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Thursday, August 6, 2009

TSR gets nod for RM1.8b tourism project in Port Dickson

TSR Capital Bhd, a construction company, has won the Negri Sembilan state government's approval to develop a RM1.8 billion tourism project over 10 years.

It plans to build a tax-free mall, Customs and Immigration complex, international ferry terminals, aquarium and water theme parks, hotels, convention centre, theme shops, medical centre and apartments in Port Dickson.

The project, TSR Ocean Park, will be located on a 40ha beachfront site, which will be made available by the state government and private owners, it said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia.

"The first phase involves the development of two- to three- storey retail shops and seafront promenade, shop-offices, apartments, with an estimated gross development value of RM100 million," it added.

The project will be within walking distance of the Port Dickson bus terminal and 10-15 minutes drive from the Army Museum, Lukut Museum and major highways.

TSR will start construction immediately once approval is received from the relevant authorities.

It will use internal funds and borrowings to finance the project.

By Business Times

Sunway City to adopt sustainable landscaping

PETALING JAYA: Sunway City Bhd (SunCity) will implement sustainable landscaping practices in its future property developments.

Managing director for property development Ngian Siew Siong said the company was “very serious” and committed to its corporate responsibility of promoting the concept of sustainable development.

“For this purpose, we are designing buildings that are not only visually pleasing but also economically viable by making sure that these buildings are environmentally sustainable and durable,” he said yesterday.

Ngian said this at the third SunCity’s Liveable City Series Seminar titled Sustainable Landscaping.

Ngian said sustainable landscaping meant the design of an attractive liveable environment was in balance with the local climate.

“A sustainable landscape should require very minimal resource inputs. There shouldn’t be too much use of fertilisers, pesticides or water.

“The keywords used in defining a sustainable landscape include functional, cost-effective, environment friendly, maintainable and of course visually pleasing,” he said.

He also reminded seminar participants that landscaping was not only about planting trees and flowers.

“Good landscape design begins with a proper understanding of the future use of the property.”

By The Star

Funds for Johor Baru rehabilitation, Fed Govt to give RM200m

JOHOR BARU: Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) has agreed to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to rehabilitate Johor Baru city centre.

Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, who is also Irda co-chairman with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, said the SPV would come under the state government.

“The Federal Government is allocating RM200mil for the project including cleaning up Sungai Segget which flows along Jalan Wong Ah Fook in the city centre,’’ he told a press conference yesterday.

He was speaking after handing over RM750,000 to the Southern Area Johor Fishermen’s Association and RM15,000 each to four Village Development and Security Communities by Central Malaysian Properties Sdn Bhd, the developer of the RM2.7bil Lido Boulevard waterfront development project near here.

Ghani said the SPV would come out with the project details within the next three months including the designs of fa├žade of the buildings along the street.

He said the 1.6km Jalan Wong Ah Fook would be converted into a pedestrian mall starting from Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak to a pocket garden at Jalan Tun Sri Lanang.

He said vehicles would no longer be allowed to enter Jalan Wong Ah Fook while the existing bus stops and taxi stands along the road would be moved to Jalan Tun Abdul Razak near the railway station.

“The rehabilitation project is part of the Comprehensive Development Plan under Iskandar Malaysia which started in 2006 and ends in 2025,’’ said Ghani.

He said the main objective of the rehabilitation project was to ensure that Johor Baru city centre remained a vibrant place in line with the transformation of Lido Beach into an international waterfront development.

On an unrelated matter, Ghani said the state government was currently negotiating with several local investors including public-listed companies to invest in Johor.

The potential investors are in the property, manufacturing, and oil and gas sectors.

“We are looking at the medium rather than the huge-scale investments as they can take off faster,’’ said Ghani.

By The Star (by Zazali Musa)

Islamic REITs can perform better globally with standardised regulations, forum told

KUALA LUMPUR: Islamic real estate investment trusts (IREITs) can perform much better in global markets if there are standard syariah regulations among the countries involved in Islamic finance, a global conference on Islamic finance here was told.

»Malaysia is the only country that comes out with syariah rules and guidelines for IREITs« STEWART LABROOY

Axis REIT Managers Bhd chief executive officer Stewart LaBrooy said there were lots of properties globally that could be tapped if the international Islamic finance regulatory environment could be standardised.

“Malaysia is the only country that comes out with syariah rules and guidelines for IREITs but for the global market, there is no proper regulation yet,” he said yesterday during a session on IREITs at the IFN 2009 Issuers & Investors Asia Forum.

IREITs had the potential to attract big Islamic institutional investors such as Tabung Haji, he added.

“We at Axis REIT Managers have converted our REITs to IREITs and we managed to do that as our investment focus is the commercial office space that comply with syariah law,” Labrooy said, adding that he hoped to see standard syariah rules governing IREITs globally.

Another panelist, Abdul Raman Saad & Associates partner Zain Azra’i Abd Samad, noted that to convert conventional properties into IREITs, a lot of work needed to be done to comply with syariah rules.

“Hotels for example must not serve liquor as this is against syariah compliance,” he said.

By The Star

Consultant: Malaysia can be medical tourism hub

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has the potential to become a medical tourism hub, says Frost & Sullivan senior consultant of healthcare for Asia Pacific, Dr Pawel Suwinski.

Dr Pawel Suwinski ... The recent promotion of medical tourism in Malaysia is excellent

“The recent promotion of medical tourism in Malaysia is excellent,” he said, referring to promotional initiatives by the Government and the Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia.

“Health tourism is one of the brightest points in the growth of the healthcare sector in Malaysia,” Suwinski said at a press briefing on the future of the Malaysian healthcare industry yesterday.

The latest indicators on medical tourism in Malaysia support Suwinski’s claim.

The compounded annual growth rate of foreign tourists to Malaysia seeking medical care is 25.3% from 1998 to 2008.

Additionally, revenue per patient grew from US$92 in 1998 to US$241 in 2008. While most foreign patients came from neighbouring countries with less developed medical infrastructure such as Indonesia, there is a growing market in developed countries.

Cost and relative political stability lent Malaysia a distinct comparative advantage in the field of medical tourism, said Simranjit Singh, Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific director for healthcare.

“There is no denying that Malaysia has an edge over Singapore and even Thailand in this respect.”

He added that the recent recession had led to rising healthcare costs particularly in the West, making the Asian region a cheaper alternative for medical treatment.

According to a survey carried out by Frost & Sullivan, potential medical tourists are concerned primarily with accredited doctors and nurses, accessibility to hospitals and leisure at their place of stay. Malaysia fared well in all three areas, said Suwinski.

Frost & Sullivan deem three other interlocking factors that significantly determine the future of the Malaysian healthcare industry. These are changing demographics (declining birth rate and increasing life expectancy); the growing demand for high quality private healthcare and consequently private health insurance; and changing disease patterns, namely, increased prevalence of obesity, hypertension and diabetes due to urbanisation.

By The Star