5 September 2019: HK to withdraw Extradition Bill; Property prices not affected by HK buyers

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says will officially withdraw extradition Bill
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Wednesday (Sep 4) said that she will officially withdraw the extradition Bill that triggered months of protests so the Chinese-ruled city can move forward from a “highly vulnerable and dangerous” place and find solutions. The announcement came after Reuters reports revealed that Beijing had thwarted an earlier proposal from Lam to withdraw the Bill and that she had said privately that she would resign if she could, according to a leaked audio recording. Lam appealed for protesters to abandon violence and to embrace a “dialogue” with the government. The extradition law would have allowed criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial. The withdrawal of the draft legislation was one of the protesters’ key demands. Lam had declared the Bill “dead” in July, but stopped short of withdrawing it. What started off as demonstrations to the Bill later evolved into a wider campaign involving clashes between protesters and police, in the biggest challenge to China’s rule of Hong Kong since its 1997 handover from the British. (Channel NewsAsia)

Rent for prime KL office space dips, stays ‘under pressure’
The rental rates for prime office locations here fell by 0.2% in the second quarter, property consultant Knight Frank Malaysia said. The firm cited factors such as oversupply and difficulty attracting new tenants as among the reasons for the decline recorded in its Asia-Pacific Prime Office Rental Index for 2Q19. Faced with the high impending office supply driven by new construction, prime grade office rents in KL city continue to be under pressure with landlords competing to attract new occupiers as well as to retain existing tenants. KL was one of 20 cities tracked by the index, with Tokyo at the top of the list with a 6.9% q-o-q rise due to limited supply of prime office space. (Malay Mail)

‘Road tax can be paid at post office’
Road tax renewal can still be done at post offices for now while authorities find solutions to plug leakages caused by underpayment of road tax by certain quarters, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke. He said while there was a possibility that leakage could be stopped if vehicle owners were not allowed to renew road tax at the post office, the move would inconvenience the public. “While the study is being conducted, the existing channels to pay road tax remains,” he added. The Road Transport Department (JPJ) has set up a special task force to address the issue of underpayment of road tax, which led to losses of more than RM50mil in the first eight months of this year alone, with records showing that more than 50% of road tax renewals in Sabah, Sarawak, Labuan and Langkawi were for vehicles registered and used in other states and territories. Road tax at post offices in Sabah, Sarawak, Labuan and Langkawi were significantly cheaper compared to elsewhere in the country, especially for cars with large capacity engines. (The Star Online)

(Source: NST)

Property prices will not be affected by HK buyers
The property prices in Malaysia will not be affected by the influx of Hong Kong buyers in the country although they are driving demand in the country’s real estate market. According to property valuer Kit Au Yong, these buyers will not be able to absorb enough supply to move the market, unless the purchases surge like when the mainland Chinese came to acquire the units in Forest City, Johor. In addition, he said the floor price of RM1 million is required for the Hong Kong buyers, and such sector certainly needs more demand today. Au Yong said although there is certainly an increase of interest from Hong Kongers, it might be too soon to assess whether it has translated into sales. Juwai.com — the No 1 Chinese international real estate portal — said there has been a steady increase in demand from Hong Kong-based buyers wanting to invest in properties in Malaysia even as demand from China remains strong. (The Malaysian Reserve)

Vinda picks Malaysia for regional hub
Hong Kong-based Vinda International Holdings Ltd will invest more than RM500 million on a new regional hub in Malaysia and other projects here in five years. Vinda SEA president Su Ting Nee said a 27-acre site in Bandar Bukit Raja, Klang will house an automated finished goods warehouse, a double-storey plant with raw material warehouse and a six-storey administration block that will also feature an innovation centre. The company expects the first phase to be completed in 2021, while the second phase by 2023. The Vinda Innovation Centre is the only one outside of China, incorporating a range of green technologies in its design such as solar panels, rain water harvesting and waste management including water treatment and composting of organic waste, she added. (NST Online)

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