Monday, March 10, 2008



New Analysis by Joseph Chin

AS investors brace for more bad news from the United States over an imminent recession, Barisan Nasional’s shocking loss added more gloom to the market, sending the KL Composite Index (KLCI) to a 12-month low of 1,173.22 points.

The stock market suffered its biggest loss in its history yesterday, with the KLCI plunging 123 points, or 9.5%, in its worst one-day performance since the Asian financial crisis when the 100-stock index tumbled 95.59 points to 349.56 on Sept 8, 1998.

Of course, the weak Asian markets, which recorded losses of between 1.04% and 4.84% yesterday, also added to the pall over the local market.

Foreign selling on worries over the country’s political future triggered the broad sell-off on Bursa. The loss of Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor to the opposition also cast doubts over the fate of the major infrastructure projects slated to be implemented in these states.

There were concerns over whether the Equine Capital Bhd-initiated Penang Global City Centre and the Penang monorail project, led by Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) and Scomi Engineering Bhd, would be implemented. Equine lost more than half its value when its share price plunged 72 sen to 71 sen while MRCB fell 66 sen to RM1.27.

The projects are also part of the Federal Government-initiated Northern Corridor Economic Region, covering Penang, Kedah and Perak.

Investors sold down shares in Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Bhd, JAKS Resources Bhd and also Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd on worries that the Pahang-Selangor water transfer project could be affected by the impending change of government in Selangor.

Government-linked counters also came under selling pressure, with Sime Darby Bhd, Bumiputra-Commerce Holdings Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Bursa Malaysia Bhd and Telekom Malaysia Bhd among the major losers.

Does the selldown offer any buying opportunities at current levels, especially after RM86.16bil was wiped out from the market capitalisation yesterday?

Fund managers believe the market is oversold, which could mean there are buying opportunities in plantation counters, given that crude palm oil prices are still above RM3,000 per tonne, and these companies are also well-managed and fundamentally strong.

They expect a mild rebound after the heavy sell-off, provided there are no untoward incidents.

However, the caveat is that Malaysia’s political scenario is still fragile while external issues including the US credit market crisis and imminent recession will keep investors on the sidelines at least for a few weeks.

As the head of institutional dealing at a local bank-backed brokerage puts it: “It's like a falling knife; you won’t know when to catch it.”

Source: The Star Online

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Residents told to demolish guardhouses, barriers

By : Aaron Ngui and Marc Lourdes

The illegally-constructed guardhouse and gantry barrier in Jalan Jesselton, George Town.
The illegally-constructed guardhouse and gantry barrier in Jalan Jesselton, George Town.

GEORGE TOWN: In a move to ensure that residents do not take matters into their own hands, a residents' association has been ordered to demolish the guardhouses and gantry barriers it erected to stop people from using the roads in their area.

The Penang Island Municipal Council issued the notice to the Residents' Association of Jesselton on Tuesday.

The council wants the residents' association to remove the structures in the exclusive Jesselton Heights area.

Council president Zainal Rahim Seman yesterday said that the structures were illegal and had to be demolished as soon as possible.

This, he said, was provided for under the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974, which clearly stated that no person can erect any kind of structure in any public place or along the side of any street without the authorities' approval.
"The council has not granted any permission for the association to erect the structures," he said when asked to comment on the residents' claim that they had obtained approval. He earlier chaired a full council meeting.

Zainal said he directed the enforcement unit not to demolish the guardhouses on Monday night following claims by the residents that they had the council's approval.

"I agreed to halt the demolishing works that night so as to verify their claims but found out the following day that no approval had been given.

"The council did not receive any building or technical plans but only a proposal showing the locations where the structures would be placed," said Zainal who, however, declined to indicate when the structures would be torn down.

The structures were built at entry points to the neighbourhood at Jalan Jesselton and Lengkok Jesselton. Both roads have been gazetted as public access roads and both lead to the nearby Waterfall temple.

Residents there did this to prevent motorists from using the roads within the Jesselton neighbourhood to avoid the traffic at Jalan Brook. They also wanted to declare the area as a "safe zone" and had apparently agreed to contribute towards a monthly service charge to maintain the guardhouses.

In Kuala Lumpur, the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said the erection of guard houses and gantry barriers to stop outsiders from accessing public roads in the exclusive suburb was an offence under the law.

"The municipal council can tear down the barrier and the police can take action against those who erected it, if a report is lodged by the council."

He said that if the Jesselton residents had faced problems, they should have approached the council to find a solution.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Simbol Keangkuhan Golongan Elit di Pulau Pinang

Simbol keangkuhan golongan elit di Pulau Pinang

Gambar diatas adalah gambar pembinaan pondok keselamatan (guardhouses) yang dibina tanpa kebenaran pihak berkuasa oleh penduduk di kejiranan Jalan Jesselton dan Lengkok Jesselton iaitu sebuah kejiranan elit di Pulau Pinang.

Jalan tersebut merupakan laluan awam dan bukannya milik pihak atau golongan tertentu.

Menurut artikel yang keluarkan oleh NST, didalam buletin Persatuan Penduduk Jesselton mereka dinyatakan bahawa mereka ingin mengisytiharkan kawasan mereka sebagai 'zone selamat' untuk keselesaan mereka sendiri.

Sebelum ini mereka beria-ia melaungkan 'keprihatinan' mereka tentang akauntabiliti, ketelusan dan 'respect for the law' yang membabitkan projek pembangunan Penang Global City Centre yang kebetulan pula berhampiran dengan kejiranan mereka.

Nampaknya mereka bukanlah benar-benar 'prihatin' tentang projek tersebut. Sebaliknya mereka mementingkan diri dan status mereka. Mereka mahu kerajaan lakukan apa yang mereka mahu sebaliknya mereka sendiri tidak mempraktikkannya dengan baik.


Top 9 Unique Structures Soon To Be Built

Top 9 Unique Structures Soon To Be Built

Obviously, construction technologies are advancing extremely quick. With multi-billionnaires/deep-pocketed companies trying to outdo each other in the quest for the next standout design and you have a near-future filled with mile-high skyscrapers and buildings that no longer look like buildings.

Below are 9 strange and unique structures which have either been approved or are in the final stages of approval. Some have already been partially constructed.

Welcome to the future landscape.

1. Aqua, USA (Website)

This skyscraper is to be completed in 2009 in chicago, will seem quite traditional. It’ll only be special when you get close and look up, then you will see the ripple/jelly effect created by variously sized balconies from top to bottom.

2. Chicago Spire, USA (Website)

The phenomenal chicago spire, when completed in 2010, will be the world’s tallest residential building and the tallest building of any kind in the western world. Seemingly modelled on the image of a giant drill poking through the ground, the 609m structure will dominate the chicago skyline.

3. CCTV Headquaters, China (Website)

At a modest 234m the CCTV building isn’t going to stand out from a distance. However the design and shape is a crowdstopper to say the least and will be another incredible addition to Beijing’s skyline in time for the 2008 Olympics. The shape, described as a ‘Z Criss-Cross’ results in a very high, seemingly unsupported corner at the front. Let’s hope there’s a glass floor up there.

4. Regatta Hotel, Jakarta (Website)

Taking on a nautical theme, the developers say the 10 smaller towers represent sailing boats whilst the larger building is ‘the lighthouse’. It’s the lighthouse that steals the show for me, possibly the most incredible looking structure I’ve seen for a long time. If it ends up looking anything close to these pictures I’ll be impressed.

5. Residence Antilia, India (Architects’ Website)

Construction has begun on Residence Antilia despite opposition from those who see it as an ‘excessive’ design in a city where more than 65% of the population live in slums. Politics aside and after you recover from the initial shock of seeing a skyscraper that resembles an IKEA CD rack, the building actually looks like it may succeed as a stunning, unique, green piece of architecture.

6. Russia Tower (Architects’ Website)

Topped with an observation deck over the city of Moscow, Russia Tower will become the tallest building in europe when completed in 2012 and twice the height of the Eiffel Tower. Construction has already started on this angular beast which was designed by foster & partners, also responsible for the gherkin and spaceport America, currently in development.

7. Penang Global City Centre, Malaysia (Website)

Following months of speculation and sturdy opposition, this humungous project is in the final stages of approval and apparently construction will start very soon. Even so, due to the size of the plan it will take at least 15 years to complete. resembling a sci-fi city, the area will be crowned by 2 x 200m towers and completely transform the small island of Penang.

8. Gazprom Headquaters, Russia (Architects' Website)

This gigantic, 300m tall glass flame of a building will house the Gazprom Headquarters in St. Petersburg, dwarfing all structures in its vicinity. It will apparently change colour up to 10 times per day depending on the position of the sun. The building has already been nicknamed ‘Corn On The Cob’ by unhappy locals.

8. Burj Dubai, Dubai (Website)

This is the big one. When completed next year it will be the tallest man-made structure in the world and the tallest building by a long shot with a predicted height of 818m. Note: Currently the tallest building on earth, excluding an antenna, is Taipei 101 in Taiwan which stands at 509m. the photo below is the building’s current state: The skyscrapers below the Burj Dubai used to look tall.

The picture below shows the proposed height of the Burj Dubai compared to some other well known tall buildings.

I wonder how tall a building can be, are there any limits? What human can build in the future? What can we see in the next 20 years? A building that can transform and move from one place to another? No one knows.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Abad Naluri promises to abide by directives

GEORGE TOWN: The developer of the RM25 billion Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) has pledged to abide by all government processes and directives outlined for the project.Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd director Datuk Patrick Lim said the company would instruct its consultants to review the development plans and adhere to the recommendations and views of the Penang Island Municipal Council."

We thank the Penang government for the prompt response to our plans to redevelop the existing Penang Turf Club site into the PGCC," he said in a statement. Lim, who is also Equine Capital Bhd executive chairman, said "it is our intention that the project not only complies fully with all statutory requirements but also that it will be beneficial to all stakeholders"."We value and respect the points of views raised by the public."

Meanwhile, the PGCC Campaign Group, a coalition of non-governmental organisations, welcomed the chief minister's statement to review and scale down the project.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Controlling traffic a joint project

THE traffic study for the proposed redevelopment of the Penang Turf Club has recommended that any upgrading to cater for the future traffic volume of the mammoth mixed development should be a joint project between the authorities and the developers.

Although the development is expected to have some impact on the traffic volume in the area, the study stated that it was the culmination of the growth of the existing traffic as well as the contribution of traffic volume from all the other developments in the area.

The study, conducted by Perunding Trafik Klasik Sdn Bhd, also indicated that there would be a few new access roads for the development of the Penang Global City Centre (PGCC).

There will be two access points from the Penang Outer Ring Road to the proposed development.

The existing Jalan Batu Gantung will be widened and become a dual four-lane carriageway and intersect with Jalan Scotland and Jalan York to form a new interchange.
An elevated flyover, together with an elevated U-turn and an underpass, are among the new access roads which will be constructed.

PGCC is modelled along the lines of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre and is being developed by Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd.

Based on the trip-generation exercise, it is estimated that the development will produce 4,137 vehicular trips and attract 6,469 vehicular trips during the morning peak hour.

During the evening peak hour, it is expected to produce 8,457 vehicular trips and attract 8,055 vehicular trips.

Universiti Sains Malaysia’s School of Civil Engineering dean Associate Professor Dr Ahmad Farhan Mohd Sadullah said a sustainable approach would ensure a better future for the transportation system in Penang.

“We should ensure that this mixed development upholds the sustainable transport aspirations,” he said.

Ahmad Farhan said any development, especially in an already congested area, would need a proper traffic study to forecast the impact on the surrounding areas.

Depending on the forecasted impact, Ahmad Farhan said mitigation measures could include traffic management schemes, the provision of infrastructure or both.

“One obvious change will be that traffic will be generated on a daily basis instead of during the weekends when there are races at the turf club.

“The proposed PGCC will attract and generate trips, so we must estimate the trip-generation and then distribute and assign the traffic volume to the road network surrounding the development.”

Ahmad Farhan said it was necessary for traffic planners to design road and junction systems which would be able to accommodate the increase in traffic volume after the proposed development reached its operational maturity.

“They must ensure free flow into and out of the development.

“The road around this development is already congested, so the traffic study must propose a system which will be able to accommodate the additional traffic.”

He added that a critical consideration was the integration of the public transportation service into the planning.


Monday, September 3, 2007

Equine’s ambitious plan to bring new shine to Penang

by Marina Emmanuel


The face of Penang island is set to change with the entry of property player Equine Capital Bhd.

The company, via associate Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd, wants to create a world-class and self-contained city in George Town where eco-living, architectural icons and high technology rule.

The “Penang Global City Centre” (PGCC), with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM25 billion, will be sited on a 104ha plot where the Penang Turf Club currently stands.

It is billed as the largest commercial development in Penang. Equine Capital holds a 25 per cent stake in Abad Naluri. “We want to offer solutions for tomorrow ’s city and enhance the Penang brand name,” Equine executive chairman Datuk Patrick Lim said.

“This new city centre for Penang will incorporate many technology- and ecologybased components, and will be modelled along the lines of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre.”

The project will be marketed as one of the world ’s first zero-carbon cities where pollution will be kept to a minimum.

It will offer tax breaks to technology firms wishing to set up shop as PGCC will have Multimedia Super Corridor status, Lim added.

While Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates is slated to emerge as the world ’s first zero-carbon city by 2009, other countries around the world which are developing similar cities include China and the US.

The eco-city development on the island is expected to include a 10.4ha public park which will be linked to the Penang Botanical Gardens and the Municipal Youth Park.

There will also be two five-star hotels, a performing arts centre, high-end retail outlets, two iconic towers, residential properties and a world-class meeting and convention centre.

Plans are also in place to promote medical tourism in the state through specialist clinics at the PGCC.

“With an estimated 2,000 tourists visiting Penang annually for elective surgery, we think we can add value to the medical tourism promotional effort by offering state-of-the-art healthcare residences for these visitors,” Lim said.

Also in the pipeline are urban and international schools and a monorail service.

Abad Naluri has appointed international architects for the project.

French architect Nasrine Seraji is the overall master planner. The New Yorkbased Asymptote Architecture will design the iconic Penang Towers, with an estimated GDV of RM8 billion, which will be a focal point of the PGCC.

The PGCC’s public realm will comprise a combined 34.4ha of parkland, including a 10.4ha 1km-long linear park, and about 24ha of a hill site which cannot be developed.

Close to 40 per cent of the PGCC will be dedicated to being “green” in the form of parks and open spaces, Lim added.

Other proposed measures include devising ways to collect and reuse rainwater, the construction of a central cooling plant and a waste-management system.

Lim is also mindful of concern that the project is likely to add to the island’s longstanding and worsening traffic problems.

“We are working with the Malaysian Highway Authority on how our road infrastructure will complement three chain roads and the Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) which will cut through the PGCC,” he said.

Abad Naluri will invest RM140 million to build two flyovers to mitigate traffic congestion from George Town’s Jalan Scotland to the project site.

“We have also conducted traffic impact studies with a consultant, not only for this project but also for the whole island, and have alternative solutions for traffic in the event that the ring road project is delayed.”

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is expected to launch the PGCC project on September 12, at which event he will announce special investment incentives.

The project will be carried out in phases over 15 years and will break ground in a year.

UOB Kay Hian, in an investors’ repor t, said that plans were in place for a new integrated transport hub to be set up at the PGCC.

“The hub will host a major interchange for the Penang monorail’s two lines.

“In addition, the 17km PORR will run through the new city centre, with its proposed route from the Penang International Airport to Tanjung Bungah and Batu Ferringhi,” it said.