Licensed homestays allowed in Penang

Property News/ 16 May 2022 2 comments

The difference between a short-term stay and a homestay is that the latter is licensed and allowed by the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry.

State Housing, Local Government, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said that there were problems with homes offering short-term stays even before the pandemic.

“We came up with a guideline before the pandemic and now it is necessary to implement it as things are easing.

“As everything is resuming, it is expected that people will be disturbed by short-term stays usually at apartments,” he said during a press conference held after launching the Pawsible book at Gurney Plaza Mall here on Monday (May 16).

Jagdeep Singh said this issue was not new and was around for years but the pandemic had dampened it.

“Now with all the sectors reopening, it will resume and we expect there to be complaints.

“We have over time received more than 1,000 complaints,” he said.

Jagdeep Singh said homestays are allowed to operate as they have a licence issued by the ministry.

Last month, Jagdeep Singh announced that the state had agreed to not allow “check-ins” at landed and high-rise buildings for short-term rental homes or unlicenced homestays, based on numerous complaints from residents’ groups at apartments, condominiums and residential neighbourhoods.

Source: TheStar.com.my


Gurney Wharf breaks ground today

Property News/ 14 May 2022 2 comments

Gwi groundbreaking

The much-awaited Gurney Wharf project, an initiative of the Penang government, will be gradually opened to the public when it is safe to do so as it enters the construction phase following a ground-breaking ceremony at the Gurney Drive today.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the project, costing an estimated RM200 million, would have several components which are divided into Priority One and Priority Two. The project is expected to be fully completed by 2025.

Priority One, he said, is basically a green park that would start from Pangkor Road and that would not require much physical building. It is estimated to be completed in 12 months.

Priority Two, which will have a multi-storey car park, an iconic hawker centre and a jetty waterfront among others, is expected to be completed in 24 months or slightly more, he said.

“Priority One and Priority Two will take place concurrently. The project is expected to be fully completed by 2025.

“The roof of the iconic hawker centre is a very challenging structure. We want to have an iconic product that will blend with the environment and promenade.

“When the consultant and architect run wild with ideas, the challenge is for the engineers to design, and the contractor to execute,” Chow told a press conference after the ground-breaking ceremony that was officiated by Penang Governor Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak.

He said the Gurney Wharf would be a big drawcard, attracting an even bigger crowd than the Esplanade seawall project that was packed with people after its official opening yesterday.

He said the project is in line with the Penang2030 vision of a ‘Family-Focused Green and Smart that Inspires the Nation.’

“The main intention of the state government is for the project to benefit and be enjoyed by the people of Penang from various age groups to carry out social and family activities.

“We hope that with a project like this, it can strengthen family ties and improve the quality of life and productivity of the locals.

“In the meantime, the state government also took note of the matters arising and I am sure the stakeholders in this project are aware of the situation, including ensuring the protection of the environment and the sea.

“It is hoped that when this project is completed, it will be another new attraction to the state as well as increase high quality added value, especially in contributing an economic spillover to the residents of the Gurney Drive and the people of Penang as a whole,” Chow said in his speech.

Chow said the state government understood the current challenging situation faced by the contractors due to the escalating material costs and would deal with the issue when the contractors highlight it to the state government.

Chow and state Housing, Local Government, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh said the decision to build the Gurney Wharf project began six years ago in 2016 when Lim Guan Eng was then the chief minister.

“When the project was mooted, there were quarters which were against it but when a survey was later conducted, 95% of respondents agreed to its implementation,” Jagdeep said in his speech.

“This project would have been completed by now if not for the delay caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But it is going to happen.”

Jagdeep had previously said that among the facilities to be built under Priority One are a children’s playground, skate park, viewing deck (south vantage point), public toilets, pedestrian promenade, trader’s kiosks, recreational park, landscape areas and open space car parks.

Under Priority Two, the features include additional landscaping areas, more recreational parks, a hawker centre, a viewing deck (north vantage point), public toilets, more trader’s kiosks, multi-storey car parks, open space car parks, a beach area and boardwalk, water water garden, and the drainage system.

Source: Buletin Mutiara


Vacant F&B lots in Komtar Walk up for rental

Property News/ 14 May 2022 No comments


Prospective tenants looking for a place to rent to operate businesses can consider Komtar Walk as three food and beverages (F&B) lots are available for rental.

Penang Development Corporation (PDC) chief executive officer Aziz Bakar revealed that four out of the seven F&B lots have been snapped up by tenants.

“The remaining three units are 460sq ft in size and the rental rate is RM1,840 per month. We welcome prospective tenants who are interested to operate their businesses here.

“Komtar Walk has been enhanced with its facilities and is now equipped with 59 car park lots as well as 40 motorcycle lots.

“Along with that, there are also pick-up and drop-off points at the Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong (main road) which will be convenient for the tourist buses,” Aziz said during a press conference held at the Komtar Walk today.

Aziz said the F&B outlets would be ready to operate in July or August this year.

Meanwhile, PDC Setia Urus Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Ahmad Zuhairi Ismail said all these F&B outlets comprise both halal and non-halal food operators.

“We will be also having an outdoor dining seating arrangement for the outlets.

“Apart from the F&B outlets, there will be family activities held along the open space at the Komtar Walk.

“We will be working closely with the Top Penang as it is a prominent spot for entertainment,” he added.

Also present was Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng.

Interested tenants can contact PDC Setia Urus Sdn Bhd at 04-2623705.

Source: Buletin Mutiara


New Esplanade in Penang to be launched on May 13

Property News/ 12 May 2022 No comments


Penangites will be able to experience the new Esplanade with the completion of its seawall upgrading project.

Penang Island City Council (MBPP) secretary A. Rajendran said the RM14mil Esplanade seawall upgrading project has been completed and will be launched on Friday (May 13).

“The project has been completed,” he said in a Whatsapp text message to The Star.

Rajendran said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow will also be having a press conference at the site soon.

The seawall upgrading project involves a stretch of 460m from Medan Renong food court to the Royal Malaysian Naval Base.

It is one of 14 projects under the RM140mil North Seafront Masterplan that starts from Dewan Sri Pinang to Fort Cornwallis and the entrance to Swettenham Pier.

The project is funded by MBPP and supported by the George Town Conservation and Development Corporation (GTCDC), a partnership between the Penang government and Think City.

The corporation has been formed to spearhead the rejuvenation and restoration of select public assets in the heritage site.

It is meant to enhance the appeal and value of key monuments and public open spaces, and demonstrate the value of culture-based urban regeneration in creating a sustainable heritage city.

To date, among the 14 major initiatives completed are the restoration of Koh Seang Tatt Fountain Garden, improvements to Lebuh Light streetscape, upgrading of Esplanade field subsoil system and numerous planning documents produced to assist with the physical implementation.

Source: TheStar.com.my


BNM increases OPR by 25 basis points to 2.00%

Property News/ 11 May 2022 No comments


Bank Negara Malaysia’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to increase the overnight policy rate (OPR) by 25 basis points (bps) to 2.00 per cent.

The central bank said the ceiling and floor rates of the corridor of the OPR are correspondingly increased to 2.25 per cent and 1.75 per cent, respectively.

“The sustained reopening of the global economy and the improvement in labour market conditions continue to support the recovery of economic activity.

“These have partly cushioned the impact of the military conflict in Ukraine and the strict containment measures in China,” Bank Negara said in a statement today.

The central bank said that over the course of the Covid-19 crisis, the OPR was reduced by a cumulative 125bps to a historic low of 1.75 per cent to support the economy.

The unprecedented conditions that necessitated such actions have since abated.

With the domestic growth on a firmer footing, the MPC decided to reduce the degree of monetary accommodation.

This will be done in a measured and gradual manner, ensuring that monetary policy remains accommodative to support sustainable economic growth in an environment of price stability.

Bank Negara said inflationary pressures had increased sharply due to a rise in commodity prices, strained supply chains and strong demand conditions, particularly in the US.

Consequently, several central banks are expected to adjust their monetary policy settings faster to reduce inflationary pressures.

Bank Negara noted that the global growth outlook would continue to be affected by the developments surrounding the conflict in Ukraine, Covid-19, global supply chain conditions, commodity price shocks, and financial market volatility.

Meanwhile, Bank Negara said for the Malaysian economy, the latest indicators show that growth is on a firmer footing, driven by strengthening domestic demand amid sustained export growth.

The labour market is further lifted by a lower unemployment rate, higher labour participation and better income prospects.

“The transition to endemicity on April 1, 2022, would strengthen economic activity, in line with further easing of restrictions and the reopening of international borders,” it said.

Bank Negara said headline inflation is projected to average between 2.2 per cent and 3.2 per cent in 2022.

“Given the improvement in economic activity amid lingering cost pressures, underlying inflation, as measured by core inflation, is expected to trend higher to average between 2.0 per cent – 3.0 per cent in 2022.

“Nevertheless, upward pressure on prices would be partly contained by existing price controls and the continued spare capacity in the economy,” it said.

Bank Negara added that the inflation outlook continues to be subject to global commodity price developments, arising mainly from the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine and prolonged supply-related disruptions and domestic policy measures on administered prices.

Source: NST Online