EMC has begun construction of its first southeast asian manufacturing plant in Penang

Property News/ 21 June 2024 No comments

Source: Facebook

Elite Material Co. Ltd. (EMC), headquartered in Taiwan, has begun construction of its first Southeast Asian manufacturing plant in Penang Science Park North (PSPN). The plant will focus on producing copper-clad laminate (CCL) materials, essential components in complex printed circuit boards (PCBs) and integrated circuit (IC) substrates. This development underscores Penang’s growing significance as a hub for high-impact economic activities, especially in the technology sector.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow welcomed EMC’s investment, noting the company’s pivotal role in advancing technology. Since its founding in 1992, EMC has become a leading producer of prepreg and CCL, with a strong focus on halogen-free materials since 2013. These materials are crucial for various industries, including mobile communications, artificial intelligence (AI), high-performance computing (HPC), cloud data centers, 5G infrastructure, electric vehicles, and autonomous driving.

Chow highlighted EMC’s technological leadership, backed by over 250 patents, as a significant addition to Penang’s industrial ecosystem. The new plant, spanning 14 acres, will be built in two phases with a total investment exceeding RM900 million. Phase One, slated for completion in Q1 2025, aims for a monthly production capacity of 600,000 sheets, while Phase Two will add 150,000 sheets per month. Mass production is expected to commence in Q2 2025, targeting both local and international markets.

emc-penang-science-parkThe Chief Minister emphasized Penang’s robust industrial ecosystem, which has consistently attracted major players in the electrical and electronics (E&E) sector. In 2023, Penang recorded RM63.4 billion in approved manufacturing investments, marking a 463% year-on-year increase and contributing 42% to the national total. The E&E sector alone accounted for RM54.7 billion, or 86%, of these investments.

Chow expressed gratitude to EMC for selecting Penang, reinforcing the state’s status as a premier investment destination. He also acknowledged the efforts of InvestPenang and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) in facilitating this significant investment.

Albert Dong, EMC’s chairman and CEO, explained that while standard incentives were provided, they were not the primary motivator for choosing Penang over other more affordable destinations like Thailand. Dong highlighted the importance of being close to customers and operating in a region known for its diligent workforce and strong work ethic. He described the incentive as a “cherry on top” of an already compelling offering.

Chief Minister Chow concurred, stating that factors such as a strong ecosystem, a robust supply chain, a talented workforce, intellectual property protection, and industry clusters are the primary attractants for investors. He added that successful investment decisions often lead to a cascade of related investments from vendors.

Datuk Loo Lee Lian, CEO of InvestPenang, expressed her appreciation for EMC’s decision to invest in Penang and assured ongoing support to ensure the company’s success in the region.


Don’t open another can of worms with urban renewal law

Property News/ 20 June 2024 No comments


By Datuk Chang Kim Loong

Is the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) capable of monitoring and taking on the challenge of the proposed Urban Renewal Act in the name of redevelopment? With the current number of abandoned housing schemes or problematic projects, have the authorities not failed in their gatekeeper role?

Resolve long-standing woes

The National House Buyers Association (HBA) want solutions to our long-standing woes, such as:

  1. Tangible action by the governing and licensing authority, that is KPKT, to resolve project abandonment issues instead of merely re-categorising them as delayed or sick projects before declaring them as abandoned.
  2. Timely handover of projects without bowing to the pressures and demands of industry players to grant extensions of time (EOTs) at the expense of denying house buyers the right of compensation for delays.
  3. Stricter action to prevent poor workmanship and use of defective, substandard materials.
  4. A more balanced financing system that will not burden house buyers on repayment terms with an interest rate that is higher than our average salary increment without the possibility or terminating the arrangement even when faced with abandonment problems.
  5. Deterrent controls against errant developers who have the habit of scheming to avoid contractual and statutory obligations.
  6. Strict monitoring, supervision and enforcement of the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act and its regulations.
  7. Pre-emptive measures must be adopted to avoid future abandonment of housing projects.

Under Budget 2024, the Madani Government had announced on Oct 13, 2023, that: “In order to facilitate the redevelopment of the strata scheme, the residents’ consent threshold for en-bloc sales will be reduced from 100% to a consistent level based on international practice such as in Singapore. This will encourage the renewal of the city and encourage the redevelopment of obsolete buildings.”

Firstly, residents or occupants have no say in any dissolution of stratified properties or en-bloc. The rights and entitlement rest with the owners (whether registered or having beneficial interest). HBA strongly opposes any setting of a consent threshold, except for 100% participation. Any redevelopment, rejuvenation or renewal plan must receive the consent of all because every owner is important.

No homeowner should be disadvantaged in the name of redevelopment. Projects that take away citizens’ rights have far-reaching effects, no matter how good they may be. While there are those who view the proposed Urban Renewal Act as a step in the right direction, HBA reiterates that it is a regressive move because it will become an unconstitutional piece of law that goes against the right to own property.

Proceeding with a consent threshold or better known as en-bloc sale with any rate of majority vote will deprive certain homeowners of their properties. As such, the proposed redevelopment law contravenes Article 13 of the Federal Constitution, and if we are not careful it could be extended to cover landed non-strata schemes.

Revived and ready to occupy?

The statistics on problematic projects are mounting and even the former Deputy Housing and local Government Minister had remarked in his past press statement that it is a scary situation. In his Budget 2024 speech, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim declared that as of August 2023, a total of 256 sick projects or more than 28,000 houses have been revived involving about RM23.37bil in development value.

Implementing a process does not amount to successful revival. Redevelopment can only be deemed complete when the Certificate of Compliance and Completion (CCC) has been issued, vacant possession delivered with keys, and ready utilities.

Task force of failed gatekeepers

HBA is concerned that the special task force under the present minister may be made up of the very people entrusted to license, monitor and enforce the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act and its regulations. If they had failed in their gatekeeping role, how can they be entrusted to revive sick and abandoned projects?

Let’s acknowledge the fact that there is no solution to abandoned housing projects; we just have to prevent them. Thus, a safety net is needed to pre-empt project abandonment.

And it’s not that we don’t have sufficient laws. Look at Section 7(f), Sections 10, 11 and 12 of the Housing Development Act. What is lacking is supervision, policing and enforcement. We hope the task force will not waste too much time on what has already been deliberated and worked on to pre-empt abandonment issues but be empowered to press the reset button.

Owners may end up losers

With the proposed Urban Renewal Development Act coming under KPKT, we fear that legitimate property owners may be worse off if they take part in these schemes. Not only will house owners suffer, banks and the Government will do too. The possibilities of devastating effects are as follows:

  1. Bare promises of one unit exchanged for another. Whether contractual or otherwise, it means nothing if the project fails and is abandoned. Owners will be left in the lurch like victims of existing abandoned projects.
  2. Erected buildings on-site will be demolished in exchange for a bare promise and a pie in the sky.
  3. If the redevelopment scheme falls through, what’s the use of costly and lengthy litigation? The owner will continue to be poorer without a house.
  4. A property developer, contractor or builder will, for good administrative sense, normally set up separate companies or subsidiaries to undertake new projects. In law, they are separate legal entities; if they go belly up, the mother company (syarikat induk) will not be liable. The affected owners will see their dreams vaporized.
  5. Owners who succumb to redevelopment (under the pretext of urban renewal) will be crying and blaming the Government for the misguided legislation when those developers, contractors or builders fail in their obligations.
  6. The adage property developers over-promise and under-delivers holds true.
  7. KPKT will continue to issue developer licences, so too will the lackadaisical attitude towards monitoring and enforcement.

Is KPKT capable of handling the urban renewal development legislation when it has failed in its role to safeguard house buyers under the current Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act and HD (Project Account) Regulations, and other laws? Can the Government guarantee there will be no abandoned and problematic projects in the future? Not enough is being done to stop problematic projects from coming on-stream, as statistics have shown.

*Datuk Chang Kim Loong is the secretary-general of the National House Buyers Association (HBA)

Source: StarProperty.my


SITE PROGRESS: GEM Residences (Jun 2024)

Property News/ 19 June 2024 No comments


About GEM Residences

GEM Residences, a commercial development by Belleview Group at Prai, Penang. It is part of the company’s 6 hectares mixed development along Jalan Baru, diagonally opposite Megamall Penang. Next to it will be the upcoming largest mall in the northern region – GEM Mall, the tenant mix include SOGO (first and largest departmental store in the northen region at 212,000 sq.ft.) and a supermarket (largest at 50,000 sq.ft.).

Find out more about GEM Residences

Register your interest here

*By submitting this Form, you hereby agree to our PDPA Consent Clause.
(This information may be used by the developer or their appointed agent to initiate follow-up communications with you on the project.)

Revamped MM2H now open for applications

Property News/ 18 June 2024 No comments


The revamped Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, requiring agents and overseas counterparts to register, is now open for applications, says Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

The Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister said the latest version of the MM2H programme has three tiers which prospective applicants could apply for, depending on their financial standing.

Under the Platinum tier, participants must have a fixed deposit of RM5mil (approximately US$1.05mil). After one year, a maximum withdrawal of 50% is allowed for property purchases (with a minimum value of RM1.5mil and above), healthcare and domestic travel within Malaysia.

The Gold tier sets the fixed deposit requirement at RM2mil (approximately US$420,800) with similar withdrawal provisions for property purchases (minimum value of RM750,000 and above), healthcare and domestic travel.

The Silver tier requires RM500,000 (approximately US$105,000) in fixed deposit with similar withdrawal provisions.

Irrespective of the chosen tier, all participants must fulfil the minimum requirement of residing in Malaysia for a cumulative total of 60 days annually.

On the new requirements for agents and overseas counterpart agencies, Tiong said they must register with the ministry to allow them to charge foreigners consulting or service fees.

This decision is part of the ministry’s bid to regulate MM2H programme agents and consultancy firms, he said.

“We want MM2H agents to be responsible for their services and not charge arbitrarily. There have been complaints in the past about agents charging between RM10,000 and RM100,000, with some lacking physical offices.

“Hence, we decided to re-register these agencies.

“Agents will be allowed to charge fees based on different application categories. Those who fail to provide adequate services or violate regulations will face fines and registration cancellation.

“Any agent found charging excessive fees will be fined and will be required to refund the excess to the applicants. Their licence will also be cancelled,” Tiong said at a Tourism Malaysia event on Friday.

Among the new conditions to obtain a business licence to operate an agency under the MM2H programme is a higher capital from RM50,000 to a minimum of RM200,000. The annual licence fee is RM2,500.

The business premises must have a valid address and companies are required to provide a bank guarantee of RM200,000. They must also establish contracts and register representatives for companies, which may include foreign businesses or individuals.

Source: TheStar.com.my


SJK(C) Boon Beng seeks funds for infrastructure projects


Due to a significant increase in pupil enrollment over the years, SJK(C) Boon Beng in Sungai Bakap is currently raising funds to build a new school building and multipurpose hall.

Headmaster Tan Saw Hoon stated that the proposed new school building and multipurpose hall would be constructed on the existing school field.

“Meanwhile, the small piece of land beside the school will be converted into the new school field. The estimated cost for these projects is around RM10 million.

“We plan to organise more charity programmes to raise the necessary funds, which we expect to achieve within two years.

“We also urge the corporate sector and the public to assist us in this endeavour.

“With the new school building and multipurpose hall, we can provide a better learning environment for our pupils,” Tan told Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow during his visit to the school on Friday.

Tan also expressed gratitude to the Nibong Tebal parliamentary service centre for its RM50,000 contribution.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Chow stated that the Penang government would consider providing a special allocation to SJK(C) Boon Beng for these projects.

“We commend the school’s efforts in their commitment to raising funds. Although it may take a few years, I hope the school management will succeed in reaching their fundraising goal.

“I urge the Ministry of Education (MoE), related Federal and state departments, corporate sectors, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and good Samaritans to assist SJK(C) Boon Beng in its construction project for the new school building and multipurpose hall,” he said.

Also present were Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Dr Mohamad Abdul Hamid, Bukit Tambun assemblyman Goh Choon Aik, Batu Kawan parliamentary service centre director Ewe Chee Way, Chow’s political secretary Lau Keng Ee, unity government’s Sungai Bakap candidate Dr Joohari Ariffin and SJK(C) Boon Beng Board of Directors chairman Ma Chai Long.

Source: Buletin Mutiara