Convent Light Street conversion to international school ‘on track’

Property News/ 17 May 2024 No comments


Plans to convert one of the nation’s oldest schools, Convent Light Street (CLS) in Penang, into an affordable international school – a first for the country – is on track, Melinda Lim said.

The architect behind the move to turn the school into an international one said the process is on course.

Lim, who is of the CLS Class of 1981, said that her company is fine-tuning the details.

Lim has established a chain of two international schools in the Klang Valley; Sri Emas, Dwi Emas, and it is also operating the MIT Stem school.

The learning institutions are owned and operated by ACE Edventure Sdn Bhd.

She is a co-founder of ACE with her sister Anne Tham.

Lim said there is demand for subjects that advance career growth, such as in science, technical, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“We work closely with the authorities to ensure that we can provide the best and affordable options for parents who are keen to expose their children to the new age form of learning.”

CLS is the first Catholic school in Penang to be upgraded into an international school. It is also the oldest convent-type school in the region.

Lim said the school will be affordable to all Malaysians.

The school’s landowner, the Infant Jesus Sisters, decided to convert the school after a drop in enrolment as families moved out of the George Town city centre to the suburbs in Bayan Baru and Tanjung Bungah.

Female students of CLS have since moved to neighbouring St Xavier’s Institution, which became a co-ed school in 2023.

“We will abide by the ethos of the IJ Sisters. We want to represent the convent well to provide education in an inclusive manner, not in an exclusive way,” said Lim.

On what is new age learning, Lim cited the example of Sri Emas, which offers, besides conventional studies, a computation curriculum. Students are taught to write and develop e-sports software.

At Dwi Emas, the students learn entrepreneurial skills while at MIT Stem, the focus is on STEM skills.

“We also make schooling fun and enduring. Many of our students can’t wait for the school holidays to end.”

Another notable difference is that Lim mostly employs professionals such as doctors, engineers, historians, and lawyers to teach. They are retrained to have effective teaching skills.

“They are graduates in their chosen field such as medicine, but they prefer to teach rather than pursue their professional fields,” said Lim.

Lim is the chief academic officer at the schools.

She said it is important that students hone skills in areas that can make them competitive in an increasingly globalised world.

The CLS Class of 1981 recently marked its 50th anniversary celebration with a trishaw ride and a visit to their old classrooms and canteen.

Among the old students were Joan Lim-Choong, former Mount Miriam Hospital chief executive officer, and Juli Murshidah, a veteran journalist, who began her career at The Star in the 1980s.

The school was closed in March.

Source: TheVibes.com

Property transactions in Q1 2024 up 34.3%

Property News/ 16 May 2024 No comments


The Malaysian property market was active in the first quarter of 2024 (1Q24), recording a 34.3% growth compared to the first quarter a year ago, with more than 104,297 transactions worth RM56.53bil, a 34.3% jump in transaction value.

Valuation and Property Services Department director-general Abdul Razak Yusak said in terms of volume, property sub-sectors recorded positive growth in 1Q24; the commercial sub-sector grew by 33.4%, residential by 16.6%, industry by 14.3%, agriculture by 13.7% and development land and others, 10.7%.

“The residential sub-sector continues to dominate market activities with over 62,000 transactions, valued at over RM25bil, comprising nearly 60% of overall property market activities.

“Housing priced at RM300,000 and below dominate the market with 33,500 transactions, comprising more than 50% of total transactions,” he said when presenting the 1Q24 Real Estate Market Report in a live broadcast on Facebook yesterday.

According to Abdul Razak, construction activities also showed positive growth in 1Q24 when commencements rose to more than 21,300 units, an increase of almost 8% from the previous year, while planned new developments decreased to around 11,000 units.

New residential launches increased by 19.8% to 5,585 units from 4,661 units in 1Q23. The serviced apartment segment saw a 70% spike in completed units to 5,500. Projects starting construction and planned new developments each rose by more than 100% versus the same quarter in 2023.

The Malaysian House Price Index rose marginally by 0.5% to 216.9 points, with house prices averaging RM468,000 a unit, Abdul Razak said.

“All states recorded moderate growth of between 0.5 and 4.6%, except for Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Perak, Melaka, and Sarawak, where prices contracted by between 0.2% and 2%.

“Terraced housing remained stable with a positive 1.8% growth while other types of housing recorded a marginal decrease,” he said.

Completed unsold housing, commonly known as a residential overhang, decreased to 24,208 units worth RM16.49bil compared with 25,816 units worth RM17.68bil in 4Q23. Serviced apartment overhang rose by 5.2% to 21,913 units, with a 9.7% rise in ringgit value to RM18.16bil.

“Serviced apartment units priced between RM500,000 and RM1mil make up 58.1% of the total overhang,” he said.

Source: Bernama


Cove by the Pier: A new vision for Penang’s agro-tourism

Property News/ 15 May 2024 No comments


A Malaysian tuna fishing and trading company, Alpha Ocean Resources Berhad (AORB), is set to revitalize the Swettenham Pier area in Penang with an ambitious agro-tourism initiative named “Cove by the Pier.” This project aims to transform the existing warehouses into a dynamic tuna landing port and multifaceted tourism hub.

Deputy Chief Executive Officer Sylvester Pua of AORB recently presented the preliminary design proposal to Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow. The project envisions six distinct zones: a tuna landing zone, Maritime Legacy, Heritage Luxe, Culinary Bay, Urban Retreat, and Market Wharf. Additionally, Pua proposed the creation of a bazaar-style commerce strip to enhance local entrepreneurship and enrich the experience for cruise passengers.

The initiative not only aims to boost the initial impressions of visitors disembarking at the pier but also seeks to honor and integrate the heritage aspects of the area. During the briefing, AORB project manager Nosly Wazid Kasmani introduced a complementary proposal for a super-frozen (-60°C) tuna and seafood export project, adhering to the standards of the Organisation For the Promotion of Responsible Tuna Fisheries (OPRT).

Chief Minister Chow expressed appreciation for the comprehensive briefing, highlighting the importance of collaboration with the Penang Port Commission (PPC) and other relevant bodies under the Transport Ministry, which oversee the administration and development of Penang Port.

Chow acknowledged that while this was not the first briefing on the warehouse transformation, he remains hopeful that AORB’s proposals will receive due consideration from the ministry and associated entities. The project has garnered attention from key stakeholders and international business partners, including representatives from Taiwan and Japan.

With its innovative approach, the Cove by the Pier project promises to enhance Penang’s agro-tourism landscape, fostering economic growth and cultural preservation simultaneously.

Property market on road to recovery

Property News/ 15 May 2024 No comments


Malaysia’s property market is on the road to recovery, as evidenced by improved volume and value in property transactions last year, says housing and local government minister Nga Kor Ming.

In his keynote address for the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia’s (Rehda) Regional Housing Conference 2024, Nga said Malaysia witnessed 399,000 property transactions worth around RM200 billion in 2023, a 2.5% growth in volume and 9.9% in ringgit value.

He was quoted by Bernama as saying that since the Madani government took office, the number of completed but unsold properties, commonly referred to as an overhang, has decreased by over 40% with a drop from 37,066 units to less than 24,000 units.

“We expect steady performance in the property market in 2024. This will help boost our gross domestic product (GDP),” he said, adding that property stocks have appreciated, some by more than 600% in the last 12 months.

The minister also said Malaysia had become a magnet for expatriates, with the number of working permits issued by the immigration department to highly skilled foreigners rising to 154,115 in 2023 against 110,819 in 2022.

He said this 40% rise suggested that the influx of foreign direct investments had created more high-skilled job opportunities.

Source: FMT Online


Avion Residence

Bayan Lepas/ 14 May 2024 No comments


Avion, a serviced residence development by Rackson Group at Bayan Lepas. Part of its maiden Penang Gateway project located just across Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah from Penang International Airport. There will be a link bridge connecting to the proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT) station at Penang International Airport and the airport’s future expansion.

This development will involve the construction of a 36-storey commercial building, comprising a total of 608 serviced suites with an 8-level car parking podium. The serviced suites range in size from single-bedroom units at 488 sq.ft. to 3-bedroom units of up to 1,328 sq.ft. Additionally, the same building will house the Le Méridien hotel.

Project Name : Avion
Location : Bayan Lepas
Property Type : Serviced residence
Total Units: 608
Built-up Area: 488 sq.ft. – 1,328 sq.ft.
Indicative Price: RM342,000 onwards
Developer : Rackson Group

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