Kudos to Sheda for proposal


BINTULU: The proposal by Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) Bintulu to set up a new township under the low and affordable housing scheme has been complimented by Housing Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg as a brilliant idea.

“Every contractor will contribute their part to give certain developers certain areas, meaning the whole township will be developed by the whole Sheda members here based on their own consensus.

“This is a very brilliant approach, an improvement by developers on the aspect of housing development. Bintulu will become a role model for other developers in other divisions, there is no such approach being taken in other places so far,” he said after officiating at the Sheda Bintulu liaison office opening ceremony on the top floor of Esplanade Restaurant along the Bintulu Promenade on Tuesday.

According to Johari, the proposal would be discussed further with his ministry, Sheda and Ministry of Resource Planning and Environment, adding that this would be a new formula compared to the conventional way of building and developing low cost and affordable housing areas.

“This indeed is a new approach of mixed development, where we don’t differentiate between the low and high income group because the facilities are the same, while the price is controlled by the government,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said a suitable area would be identified in Bintulu for affordable housing like 15-storey apartments that come along with complete facilities.

Also present were Sheda vice president and Bintulu branch liaison chairman Troy Yaw Chee Weng, Assistant Minister of Housing Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Openg, Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda) chief executive officer Datuk Amar Wilson Baya Dandot, Temenggong Barry Yek and Bintulu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Pemanca Dr Francis Toh.-BP

Abg Jo: Gated communities must be regulated


BINTULU: The Gated and Guarded Community (Gacos) concept in the state needs to be properly regulated.

Housing Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said as such the concept, which is still new in Sarawak, requires closer study.

“We have received applications from housing developers whose projects also include such gated and guarded community schemes.

“However unfortunately there is no specific law on such kind of development in Sarawak yet. We see this shortcoming as more and more gated and guarded communities have sprouted up especially in urban areas,” he said in his presentation on urban property development and redevelopment in Sarawak hosted by the Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) on Tuesday.

He said a series of study trips were initiated to Johor Bahru, Singapore and Australia to learn the various possible models that could be emulated for such developments in Sarawak.

The ministry, he said, has conducted two lab sessions with the relevant stakeholders such as the State Planning Authority (SPA), Land and Survey Department, Ministry of Resource Planning and Environment, Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, city councils, professional bodies and Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda).

“Therefore in this context, my ministry will continue to work closely with other stakeholders including the Ministry of Resource Planning and Environment, State Attorney General’s Office and local authorities to study in depth the various options and approaches on how best to regulate the development of Gacos in Sarawak,” he said.

Given the complexity of the issue and various legal and technical implications involved, he said the study would need more time before a proposal can be finalised.

“We will also engage Sheda and other industry players in this process to ensure the new legal framework suits the needs of the industry,” he added.

Johari said based on the findings from the lab sessions and study visits, several options have been identified to address these issues.

One example that could be considered, he said, is Australia’s community title or group title scheme which has shown to be more accommodative and flexible compared to the strata approach.

This concept can easily accommodate complex mixed developments comprising of apartments, bungalows, club houses, offices and commercial units, he said. He added that apartment or any ‘layered’ property would be issued with strata titles while landed property would be issued with land titles.

“There is a clear-cut to the definition of titles and it has proven to be a success and welcome approach to new developments in Australia.

“It offers great flexibility in planning and opportunity to engage community participation to the degree much neglected in estate planning of the past,” he said.

He explained that an existing gated community consisting of 10 bungalows and one block of flats could retain their respective land and strata titles, while the common access areas such as the open space, access road and drains inside the gated area shall be vested to the maintenance of the community.-BP

‘Be aware of complexity, challenges in property devt’ developers told


Posted on August 29, 2013, Thursday

BINTULU: Urban property development is not limited to providing a physical place to stay as it also creates a new and conducive lifestyle that promotes wholesome community and modern living, said Sarawak Housing Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.

Thus to ensure the continuous growth of the housing industry, he encouraged property players to imbue themselves with a culture of continuous learning so that they can arm themselves with knowledge and new information to prepare for the complexity and challenges of development to come.

Speaking during a dinner talk on urban property development and redevelopment in Sarawak on Tuesday evening, he also said one of the emerging development trends in the local housing industry is the gated residential scheme.

Other emerging trends, he added, include the popularity of mixed-use development in a single plot or under one parent title and the need to undertake urban renewal project and redevelopment to address the critical issue of overcrowding in existing villages and urban settlements.

He also pointed out that the ever changing house buyers’ expectations and needs affect how Malaysian developers undertake housing development.

As a result in recent years to attract buyers, developers included more green areas, landscaping, parks and recreational facilities in their projects besides security features (gated and guarded features), modern infrastructure, attractive and contemporary design and availability of community activities, he said.

And for large-scale housing projects, these features are a must to make the product more attractive and competitive, he added.

He told property and housing developers to keep themselves abreast of these trends and rising expectations of urban dwellers, in particular among the younger generation.

“The price of property is only among many factors being considered by potential house buyers when they want to buy a house.

“Other important considerations are the public facilities to be provided, quality design, accessibility to public transport and the reputation and image of developers themselves.

“Therefore any mid-size and large-scale property and housing development must be carried out to a sustainable basis that would at the same time enhance liveability, neighbourhood spirit and ethnic integration.,

“In other words, a housing project must be environmentally, socially, culturally and economically sustainable for it to provide a long-lasting and conducive place for living,” he said.

On another matter, Abang Johari expressed concern over the increasing household debts which have been highlighted in the media recently.

The event was hosted by the Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI). Also present were Assistant Minister of Housing Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, SCCI president Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Openg, Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda) chief executive officer Datuk Amar Wilson Baya Dandot, Temenggong Barry Yek and Bintulu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Pemanca Dr Francis Toh.-BP