10 July 2019: Happy 94th Birthday, Tun M; IJM seeks compensation for loss of LRT3 job

Early birthday wishes for Dr M who turns 94
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad turns 94 today (July 10). Social media users took the opportunity to post birthday wishes on Dr Mahathir’s Facebook page on Tuesday (July 9). They also wished him good health and the wisdom to lead the country. Dr Mahathir, who is the seventh Prime Minister, was born on July 10, 1925 in Kampung Seberang Perak, Alor Setar, Kedah. He first became Prime Minister in 1981 at the age of 56, and was Malaysia’s fourth Prime Minister then. Dr Mahathir then stepped down from the post in 2003 after being in office for 22 years. Fifteen years later, after GE14, he has become the oldest elected Prime Minister in the world. (The Star Online)

IJM to seek legal redress for loss of RM1.12b LRT3 job
IJM Corp Bhd said yesterday it will seek “appropriate legal redress” after being terminated as the works package contractor (WPC) for the underground package of the LRT3 project. Its wholly-owned unit, IJM Construction Sdn Bhd (IJMC), received the notice of termination from the project’s turnkey contractor, MRCB George Kent Sdn Bhd (MRCBGK), on Monday. Preliminary works had commenced before the project was suspended in June 2018. IJM Corp noted that the termination was due to the project being remodelled from a project delivery partnership (PDP) model to a fixed price contract model pursuant to the direction of the government. The completion date for the 37km-LRT3, which connects Bandar Utama in Petaling Jaya to Johan Setia in Klang, was meanwhile extended from 2020 to 2024. (The Edge)

Malaysia among top 10 in cross-border capital for commercial property investments in Asia-Pacific
Malaysia saw an 18% year-on-year increase in cross-border capital for commercial property investments in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019, placing it in the top 10 countries in Asia Pacific, according to a Knight Frank report. Knight Frank Malaysia executive director of capital markets James Buckley said overseas investors are carefully watching the progress of the new government who have made some encouraging progress in tackling corruption and cutting costs, particularly the renegotiation of Chinese-backed infrastructure projects. Between Q1 2018 and Q1 2019, China remains the largest recipient of cross-border capital in Asia Pacific, followed by developed Asian economies such as Australia, South Korea, Japan and Singapore, as these matured economies are commonly viewed as safe havens for key investors such as REITs, private equity firms and hedge funds. (The Sun Daily)

Investment opportunities aplenty along BRI routes
The business community has been alerted to look out for investment opportunities in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) routes as total investments led by China are estimated to rise four to five-fold from an initial US$1 trillion. “In a recent international research report, it was said that the BRI programmes could attract Chinese and global investments totalling between US$4 trillion and US$5 trillion,” Star Media Group (SMG) chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow said. In July 2016, The Economist UK reported that China said it would invest a total of US$4 trillion along Belt and Road countries. In recent years, China has become an important source of foreign direct investment (FDI), and Chinese capital has contributed to the growth of the local property sector. (The Star Online)

No more OPR cuts until year-end, predict economists
Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) decision to keep the Overnight Policy Rate unchanged at 3.0% is not a surprise move as it has been widely anticipated and the rate will remain at that level until year-end, experts say. They said the recent cut by 25 basis points (bps) in May was one of the reasons why the rate is kept unchanged as it is sufficient to boost economic growth particularly domestic demand. The central bank would likely not make any adjustment for the rest of the year unless the economy deteriorates further and the US Federal Reserve decides to cut their rates. (Malay Mail)

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