, and negotiations with Singapore may result in an exemption. Singapore’s free trade agreement with New Zealand currently allows foreign ownership.
New Zealand has seen average prices in their largest city, Auckland, almost double in the past decade and rise more than 60% nationwide, drawing criticism of foreign home buying.
Reuters cited official figures that suggest the overall level of foreign home buying was relatively low - about 3% of property transfers nationwide.
This did not include property bought through trusts. Property transfers that involved foreigners tended to be highly concentrated in a few areas like downtown Auckland or Queenstown, a southern scenic hot spot.
"Is the ban wise or useful? We think it’s neither," the news wire quoted spokesman Dave Platter of Chinese real estate portal Juwai.com.
"Foreign buying ... tends to be focused on new development, making clear again that foreign investment leads to the creation of new dwellings. That's vital in a market with a housing shortage, like Auckland," he said.
House price growth in New Zealand had tapered off in the past year, partly due to lending restrictions imposed by the central bank, in a move to counter the financial stability risk of an overheated market.
Median house prices had slipped 1.8% to NZ$550,000 (RM1,478,000) in July from the previous month, although they were still 6.2% higher than the same time the previous year.
Mandatory supervision to resolve abandoned housing projects — Raja Bahrin
Its deputy minister Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad Shah (pictured) said most of the PRIMA housing projects were abandoned believed to be due to poor project supervision.
“In the construction of housing projects, it is the duty of the consultants (engineers and architects) to monitor the progress of the projects, but when the housing projects are given directly to the contractors, less importance is given to standing supervision.
"This matter will be discussed at the ministry level to ensure that whatever the circumstances, supervision is carried out so that projects are completed successfully to overcome cases of abandoned projects,” he said yesterday when winding up debate on the Supply Bill (Reallocation of Appropriation Expenditure) 2018 for his ministry.
Refer from www.edgeprop.my
Its finally its CONFIRM! MRT 3 is SCRAPPED AND CANCELED!
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng reaffirmed that the MRT3 project has already been cancelled.
Refer from www.edgeprop.my
MRT3 to be revisited when country’s finances improve
KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 1): The mass rapid transit Line 3 (MRT3) project may still see the light of day as the government will be revisiting it if the country’s financial situation improves, according to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
Nevertheless, Guan Eng reaffirmed that the MRT3 project has already been cancelled. “The prime minister has already said that the MRT3 project is scrapped,” he told reporters in Parliament yesterday.
On May 30, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the MRT3 or Circle Line estimated to cost RM40 billion will be discontinued due to the government’s burgeoning debt.
Earlier yesterday, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said the implementation of the MRT3 has been postponed and not scrapped, to reduce the burden of government debt.
He said the cabinet would determine when the MRT3 construction would resume but stressed that major projects such as the MRT3 would be given priority when the country’s financial position recovers.
“Any such big decision needs to get the cabinet’s approval.
“But at present the government’s priority is to reduce the rate of national debt first, but for crucial projects like the MRT3, when the country’s financial status recovers, it will certainly be given priority to be reviewed,” he told Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
He was replying to a question from Khairy Jamaluddin (Barisan Nasional-Rembau), who asked the ministry to state the rationale and implication of scrapping public transport projects such as the MRT3.
Loke said the government did not deny that the MRT3 project would bring various benefits, but its implementation should be reviewed for optimum results in terms of its cost-benefit in view of the excessively high national debt at present.
He said based on the progress report prepared by MRT Corp in early 2017, the MRT3 is a 40km line that passes through areas such as Jalan Duta, Setiawangsa, Pandan Indah, Salak Selatan, Bandar Malaysia and Kerinchi.
“As the MRT3 line passes through urban centres with high density, almost 80% of the MRT3 line is underground, which contributes to the costly construction cost that is expected to reach RM50 billion,” he said.
He said to encourage the use of public transport, thus helping reduce road congestion, the government will prioritise the upgrade of various types of buses in terms of service quality and network. It would also improve the KTM Komuter system in the Klang Valley via upgrading and repair works.
“The postponement of the MRT3 project gives us the opportunity to review our budget priority, in which the government will give new focus on improving bus services and infrastructure development not only in the Klang Valley but also throughout Malaysia in line with the government’s manifesto to improve the quality and coverage of public transport services,” he added.
To encourage more to commute via public transport services, Loke noted that the unlimited access card to public transport at RM100 a month will be introduced early next year.
In June, it was announced that the monthly pass would need to be reviewed before it could be implemented.
“The monthly pass is to encourage more people to use the MRT as well as buses which are already available,” said Loke.
“We want to encourage more of the public to use the existing public transport facilities, as the MRT has been seeing an average of just around 146,842 daily commuters, about one-third of its 450,000 capacity,” he added.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on Aug 1, 2018.
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