Best and worst apartments/condominiums of year 2008 in Johor Bahru

Year 2008 is coming to its end. We have voted 9 of the best and worst apartments/condominiums in Johor Bahru from over 20 candidates for their “must-know specialties”.

wadihana113
The most strategic location
Surrounded by 3 highways – Tebrau Highway, Skudai Highway and JB inner ring road, Wadihana is located in kampong Wadihana – centre of the triangle of the 3 highways. “Perfect location”, surrounded by kampong, you will even get “rooster” giving you a wake up call every morning. That will be an extra you will not get in city living!!!!

pulai-view21
The most “unbelievable” location
So near yet so far!!!! You could see Pulai View from Skudai Highway, yet it is impossible to get in directly (from City or Skudai). You would need to make an U-turn 2km away (which is about another 10 mins) from every direction in order to enter into it. Otherwise, you have to take small roads from Angsana Plaza or Tampoi Indah. Thanks to the designer of the “head-spinning” Perling Flyover – “Another Project by BN”.

larkin20residence1
“Too-well-planned” Club House location
Larkin Residence’s Club House is at least 200m away from the nearest resident unit, o.5km away from the farthest unit. Thanks to the on-hold phase 2 which is supposed to be constructed in between the club house and the existing phase 1. The developer should not have “planned” so far…

4820sri_wangi-1-large11
The best of the worst
Besides its large compound and good management, every 8 units in each floor of Sri Wangi are served by 2 spacious lifts with security gate at the entrance of ground floor (small point, it makes you feel like you are a jailbird getting out of the lift), making its residents the most fortunate apartment residents – although surrounded by several pretty run-down apartments like Lily & Jasmine, Sri Kenari and Park Avenue. Truly a rose among the thorns!

pc170134
The worst of the best
Sri Kurnia is situated in one of the high class estate in Taman Pelangi. Although it has less than 60 units only, the management seems to have difficulty in managing this apartment with its super-small compound. Imagine, how would you feel if you see a main gate that still requires human power to open for residents and visitors?

img_00542
The largest swimming pool
Straits Views has more than 3 pools as shown in the pictures. We found its compound for common facilities to be the biggest among all condominiums we have seen in JB.

7189_31
The most pathetic swimming pool
If you are wondering how small a swimming pool can be for a condominium, you should visit Embassy Suite. Allegedly its swimming pool can only accommodate a family with 3-5 kids! Can you imagine the residents still have to share this pool with a budget hotel operating inside the condominium! Take a look at the picture and you can understand our sentiment. Sigh….

12295954371
The most “environmental-friendly”
With broken light bulbs in most common areas (corridor of several floors and lifts) for the whole year, Larkin Utama is considered the most energy-saving apartment in Town! They even have a water conservation policy – “they DON’T change water of swimming pool at all”. They are really going “Green”…

bistari-impian1
The most children-friendly
Bistari Impian is the only apartment we found to be equipped with childcare centre just at the door step. Also, there are 2 primary schools (one Kebangsaan and one Chinese) within walking distance.

The too-lenient security
To top the list of leniency, we have to hand it to Bistari Impian. Anyone can get in and out without being checked. In fact, anyone can just enter into the apartment by waving hand to the guards in guardhouse – no ID is required from visitor. So, don’t expect you will be given a permit. Just drive straight through! Also don’t expect you can find out who has just moved in recently because the guard house has no record!

prima-regency4
The most secured security
Prima Regency is the only condominium with so-called “3-tier security” – main entrance, building entrance and lift. If you happen to drop by in the evening, you will even see more than 10 security guards assemble in neat form in front of the management office for their daily briefing.

About The Author

ongkl

Coming from a humble little town named Tangkak in north Johor state of Malaysia, I am so lucky to have chances to learn and work both in Johor Bahru and Singapore – a conurbation with 6.49 million still fast growing population – since year 1996. Hope now I can have a chance to contribute back to the community by sharing what I see, what I know and what I learn in this wonderful place.

235 Comments

  • Garry Andres

    Reply Reply June 27, 2009

    What are the safest apartments in JB now?

  • Megan

    Reply Reply July 13, 2009

    Hi Ong
    When was Aloha built/completed? Is this a freehold development? Have the owners obtained their strata titles? Is the property management good? Any other similar properties good for investment? What’s the difference between condo, apt and serviced apt? Any impact in the returns?
    Would appreciate your valuable comments. Thanks a lot.

    Megan

    • ongkl

      Reply Reply July 17, 2009

      Hi Megan,

      Sorry that I don’t have much information of Aloha. But the management there is good.

      In Malayisa, major differences between condo, apt and serviced apt are the amendities and services provided by management of the property. All these factors will affect the demand directly and therefore the potential return.

      Cheers

  • Mick

    Reply Reply August 28, 2009

    Hi all,

    I am thinking of getting Sri Kurnia condo because of its size (about 1700sf) and location (T. Pelangi) for about RM260k. I have read your appraisal “worst of the best”. I know the surrounding area is really small but i heard there’s been new management since this year and the place looks more spruced up with a new coat of paint. I may move in there in 2/3 years time but in the meanwhile, i plan to rent it out. Do you think its a good investment?

    • ongkl

      Reply Reply September 3, 2009

      Hi Mick,

      RM260k for a 1700sf condo is in fact quite a good buy looking at the supreme location of Sri Kurnia. I have not been there since last year and I don’t know if the condo has been upgraded or not. If the new management can manage the condo in a better way, it will definitely attract more tenants and buyers.

      If you are able to rent the unit out for RM2000 and above, this should be a good investment.

      Cheers

  • li

    Reply Reply September 2, 2009

    Greeting Ong !
    Do you have any details on The Habitat Condo ? Is it a good property to invest in ? What’s the rental like and how’s the management ? Would appreciate your insight ?
    Thanks !

    • ongkl

      Reply Reply September 3, 2009

      Hi li,

      Sorry that I am not familiar with the condo.

      Cheers

  • Fion

    Reply Reply September 13, 2009

    Hi Ong,

    Such a great website provide many useful info.

    Currently i’m working in singapore and next yr planning to buy a property in jb for own stay. Any good suggestion? My utmost concern is location and security. As i need to travel daily to singapore. Please give some info and how much budget should i prepare. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

    • ongkl

      Reply Reply October 8, 2009

      Hi Fion,

      Sorry for the late reply.

      You can try to look for apartments around Tampoi area as the location is near to both causeway and 2nd link.
      However, avoid apartments with poor management which directly affects the security and quality of the neighbourhood.

      You can consider Kip Park and Pulai View. The former costs above RM160k for a 3-room unit but it’s quite crowded, while the latter costs above RM210k for the same size of unit due to its low density and better management.

      Cheers

  • Henry Lee

    Reply Reply September 14, 2009

    How can u get a 1700 sq feet Sri Kurnia for 260k! unless it is a lelong one.Pls let me know if u ‘ve this good lobang.

  • William

    Reply Reply September 26, 2009

    i’m concern about safety surrounding the Wadihana. Any friend of u staying there.
    Thanks

  • Mick

    Reply Reply October 8, 2009

    The unit at Sri kurnia is only 1,400+ sq feet and not 1,700 sq feet. Rental (fully furnished) is only around RM1,300- 1,500. I heard from a friend who has a unit there that the management is very poor. Decided against purchase for investment.

  • nur from sg would like to stay but worried abt safety

    Reply Reply October 12, 2009

    i hv a question to ask is skudai villa apt nearer or larkin residence apt as i hv to go in n out by bus fr sg n i got a 16 year student fr sg .dat need to go to school still pls reply as iam very keen n intested k

    • ongkl

      Reply Reply October 17, 2009

      Hi Nur,

      I would recommend you to consider Larkin Residence due to its nearer location to causeway, good management and environment.

      Cheers

  • Winarto P. / Fang Hui

    Reply Reply October 12, 2009

    Hi Ong, how are you ? Hope everything is fine with you. I was told that a foreigner can only buy a condo which cost RM 250K above, is this true ? If the price of a condo is less than RM 250K but purchasing 2 units, will this be allowed ? Can you recommend townhouse in JB ? Thanks

  • Winarto P. / Fang Hui

    Reply Reply October 14, 2009

    HELLO ONG, PLS ADVISE ON THE FOLLOWING PROPERTY : TOWNHOUSE AT NUSAVILLA, TAMAN NUSA BESTARI JAYA, SKUDAI, JB. AREA 1635 SQFT, PRICE RM 260K. HOW IS THE LOCATION AND IS IT GOOD FOR INVESTMENT ? THANKS FOR YOUR HELP.

    • ongkl

      Reply Reply October 25, 2009

      Hi Winarto,

      I have visited Nusavilla once early of this year. The environment and management there are considered good. Location wise Nusa Bestari is one of the fast growing new towns in JB. It sould be fine if you are buying it for your own stay. However, if you are considering it for rental income, RM260k seems a bit high unless it’s well furnished.

      Cheers

  • Joan

    Reply Reply October 17, 2009

    Hi Ong,

    Just came across your blog, very useful for singaporean.
    I have some questions and hope you can help me. My husband is a Malaysian and a singapore PR. I am a singaporean. we want to invest in Apt/Condo in Johor Bahru. Can you recommend some apts? We have a budget of abt 180K ringgit. What areas are good for investment?? How much can the bank loan us? Is the loan better to loan from singapore or malaysia? Sorry for asking so many questions..Thank you.

    • ongkl

      Reply Reply October 25, 2009

      Hi Joan,

      Based on your budget, I would like to recommend you to look for 2 to 3-room apartments in Tampoi and Larkin, e.g. Kip Park, Bestari Impian, Suria Mas, Larkin Residence. If you don’t mind the location to be far away from causeway/second link, you may consider Prima Regency.

      Local banks normally can loan up to 90% of the property purchase price. I would suggest you to borrow from Malaysian banks as Singaporean dollar is getting stronger and stronger which means your interest cost may be getting higher (relatively) if you borrow in Singapore.

      Cheers

      • Lau CK

        Reply Reply May 9, 2012

        Hi Ong,

        Is Suria Mas Suite and Suria Mas the same?

        Thanx

  • Garry Andres

    Reply Reply October 18, 2009

    Well I see you have time to delete my post but not time to answer my initial question. Why does that not surprize me?

    • ongkl

      Reply Reply October 19, 2009

      Sorry Garry as I have lost track of your initial question posted in June. Anyway, I really don’t know which apartments in JB are now the safest.
      Any other reader who can enlighten us about this?

      Cheers

  • Mandy

    Reply Reply October 26, 2009

    I would like to rectify some mistakes cited by Mick.There are 3 sizes available in Sri Kurnia,namely 1500,1755,1860 sq feet respectively and the rental can now fetch 1800 if fully furnished.I am the proud owner there and the new management is doing the great job of upgrading the premises.I am confident this property will appreciate once the economy recovers.Location,location,location

  • Winarto P. / Fang Hui

    Reply Reply October 27, 2009

    thanks for information. i was told that nusavilla/nusa bestari is near to the 2nd link checkpoint to s’pore, is it true ? what about the rental demand there ? actually i plan to buy for investment / rental income but maybe in future for own stay.

    • Mark Harrison

      Reply Reply November 4, 2009

      Hi there.. i owned a corner property in Nusavilla… type Sayan, Phase 1… approx 1300sq.ft.
      please email me if interested.. i have build in kitchen cabinet by Oriss with nicely furnished hood and hob by Electrolux, nicely done lighting (modern minimalist)… view to appreciate… i need to let it go fast as i am relocated to KL now… very hesitating to sell cause the are is coming up… Tesco, Giant, Jusco, Medical Centre and many more…

      • Leon Lam

        Reply Reply November 18, 2009

        Hi Mark

        Can you contact me regarding the property you want to sell?
        wtlam@hotmail.com.

        Thanks,
        Leon

      • Param

        Reply Reply April 5, 2010

        Hi, Mark.

        Is your apartment sold yet? Please email me at paramsg@gmail.com. Thanks.

  • simon

    Reply Reply October 30, 2009

    hi Ong,

    So mush appreciate for your helping to solve our confusing.
    Here’s my enquiry….. Do you have any idea about PELITA INDAH CONDO?
    Do you think is good idea for invest? How much do you think is the reasonable price?
    Thanks

    cheers
    simon

    • ongkl

      Reply Reply November 12, 2009

      Hi Simon,

      I have been there 2 months ago. The management there is really bad. I personally won’t invest into it…

      Cheers

  • DG

    Reply Reply November 1, 2009

    Hi Ongkl,

    Do you have any ideas how much is the selling price for Prima Regency, 3 bedrooms apartment when they first lauch?

    • ongkl

      Reply Reply November 12, 2009

      Hi DG,

      If I am not wrong it was around RM140k-RM150k for lower level when they first launched.
      Readers please correct me if I am wrong.

      Cheers

  • Mark Harrison

    Reply Reply November 4, 2009

    opps you may contact me at 012-7023194… or email me at marxgraphy@gmail.com 🙂

  • goBetong

    Reply Reply November 7, 2009

    Ong,

    Trust you do not me answering Megan’s queries.

    Aloha was completed circa 1993. It’s freehold with individual strata title issued for each unit. It certainly is one of the better managed condo in JB, in a prime location in the proximity of Danga Bay, away from the hustle of the city and yet closeby. Some of the Johor royalties even stay there.

    • Megan

      Reply Reply December 15, 2009

      Thanks 🙂

  • Garry

    Reply Reply November 8, 2009

    What are the crucial flaws in structure, appliances and facilities that should be addressed when buying a house and how can these flaws be detected visually before one ends up buying a house that looks good on the outside but is a hazard (aka, roof, plumbing, aircon units, etc)?
    Also, what is the legal process? How much does it cost? How long does it take?

  • Winarto P. / Fang Hui

    Reply Reply November 22, 2009

    HELLO ONG, I WILL BE IN S’PORE ON DEC 23-28 AND WILL CROSS OVER TO JB FOR 2 DAYS TO LOOK AROUND THE CONDOS FOR SALE. HOW CAN I CONTACT YOU TO MEET ? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WADIHANA CONDO FOR INVESTMENT, OFFERING AT RM 300K FOR 1667 SQFT ? I WAS INFORMED THAT ABOUT 10 YRS AGO THIS CONDO CAN SELL AROUND RM 600K AND NOW HALF OF IT, THE STRATA TITLE ALREADY BEEN ISSUED, WHY IS THIS CONDO DROPPED SO MUCH ? THANKS

    • ongkl

      Reply Reply December 5, 2009

      Hi Winarto,

      10 years ago property market in JB was still hot and at that time Wadihana was very new, that’s why the price could be so high. On the other hand, according to some property agents, most potential buyers feedback that they don’t like its entrance.
      I heard that the strata title was just issued recently.

      Cheers

  • Joros

    Reply Reply November 27, 2009

    Hi Mr Ong,
    I need your advise.
    Can u pls tell me if sri samudra is a good condo?, management? etc
    What is a reasonable price for a two room 750 sq ft apt?
    current price.
    Unit abv 10 th flr
    not facing sea
    thanks for yr help
    another question is, can a singaporean buy a property less the 350,000 ringgit?
    understand a levy of 10,000 riggit is required for foreigner buying.
    also understand from 1 jan 2010, a capital gains tax wud be implemented.
    any gains u need to pay 5% tax
    is this correct?
    tks again

    • ongkl

      Reply Reply December 5, 2009

      Hi Joros,

      Sri Samudra is one of the quality condos in JB. You may check with property agents for its details.

      The RM10k levy is applicable to foreigners who are buying a property less than RM250k in Malaysia.
      Yes, the government is implementing back the property gain tax.

      Cheers

  • Wan Kin Beng

    Reply Reply December 9, 2009

    Hi Mr Ong,

    May I have your opinion about Pulai View apartment that asking for RM270k? Is it worth it? How is their management? I’m currently looking for apartment/condo around JB area that convenient for me to travel to singapore everyday. Thanks.

    Cheers…

    • ongkl

      Reply Reply December 28, 2009

      Hi Kin Beng,

      Sorry for the late reply.

      Pulai View is one of my favourite apartments. Good location and management. The only drawback is the interior.
      If the unit is well and fully furnished and located at high floor, RM270k is a fair price since such an unit can fetch up to RM2.5k monthly rent.

      Cheers

      • Raymond

        Reply Reply January 20, 2010

        Since Pulai View is one of your favourite, I am sure you own at least one unit there. 😉 I am looking into this apartment too. But am not very sure if it is easy to rent out the unit there, i.e. if the demand for rental market is high. And, if the demand is sustainable in the long run. Hope to hear your view on this, and your experience with the tenants there. Thanks.

      • Raymond

        Reply Reply January 21, 2010

        Since Pulai View is one of your favourite apartments, I believe you must own at least one unit there. I would like to hear your view on the rental market there:
        1. Though it is good yield, 2K-2.5K is rather high. Is it easy to find a tenant? Especially so when the rental at Danga View or Larkin Residence are cheaper and location is nearer to the town and causeway? Why would tenant choose Pulai View over other similar apartments/condos nearby?
        2 Can the high rent in Pulai View substain in the long run?

        Thanks in advanced.

  • Garry

    Reply Reply December 15, 2009

    I am in from Canada to view some properties. Please contact me through email and I will pass you my phone number.

  • Garry (Canada)

    Reply Reply December 28, 2009

    I am in Sg. now and be coming to JB Wednesday. My HP is 06590988056.

  • Myky

    Reply Reply December 31, 2009

    hi.. mr ongkl..
    i am a beginner in investment of real estate. i would like to diversify my investment portfolio to property (JB area). In 2009, i intensively involve in stock market investment and next year 2010 i plan to involve in property investment in which more stable, lower risk..
    So, i need someone who can advice me. i need the following info/ tips :-
    1) strategic location (Taman) for commercial/ shoplot invetment (price below 600k)
    2) strategic location (taman) for apartment/ condo investment (price below rm250k)
    i prefer area around Tebrau, skudai, JB city or nusajaya.. Thanks for your valuable info. Happy New Year 2010…..

  • Prasanna

    Reply Reply January 6, 2010

    Hi Ong,

    I am planning to buy a property in Indah Samudra condo ,They are asking 350K , I am not sure if its worth the investment ,since i saw few cracks inside the house which a bit scares me . Is that condo safe to buy and worth the investment .

    Appreciate your comments

    Thanks
    Prasanna

  • ray

    Reply Reply January 11, 2010

    hi, bukit indah has a soft launch for their serviced apartment, The Sky. The selling price is above 280K for 2 bedrooms. What do you think? Will this be the good investment?

  • JBOLEH

    Reply Reply January 13, 2010

    eh ray..why unable to find any info on “The Sky”..is it by setiahomes?..

  • KHALID

    Reply Reply January 13, 2010

    hi ong,
    there’s talk recently that s’poreans can purchase units which are only Rm$500k and above from 2010 onwards. Is there any truth in this or is this just a ploy by developers to push sales and create an artificial ‘rush’ to purchase properties??

    Would also apprciate your comment on question raised by Ray on The Sky in Bt Indah…

    cheers

  • johann

    Reply Reply January 18, 2010

    hi joros and winarto!!

    if you re looking for condos around , i would recommend abdul samad, jalan tengku petri , jalan kolam air or jalan mariamah area where all the luxury condos are located. good thing is this area is quiet and access to most areas are just within minutes with no traffic jams. the residents of this area are mostly prominent peoples like businessman and high ranking officials.very relaxing and strategic location to stay. you all might check out on vista heights condominium which the management are presently giving a facelift to it. spacious area 2100 sf in prime location.

  • Fion

    Reply Reply January 28, 2010

    Hi! Currently i’m looking for double storey units with guarded gate at Bukit Indah. Pls recommend. Thanks!

  • Azhar

    Reply Reply January 31, 2010

    hi Mr. Ong,

    Do u know anything ’bout Sri Mutiara, Seri Alam. In term of management, security etc. TQ

  • summer lim

    Reply Reply March 1, 2010

    Hi ong,

    Near the skudai road, there got a apartment called Kip Park apartment.
    May I know regarding the apartment isn’t a good location for investment? How much the apartment there?
    the apartment can rental out how much per month?
    Kindly provide me some information.

    Thank you

  • Sean

    Reply Reply March 11, 2010

    Hi All,

    have anyone know the apartment call m’tiara @ jalan kebun te?h still under construction. Can anyone give me some comment about that apartment. Can I buy for investment?

  • vincent tan

    Reply Reply March 16, 2010

    I am considering buy a unit at embassy suites apt at jb .
    821sq feet. Asking price 190K

    it is a good buy?

    pls comment?

  • ray

    Reply Reply March 23, 2010

    hi JBOLEH,

    U can’t find any infor for this project from website as it is not officially launch yet. The sales office currently is doing soft launching now…U may drop by Bukit Indah sales office for more details. For your infor, the selling price is very steep.

    • Sheila

      Reply Reply April 8, 2010

      Hi,

      The take up rate for THE SKY SERVICED Apartment @Bukit Indah was fast for good facing units. My understanding was most of the 2 and 3 BR facing the bay view were taken up.

  • ray

    Reply Reply March 23, 2010

    hi there,

    If talking about condo around RM500K, I would suggest you may take a look at Straits View Condo, the facilities are well maintained and it is known as one of the best condo in JB. I heard the rental yield is also quite high there.

    Any comment?

  • sky

    Reply Reply March 26, 2010

    Hi Ong,

    Could you please kindly provide some inputs on Sri Samudera (280k for 780sqf) and Danga View?
    I am currently working in Sg and would like to get a condos in JB and commute everyday.
    However don’t find the area in Sri Samudera very appealing.
    Would appreciate if u can comment.

    thanks in advance
    rgds,
    Sky

  • Feng

    Reply Reply April 8, 2010

    I went to Bt Indah to view Key, I believe the location is very convenient, it’s near Tesco, Jusco and Giant. The facility is also good with 50m swimming pool and gym, tennis court. The 2 BR (1000sqrt+) is 260K up depending on floor level, I m not sure if the price is considered too high given the good location and facility in JB.

  • WSTAY

    Reply Reply April 10, 2010

    Hi Feng,
    Please go to the following web site to find out more detail:-
    http://www.myrealestate.com.my/viewtopic.php?t=11341&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=

  • Iana

    Reply Reply April 12, 2010

    How can i speak to an agent incharge regarding a tenancy contract agreement for one of the unit in Larkin Utama Condominium in JB? Can someone pls reply. Thank u.

  • ray

    Reply Reply April 12, 2010

    hi WSTAY,

    The forum you given seems this project is not attractive, at least not for Johorean. I went to the sales office last week and surprisingly, most of the 2 rooms units have been sold. The leftover are 1 room and 3 rooms type, which the pricing is not attractive at all.

    I was told some of the units were taken up by Singaporean.

    Feng,

    If you think this project is affordable for you, don’t hesitate anymore! quickly go and grap one unit bcos as I said the no many units available now!

  • Garry

    Reply Reply April 16, 2010

    Well I was there and it seems that Realtors are very unreliable. I contacted5 all saying they would meet me. After the second visit to JB and no one showing up I no longer tryed. Is this the best you can do?

  • abh5303

    Reply Reply April 20, 2010

    Dear Ong,

    I am interested in Danga Bay view apartment, which I can possibly purchase for RM250k (2nd hand). I went to the danga walkway the other day, noticed there is a lot of developments there, beautiful area now as compared to 3 years ago.

    May I have your kind advise, with that kind of prices, do you think Danga Bay view apt worth buying?
    Regards

  • abh5303

    Reply Reply April 20, 2010

    Hi everyoneI am looking for apartment in JB as I think JB has one of most beautiful area around the coastal, especially now, with the development of Danga bay.Anyone can advise me, is danga view apt which are priced at RM250k (standard unit 1038 sqft) is worth buying ? positive cashflow is my target. Anyone knows about Danga view, appreciate to let me know. Is danga bay a well maintained and managed?
    Regards

    • Lawrencce

      Reply Reply April 23, 2010

      Is Danga view freehold apt?

  • Garry

    Reply Reply April 21, 2010

    Are you planning to do a Best and Worst Condominiums 2010?
    Have any improved over the years, eg. maintanence, security, upkeep?

  • Garry

    Reply Reply April 21, 2010

    Rate Sri Mutiara, Seri Alam, Taman Languna

  • ray

    Reply Reply April 26, 2010

    abh5303,

    As i know Danga Bay is leasehold property and this is the limitation for this property. As you know JB has plenty of empty land and you need to be more skeptical for leasehold property.

    The rental there is about RM1,200 to RM1,600 and therefore the cashflows may not be attractive.

    Just my 2 cents

  • sha

    Reply Reply April 27, 2010

    hi ong,

    I looking to own 1 unit studio apartment for investment. this is new launced Palazio maple & mulberry (phase 2) serviced apartment by mayland group. is this property will return positive cash flow?. TQ

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