31 October 2019: Jho Low to give up $1bil assets; RTS extension again

Jho Low gives up US$1bil in assets to settle 1MDB suits
The U.S. Justice Department has struck a deal with fugitive financier Low Taek Jho in which it will recoup almost US$1bil (RM4.18bil) of money looted from the Malaysian investment fund 1MDB, in what would be the biggest recovery from an American anti-corruption crackdown. The 1MDB global corruption scandal has toppled a government, ensnared a Wall Street powerhouse and set off investigations across the globe. The deal, if approved by a federal judge, will help resolve forfeiture cases tied to Low, who is also known as Jho Low, whom prosecutors accuse of orchestrating the theft of more than US$4bil (RM16.7bil) from 1MDB. The agreement doesn’t include an admission of guilt or wrongdoing but doesn’t release Low from other criminal charges. (The Star Online)

Zuraida: HOC will not integrate with MM2H
The government has no plans to integrate the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme with the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC), as the two schemes have different objectives, said the Housing and Local Government (KPKT) Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin. “Both programmes have different objectives and target segments: One is targeting Malaysians with the objective to encourage home-ownership, while the other is aimed at attracting foreign investors,” she stressed. The number of homes purchased by foreigners from January to June this year stood at just 0.4% or 398 units. “This shows that the property market for foreigners is still under control,” added Zuraida. (The Edge)

Malaysia seeks another RTS extension
There will still be no decision today by the Malaysian government on the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project. Despite the pressing need for the proposed Johor Baru-Singapore connection and the possibility of a hefty compensation payable to Singapore, Malaysia is seeking another six-month extension to review the RM4bil project. This is the third request for more time. Officials said that the latest request for a six-month extension was made known to Singapore on Monday – 48 hours before today’s deadline. It was learnt that the Transport Ministry was still unable to resolve certain issues on its side, prompting the need for more time for the review. These issues include the relocation of the RTS depot, currently proposed to be in Singapore, and the rail system to be used. (The Star Online)

Mohd Khairudin Abdul Halim leads JPPH, BOVEAP
Mohd Khairudin Abdul Halim has been appointed the director general of valuation and property services of the Department of Valuation and Property Services (JPPH) and the president of the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVEAP). He will succeed Ahmad Zailan Azizuddin, who has retired from office on Oct 4 this year. Mohd Khairudin was previously the deputy director-general (strategic policy) of JPPH. Currently, he is also the deputy president of Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (RISM). The functions and activities of JPPH has expanded to cover many areas of expertise relevant and related to the real estate industry. (The Edge)

Source: The Sun Daily

Azmin: Govt will only accept PLUS take-over if new owner can guarantee abolishing tolls
The government will only accept private companies taking over PLUS Malaysia Bhd, the country’s biggest expressway toll concessionaire, if they can guarantee to abolish tolls. Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said that it would contradict Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto if PLUS was sold to a private entity that would still charge tolls or hike up the rates. The government sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd owns 51% of PLUS, while the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) owns the remaining 49%. Earlier, Khazanah managing director Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said it was not in the “mood” to sell Plus, and that there was no bidding process going on. He also said that he felt the same way as Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in that all of the offers so far had been unattractive. (The Star Online)

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