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APRIL 2017




FIRST TIME HOMEBUYERS KDN PP 18181/04/2013 (033492)

APRIL 2017 RM7.50(WM) RM9.00(EM)



Aspiring Ahead

Dato’ KK Chua, Editor-in-Chief


pril has indeed breathed in, as we are absolutely ahead with hopes to achieve our planned goals for the first quarter of the 2017. Challenges have surfaced amidst the economic volatilities, despite that we believe our beloved readers, mostly keen property investors and buyers are proving strong and determined that, the least 180 degree turn is possible to meet the promising success curve. This issue spreads to an expressive piece as our senior writer Mages had an interesting cover story interview with the founder of the avid developer M101, Dato’ Seth Yap Ting Hau, who strongly believes in his move to build the aspiring M101 Skywheel. The issue also features sub-editor Gabriel Lim’s review on “Cooling Measures”t and writer Felicia Soon on “Joint Ownership: It takes two to Tango”. MB World took the Developer of The Month spread, talking on their project Taman Sri Penawar located at Desaru, Johor. The highly

skilled developer had taken an extra mile to let the people know of the fascinating features awaiting the buyers. The Personality of The Month article spectacled the highly admired Tan Sri AK Nathan, group managing director of Eversendai, the steel structure and fabrication tycoon. The main feature for March had an easy twist, entitled ‘Views from the First Time Homebuyers’ featuring young adults who discovered ways to own a home and feeling the deep sense of ownership. Then, sinking deeper with coverage on area focused in the Subang Jaya vicinity, what is in store at that address, let’s turn to page 42 to know more! With deep thoughts, let us ponder on better times, as Napoleon Hill once wrote, “Most great people have attained their greatest success one step beyond their greatest failure.’

Editor-in-Chief Dato’ KK Chua Sub Editor Gabriel Lim Writers Mages PV Lingam Felicia Soon CREATIVE Creative Director Sarah Tan Designer Megat Khuzamir BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Head of Sales Vincent Lim +6012 205 0547 Andy Fam +6012 601 9938 Hagenz Choo +6012 371 8831 Iris Gan +6012 799 6685 Wei Yeen, Chong +6012 927 2863


Armani Media Sdn Bhd (1032085-H) No. 32-3, Jalan Pekaka 8/4 Seksyen 8, Kota Damansara 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Tel : +603 6156 3366 Fax : +603 6156 3399 PRINTER Percetakan Osacar Sdn Bhd Lot 37659, No. 11, Jalan 4/37A Taman Bukit Maluri Industrial Area Kepong, 52100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Insight Malaysia

Property Insight Malaysia


Although every reasonable care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, neither the publisher, editors, writers nor employees or agents can be held liable for any errors, inaccuracies and/or omissions. The contents of this publication do not constitute investment advice. It is intended only to inform and illustrate. No reader should act on any information contained in this publication without first seeking appropriate professional advice that takes into account their personal circumstances. We shall not be responsible for any loss or damage, whether directly or indirectly, incidentally or consequently arising from or in connection with the contents of this publication and shall not accept any liability in relation thereto. The views by our contributors expressed here are their personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect Property Insight’s views. The publisher does not endorse any company, organisation, person, investment strategy or technique mentioned in this publication unless expressedly stated otherwise. The publisher does not endorse any advertisements or special advertising features in this publication, nor does the publisher endorse any advertiser(s) or their products/services unless expressedly stated to the contrary. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, including photocopying and imaging without the prior written permission of the publisher.


On the cover : Dato’ Seth Yap Ting Hau, CEO, M101 Holdings Sdn Bhd.

Property news

Knowledge & Information




Hot deals





42 Subang Jaya Revisited 12

Experience the tranquility at the fringe of this bustling suburb


48 Juliana Teh: Dedicated Property Negotiator Buy the right property to enjoy positive ROI


52 Kansai Paint: Designed for life A range of 360-degree paint solutions that aim to create a safe and healthy environment for family and friends


12 M101: Malaysia’s Catalyst for Property Tourism Reaching the impossibilities with confidence and persistence


18 Views from First Time Homebuyers on their First


A Positive outlook for home ownership among the young adults


22 A Mortgage makes Home Ownership Affordable The different mortgage options available to home owners

24 Cooling Measures


54 Jonathan Quek: Timing is Everything The right timing is important before making any decision to invest


56 Tan Sri A K Nathan: Man of Steel, Heart of Gold Building an empire of everlasting trust


59 Homefield — The Partner of Developers Dedicated to deliver amazing results always


How far have we succeeded in curbing speculations and stablising prices?

62 Everything That’s Wrong with The Charitable Industry in One Sentence

30 Insights on Islamic Home Financing: Advantages to Consider


Another privilege for home owners to make a choice in future

64 Why Buy When You Can Rent

34 Joint Ownership: It Takes Two To Tango


Discover the faster route to owning a property

66 The Why How What secret


68 Hard To Find “Good” Property Deals?

Once sleepy Desaru is ready to embrace rapid development

70 No Pay, No Stay

36 MB World Group: Riding the Tide



roperty Insight ushered in the annual ‘Chinese New Year’ celebration at the Rabbit Hole, Changkat Bukit Bintang on 16 February. The fun-filled event was graced by Property Insight’s editor-in-chief, Dato KK Chua, and was attended by prominent developers, negotiators, lawyers, property gurus and related industry players like Dato Seth Yap, Mr Erick Kho, Mr Gary Chua, Mr Adrian Un and more. The guests mingled and shared the auspicious ‘Year of Rooster’ while enjoying sumptuous food and beverages. APRIL 2017 I 5




eading property developer Hatten Land Limited celebrated the successful debut on the Catalist Board of the Singapore Exchange (SGX) with a grand gala dinner in Melaka’s top premier hotel recently. As the property development arm of Hatten Group, Hatten Land hosted approximately 500 distinguished guests in the ballroom of Hatten Hotel Melaka. The event was held in appreciation of all the key stakeholders, corporate partners and long-term supporters of Hatten Land where guests enjoyed a rousing performance by a renowned hand percussion crew along with the soulful vocal performances by Nutserlar Lim and a 5-piece live band. The evening ended with a resounding group toast to the success and future of Hatten Land.



roperty Insight was present at the event which was held in Setia City Convention Centre, Shah Alam from 3-4 March. The event was officiated by guest of honour, Deputy Finance Minister, Dato’ Lee Chee Leong. The convention saw notable industry speakers like Datuk Seri Michael KC Yam, Ms Yin Bihr, Mr Elvin Fernandez, Mr Erick Kho, with approximately 300 participants. The convention chairman, Lim Boon Ping commented MAREC’17 was set to call all real estate practitioners to keep pace with the fast changing business environment before technological advances makes them inevitable. The 2-day event has widely encouraged property negotiators from north to south and east Malaysia to sign up for the upcoming Asian Real Estate Network Alliance (ARENA) in August 2017.

6 | APRIL 2017




ah Sing Group Berhad (Mah Sing) unveiled its new corporate logo during the Group’s annual dinner at Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. The launch of the Group’s new corporate logo represents the Group’s commitment towards rebranding its company. The new logo that was designed by an award-winning Australian brand consultant has a familiar feel to it, with its vibrant red colour which represents luck, courage, passion and happiness. The name ‘Mah Sing’ was also retained as a significant amount of goodwill and trust has been associated with the name for over the past 50 years. While representing a corporate face, the new logo has a specifically designed logotype which includes a hint of playfulness that signifies Mah Sing as an approachable company. It also demonstrates a mindset to push boundaries.



sian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI) hosted the Greater KL & Smart City Summit 2017 in KL, with the theme “Unification of Smart City Concepts: Malaysia’s Next Step”. Topics discussed included Greater KL as the hub of Smart City concept; Smart Connectivity - How development of urban public transportation impacts the city development?; Smart Utilities Management; Connectivity, Storage and Technology; and The talk on Smart - Are we on track?. Speakers representing Pemandu, InvestKL, DBKL, Malaysia Institute of Transport (Mitrans), Waste Management Association (WMAM), Centre for Environment, Technology & Development (Cetdem), Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM), Public Bike Share Sdn Bhd and more took the stage to share their views.

8 | APRIL 2017



taying true to its mission to build sustainable property for everyone, property developer Tropicana Corporation Berhad launched a first-of-its-kind talk series, “Property for Everyone” recently at Tropicana Metropark, Subang Jaya. It saw a full house turn out during the first weekend of talks targeting Millennials and Executives, with over 500 registrations for the entire series. During The Millennial Series, Alexander Woo, Vice-President of IQI Holdings, who bought his first property at the young age of 22, shared several tips for millennial homebuyers. During The Executive Series, high-spirited participants got to discover more about investing towards financial freedom with actress and entrepreneur, Nur Fazura while Faizul Ridzuan, CEO of FAR Capital, spoke about how to accumulate wealth while working a traditional 9 to 5 job.




roperty Insight attended the “26th National Real Estate Convention” held on 9 March 2017 in KL, with the theme “Fundamental Shift, Creative Planning, Global Cities: Moving Away from Conventional Developments”. It was organised by The Royal Institution of Surveyors (RISM). The president Dato Sr K. Sri Kandan’s speech was delivered by Mr Choy Yue Kwong, vice president, PMVS division of RISM who said “The 26th NREC will explore the key catalysts driving change in our property sector: the advent of e-commerce, future technologies in city construction and arrival of the One Belt One Road policy”. The seminar also saw panel of talented speakers Doryan Ahn, Isso Suzuki, Rajesh Kumar, Danny Tsen, Raymond Chin, Eric Ooi, Choy Yue Kwong, Bian Ruiming and Arthur Chin. APRIL 2017 I 9





axx Media (S) Sdn. Bhd., was awarded the prestigious MSC status by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). Maxx Media (S) is the holding company for Property Hunter, a brand that is synonymous with property related media and events in East Malaysia. Only five years old, this is another milestone for the company as they are shifting towards becoming a fully-integrated IT company and is the first, fully-owned Sabahan Company to receive such status. Property Hunter’s web portal was launched in 2013 and was the first Sabah property portal to offer property listings for free. In January, Maxx Media (S) launched the long-awaited Property Hunter Mobile App, which allows for easier property listing and searching.



EHDA Institute organised “Economic and Business Outlook Conference 2017” recently at Wisma REHDA, Kelana Jaya. More than 230 people consisting of middle, senior management and business leaders from top companies in various industries and also government departments attended the conference. Topics covered included Should Bank Negara Malaysia ease lending for property purchase?; 2017 Real Estate Outlook: what to build, where to build and invest, how to sell?; Falling Ringgit, Bank Interest Rates, Trumpism: how are our major economic sectors faring?; The China factor: What JV and partnership opportunities are there for Malaysian companies with China companies?; What real estate investment and development strategies can you implement in this current market?

10 | APRIL 2017



MALAYSIA’S CATALYST FOR PROPERTY TOURISM Reaching the impossibilities with confidence and persistence. BY: MAGES PV LINGAM

12 I APRIL 2017



ato’ Seth Yap Ting Hau, the founder of M101 Holdings Berhad is a man with the vision to see beyond the horizon. His augmented dream of M101, which stands for Meridian 101 degree, was founded in 2012. The company have planned to launch 10 projects, comprising mainly small office, flexible office (SoFo) with a total Gross Development Value (GDV) of RM4 billion. Dato Seth asserted that, “We aim to promote ‘property tourism’ in Malaysia by targeting investors from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Middle East and Japan.” Seth, a lawyer by profession who has formulated broad strategies on marketing and branding, is determined to venture successfully into this exciting industry. Dato’ Seth graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2001 and was admitted to the England bar Lincoln’s Inn as Barrister-At-Law. Thereafter he read in the chambers of Messrs Skrine & Co. and was admitted to the Malaysian bar on 25 June 2010. Dato’ Seth was conferred the Darjah Kebesaran Mahkota Pahang Yang Amat Mulia with the title of ‘Dato’. Seth was grateful that the bountiful ventures in the property sector has given him his first bucket of gold, with his legal background adding insightful knowledge on the movement of property market. Seen via the perspectives of related industries, these valuable insights have stood by him when he experienced a full cycle of property sector’s difficulties from 2004 till this date. Inevitably, this has made Seth a developer who is more prudent yet at the same time aggressive, who understands the market needs, is able to handle the challenges and tap into the vast opportunities before others spot them. “Being a prudent developer, we are committed to champion property tourism, a concept coined by M101 Group; during the launch of the project, we have pledged RM10 million to drive the property tourism in Malaysia,” said Seth at the launch, which was officiated by Rashidi bin Hasbullah, deputy secretary general, Ministry of Tourism and Culture. By attracting foreign tourists and

investors to the local entertainment or food and beverage outlets, boutiques, retailers or hotels, Seth believes the project will be able to diversify consumption, increase consumer spending and contribute to the nation’s coffer. INNOVATIVE CONCEPT With such a great vision in mind, the upcoming M101 Skywheel is a magnificent project which

encompasses various components with specific purposes to cater to the needs of different groups. A mammoth expectation was projected in the feasibility study, which forecasted that approximately 1 million international tourists would arrive within the first year of completion. Based on the data compiled by Tourism Malaysia, the average per capita expenditure for a tourist is around RM2,000, which translates into a potential turnover of APRIL 2017 I 13

COVER STORY RM2 billion in business. Strategically located nearby the junction of Jalan Tun Razak and Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz in Kuala Lumpur, the 78-storey Skywheel building will feature a ferris wheel at the 52nd floor, a 200,000sq.ft. Skymall located at the 48th to 52nd floors, as well as the glitzy Planet Hollywood Hotel. With direct access to the underground Kampung Baru North MRT station of the MRT Line 2 (Sungai Buloh – Serdang – Putrajaya Line), connectivity to various parts of Klang Valley will be greatly enhanced! Seth joyously affirmed that, “Upon completion, Skywheel will sparkle prominently in the city as an international tourist destination. As it is a massive vertical township, we can generate a self-sustained economy locally within the mixed development itself.” Prior to the Skywheel, M101 Group has launched their maiden project M101 Dang Wangi as well as M101 Bukit Bintang in 2014. Located in the serene Jalan Kamunting neighbourhood, M101 Dang Wangi is a freehold project with a GDV of RM130 million, and is

expected for completion this year. Meanwhile, M101 Bukit Bintang has a GDV of RM320 million and is targeted for completion in 2018. Interestingly, both projects will have the Best Western Hotel, the largest hotel operator in the world as one of the anchor tenant. M101 Dang Wangi has a land size of 11,500sq.ft. The developer has vision to develop the colonial structures and transform it to modern architectural that would still reflect the heritage of the yesteryears. The entrance will see a grand lobby which would splash up a five-star ambience for anyone who walks into the enclave. One of the exciting feature would be the state-ofthe-art private car park lift with fully automated features. Another prime project by the esteem developer is M101 Bukit Bintang, located at Jalan Baba, is subjected for completion by 2018. It has a land size of 24,907sq.ft. The strategic and desired address located in between Bukit Bintang Golden Triangle bringing all within reach like Starhill Gallery, Lot 10, and Pavilion KL. This is a mixed development of

M101 Skywheel’s exclusive Design Suites by Studio F.A Porsche 14 I APRIL 2017

Commercial Retails, Small Office Flexible Office (SOFO), Hotel Suite & Sky Bar with Infinity Pool. The fully furnished units are priced from RM602K – RM1.984million, with sized ranging from 407sq.ft to a whopping 1181sq. ft. per unit. The M101 Bukit Bintang comprises of 27 units of duplex, 117 units of business small office flexible office (SOFO) suites, 100 units of Best Western Hotel, 14 units of Sky Duplex retail, function and facilities too. DELIVERING THE PROMISE Harnessing on a rather unconventional approach, M101 is closely collaborating with prominent names like Best Western and Planet Hollywood in raising the profile of these upcoming skyscrapers. Seth stressed that brand penetration is crucial for M101, and he believed that striking a deal with popular names in related industries can earn the group a competitive edge in the future, as from his experience it would take many years for developers to gain recognition. As such, the group developed a strategy of fast tracking the brand recognition by featuring their name on the map, in

PERSONALITY OF THE MONTH order to gain the confidence of potential investors. “We set ourselves apart by making bold moves like placing a ferris wheel 220m above ground, merely to create an experience will have ‘Wow!’ moments. We have also forged closer cooperation with various professional bodies to ensure its safety. Obviously, the mechanical components and structures of Skywheel would be custom-built, to construct a solid holding ground,” said Seth. The Skywheel’s frontage spans a 60m high definition LED screen visible from hundreds of miles away. As a relatively new player in this field, the biggest challenge faced by the group was to convince the detractors that they could move forward smoothly despite all the doubts. Since some of the industry watchers are not fully confident in the new development approach championed by M101, as no other developer has attempted it thus far, hence they still have doubts on the ability of M101 to deliver a gargantuan project with such an innovative concept. “However, I have over the years learnt that while the negative noise can be

(fourth from left) Dato’ Seth Yap, CEO of M101 and Dato’ Sri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim, Ambassador of Malaysia to Indonesia (middle) together with the representatives from Century21, ERA, Harcourts, LJ Hooker, PROMEX, Ray While and REMAX in Jakarta.

Dato’ Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Minister of Federal Territories together with Hj. Mohd Najib Nordin B. Hj. Mohd., Executive Director (Planning) of Kuala Lumpur City Hall accompanied by M101 Entity Sdn. Bhd. (M101) founder Dato’ Seth Yap Ting Hau officiated the ground breaking ceremony of M101 SkyWheel, a two tower state-of-the-art development with the highest Ferris-wheel in South East Asia designed by Studio F. A. Porsche. APRIL 2017 I 15

COVER STORY loud, there are still plenty of investors who believed in our ability. Being persistent in all areas, we will overcome their doubts with our timely delivery of each projects,” proclaimed Seth. Recently, M101 conducted the topping up ceremony for their maiden project M101 Dang Wangi, signifying the completion of the project. The project will be handed over to purchasers by the 2nd quarter of 2017. EXCEEDING THE EXPECTATION Despite the current soft market sentiments, M101 are seeing positive growth for their project sales, and the group is confident it will not slowdown anytime. Highly sought after qualities such as the convenient location, brilliant concept, awesome branding, suitable product mix and the right pricing strategy are all apples to the eyes of property investors. “We have intensified roadshows abroad, by selectively targeting foreign buyers who are increasingly seeing better values, more so due to our enfeebled currency currently,” shared Seth. Thanks to these factors, the group is confident that they will drive international investment into Malaysia. They have brought Skywheel to Indonesia where it was received well, ensued with the signing of a RM100million en bloc sales with 7 top real estate agencies in Indonesia, namely Century21, ERA, Harcourts, LJ Hooker, PROMEX, Ray While and REMAX. The proud moment was witnessed by His Excellency Dato’ Sri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim, the ambassador of extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Malaysia to Indonesia. M101 Skywheel was also successfully launched in China. The event was hosted together with the Bank of China, Shanghai and was graced by His Excellency Mr Tan Yang Thai, Consul General of Consulate General of Malaysia and Mrs Zarian Dilah Judin, the Tourism Consul of Consulate General of Malaysia in Shanghai. In line with M101’s property tourism initiatives, several project developments in Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are in pipeline as well. Harping on the proven strategy, 16 I APRIL 2017

they will again collaborate with notable brands such as Studio F.A Porsche, Planet Hollywood and Best Western to excite the market. Studio F.A. Porsche stands for timeless and unmistakable design, and M101 have collaborated with the best known and most reputable house to design their Skywheel project. It incorporates 3 signature elements being the red meridian stripe, the reflective black glass and the titanium pedestal. Assuredly, the Studio F.A. Porsche design portrays a monumental avantgarde design which would mesmerise the city skyline in time to come. To ensure an efficient corporate management, M101 boasts a strong and competent team, which is staffed by a highly experienced work force, who made it possible for M101 to attain great success. The company has a couple of project directors that have accumulated over 50 years of experiences in property development, and is also supported by sales directors with over a decade’s experience in property sales. This will surely uplift the achievement of M101 to greater heights. PRIORITISING THE GRASSROOTS “I am firm believer in going down to the grassroots to understand what the buyers are looking for, and to capture their imagination by illustrating to them the details of our plans. For instance, about two years ago, when we were planning for the Skywheel project, we were told that such an iconic flagship branded development on top of an MRT station should easily command a 30% premium. Yet to position the project at a pricing scheme that is more favourable to the market, we decided to exclude the 30% premium in accordance to the study by Knight Frank,” explained Seth. Travelling is one of the ways to be inspired. Seth shared that many of his ideas were gathered during his trips overseas. He also revealed that international initiatives worked well because besides implementing innovative ideas, they also sought the opinions of various local and overseas experts before embarking on a project. M101 Skywheel is the first project in


Being a prudent developer, we are committed to champion property tourism, a concept coined by M101 Group; during the launch of the project, we have pledged RM10 million to drive the property tourism in Malaysia” - Dato’ Seth Yap Ting Hau

the world incorporating a Studio F.A. Porsche design. It also features the first Planet Hollywood hotel in Asia, whereby each room and suite features a one-of-a-kind movie memorabilia setting. What’s more, the amazing ferris wheel in the sky, is also the first ferris wheel to be positioned mid-air at the 52nd floor, which the highest vantage point for any ferris wheels in the world. Skywheel will definitely become an international tourist destination upon completion, with food and beverage outlets occupying 2 floors, sky retails occupying 5 floors and 12 floors assigned to parking. The MRT station beneath it will make it easier for tourists to visit it! This Skywheel project will usher in a modern metropolitan lifestyle anchored in various urban conveniences, which M101 plans to achieve via destination retail with a combination of components such as hotels, commercial units, retail outlets and more, but M101 is already eyeing for greater goals. On the other hand, Seth opined that the rental yield

for M101 Dang Wangi’s Sofo units is approximately 4.5-5%, but they are cautiously optimistic of the market volatility. “There is still a strong demand in property, especially those that offer reasonable yield and appreciation,” shared Seth. M101 is on the right track to achieve their mission of completing 10 projects within 10 years, creating a new platform for property tourism with developments worth more than RM4 billion in terms of GDV. Revealing the future plans of M101, Seth said, “We will evaluate each opportunity on project by project basis, to ensure that it is in line with our business strategies. We are also happy to undertake joint venture opportunities with interested parties.” Seth emphasised that brand concepts are very important in enhancing the appeal of projects, and uses different colour schemes to differentiate the concepts. For instance, the prime developments in downtown will carry the black and gold colour themes, while townships located on the suburbs

will carry a green colour scheme. Considering that various thematic townships are mushrooming in suburbs such as Rawang and Semenyih, M101 is eager to refresh people’s perception on suburban townships, since they believe in offering attractive choices for the community. As for now, M101 is concentrating on their 3rd project, the M101 Skywheel. Recently, they have also launched the roadshows in Shanghai, China and Palembang, Indonesia, to introduce this iconic flagship project to the investors there. While wealth accumulation is the goal of all investors, everyone might deploy different strategies to achieve the goal. On this, Seth reiterates that his top tips for property investment is to look out for projects with sound fundamentals, including right branding, right location and a right pricing. M101 has continuous effort to portray as the nation’s superior property tourism developer. APRIL 2017 I 17


VIEWS FROM FIRST TIME HOMEBUYERS ON THEIR FIRST PURCHASES A Positive outlook for home ownership among the young adults BY: MAGES PV LINGAM

18 I APRIL 2017



uying a first home resembles a scenario of falling in love for the first time with your spouse. There must be some chemistry in the relationship which sparks the love and emotional senses to a couple. Well the same can be happening to the first-time homebuyers too! Falling in love with the perfect home which you first set your eyes on can initiate the senses to plan and save sufficiently to meet up the expectations that have been bottled up in your heart. In Budget 2011, the Malaysian government has announced a new initiative, ‘My First Home Scheme’, to attract young adults who were earning about RM5,000 per month or less to obtain financing from banks to purchase their first home. Chur Associates managing partner Chris Tan said the homebuyers should prepare their mindsets prior to planning the purchase of their first homes. Buyers needed to be realistic, and subsequently get something that works based on their current station of life. “In fact, it is not going to be your dream home straight away; you are supposed to make it your dream home along the way; best to buy within your means, rent first if you cannot buy yet,” said Chris Tan. Nevertheless, Chris said it is a ‘Buyers’ market’ in both the primary and secondary markets. It’s a great time to look for great values with more realistic asking price. Sellers are more willing and accommodating to innovative suggestions in transacting. Banks in the pursuit of more businesses will also look at ways to overcome the tight lending policies. Maximum tenure from the banks would be 35 years, or until such a time when one reaches the age of 65 years. There are a few factors which can determine the eligibility of loans from the banks, shared by Loanstreet, such as your debt servicing ratio (DSR), risk profile, value of the property, the maximum loanto-value (LTV) ratio, or margin of finance that you can access, age, the number of dependants, the nature of work, past records like CCRIS or CTOS, which may dampen or liven up the chances. PLAN THE FINANCES CAREFULLY Chris added, it is safer to plan the financial strengths and stabilities conservatively before committing for a purchase. There

In fact, it is not going to be your dream home straight away; you are supposed to make it your dream home along the way; best to buy within your means, rent first if you cannot buy yet”

My biggest challenge ​is to work hard everyday for 3 - 4 years, hoping to achieve my dream of buying a property every year this is because buying property is of the most rewarding investment”

– Chris Tan

- Faye Go Yen Fei

are a lot of hidden costs for a home purchase. An interested buyer need to stress test the financial standings for a period of non-income generation. “If you are buying Strata Property, there are also financial commitments to pay the monthly service charge, monthly sinking fund over the monthly repayment to the banks,” Chris reiterated. MCM Homes Sdn Bhd property marketing manager, Faye Go Yen Fei elaborated on her first experience as a buyer. “This was my first time buying a property, of course I felt very nervous but happy. Property is something so big and expensive. I was so surprised that I can own a property because I have never thought that I could own one before I

am 30 years old,” exclaimed Faye. She realised that she needed a considerable amount of money to purchase a property. So, she decided to change her job. After a year working in her current company, Faye was confident and satisfied with her income which prompted her decision to purchase. Faye shared, “I am a property advisor and I always look out and research for potential projects in the market. I even recommended my friends to buy if I found a good deal. I believed that buying property is one of the most rewarding investment.” She said her first house was purchased for her own occupancy as she was renting elsewhere then. “As I own a house now, I feel better to utilise the rental APRIL 2017 I 19


The biggest issue I faced d ​ uring the purchase process actually ​was​ choosing ​ the c​ orrect investment, either in property or others”

My biggest challenge after​I​purchased my first house, was ​my​ wish to fully settle​the loan​within 5 years period”

If I could do it differently, I would have bought a cheaper property and rent it out as our first property”

– Louis Ng

– Jason Chan

– Saiful Tajudin

money to pay off my monthly home loan instalment. It is always good choice to own a house,” said Faye.

per month, besides saving from travel allowances, bonuses, incentives, and taking up part time jobs too. Many of his colleagues and friends owned a property and even sold them to make a profit. Fortunately, he had a chance to purchase a condominium at a property fair, which he realised would enjoy a higher appreciation in value. He believes that fixed assets investments were safer than investing in foreign currency or gold. Depending on condition, Louis said he would opt for either own occupancy or investment purposes. As for attorney, Jason Chan from Winson & Tan Advocates and Solicitors, who bought his first property, a condominium at Bandar Tun Razak, said it was a tough ride due to lack of experience in the primary or resale market, especially due to the uncertainty in property market now.

As the housing loan may last for up to 20 – 30 years, it should be well-planned, otherwise instalment payment can be a lifetime financial burden instead. “I know sufficient funds were needed, only after working hard for another year, I managed to save enough and bought a property,” said Jason. He affirmed that the sense of responsibility ensued him, and as such he no longer wasted money since he realised that to own a property is somewhat a burden which he needs to bear positively. Jason planned to use the property for own occupancy so that he does not need to rent elsewhere.

SAVE FOR DOWN PAYMENT Louis Ng, who is currently attached to HSBC Bank and handles corporate events, said “Purchasing my first property, a condominium, was like making the most important decision in my life. I felt excited but was also bothered with a lot of uncertainty in property investment. However, I convinced myself to go for this commitment as my first step if I want my life to get into better milestone” He saved for two years from daily expenses and did part time work to earn extra income and managed to save RM20,000. He had strict control over his expenditures and forced himself to save between RM1,000 to RM1,500 20 I APRIL 2017

BETTER BUY THAN RENT TA Properties Sdn Bhd’s assistant project manager, Saiful Tajudin said his first feeling was surreal. “We never thought that we could actually buy a property as soon as

PERSONALITY OF THE MONTH we got back from UK. I got to settle down with a new job in KL, and immediately I was looking for my first property. I was worried about the selling price which had been escalating speedily. The idea of my wife and I to raise our family in our own home was exciting,” said Saiful. He explained that the seed money for their double-storey link house came from his investment in few financing packages, such as unit trust and dividends. Hence, he applied for loans to finance their upfront money to roll the cash while waiting for the year-end dividend. That amount was calculated to cover the booking fee and a portion of the 10% down payment. “I guess at that time, my wife and I just got back from the UK after completing our studies, it was the only right thing to do at that time as our family was expanding. We were a family of three going on four. So, we found a property that was close to amenities, easily accessible from multiple highways, reasonably spacious, most importantly within our financial capacity,” opined Saiful. As he was previously renting, he would like to have an own property that he could decorate and make it feel more like home. The other option back then was to continue renting while taking more time to look around. That would have given him more options in term of location and size. However, he decided against it and bought the current home, because it’s always better to own a property as early as possible. Queries





Location; Infrastructure around the property

Budget; Location

Size; Price; Location

Size; Price; Convenience

How long it took to purchase the 1st property?

Immediately after viewing

2 months

1 month

10 months

Name the biggest challenges faced?

To work hard 3 – 4 years in order to save enough

Choosing the right investment

To fully settle within 5 years’ period

Down payment

Might take a year

Might take a few years

After 5 years

Within 3 years

Investing in property takes time esp. on leveraging

Down payment; extra charges and fees to pay; study project details & future values

The procedures of owning a property is as easy as ABC

Never rush, look at the developer’s track record

Will sell the property when the right time to let go comes

If financially strong, might sell and upgrade to another

Yes, after buying the largest property

Maybe, if the need arises for a bigger house

What are the criteria looked for?

How long before buying the 2nd property? What are the lessons learnt?

Will you sell off your 1st property? APRIL 2017 I 21


A MORTGAGE MAKES HOME OWNERSHIP AFFORDABLE The different mortgage options available to home owners BY: FELICIA SOON


mortgage is a debt instrument offered by banks or financial institutions in Malaysia to assist home buyers seeking funds to purchase real estates. Upon the approval of the mortgage application, the bank becomes a Chargee (in the case of individual title property) or an Assignee (in the case of master title property), as in the property is charged / assigned to the bank. This allows the bank to secure its interest by ensuring monthly repayment by the borrower; in the case of default, the bank may apply to the Court to auction the property in order to recover the loan. According to Dato’ Teh Tai Yong from Teh Kim Teh, Salina & Co. Advocates & Solicitors, there are few types of property loans available to homeowners in Malaysia as shared by him below. STANDARD HOME LOAN Standard Home Loan is the most common mortgage option provided by various banks in Malaysia. The bank finances the borrower’s purchase of property, and in return the borrower repays the bank by instalment together with the interest within the stipulated tenure. Interest rate for a loan can be fixed or variable. Fixed interest rate is where the interest rate is maintained at the same rate without adjustment to the future fluctuation, whereas variable interest rate fluctuates depending on bank’s Base Rate (BR). The CEO and Founder of GM Training Academy PLT, Miichael Yeoh says that banks usually offer this type of loan under Islamic loans, while some conventional 22 | APRIL 2017

Miichael Yeoh insurance companies may even offer a similar facility at a lower interest rate. Although the interest rate tends to be higher than conventional loans, the benefit of fixed interest rate is that the borrower can plan out their future payments and cash flow, and do not have to worry about escalating interest rates. On the other hand, variable interest rate allows the borrower to pay instalment according to the current interest rate which may fluctuate according to BR. FLEXI HOME LOAN Flexi Home Loan is a term loan that comes with the convenience of overdraft. While the borrowers need to pay the minimum

Whether you are buying your first home or not, there should be a home loan suitable for you” – Dato’ Teh Tai Yong


Reverse Mortgage


The seller owns the property and pays off the mortgage loan gradually.

Owner has to own the property entirely so that the bank can possess it.

Ownership Transfer

Ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer after signing SPA.

Ownership is transferred from the owner to the bank after they have passed away.

Payment Terms

The buyer pays a monthly instalment to the bank.

The house is used as a collateral for the bank.


Must not exceed a certain age.

Must exceed a certain age.

Interest Charges

Interest is charged in the monthly instalments.

Interest is accumulated in the loan balance.

Home Equity

Increases over time because you will pay more on your principal, besides interest.

Decreases over time because your loan balance increases with accumulated interest.


Based on the financial position and credit score of the borrower.

Based on the value and eligibility of the owner’s property.

monthly instalment, they may also make payments in advance. And the good news is, the portion of the amount paid in advance can be withdrawn from this flexi account in time of need. As the amount paid in advance will be consider a part of settlement for the principal, interest will not be charged against the portion of loan already repaid in advance, hence they will be able to save on the interest every time they deposit more than stipulated into this account. However once withdrawn, the interest will be charged again. It uses current account to allow the borrowers to use facilities such as ATM, cheques and also online banking service for their transactions. It can be a good option as it saves a lot of interest if used to your advantage. ISLAMIC HOME LOAN Islamic Home Loan prohibits charging of interest, Hence, it applies the concept of “buy and sell” and / or “lease”, instead of charging interest rate in the mortgage loan. For example, one of the commonly used Islamic loan product is Musharakah Mutanaqisah (Diminishing Partnership). A Musharakah Mutanaqisah Agreement establishes a partnership where the

customer and bank jointly buy and own the property, and the bank leases the property to the customer where the customer promises to buy the bank’s ownership of the property in future by paying rental under Ijarah Agreement (Instalment Leasing Contract) on monthly basis to the bank. In other words, the customer pays rental until full settlement, upon which they will own the property. WHAT ABOUT REVERSE MORTGAGE? While not available in Malaysia yet, Reverse Mortgage has always been available in countries such as Australia, Canada and the United States of America. It is a financial agreement that allows owners, normally a senior citizen that own properties, to cash out on their equity. Under such an agreement, the borrower may choose to receive either monthly or lump sum payments from the bank, which will help the cash flow management needs of the owners. The loan balance will increase as time goes, until the ownership of the property is transfer back to the bank upon the owner’s demise. So should the government implement reverse mortgage? In any sophisticated capital market, it may be feasible for a

product like this to be introduced, says Mark Chua, bestselling author of the book “Who Says” and Managing Director of the 92Five Group, However, he emphasises that regulation and eligibility requirements must be carefully defined, so that there will not be any abuse or financial irresponsibility. For example, if lump sum payments occur – what will happen if the owners misspend it all? Should we put a cap on lump sum payments? Should we only mandate monthly payments so that the risk of financial mismanagement is lower? Simply put, reverse mortgage might not be suitable for everyone. It will be more beneficial for retirees who only have a roof over their head and do not mind selling their residence to the bank for a sum, which will support their expenses for the rest of their life. This sounds like a better option for them as they are too senior to apply for other mortgages, example the refinancing of their home, and they can also retire with a peace of mind with the payments that they are getting from the bank. The only thing that they must be aware of is that their dependents such as spouse and children certainly have to be financially independent since they will not be able to inherit the property. To sum it up, borrowers these days are spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting the available loan packages, but then again it will all depend on what is your main objective when it comes to choosing the best package.

Mark Chua APRIL 2017 I 23


COOLING MEASURES How far have we succeeded in curbing speculations and stablising prices? BY: GABRIEL LIM GWO SHIN


sk anyone on the street randomly, chances are most people will think that the skyrocketing home prices have brought more harm rather than benefit, both to our nation as a whole as well as at the individual level. With the aim of curbing speculations and stablising prices, the Government has implemented various cooling measures beginning the year 2013. Detractors claimed that it would achieve exactly the opposite effect because speculators would mark up prices further to cover their higher cost. Few years

24 | APRIL 2017

down the road, let’s examine the impacts of cooling measures, and whether more can be done to help the working class in realising home ownership. Joining the conversation today are three experts in the field, namely Tang Chee Meng, chief operating officer of Henry Butcher Real Estate Sdn Bhd; Asst. Prof. Dr. Yip Chee Yin, from the Department of Economics, Faculty of Business and Finance, University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) Kampar who specialises in the study of housing market; as well as Dr. Ong

Kian Leong (Dr. OngKL), financial educator and the creator of GoFinance™, a tool that allows investor to evaluate if an investment is worth investing. Tang begins by listing down the cooling measures that have been in force so far: 1. Reintroduction of Real Property Gain Tax (RPGT) and the top tier tax rate raised to 30% for disposals within first 3 years; 2. 70% cap on Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio for third property loan onwards; 3. Loan eligibility computation based on

Fig.1 Volume of residential property transaction (Source: NAPIC)

Fig.2 Volume of residential transaction (Source: NAPIC)

nett instead of gross income; Loan tenure limited to max 35 years; Prohibition of Developer Interest Bearing Scheme (DIBS); 6. Greater transparency, nett price to be disclosed & financing to be based on nett price; 7. Responsible lending policy by banks; 8. Increased minimum price threshold for foreigners to RM1 million nationwide, RM 2 million for Selangor (zones 1 and 2) and for Penang Island (landed properties). Tang believes that these measures, especially the computation of loan eligibility based on nett income, coupled with more stringent processing criteria adopted by the banks, have contributed significantly to reduce the amount of speculation in the market. He stated that, “The impact is clearly reflected in the decline in the volume of residential transactions recorded from 2013 onwards, and the drop in the overall value of residential transactions from 2015 onwards, as evidenced by Figures 1 and 2. The residential property market is currently sluggish, with some 4. 5.

developers deferring new launches and revising their sales targets downwards.” Dr. Yip adds that, “The frenzy buying of houses has caused the perception that the property industry was in a ‘bubble’ which would pop very soon if not controlled, thus cooling measures were needed to avoid the deterioration into a full blown asset bubble.” Showing the findings obtained from an ongoing study by a UTAR research team, Dr. Yip elaborates that, “Figure 3 reveals that the last 2 historical boom-burst episodes in the 1990s in the Malaysian property market, and also the latest run-up in property prices during the period of 2009 – 2013. The turn-around in 2013 is an indirect verification of the aggregate effect of the cooling measures. Whereas Figure 4 traces the volatility of the price dynamics over the same period, corresponding with the rise and fall of price changes in Figure 1.” However, Dr. Yip admits that the countervailing actions have some negative impact on market confidence, “Financing has become an issue in the property

market with the tightening of criteria for mortgage credit. According to some industry players, the current failure rate for home loan application is 40% – 60%, drastically affecting sales in the primary market as well as the secondary (sub-sale) market.” “As shown by analysis of the two graphs, the cooling measures have worked well. Nowadays you will see more people buying for own occupancy rather than for speculative investment. Speculators have retreated from the market. Nevertheless, these anti-volatility actions though effective have slowed down sales and dampened the housing industry which is considered one of the main driver for economic growth.” Concurring with the views, Dr. OngKL says, “The cooling measures have successfully curbed speculative activities among middle to high end new developments (i.e. residential properties above RM400,000), particularly in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, and Johor Bahru metropolitan areas. Figures from the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH), Ministry of Finance clearly show that both the volume and value of property transactions have slowed down after 2013.” “The effect is exceptionally prominent among new high-end condominiums especially those above RM500,000. For example, the market share of newlaunched condominiums sold above RM500,000 has dropped from 41% (of all newly-launched property sold) in the first half of 2015 to 7% in the first half of 2016. This happened mainly because high-end condominiums are the most preferred type of property among property flippers.”

Dr Yip Chee Yin APRIL 2017 I 25


Fig.3 Year-on-year change in percent of house price index

Fig.4 Extreme buying and selling behaviour

RESPONDING TO MARKET NEEDS So the experts agreed that the cooling measures have worked. If that is the case, have they been effective in correcting the mismatch between supply and demand? Is it really easier for genuine homebuyers or upgraders to buy a home now, in what the industry players called a “Buyers’ market”? Tang delightedly confirms such an assumption, asserting that, “Yes, the measures have managed to curb speculative activities, and those who are still buying homes are mainly buying for their own occupancy or for long term investment. Genuine homebuyers are being aggressively wooed with a host of freebies and easy payment schemes 26 | APRIL 2017

by property developers, whilst in the secondary market, property sellers are more prepared to negotiate on price in order to sell their property.” Dr. OngKL also affirms such a finding, saying that, “From what I have observed, while developers have reduced launches of high-end condominiums, new launches of middle-end residential properties, especially those priced between RM100,000 to RM300,000 have increased significantly. As such, homebuyers or upgraders who are well prepared with enough savings can find more affordable choices now. However, for those who need to finance their purchase of home, they may find it tougher as loan rejection rate is

higher than few years back.” Dr. Yip who also recognises the validity of this view, shares that, “I would think that developers have adapted and responded well to the market needs. Observing property sales advertisements of developers, generally the main themes are affordability as well as accessibility and connectivity infrastructures, further enhanced by neighborhood amenities that appeal to contemporary lifestyle.” However, Dr. Yip would like to highlight the dilemma faced by many loan applicants. “The observed drop in dispersal of home loans reminds us that homeowner hopefuls still have problem getting mortgage credit from banks which emphasise on the loan repayment capability of the potential borrowers. In addition, there are the few hundred thousands of PTPTN defaulters who are blacklisted and hence have no access to housing loan. Hence, the authorities certainly can do more to put in more effective measures to assist the 2 groups mentioned above.” FACILITATING HOME OWNERSHIP Since we have reached such a finding, it is only natural for us to ask if more should be done in helping the working class to own a home? As an experienced industry insider, Tan is very clear on this, saying that, “Cooling measures only help to curb speculation and prevent property prices from going up too high and too rapidly. The government still needs to put in place policies to encourage private developers to embark on building more affordable homes besides building more affordable homes under PR1MA and other initiatives.” Great minds think alike, so we found. Dr. Yip of UTAR also feels the same. “The cooling measures are not sufficient in helping the working class to own a home. The basic problem is affordability. In the short term, the government should provide more land for affordable housing, accompanied with infrastructural development to provide accessibility to drive the potential for economic activities in the immediate surrounding. This will ensure that these affordable housing projects are liveable with growth potential for the residents. In the long term, the government should draw up more effective policies to accelerate economic growth to

Tang Chee Meng

improve household income. The bottom line is for the government to restore and increase the confidence of both investors and consumers.” Agreeing with such a finding, Dr. Ong KL lists down some practical measures to take: 1. Strictly restrict new residential properties to first and second time home buyers only. Genuine home buyers can avoid competing with investors / speculators in housing market. For example, Singapore has been implementing this scheme in their public housing policy, to successfully increase home ownership rate to above 90% since 1990s. 2. Introduce tax benefits to developers who build affordable homes, to encourage more participation of private sector in affordable housing. 3. Penalise developers for units unsold 3 to 5 years after launching, in order to encourage responsible building and demand-targeted supply, and to minimise waste of resources, funds and land. Developers will be motivated to reduce price of these unsold units rather than paying hefty fine that adds to their holding costs. In fact, his is another successful scheme implemented by Singapore to regulate private housing supply. WHAT ABOUT WEALTH ACCUMULATION? A more stable price should benefit us all. Yet in today’s society, the property is the single most important asset for wealth accumulation for many families. Therefore we would like to seek the comment of the experts, whether the cooling measures will

halt the growth of family wealth? Tang is of the opinion that the adverse impact is minimal. “To a certain extent yes, if these measures prevent them from buying a property. However, the basic rationale for the cooling measures is to prevent home prices from going up too high too rapidly so in that sense, the cooling measures are intended to help genuine homebuyers to own their own home at prices that they can still afford. They can still get maximum loan when they buy a second property for investment purposes.” In this aspect, Dr. Yip is not worried at all. “The value of a property depends on a number of factors such as location, infrastructure, security and prospect for future growth of the neighborhood. The public perception that properties are assets to be passed on to children, the local demographics and social trend for homeownership will keep raising the demand. The cooling measures will check price volatility and transaction volume which means a slower rate of appreciation of the property value, but not a halt to the growth of family wealth.” Dr. OngKL is quite confident that the harm is negligible, as he states that, “Cooling measures won’t halt the growth of their wealth in long term, since the fundamental housing demand is growing with the growth of population and number of households!” GETTING A BIT TOO COLD? Since we agree that the cooling measures have functioned well, shall we relax these cooling measures to stimulate the soft market, like some market players have advocated for? Tang of Henry Butcher is open to the idea, saying that, “As the market has softened considerably, it is perhaps time for the government to review the situation and relax some of those measures which affect genuine homebuyers but still keeping those which have a deterrent effect on speculators. For example, keeping the 70% Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio for the third property, but allowing Developer Interest Bearing Scheme (DIBS) for first time homebuyers for houses priced at RM 500,000 and below. The minimum price threshold for foreigners should also be retained.” While Dr. Yip does not oppose to the relaxing of these cooling measures per

se, he stresses that it should be done cautiously. “Relaxing these cooling measures in order to stimulate the soft market is a good thing but it can bring in devastating consequences if not properly executed. The lifting of control may offer banks greater freedom in competition, which could result in compromise on the criteria for loan approval and easy availability of mortgage. This will bring back speculative investment and tremendous demand pressure. The result could be unsustainable price expansion, resulting in the formation and collapse of the asset bubble, the damaging effects of which have been well documented in recent history.” “So instead of relaxing cooling measures across the market, the government should have more comprehensive monitoring of market development and provide assistance for homeownership to the specific groups facing affordability problem. To assist developers, the government perhaps could look into lowering of compliance and land conversion costs as well as improving the mechanism for development project approval. Both the industry players and the government should work closely to strike a balance for sustainable growth of the housing market.” Dr. OngKL also advocates for a more prudent approach, as many among us are not ready yet. To sum it up, he says, “These cooling measures should only be relaxed progressively, after more effective measures to boost home ownership rate are in place.” Now that we are assured that the cooling measures won’t hurt wealth accumulation nor the industries, another concern would be whether the slowdown in construction sector will reduce the multiplying effect, subsequently triggers a larger economic downturn? Again, the experts shared their insights. Dr. Yip thinks that the possibility is real, but the risk is manageable. He elaborated by saying that, “When such a scenario takes place, it will be accompanied by a fall in market confidence of both business and consumers, resulting in curtailed spending. We should expect prices to dip or stagnant. With little or no margin, developers will pull back implementation of new projects and there will be consolidation in the industry where the weaker and less APRIL 2017 I 27

FEATURE efficient players will be weeded out. It is unlikely the market will go into free fall as the government will and need to step in with measures to stimulate the market and restore confidence to both developers and consumers.” Tang is more optimistic, as in he does not expect the economy to be hit badly, and argues that there are many things the government can do to improve the situation. He explains that, “The construction sector is only one of the many components of Malaysia’s economy and a slowdown in the sector may not necessarily trigger an economic downturn, if the other sectors like manufacturing or agriculture can produce a higher contribution to the economy. Nevertheless, if the economy does slow down, it will of course have a negative impact on the property market as there will be an increased sense of uncertainty over job security and a more cautious attitude towards making a heavy financial commitment like buying a property.” Thinking that there is nothing much to worry about, Dr. OngKL answers with a witty remark, “In history, slowdown in construction is never a cause, but an effect of economic downturn.” AN EQUITABLE DEVELOPMENT Last but not least, since some have claimed that the soft market would hurt economic growth, we would like to know that for the development to be more equitable, which should actually be our priority. To cool the rising prices, or to stimulate the soft

market? Tang preferred to handle the issues one by one, thus he advocated that, “When the market shows signs of overheating within a short period of time, the priority of the government should be to implement policies to cool the market and rein in galloping property prices. However, the government should monitor the market closely and when the price increases have normalised to a sustainable level, the government should change track and implement measures to stimulate the market to prevent a market crash.” Dr. Yip believes that we must act carefully in juggling the different policy objectives. “We need to strike a balance to cool the rising prices and stimulate the soft market. Which is the optimum point of balance is unknown yet not only in the practical world, but also in academia. Thus the best solution is to monitor the demographical factor, income level, interest rate, economic growth rate, house index and rental index, so that we can have the real situation of the housing market at first hand. I believe we can do that, because there are real and true data in the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), National Registration Department (NRD) and the Department of Labour (JTK).” For Dr. OngKL, the priority is undoubtedly clear. “Increasing home ownership rate should always be the priority of the government, to ensure that the development will be more equitable to all, because family is the most important corner stone of the nation!” It goes without saying that to allow

Dr. OngKL

The government should have more comprehensive monitoring of market development and provide assistance for homeownership to the specific groups facing affordability problem” - Asst. Prof. Dr. Yip Chee Yin

the general population to unleash their potential and maximise their contribution to the society, the government plays a significant role in ensuring a healthy environment where the people’s wellbeing and basic needs are well taken care of first. With efficient implementation of sound policies, we can look forward to a more equitable society where the fruits of development is enjoyed by all. 28 | APRIL 2017



ADVANTAGES TO CONSIDER Another privilege for home owners to make a choice in future BY: MAGES PV LINGAM

30 | APRIL 2017


or home financing, conventional banks provide a loan to the homebuyer, and charge an interest on top of the principle as the cost of the funds. Beginning 2015, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) introduced the base rate (BR) to replace the existing base lending rate (BLR) as the indicative rate in Malaysia. However, home loan as being practiced by conventional banks is not acceptable to the Shariah as the structure is a lending and borrowing on interest basis, whereby this is classified under the Shariah as a prohibited riba’ al-qardh. For Islamic home financing-i, the banks do not lend money and the homebuyers do not borrow. Instead, they form a business partnership to buy the house and hand it over to the homebuyer gradually. Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad’s head of Shariah, Ustaz Mohd Nazri Chik said as an Islamic bank, they do not lend money to customer to purchase their houses. Instead, they provide the end financing to meet the requirement by way of Shariah compliant financing modes. WHAT’S IN STORE? He explained there are few types of the Shariah compliant modes such as Tawarruq (monetisation), Murabahah (cost plus sale), Istisna’ (purchase order sale), Ijarah (leasing) or Musharakah utanaqisah (diminishing partnership). “Currently at Bank Islam, our housing financing is structured under Tawarruq arrangement,” said Ustaz. Bank Islam’s customers mostly

approached the bank to get financing to pay their house vendors. Hence under Tawarruq arrangement, the Bank will sell commodities under Murabahah (cost plus sale) concept, at the price of financing amount plus agreed profit on deferred payment basis. Subsequently the customer (via the Bank as its selling agent) will sell the commodities purchased from the Bank to the market, and the proceeds will be used to pay house vendor. The effects of the above arrangement are defined as customer would be able to pay the house vendor to get the house, who owes the financing amount with agreed profit to the Bank. The financed house will be taken as security to guarantee the payment of instalments to the Bank. Additionally, customer may be required to subscribe to Mortgage Reducing Term Assurance (MRTA) or Mortgage Reducing Term Takaful (MRTT) to provide additional security to the Bank. ADVANTAGES TO CONSIDER In the event of customers delaying the instalment payments, they will not be imposed with compounding interest as practiced by conventional bank, instead they will pay a compensation that is computed on actual cost basis (ta’widh) as approved by the Shariah Advisory Council of Bank Negara Malaysia. Ustaz added that what differentiates the Islamic home financing from the conventional loans are: i. It is not a loan, but a financing arrangement in compliance with the Shariah rules and principles; ii. There are various modes of financing that can be structured, considering the legal framework, accounting standards and taxation of any particular jurisdiction; iii. Customer will not be imposed any compound interest in the event of defaults, as it is not Shariah compliant. Ustaz also explained that their advantages to take this Shariah compliant financing product, is that it would be Shariah compliant, offered in both fixed rate and floating/ variable rate financing. However, floating rate of Islamic financing provides more clarity and benefit to customers as it

is capped to the agreed ceiling rate (as per the sale price of murabahah), in contrast to conventional home loan where the rate is moving up in tandem with the benchmark rate such as BR without any limit / ceiling. He also shared that, “In Bank Islam, we offer ‘Payment Holiday’ feature for our house financing where our customers can pay 10 months of instalment in a year (January to October). This will allow our customers to have more cash in November and December in preparation for their children’ schooling, for holidays and more.” There will also not be any hidden or compounding charges. There are no apparent drawbacks as compared to conventional products offered in the market, thus bringing with it additional benefits as explained above. LEGALLY SPEAKING Azmi & Associates partner for global financial services and Islamic banking, Farhah Hayati binti Mamat said generally, in relation to Islamic home financing, the Sharia law that applies are as follows: i. Istisna’: A contract for an order made by the buyer to manufacture / construct the asset / house per specifications. ii. Bai’ Bithaman Ajil: A contract based on deferred sales price which is to be paid at a specified period. The financier will buy the identified house from the developer chosen by the buyer. The financier will then sell the house to the customer at a marked up price. The customer will make payments as per the agreed tenure in instalments. iii. Ijarah Muntahiyah Bittamlik: A contract to lease the home for a predetermined period. Finally, on lease payment, ownership of the home will be transferred to the customer in the form of a sale, promissory gift, or hiba. iv. Tawarruq (Commodity Murabahah): A tripartite contract for the sale and purchase of the commodity made between the financier, the customer and the commodity trader. Upon the purchase of the commodity by the financier, the financier and the customer will enter into a murabahah sale contract where the customer is will pay the sale price on a deferred term to the financier. APRIL 2017 I 31

FEATURE At the option of the customer and upon the completion of the sale of the commodity by the customer to the commodity trader, the customer will utilise the proceeds of the sale of the commodity to buy the house. v. Musharakah Mutanaqisah: A contract to finance the purchase of the house based on Shariah principles of diminishing Musharakah and Ijarah. Both the financier and the customer are co-owners of the house and with the payment of the Ijarah rental, the financier’s ownership of the house will be diminished and transferred proportionately to the customer at the end of the tenure of the financing. In Malaysia, the Tawarruq (Commodity Murabahah) and Musharakah Mutanaqisah are the most acceptable products in Islamic home financing. Farhah affirmed “Islamic financial terms, ownership can be divided into two, i.e. legal and beneficial ownership. Legal ownership means the owner has an enforceable claim or title to an asset or property, and is recognized as such by law, specifically under the National Land Code 1965.” Beneficial ownership is a legal term where specific property rights (“use and title”) in equity belong to a person even though the legal title of the property belongs to another person. Example of beneficial ownership is when a person buys a property but pending issuance of an individual title (especially when the purchaser purchases a strata property), he can lodge a caveat to the land, because he has a registerable

interest over the land. Farhah said “Islamic law recognises one’s ownership over the property, Muslim jurists define ownership as ‘the relationship that exists between a person and a thing that gives absolute control and right of disposal over it to the exclusion of others.”

Islamic law recognises one’s ownership over the property, Muslim jurists define ownership as ‘the relationship that exists between a person and a thing that gives absolute control and right of disposal over it to the exclusion of others” - Farhah Hayati Mamat

32 | APRIL 2017

In Islamic banking structure, the property ownership is one of the core principles that distinguishes between Islamic and conventional banking. Most of the Islamic banking products require the bank or financial institution to own the property first (as a beneficial owner) and rents or

sell it back at a mark-up or with profit the customers. Subsequently, the Islamic home financing will benefit non-Muslims in such that it is based on pre-determined profit rate instead of interest rate; hence, there is certainty in the amount of the profit rate. Also, it is based on base financing rate (BFR) which the bank can adjust based on prevailing market conditions but not more than the ceiling rate, which is the maximum profit an Islamic home financing provider will earn. Then Ta’widh is charged at 1% per annum or at Islamic Interbank Money Market’s rate (subject to Bank Negara Malaysia’s guideline for Ta’widh) on the outstanding payment and it is non-compounding. For the conventional home loan, the average late payment charge is 1% on the overdue payment, compounding in nature and may subject to multi-tiered late payment charges rate based on the relevant period. There are no additional charges on the late payments. THE KNOW-HOW Farhah pointed out the typical documentation involves letter of offer from the bank, with contents like profit margin, tenure, payment term etc, as well as the facility agreements (For example, in Bai’ Bithaman Ajil (BBA) facility, where the customer will first sell an asset to the bank, there will be two documents – Asset Purchase Agreement and Asset Sale Agreement are the facility agreements). And then, there will also be the General Security Documents, which contain the land charge, deed of assignment over property, guarantee and debenture and memorandum of deposit. While some of the stamp duty remission orders that are currently applicable are pursuant to the Stamp Duty (Remission Order) 2015 [P.U (A) 308/2016], the government is giving twenty per cent (20%) remission or discount of the stamp duty chargeable on a principal or primary financing instrument which is made in accordance with the principles of Shariah as approved by the Shariah Advisory Council; for the purpose of financing the purchase of a residential property; and executed between a financial institution and its customer from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017.

Ustaz Mohd Nazri Chik Another scenario is where the customer is only required to pay the nominal amount of the stamp duty. This will happen if the customer had previously had a conventional loan with the bank and wants to convert the existing loan to an Islamic home financing, or if the customer wants to restructure the existing financing facility. Persuant to the Stamp Duty (Remission) Order 2014 and the Stamp Duty (Remission) (No.2) Order 2014, those principal or primary Shariah-compliant residential property financing instruments involving first time house buyers that have

already qualified for 50% stamp duty remission will be further entitled to 20% stamp duty remission pursuant to the Orders. In Malaysia, plenty of financial institutions are offering extensive Islamic home financing solutions, for example HSBC Amanah, Bank Muamalat, Maybank Islamic, OCBC Al-Amin, RHB Islamic Bank, Hong Leong Islamic Bank, Al-Rajhi Bank, Kuwait Finance House, Standard Chartered Saadiq, CIMB Islamic, Public Islamic Bank, Alliance Islamic Bank and Bank Islam. APRIL 2017 I 33



Discover the faster route to owning a property BY: FELICIA SOON

Faizul Ridzuan


ith the tight lending policies imposed by banks these days, your chances of getting your loan approved may be higher if you buy a property through joint ownership. There are three main types of joint ownerships: couples (married and unmarried), family members, and friends or investment partners. In the last 5 years, we have been seeing a trend where more people who are not related to one another buying properties together as joint owners. Although this form of ownership is widely accepted today, there are still many concerns raised over unscrupulous people trying to take advantage of the buying power of a group to own as many properties as possible. 34 | APRIL 2017

Chris Tan

UNDERSTAND THE RISKS INVOLVED FAR Capital chief executive officer and founder, Faizul Ridzuan went on to share a disturbing real life situation where you are meeting people in property seminars and then they are being delegated to join in a property investment with you. So you find yourself taking up loan on behalf of other people. For example, recently Faizul met a guy during an event who actually took on a loan and become a guarantor for a property worth RM9 million, after getting to know some new investors in a property seminar. “While joint ownership has made house buying easier by pooling the resources, selling the house or any decision making in relation to the house can still be

Mark Chua

challenging. It’s not about majority because everything can only moves when there is a consensus, an unanimous decision among owners. Proper documentation must also be in place to safeguard the parties’ intention in making the collective purchase from the start till the end and everything in between,” says Chur Associates Managing Partner Chris Tan. ANALYSE BEFORE YOU DECIDE Mark Chua, bestselling author of the book “Who Says” and managing director of the 92Five Group also pointed out that many people just think of the benefits of joint ownership without managing the risk. A common mistake is that the partners concerned are not clear over their roles

after pooling their resources together to achieve a more scalable property portfolio. For example, one party finds the property, another applies for the loan, whilst the other partner funds the initial down payment or manages the property concerned. In other words, we should only consider a joint ownership if the other party brings to the table something that we cannot do on our own, for instance if you do not have the eligibility to apply for 90% loan, and your partner is eligible to apply for the loan but he is not familiar with the property market as you are. Thus in this joint ownership, you bring in skills to the table while he brings in the capital. It also makes the joint venture less risky to go into. At his most recent public sharing, Tan shared that one of the legal trends in property investment that he has noticed, is that buying property as an investment is now moving towards the direction of collective rather than just individual. LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP While it’s good to emulate the lions that hunt

in a pack and ditch the old tiger mentality that hunts alone, one of the most common mistakes that partners concerned tend to make are they are not clear about the objectives of buying together, and also not clear on the exit strategy of their partnership. They just jump right into buying the property without thinking about the future, for example, what should be done if one party wants to sell but the other doesn’t? If you are not careful and do not think through things properly, the financial burden will affect all parties of the joint ownership. For example, you have a bought a property together with someone but suddenly you are faced with unexpected events such as death, illness, recession, retrenchment or even strained relationships and would like to cash out on the investment. Therefore it is important to plan your exit strategy, and joint owners must agree on a solution in the event one owner is unable to fulfil any obligation. Basically, we must have the end in mind to prevent unnecessary dispute in the future and to protect the rights of owners. You should also inform your family

members about any joint ownership that you have taken before it’s too late. While they may initially be against it, especially if you are part of a married couple or bonded by strong relationship ties to parents and siblings. Hence, it is more advisable to maintain a level of professionalism even among friends and write down the terms, conditions, and objectives in black and white, before signing the loan agreement or Sales and Purchase Agreement (S&P) with anyone. Last but not least, know your partners well before establishing a joint ownership. It is more important to understand each partner’s financial needs and plans, as that helps you to determine whether their goals are in line with yours, such as whether this joint investment in the property is for short term gains due to somebody reaching the retiring age and would like to create some quick cash, or for a longer term investment harping on capital appreciation to grow your wealth. After all, a serious investment deserves serious attention. APRIL 2017 I 35


RIDING THE TIDE Once sleepy Desaru is ready to embrace rapid development BY: FELICIA SOON

36 | APRIL 2017


stablished in 1995, MB World Group Berhad is a flourishing developer headquartered in Johor Bahru. A public listed company listed on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia, it was formerly known as Emas Kiara Industries Berhad. The group was a pioneer in geo-synthetic engineering when it obtained approval for its first geo-textile manufacturing plant from the Malaysian Government. Geosynthetic engineering aids to conserve nature while facilitating economic development. Poised with clear objectives in mind, MB World Group has diversified its business into property developments in 2015 through its subsidiary MB Max Sdn. Bhd. The Group recorded an unaudited net profit of RM16.37 million in the financial year of 2016, representing an increase of 207.13% from RM5.33 million in the previous financial year, with main contributions from its Pinnacle Tower project in Johor Bahru city centre. Executive Director of MB World Group, Ng Liang Khiang tells Property Insight that the RM374 million Pinnacle Tower developed by MB Max Sdn. Bhd. is expected to be completed by the 4th quarter of 2017. It consists of a 38-storey serviced apartment housing a total of 273 units. “We always look for locations with great connectivity that have the potential for

appreciation. For example, the Pinnacle Tower, which is located at Jalan Dato’ Abdullah Tahir in Johor Bahru downtown. The development is situated within the vicinity of high end residences and starred hotels. The residents can also enjoy convenient access to major shopping malls and the Causeway checkpoint to Singapore,” he says. TAMAN SRI PENAWAR This year, MB World Group has launched their first new integrated township – Taman Sri Penawar in Bandar Penawar, Kota Tinggi. Spanning across 470 acres of prime land bank, this township development project is under the leadership of Cocoa Valley Development Sdn. Bhd., a subsidiary of MB World Group. Under the proposal, there will be 3,300 residential units and 380 commercial units in the township. The whole development is expected to be completed in 7 years, with an estimated Gross Development Value (GDV) of RM1.9 billion. “Taman Sri Penawar offers great value for homebuyers and investors, as it is strategically located next to the existing Taman Desaru Utama, a mature neighbourhood completed with amenities such as hotels, shopping mall, retail outlets, restaurants and clinics that can

The show unit of Harmonia double-storey terrace house APRIL 2017 I 37


Artist’s impression of Desaru Avenue double-storey shop office

The interior of single-storey terrace house show unit 38 | APRIL 2017

The show unit of single-storey terrace house

complement it in many ways. As it is also well-connected with major roads and highways such as Senai – Desaru Expressway, Kota Tinggi – Pengerang highway and Tanjung Balau road that provide easy access to Johor Bahru, Senai, Iskandar Puteri (Puteri Harbour), Kota Tinggi, Desaru, Pengerang, Tanjung Balau, Tanjung Belungkor Ferry Terminal and Tanjung Pengelih Jetty, Taman Sri Penawar acts as the major gateway to all the resorts, educational institutions and industrial areas in the Southeastern part of Johor,” said Ng at the media launch recently. This strategic location has a high growth potential due to confluence of professionals, engineers and contractors traversing from Kota Tinggi, Johor Bahru, Senai and the North to Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC), the largest petrochemical complex in Malaysia to date. One of the major components of PIPC, the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project initiated by Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) is expected to employ 70,000 workers during construction and generate 4,000 new jobs upon completion in 2019. Ng added that prior to 2011, before

the launch of the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC), many investors would not even consider buying property in the laidback Southeastern corner of Johor, and the only visitors to this area were those visiting the serene Desaru beaches, connoisseurs who wished to feast on the lobsters in Sungai Rengit, as well as the cyclists who enjoyed cycling along the peaceful coastal road between Tanjung Pengelih Jetty and Sungai Rengit. In the recent news, Saudi Arabia’s oil giant, Aramco signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Petronas to invest RM31 billion in the RAPID project. This would further boost the investors’ confidence in Pengerang. With more investors onboard, the multi-billion ringgit oil and gas project in Pengerang is expected to push up demand for property in Southeastern Johor, as well as the other parts of the Kota Tinggi district. PLANNING FOR TOMORROW With this bright prospect in mind, MB World Group is banking on the location of its township project Taman Sri Penawar near Desaru coast to attract potential property buyers from all over the state of Johor and beyond. As shared by Ng,

Delivering a good service has always been the hallmark of all our projects” – Ng Liang Khiang

Taman Sri Penawar is just a stone’s throw away from marvellous tourist attractions such as Desaru Fruit Farm, Desaru Beach, Tanjung Balau Beach, Tanjung Balau Fishermen Museum, Sungai Lebam Firefly River Cruise, and more, while some of these attractions are well-known, the rest are hidden jewels mostly unknown to outsiders. Besides being a tourist destination and hydrocarbon industrial hub, Bandar Penawar also emerges as an educational hub, with many institutes of higher learning clustering in the vicinity. Currently, the campuses of National Youth Skills Institute (IKBN) Bandar Penawar branch, APRIL 2017 I 39


The interior of Harmonia double-storey terrace house show unit

The interior of Harmonia double-storey terrace house show unit 40 | APRIL 2017

The management team of MB World Group Berhad. From left: Ms. Connie Liew, Sales and Marketing Manager; Ms. Janice Wong, Executive Director; Ms. Cindi Sim, Executive Director; Mr. Ng Liang Khiang, Executive Director; Mr. Simon Sim, Executive Director; and Ms. Foo Yong Hui, Project Planning Manager of MB World Group Berhad.

Bandar Penawar Community College, as well as Bandar Penawar Sports School (SSBP) where prospect national athletes are nurtured are all located nearby. The growing student population will surely turn the once sleepy corner of Peninsular Malaysia into a vibrant urban centre. With such a wide range of facilities and activities, Ng is confident that the township will be suitable for investors who are expanding their portfolio of income generating assets, as Taman Sri Penawar will become a thriving place for living, learning and raising opportunities. No doubt, the property market is experiencing a slowdown currently. In Ng’s opinion, the stringent loan requirements are one of the biggest challenges that they need to address for their purchasers. “We will focus more on the affordable housing segment as the demand for this segment is higher. Due to the better chance of loan approval and lesser commitment for the purchasers, the affordable homes will definitely be more attractive to the buyers,” he shares. SPURRING PROJECT GROWTH “Affordability, accessibility and appreciation potential are the key selling

points of our developments. Phase one of 265 units of single-storey terrace houses was sold out within two weeks, and we hope to get a similar response for the launching of the 272 units double-storey terrace houses,” said Ng. For the time being, MB World Group will be focusing on the development of Taman Sri Penawar. With the recently launched Desaru Avenue shop office, the phase 1 and 2 of single-storey terrace houses and the 272-unit “Harmonia” doublestorey terrace houses which have a total estimated GDV of RM492 million, Ng believes they will be kept busy for the next few years. Desaru Avenue offers 161 units of double-storey shop offices. Each unit is situated on an average land area of 22 ft. by 70 ft., with an average built-up area of 3,080 sq. ft. With its spacious and flexible layout, the shop office is ideal for a variety of businesses, including retail, office, boutique, restaurant, and vacation accommodation. To complement the success of single-storey terrace house, phase 1 of Desaru Avenue has been sold within a month prior to the launch. Next, phase 2 of single-storey terrace houses with a total of 320 units will have

Mr. Ng Liang Khiang posing with a scale model of the Taman Sri Penawar township development.

an average built-up area of 1,091 sq. ft., featuring three bedrooms and two bathrooms; while Harmonia consists of 272 double-storey terrace houses, with an average land area of 22 ft. by 70 ft., creating a spacious built-up area of 1,996 sq. ft. The gated and guarded development aspires to provide a safe and comfortable living environment for all the residents. MB World Group’s goal in 2017 is to continue building the Group into an established and reputable listed property development company. With an estimated Gross Development Value (GDV) of RM1.9 billion, the entire township project will keep the Group busy for up to seven years. Despite the soft market condition currently, MB World Group will strive to provide good customer service, deliver quality products and added value for its prospective buyers and investors. At the same time, they will also be looking out for any potential land banking opportunities to ensure continued growth in the Group. “Given the dynamic business environment that the Group operates in, we constantly monitor the business environment and adjust our strategies accordingly, in order to stay competitive in the market,” Ng asserts confidently. APRIL 2017 I 41


SUBANG JAYA REVISITED Experience the tranquility at the fringe of this bustling suburb BY: GABRIEL LIM GWO SHIN


all it a mature residential area, a vibrant township or a commercial and educational hub, Subang Jaya has come a long way since the days the developer need fully furnish the terrace

42 | APRIL 2017

houses in order to attract homebuyers 3 decades ago. Today, it is the seat of Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) whose jurisdiction covers the Southern half of Petaling district, well-connected with

other parts of Klang Valley via LRT lines and a network of expressways. With more residents moving to this part of Klang Valley, Subang Jaya has experienced a housing boom, to the extent

that it’s residential areas gradually sprawls outward. Today, we will be exploring the newer developments on the fringe on Subang Jaya, which are rapidly emerging as the talk of town. The reputation is so strong that some of those projects in the neighbouring Shah Alam also began naming themselves Subang West to ride on the rising tide. For the study today, we shall not be bothered by the municipal border, because it is after all the same area where people’s life intertwined with one another. Two busy highways, E6 North South Expressway Central Link (Elite) and E5 Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas) intersect here, with the Seafield System Interchange offering seamless transfer between one another. These two highways quadrisect this area into four parts. Via the Ebor Interchange of NSECL and the Hicom Interchange of SAE, motorists enjoy direct access to downtown Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), as well as other cities and towns in Penisular Malaysia and beyond. While there is no institutions of higher learning located within this neighbourhood right now, there are plenty of them a stone’s throw away. Across the Federal Highway, there are Management Science University (MSU) in Section 13 Shah Alam, Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Polytechnic in Glenmarie, as well as the new campus of KDU University College in Utropolis. Right next to Taman Subang Mas, there is Shah Alam Vocational College (KVSA), while big names such as Monash University, Sunway University, Taylor’s, Inti, SEGi, The One Academy and many more have established themselves for decades in various parts of

Subang Jaya, USJ and Bandar Sunway. This part of Subang Jaya was primarily an industrial area, with the corporate headquarters of DiGi Telecommunication, Times Publishing Group and many more based here. On the other hand, Central Sugar Refinery is located in Batu Tiga, while the national carmaker, Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional (Proton) as well as beverage manufacturer Fraser & Neave (F&N) have their factories located in the Hicom industrial area nearby. As such, the area has a high concentration of working class, and the residential units are hotly in demand. When one of the major occupants in Subang Hi-Tech Park, Chunghwa Picture Tube from Taiwan decided to move their facilities overseas in the year 2010, prominent local developer Tropicana

Central Sugars Refinery

Corporation (then still named Dijaya Corporation) acquired the 88 acre land for a sum of RM385.5 million. It has now been turned into a posh residential enclave that goes by the name of Tropicana Metropark. According to Ung Lay Ting, Tropicana Corpoation’s Executive Director of Marketing & Sales Tropicana Metropark is a sprawling freehold 88-acre mixed development that lies within the exclusive enclave of Subang Jaya – an affluent, suburban city in the Klang Valley. The superior design of this neighbourhood aims at nurturing a holistic lifestyle for complete urban living. “Inspired by ideal living along the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia, Tropicana Metropark features a Central Park to call its own. Tropicana Metropark is a sustainable integrated neighbourhood infused with the Tropicana DNA, which is built on the cornerstones of accessibility, connectivity, innovative concepts and designs, generous open spaces, amenities, facilities, multitiered security and quality carefully. Hence, the development will house a mall, healthcare centre, a cluster of educational institutions and entertainment hotspots,” elaborated Ixora. Asked about why did Tropicana choose to develop Tropicana Metropark, which boasts of a Gross Development Value (GDV) totaling RM6.3 billion here in Subang Jaya, Ixora was delighted to share that Tropicana Metropark occupies a prime location within Subang Jaya. Sandwiched strategically between Shah Alam and Subang Jaya, it enjoys easy access via major highways. It APRIL 2017 I 43


Khairiah Talha

Alam Idaman is also surrounded and serviced by existing amenities such as schools, medical centres, shops, places of worships and even golf courses etc. To cater to the educational needs of kids, the first intake of GEMS International School located within Tropicana Metropark will commence in September 2017. Fully equipped with world-class facilities, the approximately 210,000 square foot campus will be able to accommodate up to 2,400 students aged from 3 years old all the way up to 18 years old. As such, the convenience will be highly cherished by the urban folks who wish to take a break from the daily hustle and bustle of the cities. Central Parks have been one of the main feature in many Tropicana developments in the country. The newly completed 9.2acre Central Park in Tropicana Metropark surrounds a 750-metre canal, which is equipped with a bio-filtration systems. Functioning as the social heart and green lung for residents, the lush landscapes in the park provides the ideal setting for recreational activities that are suitable for all residents. It also boasts meandering cycling and jogging tracks, a pedestrian 44 | APRIL 2017

promenade and a food and beverage strip. Besides serving as a meeting point for work, life and play, the park also forms a truly breathtaking scenery when viewed from the residential and commercial blocks towering around it. As residents of Klang Valley are more wary of traffic congestion, convenient public transport has become one of criteria when choosing where to live. While the new stations along the Kelana Jaya LRT line extension such as Subang Jaya (interchange with KTM Komuter under one roof), SS15, SS18 or USJ7 (interchange with BRT Sunway Line under one roof) are not exactly as close as one would like to be, the Tropicana Metropark’s side of Subang Jaya is served directly by the Batu Tiga station of KTM Komuter’s Tanjung Malim – Port Klang Line. Upon the completion of Klang Valley Double Tracking upgrading project in 2019, KTM Komuter will be able to run at a frequency of every 7.5 minutes, bringing the service quality much closer to those of LRT. For those who wish to access other parts of the Klang Valley through Federal Highway, they will be delighted to know

that a direct flyover linking the area around Tropicana Metropark to Federal Highway is also slated for completion later this year. Built by Tropicana at a cost of RM106 million, the flyover will allow motorists to bypass other junctions and reach their destinations in a speedier manner. A stone’s throw away in the part of town now popularly referred to as Subang West, Crest Builder subsidiary CB Land is The Greens @ Subang West, a freehold residential development comprising 646 condominium units developed on 7 acre land, with a total Gross Development Value (GDV) of RM400 million. It is a new addition to other high rise projects completed by the same company in the vicinity, including Alam Prima, Alam Mesra, Alam Idaman, Avenue Crest and Alam Sanjung. Alam Prima and Alam Mesra were sold en bloc to Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB) in 2005. The Greens is just five minutes away from E35 Guthrie Corridor Expressway (GCE), E2 North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), E5 North South Expressway Central Link and E10 Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP). Eric Yong Shang Ming, managing director of Crest Builder said, “Looking at the immediate vicinity, there are close to 1.3 million people living within a 20-minute radius of our development. With the skyrocketing property prices in Klang Valley, Subang West is the next best location to look at.” When Alam Idaman was first launched in 2010, it was sold at around RM200 per square foot on average. Now with the 915 sq. ft. unit in The Greens selling at RM485,000, it clearly shows that residential properties here have enjoyed quite a significant growth.

With the new LRT Line 3 targeting for completion in 31 August 2020, the residents will be able to catch the LRT at the nearby Shah Alam Stadium station” – Eddy Wong

Crest Builder has appointed property consultancy Nawawi Tie Leung (NTL) as the exclusive marketing agent for The Greens. Eddy Wong, managing director of NTL was happy to share that for landed properties within the vicinity, such as the terrace houses in Taman Mutiara Subang right next to Batu Tiga KTM Komuter station, prices have been increasing marginally in the past few years despite the soft market. The transacted prices in 2016 for a typical 2-storey terrace house was about RM620,000 to RM630,000, compared to about RM550,00 to RM600,000 in the years of 2014 and 2015. On the other hand, for completed highrise properties, prices generally remained

stable for the past 3 years. Units in neighbouring schemes, such as Subang Andaman (Jalan Jubli Perak 22/1) were transacted at the RM400 psf to RM430 psf range; whereas units in Puri Aiyu Condominium (also located along Jalan Jubli Perak 22/1) were transacted at the RM360 psf to RM400 psf range. Regarding those ongoing projects around the area, Eddy has also listed their launching price as an indicative reference for potential buyers. For example, Paisley Serviced Residence in Tropicana Metropark starts from RM790 psf, Stellar Residence by Naza TTDI is sold at the average of RM790 psf, while The Greens by Crest Builder is sold at the average of RM695 psf.

The Greens @ Subang West

As for transportation convenience, Eddy would like to point out that, “Besides the existing KTM Komuter and LRT service, the new LRT Line 3 linking Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya to Johan Setia, Klang will be ready by the year 2020 too. With the new LRT Line 3 targeting for completion in 31 August 2020, the residents will be able to catch the LRT at the nearby Shah Alam Stadium station. By then, properties in the area will be more attractive, as LRT Line 3 further improves the overall accessibility and provides a more viable transport option for all.” Moreover, Eddy also highlighted to the readers that Subang SkyPark Terminal of the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport Subang is located nearby. That is certainly a good news for those who wish to catch domestic flights often. With so many benefits, it is no wonder that Eddy was confident that Subang West, which is seen as an extension of Subang Jaya, would enjoy exceptional growth over the next several years. Renowned urban planner Khairiah Talha, a former president of Malaysian Institute of Planners (MIP) who still serves as a member of the MIP Advisory Council now, remarked that based on the take-up rate of the condominiums, the area is regarded as good for investment. By having LRT 3 as a frequent and reliable form of public transport, the area where the West of Subang Jaya meets the East of Shah Alam will be a very attractive locations especially for the young working adults. However, Khairiah believed that there is room for improvement in terms of drainage infrastructure and township planning. The Sungai Damansara could overflow during heavy rains, and as a result flash floods

Central Park, Tropicana Metropark APRIL 2017 I 45



Build-up (sf)

Building Name

Price psf

Unit Price

599 - 4,680

Pandora Serviced Residence


RM500,000 - RM3,900,000

609 - 2,263

Paloma Serviced Reisdence

RM1,000 - RM1,200

RM650,000.00 - RM2,940,000

Subang Jaya

The Suave

Subang Jaya

624 - 1,001

The Suave

RM1,376 - RM1,442

RM858,888.00 - RM1,443,888

Reo Suites

Subang Jaya

370 - 609


RM800 - RM989

RM296,000.00 - RM602,550

The Greens @ Subang West

Subang West

915 - 1,787

The Greens

RM 800 - RM 900

RM738,920.00 - RM1,581,720

566 - 826

i-Suites 2

RM773 - RM890

RM437,680.00 - RM735,680

466 - 767

Liberty Tower

RM823 - RM896

RM383,600.00 - RM687,500

Shah Alam I-City

466 - 769

Parisien Tower



Ken Rimba

Shah Alam

1,119 - 1,183

Condominium 1


RM399,000.00 - RM1,199,000

Temasya Glenmarie

Shah Alam

926 - 2,045

Temasya 8


RM647,800 - RM1,396,800

V-Residensi 2

Shah Alam

816 - 1,124

V-Residensi 2

RM500 - RM604

RM408,100 - RM679,000

Emira Residences

Shah Alam

610 - 1,238



RM340,000 - RM689,566

Source: Henry Butcher Real Estate



Build-up (sf)

Building Name

Price psf

Unit Price

Subang Jaya

3,003 - 3,810

3-Storey Terrace

RM315 - RM385

RM946,000.00 - RM1,468,000

2,656 - 2,790

Pentas 5

RM331 - RM547

RM879,800 - RM1,528,800

2,796 - 3,521

Tari 3

RM322 - RM425

RM900,800 - RM1,496,800

2,757 - 3,696

Akasia 2

RM393 - RM502

RM1,084,000 - RM1,856,000

Shah Alam Shah Alam

Source: Henry Butcher Real Estate

might occur. With greater developments, chances are more and more natural ground surfaces will be covered with concrete, thus creating greater surface water run-off, contributing to more flash floods. And while the highway network offers good connectivity to those who drive, congestion might occur when too many people opt to drive instead of taking public transport, and the loud noise emanating from the heavy traffic might also become a nuisance to those living in projects fronting those highways. Khairiah also foresee the need for better town planning that can coordinate the provision of public amenities according to the population growth. Currently, since most of the developments are taking place on private lands, each projects were developed individually without a proper and comprehensive coordination among one another. All that the local authorities could do was to coordinate in terms of road and other infrastructures. As such, the lack of proper planning might lead to the 46 | APRIL 2017

shortage of schools, community facilities and places of worship. Another vital element of wholesome living sorely lacking in the township is open space, such as public parks, gardens, recreational facilities or community squares. Without prior planning through a comprehensive town planning, it is difficult to insert parks into a fully built-up environment. Also, if the aim of providing alternative mode of transport to reduce the automobile dependency was prioritised from day one, provisions would have been made to construct proper pedestrian sidewalks and cycling paths that connect the residential areas to the educational hubs and commercial areas. Khairiah emphasised that this is an important piece of infrastructure due to the demographics here, which included a high proportion of students and young families. Khairiah predicted that the development there would intensify once the LRT 3 operation commences, with plenty of high rise development coming up around the

station in Shah Alam Stadium. Hence, she would like to put forward her wish for this growing neighbourhood. “I am just hoping that the local authorities would provide for more public spaces, public parks and gardens and make the area greener. This would offset the resultant pollution from the heavy traffic as well as help reduce noise levels. There should be greater connectivity to the transit stations through a comprehensive, disabled-friendly pedestrian walkways and cycle tracks, to reduce the car dependency and create a healthier living environment.� With speedy development and growing population, Subang Jaya and the neighbourhoods in its Western suburbs will soon be transformed into a wholesome metropolis, where needs such as education, healthcare, recreation and socialising are taken care of. If the infrastructure can grow in tandem with the population, the residents will surely find it a greater place to live!


Puri Ayu Condo, Subang West



Terrace SS12, Subang Jaya Condo SS13, Subang Jaya SS14, Subang Jaya

SS15, Subang Jaya

SS17, Subang Jaya

Apartment Terrace


Terrace Apartment Terrace

SS19, Subang Jaya Apartment

Taman Mutiara Subang

Built-up (sf)

Unit Price 2015

Unit Price 2016

Price psf 2015

Price psf 2016















































































































































Semi D






Source: Henry Butcher Real Estate

EMILY KHO, VivaHomes Realty, Puchong There are plenty of benefits if one lives in Subang Jaya or Subang West, for example, the places are wellconnected through a myriad of highways such as North South Expressway Central Link (Elite), Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas), North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) and Federal Highway; you can expect good rental of RM1,200 onwards because of the huge population here; there are various shopping destinations including AEON, Giant and Tesco located within the vicinity; and the best thing is, the KTM Komuter station is just a stone’s throw away!

YVONNE TAN, Regional Real Estate For owners, Subang Jaya and Subang West are places where one can seek solitude and respite despite located in the middle of the suburb. It’s very convenient to live here as all the amenities are close by, yet the prices here are reasonable. For investors, you can garner a decent rental income, as the places are within close proximity to the industrial belt of Batu Tiga and Section 13, the education hub of Shah Alam. APRIL 2017 I 47



PROPERTY NEGOTIATOR Buy the right property to enjoy positive ROI BY: MAGES PV LINGAM

48 I APRIL 2017



s a dedicated lady and a committed real estate negotiator who has overcome challenges and leaped across boundaries, Mapleland Properties senior negotiator, Juliana Teh Beng Choo was awarded the Million Dollar Roof Top (MDRT) achievement by Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) in October last year. On her enviable success, Juliana said she owed it all to her passion for the property business, love for properties and faithful clienteles. Popularly dubbed as the ‘Selfie Queen’ for her tactful strategy, sweet personality and penchant for taking selfie, Juliana has an accumulated 20 years of experience in the property industry and is still going strong. “What started out as a 9-to-5 work with the housing developers on one end of the value chain, has blossomed into a rewarding and fulfilling career on the other end of the same chain for me. That is, to match the right owner to the right property,” chuckled Juliana. She has received a string of awards during her tenure for her diligence and achievements. Juliana credits her hard work, attention to detail and perseverance, coupled with a dash of lady luck and sense of humour for propelling her to victory. With her high determination to succeed, she was accepted as a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) USA, a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), as well as a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS). INVESTMENT SAVVY Juliana said her initial property was a joint purchase with her husband, a home they are still occupying till now. It was a project by Paramount Property called Kemuning Utama, a freehold, gated and guarded development in Shah Alam. She instantly felt the urge to own the property as it ticked most of the right boxes like location, traffic conveniences, safety, planning and layout, reputable developer and high probability of capital gain, just to name a few. Currently, the property is selling for 2.5 – 3 times higher than the purchase price Juliana paid. “The down payment was mainly from our savings as we purchased our first property in our 30s and the banks were willing to facilitate the finance up to 90%,” revealed Juliana. She said as the banks

will always check on the creditworthiness of the borrower based on reports by Credit Reporting Agencies (CRA) such as Bank Negara’s Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) or the privately-run Credit Tip-Off Service (CTOS), it might be difficult for those with nonperforming loans (NPLs) or those who was guarantor for defaulted loans in the past to meet the criteria set by the end financiers, thus failing to obtain loans. For Juliana, challenges are always expected to bump into her journey of acquiring or selling properties. Therefore, it is important to be disciplined in investing on the right, genuine good deals, be it in terms of pricing or future opportunities for the properties. “I am very pertinent to be disciplined, and invest in what I planned and could afford. In a soft market like now when prices are soft, I would surely recommend good deals to my group of interested investors,” shared Juliana. The fact that one owns the capital to purchase real estates now says much about the investor’s capabilities. Banks will not hesitate to lend to them, and even foreigners can obtain a 50% loan from banks too. RIGHT FACTORS Regarding her investment strategies, Juliana said there isn’t any specific investment strategy for her that is cast in stone, as she moves along with the current market sentiment and employs different strategies that suit the current needs. As a rule of thumb, she said that the intended investment should be self-sufficient, ideally able to cover the monthly repayment to the banks. “My take is that you would not be able to flip at the targeted price if you are not able to hold it. And holding onto it is much easier when your investment income covers your monthly financial obligations,” added Juliana. Location and transport conveniences are also considered key advantages as she believes in placing herself in the purchaser or tenant’s shoes, by asking herself what would be the qualities that her prospective clients seek while deciding on whether to rent or buy a property. Having been with Mapleland Properties for over 3 years now, she said most of their properties were located close to a shopping mall, and within walking distance to the rapid transit

(LRT / MRT) stations nearby. Furnishing the unit, taking care of minute details or look into the “small stuffs” are vital too, and most of Juliana’s properties are fully furnished. “Based on my experience, fully furnishing a unit makes it more marketable. It has to be attractive, with renowned branded electrical appliances,” said Juliana. She always made sure that the tenant feel attached to her unit among all the units available, therefore spending few extra ringgit is necessary, to avoid the frequent breakdowns that the tenant might otherwise encounter at a later stage. Small gestures like leaving a hand-written welcome note to the tenants matters tremendously too. Because at the end of the day, landlords would like to ensure that the tenants think the rental is fair, because that is an important factor in reducing the probability for fraud or delinquency. SMART MOVES Juliana manages her investments prudently, buying only what she can afford. “We were lucky when some developers agreed to offer a 10% launching discount when we signed up many years ago, I recalled we paid only RM5,000.00 in deposit with our credit card and took a bank loan for the rest,” said Juliana. She affirmed that it is very vital for investors to maintain a good payment record, to ensure that their loan applications are always given favourable reviews by financial institutions. As for the handling of tenants, Juliana stated that she would like to personally vet them before meeting up, and it would a bonus if the tenants could provide some references. She believed in portraying a cautious and proactive image, so that the tenants would think twice if they harbour any wishes to default on payment. “Good deals don’t always refer to those with good price, if the buyer feels that he has obtained great satisfaction from the deal, for me it is a good deal, so look out for deals that fit the strategy to succeed,” affirmed Juliana. Juliana admitted that mistakes are opportunities to learn from one’s weakness, in order to avoid repeating them in the future. She recalled a mistake she made when she rushed into a purchase without thinking through the intricacy of the deal. “Suffice to say, try not to indulge in investment of properties that we have no control over,” asserted Juliana. At times, she represented APRIL 2017 I 49


Good deals don’t always refer to those with good price, if the buyer feels that he has obtained great satisfaction from the deal, for me it is a good deal, so look out for deals that fit the strategy to succeed” - Juliana Teh

clients in bidding for a property on auction, and felt several improvements are needed to secure a genuine deal. Hence, Juliana believes that bidding via online auction can save money, time, and paper work, while avoiding syndicate manipulation. EXPECTATIONS For all the interested investors who wish to widen one’s property portfolio, she opined that they should spend some time to conduct a thorough research, start small and begin with an even smaller expectation. She recommended all the investors to get a proper real estate negotiator, who is able to guide them along the way, build up the trust and enjoy the journey. To focus on the main income generating 50 I APRIL 2017

assets, Juliana also shared that, “We are in the midst of consolidating our operation, thus we are considering the disposal of non-key assets to reduce our loan gearing. We need cash flow to take advantage of any arising investment opportunities, and ‘Keep Going, Just Do It’ remains as our motto!” When asked about the market outlook, Juliana opined that the property market is expected to perform in tandem with the nation’s economy. It is expected to remain resilient despite the economic challenges, since property dealing is the safest form of investment. Her endeavour of seeking addresses or hotspots with good connectivity remains unchanged, no matter how the economy performs.


Ara Damansara Pacific Place

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Shah Alam Kemuning Utama

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reputable brand established since 1918 by Katsujiro Iwai in Kansai, Japan, Kansai Paint first began its evolution in the 1960s by extending its Japanese excellence to other countries in Southeast Asia and Asia, before moving on to other continents such as North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Today, Kansai Paint is renowned as the world’s top 10 paint manufacturer, specialising in decorative, automotive, protective, industrial and marine coatings. Kansai Paint Malaysia was established in 2006, after a successful acquisition of PAR, the renowned Malaysian brand for decorative paints and industrial coatings. Their fundamental business philosophy is to contribute to society by providing products and services that satisfy and meet the needs of customers from all walks of life. This is how the concept of “Design of Life” was created. By 2015, Kansai Paint Malaysia has set up a regional office in the Southeast Asia region, and reached a new milestone by embracing Sancora Paint as one of their own. This acquisition is in line with their commitment to grow their presence in Malaysia, with the combined resources that will make Kansai Paint one of the most comprehensive coatings manufacturers in Malaysia.

DESIGNED FOR LIFE A range of 360-degree paint solutions that aim to create a safe and healthy environment for family and friends BY: FELICIA SOON

52 I APRIL 2017

FOREFRONTING THE FUTURE At present, Kansai Paint does not own any direct outlet in Malaysia. However, they have 3 manufacturing facilities and 3 depots to service their distributors and dealers nationwide. Kansai Paint Malaysia works closely with a worldwide network, and coordinates with Kansai Paint’s “window company” in each country, to explore more possibilities on developing innovative products. With a global position and supported by strong commitment to Research and Development (R&D), their mission is to contribute to society by providing eco-friendly and value-added paint products and services that meet customer needs and satisfaction. The company has long been engaged in protecting the global environment, in line with its belief in product development for sustainable growth. In 1992, they enacted a corporate policy on global environmental issues. In 1995, Kansai Paint became a founding member of the Japan Responsible Care Council (JRCC), and has

since vigorously worked to help preserve the global environment and ensure safety and health. Armed with an R&D budget that exceeds USD50 million per annum, the group have set up 5 R&D Institutes and 2 R&D Centers so far. Spearheaded by the R&D Headquarters in Japan, Kansai Paint’s R&D activities are run by an elite team of scientists, who specialise in Basic Research, Coating Development, Application Development and Colour Design. All the products are ceretified market-ready only after passing the stringent environmental impact evaluation. COMMUNICATION IS THE KEY Communication is essential for Kansai Paint and the firm works closely with R&D specialists, sales and marketing teams of each Kansai Paint company globally to share new ideas, knowledge and market insights. They also emphasize on the communication with their business partners and customers. Expanding from the conventional advertising and marketing approach into a cross-industry collaboration is an effective method in reaching out to more customers. For example for the mosquito repellent paint, Kansai Paint worked closely with the government – Ministry of Health and Pesticide Board under Ministry of Agriculture to ensure all communication is compliance to their guidelines. They also actively support events or campaigns by the Ministry of Health to raise awareness about the prevention of Dengue Fever by organizing mobile truck roadshow across the country, to promote Dengue awareness and their mosquito repellent paint. During the roadshows, they will give out samples to the communities, especially those in Dengue hotspots. Besides, they also collaborate with an insurance company in their public campaign by giving out Dengue and Zika insurance to end-users, because consumer confidence towards the product is of high importance to them. Kansai Paint is also the official paint partner of Manchester United Football Club (MUFC), where they run interesting events and campaigns for example product endorsement, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaigns, as well as greet and meet session with MU

players. They even painted Old Trafford football stadium in UK. Such cooperative initiatives help to increase brand power and recognition of products, thus actively contributing to the business development in countries and regions in all parts of the world. COLOUR TREND Research have shown that colours have a psychological effect on human emotion and responses. With their wide range of comprehensive coating products, Kansai Paint’s target market ranges from suppliers and end consumers to private and government sectors. As for decorative coatings, they have a different range of products – Super Premium, Premium, Mid-Range and Economic products, where they target both end consumers and commercial projects. Recently, the company has launched its Super Premium paints – ALES series, which is the first of its kind in Southeast Asian countries, targeting health- and environmentally-conscious families and house owners, especially those who are living in urban areas and are more exposed to environmental hazards. THE ALES SERIES ARE CATEGORISED AS BELOW: 1) ALES Shiquy - Introduction: Air Purifying Paint for interior use - eature: Removes odors (cigarette, sweat, toilets, garbage and etc), deactivate bacteria and viruses in the air, detoxifies

indoor pollution, controls indoor humidity, purifies air through CO2 adsorption. 2) ALES ANTI-MOSQ - Introduction: Anti-mosquito paint for interior use - Feature: Repels insects such as mosquitoes 3) ALES Weathercoat Hybrid - Introduction: Self-cleaning paint for exterior use - Feature: The painted surface has a protective layer, preventing dirt from penetrating in. Hence, the self-cleaning ability works with the help of rain water, as it cleanses the dirt on the wall. GLOBE TROTTING As a global leader, Kansai Paint is looking to strengthen its global position by aggressively expanding their market presence around the world. They will continuously work with Ministry of Health and other organisations to develop more innovative and cost effective products to help our society to maintain a safer and healthier environment. As for CSR initiatives, Kansai Paint will partner with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) both locally and globally to ensure that these initiatives will benefit a wider segment of the society. Kansai Paint will also continue to strive in maintaining their strong presence in Asia, America, Europe, Middle East and Africa. As one of the world’s leading paint manufacturer, Kansai Paint are looking to strengthen their global positioning to become one of the Top 5 paint manufacturers over the next three years! APRIL 2017 53


TIMING IS EVERYTHING The right timing is important before making any decision to invest BY: FELICIA SOON


very so often, an opportunity comes along for us to learn from a master; someone who has reached a huge level of success and is willing to teach the ‘how-to” just as effectively to others. A firm believer in discipline, Jonathan Quek was working as a financial planner for six months before he started a platform called Owner’s Circle. While his journey up until this day has not been a bed of roses, these detours are in no way slowing him down. From planning his clients’ wealth to managing his own finance, Jonathan has inspired many people to persist and become more confident – a critical attribute for success. After leaving his job as a financial planner, Jonthan started a blog titled SilverMalaysia. com to share his research and findings on how Malaysians can protect themselves in times of recession, which eventually turn into a business also known as “I was exposed to how vulnerable the money tree system is, and the mission of SilverMalaysia is to educate Malaysians on the importance of investing in precious metal, such as gold and

54 | APRIL 2017

silver in a weak world economy like what we have currently,” says Jonathan. On the details of his programmes, he adds, “We are constantly changing our platform and programmes so that we can serve more people in a more effective manner.” A JACK OF ALL TRADES Jonathan believes that passion is one of the key motivations in fulfilling your life with greater happiness. He became genuinely interested in improving his life, and was featured in many financial trainings, for example Success Resources and Invest Fair, where he was invited to give insightful talks. At age 26, he was the youngest person ever to be invited by the Central Bank of Malaysia to help them launch a financial programme. Today Jonathan has spoken to thousands of people across Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Korea, as he aspires to help people in improving their lives through prudent investing strategies and proper financial planning.

Jonathan’s first investment was in the stock market, where he began his investment at the tender age of 21 before he ventured into unit trust, gold and property investment. The key here is diversification and not putting all your eggs into one basket. In essence, he has diversified his wealth into 3 main holdings, namely equities, commodities and real estate. INVESTING INTO PROPERTIES “My first property was an investment property. I bought this property in 2012 together with some friends, who wished to negotiate with the developer in order to get a better discount. I loved the property when I first saw it as it was strategically located above a KL Festival Shopping Mall in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur, where one can enjoy plenty of food and beverage choices as well as lifestyle shopping below. In 2014, Jonathan bought his second property – a residential unit in Mont Kiara which he then rented out to tenants for a few years. Subsequently, it was the time when Jonathan

Having the right knowledge and applying it at the right time is power” – Jonathan Quek

wanted a place to call home. In finding out the best deals, he would visit many sales galleries in Mont Kiara as he dislike travelling too far to reach his office. He decided on buying this property because it was at the top of a hill, thus it did not feel like he was living in a concrete jungle. While Jonathan’s first property was a new development, where he was unable to see the final product before purchase, his second purchase was bought through sub-sale, thus he was able to see the completed project, feel the quality of workmanship, and get a taste of spending time in it before buying it. When asked on his preference between a landed property or a high rise development, Jonathan shared that he preferred high rise over a landed property due to the wider choice of facilities. “I have rented out my second property because of the great facilities there,” he says with a wide beam. “If you have set your mind on something, you have to go all in, do whatever it takes and just go get it.” DON’T PUT THE BLAME ON US As a member of the Gen Y (people born in the 80s and early 90s) himself, Jonathan is also very concern about the widely alleged trend that Gen Y are not keen in property investment. From his observation, he found that the problem with Gen Y not being interested in investing in properties these days is caused by the skyrocketing properties prices and inflation rate in Malaysia right now. “As a matter of fact, most Gen Y are struggling to save enough money for the 10% deposit. It’s not so much

that they refuse to buy properties, rather, it’s is because they can’t afford it and they are not aware of the right investment strategies,” says Jonathan. Hence, in his opinion, Gen Y should focus more on gaining knowledge on how to build their wealth first. According to Jonathan, the more he studied, the more passionate he is about financial education and financial intelligence. One of the way to achieve this is through reading. For example, financial books such as ‘Keep Investment Simple & Stupid’ and ‘5 Elements of successful Investors’, which Jonathan co-authored with Benny Lee, financial speaker and Xeo Lye Wen Song, cofounder of financial game company Capital Gains LLP respectively, have made it possible for anyone who has no financial background to understand how the investment world operates. WHAT’S NEXT FOR INVESTORS? “I think for every investment, whether it is property or stocks, it is not the assets that will make you rich. Rather, it is what you know about them that will make you rich. We are not lacking in terms of resources as we have many courses, websites and magazines. It is more on how resourceful are the investors nowadays,” Jonathan reiterates. He also shares his belief in the economic life cycle, which means that at different times, different classes of assets will perform better. So as an investor, it is very important for investors to know what are they getting into, and what kind of timing are they looking at, because doing the right thing at the wrong time will not bring the investor any closer to their goals of

wealth accumulation. But then again, knowledge alone is not enough to secure successes, because so many people attend seminars and workshops but they do not implement what they have learnt and take action at the right time. As a result, many of them are still struggling financially. PLANS FOR THE NEAR FUTURE “This year I am investing a lot into businesses, and for the past year I have been getting involved in a lot of property related businesses. Last year I bought a stake into a hotel management business. I loved that hotel management business, because it gives me a very good cash flow. Also last year I invested into a villa in Bentong, Pahang that came with a 1 acre plot of land. I have come across these wonderful deals, as I have a very good mentor Dato’ Tan Su Cheng who is an expert in property enhancement, and I also believe a lot in collaborations and sharing of resources. So together with few other partners, we came together to build this villa which will be a great venue for business and social retreats,” Jonathan explains. Jonathan certainly has learnt plenty of ways to expand his net worth. This budding investor also revealed that he was planning to invest into an artisan concept hotel in Bandar Sunway, which was targeted to launch in mid-2017. The hotel is unique in many ways, including that it would educate people about conservation. It is something that he will surely enjoy, because there will be plenty of information on climate change, and what are the things each of us can do about it. APRIL 2017 I 55


TAN SRI A K NATHAN: MAN OF STEEL, HEART OF GOLD Building an empire of everlasting trust BY: MAGES PV LINGAM

56 I APRIL 2017



t was a journey commenced by mere chance around 35 years ago, by a man who had boldness and credence, none other than the group managing director of Eversendai Corporation Berhad’s, Tan Sri A. K. Nathan. Armed with trade experience he grasped from his hands-on knowledge, deep thoughts gained through working with employees and a string of loyal clients, as well as exposure to various problems and solutions, he is today a kind conglomerate leader for his family and employees alike. During the early days, a young Nathan learnt the ropes of business the hard way. From a small set-up where everything from procurement management, payroll, accounting, execution and menial works had to be done single-handedly, today he delightedly shared that the company has grown into a regional leader, boasting a whopping 15,000 employees globally on the payroll. As a firm and serious superior, Nathan believes in hard work and selfimprovement. He added that the group is still expanding with a strong workforce in the Structural Steel and Oil and Gas (O&G) industries. Nathan proudly recalled that since he started the business, the company has never retrenched anyone; instead, the number of employees had increased gradually. Nathan clarified that money wasn’t his motivation, but, a strong commitment to achieve higher and perform better than yesterday have helped the business very much. He also revealed that his staff have motivated and inspired him to move forward. “I have a huge responsibility as I am the head of the 15,000 families who make up Eversendai’s workforce, hence it is my responsibility to ensure they grow personally and are cared for. I am a firm believer in character building and discipline,” said Nathan. RENOWNED GLOBALLY His group’s aspirations included the securing of relevant recognitions to emerge as an ISO Certified company. To date, they have been honoured by various accolades and awards, for instance the ‘Best Subcontractor / Service Provider’ for the Tunnelling and Underground Stations category, in the Annual HSE Awards, Dubai. Recognitions for performances and workmanship is vital for a renowned

Burj Al Arab

organisation that has set its footprints in countries like Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Iraq, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Azerbaijan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, India besides Malaysia. Recently, the company clinched new contracts worth RM1.8 billion, which brings the current total order book to a historic height of approximately RM3 billion. “As I don’t compromise on safety, quality of workmanship and delivery time, we have gained the trust of our satisfied and faithful clientele, and earned an admirable reputation which has taken many years to build,” affirmed Nathan. The nomenclature of ‘Eversendai’ was derived from a city called Sendai, located at the Northeast of Honshu island, Japan. Besides that, Sendai also means ‘thousands of generations’, hence the staff are striving to live up to that name, in order to strengthen the sustainability of the business. He has planned his succession well ahead, with capable management personnel groomed into a well-structured system, adapting from Japanese companies which are determined to deliver on time and never compromise on safety.

In 1996, the company was invited to Dubai to construct a comprehensive 3-D structural steel for the 321-metre Burj Al Arab luxury hotel in Dubai and it has never stopped since. Eversendai has built its own fabrication facilities with total area of 12,000 square metre, with a capacity of 12,000 tonnes at Al Qusais Industrial Park in Dubai. The company also runs 6 similar facilities and warehouses in Asia and Middle East regions. NURTURING GEN-Y TALENTS Nathan is his own mentor and he continuously keeps up his momentum through self-development and selfrealisation. He was brought up obediently and was instilled with values by his parents, but after reading the book written by American self-help writer, Napoleon Hill called the ‘Law of Success’, it propelled him to think deeper and motivated him to change for the better. His company juxtaposed the resources against the competitive challenges, by harnessing on the human capital especially the expectations, outlook and development mindset of Gen-Y. With this, he has successfully retained many talented and APRIL 2017 I 57


I don’t compromise on safety, quality of workmanship and delivery time; we have gained the trust of our satisfied and faithful clientele, and earned an enviable reputation which has taken many years to build” – Tan Sri A K Nathan

skilled workforce for the company. Hence, Nathan sees himself as a man with guts who can take calculated risks and accept shortfalls, since it is pointless to cry over spilt milk. “Our projects were all recommended by people in related industries like architects, developers, lawyers, colleagues, we do not pay to obtain it.” “Sustainability in this business is vital, therefore by positioning our company correctly in the value chain, and maintaining that status diligently has allowed us to set new industry standards that can keep up with the technology advancement. This has become the predetermined benchmark for Eversendai,” asserted Nathan. The staff are often reminded to be wary of errors, as errors could cause financial loss, emotional stress and interpersonal downfall at all stages of work. Hence, timely reminders and propositions to resolve were always practiced in the case of abrupt challenges. Fundamentally, people need 58 I APRIL 2017

to strengthen their characters from within He believes in going back to basics and exceeding the clients’ expectations, since the clients will always demand for higher quality and appreciate all effort in delivering the projects successfully. Nathan acknowledges that he is married to his job as he is shouldering many business entities as part of his routine work life. He doesn’t believe in wasting time and instead, dedicates his attention to taking care of the people working with him, as he knows that he is ultimately responsible for their growth. However, since his grandchildren were born, he takes the extra effort to make time in his tight schedule to spend with his loved ones, especially his grandchildren. ENSURING SUSTAINABILITY The company has grown substantially in terms of branding in the niche of steel structure construction, in which Nathan has created the company but he is not done yet. Instead, he wants Eversendai

to be a prominent name known to every stakeholder in the industry. Engagement in landmark projects locally and abroad has created great curiosity among the media community, who is always curious about Eversendai and the man behind it. However, he has so far refrained from engaging in social media as he thinks it could be a double-edge sword. “If it’s being used positively, then the yield would be positive, but for I would rather build personal relationships with staff and clients,” said Nathan. Nathan shared his positive outlook for the current property market, saying that it will pick up eventually, and emphasised that he strongly believed in location, location, location whenever he looks out for an appropriate property to purchase. He said that the amenities and accessibility of the location would surely add value to the real estates, while those that are comfortable and aesthetically pleasing will surely appreciate more rapidly in time. While the public perception is that the property market has softened, Nathan believed that the property market in Malaysia is now better protected from speculation, as the banking sector has taken various measures to regulate the market. He said right now, it is a buyers’ market as sellers are trying to sell but buyers are being cautious. As for the construction industry in Malaysia, it is running extremely good with a number of ongoing infrastructure projects. Also, he is positive about the resilience of the market. “The entrepreneurs have no power to control the market volatilities, however by being prudent, they can stay afloat. I have gone through inflation and recession cycles and we just have to persevere because at the end, the market picks up,” stressed Nathan. While he wishes to spend more time with the family, he is still working hard to ensure proper implementation of his succession plans which started a decade ago, so that Eversendai will be steered independently after his retirement. With a pristine track record, Nathan is confident in retaining the trust of clients, because the determination to move forward is strong. After all, he subscribes to the wisdom of Napoleon Hill, “Do Not ‘Tell’ The World What You Can Do – ‘Show’ It!”



THE PARTNER OF DEVELOPERS Dedicated to deliver amazing results always BY: GABRIEL LIM GWO SHIN


ocated in Tadisma Business Park, Shah Alam, Homefield is not your average real estate agency. Having crafted a name in enbloc sales for developers, Homefield is the favourite of developers when they need to find buyers

for their high end products. At the helm of this marketing legend is a couple, Haji Ahmad Zamzuri Kamarudin and Munirah Mohamad. Munirah, who is the company director of Homefield, first joined a real estate

agency in Subang Jaya upon graduating from ITM (now UiTM) Shah Alam with a major in Estate Management. As a rookie, she had a very colourful career and served from the very bottom to the very top. Back in those days when the shops in Taipan APRIL 2017 I 59

INDUSTRY INSIGHT (USJ10, Subang Jaya) was priced around RM400,000 per unit, she went to office every morning, picked up the listings and went around trying to sell. She was so diligent in meeting people to promote the products, to the extent that almost everyone in Subang Jaya knew her. When she became a registered real estate negotiator in the year 1995, she decided to set up her own agency, Homefield. She worked hard and focussed on delivering results, without thinking of the return. For her, it was more important to acquire knowledge and experience, thus she served many developers and helped them to find interested clients. Integrity and interpersonal skills are highly valued in the real estate business, because without gaining the trust of the customers, negotiators would not be able to close any deals. That is also one of Munirah’s strengths. ACQUIRE KNOWLEDGE FIRST Recounting one of her experience, Munirah illustrated the importance of maintaining good ties with the customers. “There was a double storey shoplot project where it was first priced at RM500,000. After I found a group of buyers and collected deposit from all of them, the developer suddenly decided to raise the price to RM700,000. However, due to the good relationship I have maintained with the customers, I managed to convince them about the potential of these shoplots, until none of them wanted to call off the deal eventhough they had to pay 40% extra.” When Homefield was first started, Munirah decided to do all kinds of transactions assigned by clients, and that included land deals. One day, she was approached by a management staff from Shell who was in-charged of sourcing land to set up service stations. Appointed as the Management Agent for all the land matters, Munirah had to secure pieces of land in suitable locations, and to settle all the procedures with the Land Office and all the related parties. It was tedious work but as a resourceful professional, Munirah managed to pull it off. When Tesco the hypermarket from the United Kingdom first entered the Malaysian market, one of the contact in Shell joined Tesco. Hence, Homefield was also tasked with buying land for them. Back then, Tesco did not run a full-fledged office in 60 | APRIL 2017

Kuala Lumpur, so their staff was based in overseas such as London. Nevertheless, these people were well-versed with the National Land Code of Malaysia when they were not even here. There were so many things to settle until Munirah had no time for proper meals, and had to park the car by the road side to discuss the contract terms and conditions with them over the phone. Finally, Munirah managed to cut the deal in midnight but that was not all, because she still have to serve the notice to squatters and visit the relevant offices in the state government. It was an amazing experience for Munirah, because the knowledge and experience acquired was priceless. At least now, she can count Tesco Ampang and Tesco Bukit Tinggi as her babies. MAINTAINING GOOD RAPPORT As Zamzuri was from Guthrie, one of the top 3 Government-Linked Companies with plantation and housing development business, he knew many decision makers in the country. Throughout his 16 years there, Zamzuri has gained valuable insight into marketing, planning and land administration matters. In fact, he was responsible for transforming a palm oil estate into Bukit Jelutong, one of the most prestigious neighbourhood in Shah Alam. Due to his overwhelming passion on real estate, he was selected as the Vice President for Strategic Master Development when the government decided to merge Guthrie and Golden Hope into Sime Darby in 2007. Among others, his was tasked to establish the master plan on landbanking for future development. As Homefield as it was growing and needed help, Zamzuri forgo his corporate career and good money to join his wife in 2011 as the chief executive officer of Homefield. The way he see it, “Whenever we see an opportunity, we must fit in and find ways to contribute if we are truly determined to go for it.” Recounting the journey, Zamzuri said, “At the time we shifted from Subang Jaya to Shah Alam in the year 2000, the mentality was very different. Investors were few and far between. The biggest challenge we faced was on building rapport with all the stakeholders.” Zamzuri also had another anecdote to share about the importance of maintaining good relationship with customers. To

If you have the knowledge, there’s nothing too challenging; it’s all about how you look into a problem and tackle it; we believe in our products, we reach out to the target market, we deliver, they trust us” - Munirah Mohamad

provide top-notch services, Homefield staffs will always go and collect the rental for units rented through their agents. There was this tenant who rented the first floor, where the son of the landlord operated a café right below him, yet still preferred to pay the rental through Homefield. This shows how close the rapport they have built up with the customers was. “People out there like us because they see us as professional Muslims. We cannot be complacent in understanding our clients’ needs, targets and KPI (Key Performance Index), because we must deliver! By maintaining personal touch with clients, word of mouth is our best promotion; big clients will trust us with their money, without us hanging up banners everywhere.” ASSISTING THE DEVELOPERS Zamzuri believed that to gain the trust of customers, one must manage problems and never run away from issues faced by the customers. With Zamzuri and Munirah’s in-depth knowledge in the industry, Homefield delivers more than just selling to developers. One of the earlier projects handled by Homefield was Mayang Sutera, located in TTDI Jaya, Shah Alam. The project is located at a quiet corner of Shah Alam, but due to its proximity to Sungai Damansara, it was frequently submerged in flood after heavy downpours. As the agent who had sold 20 units in

Mayang Sutera, Munirah worked closely with the developer, Naza TTDI and had frequent meetings with them to provide buyers’ feedback. Ultimately, with various measures taken to tackle the flooding problem, the residents can live joyously with a peace of mind. Besides working alongside Naza TTDI for the past 10 years, Homefield was also invited to assist in other prominent projects, such as Laman Seri, Laman Seri Business Park, Datum Jelatek and KL Metropolis. “Because of our access to the Bumiputra market, many developers such as Tan & Tan, IGB all partnered with us to sell off their Bumiputra reserved units. OSK also got us onboard for one of their projects, and in the end we managed to settle 70% of the Bumiputra lots for them!” Instead of just functioning as the executive marketing agent, Munirah actually prefers to offer ideas in the earlier stage of the project development. “For Laman Seri and Laman Seri Business Park, we sat down and had brainstorming together with the developer Naza TTDI when it was still a piece of empty land. Back then, such a product was a pioneer both in terms of concept and pricing in Shah Alam. Besides developing the themes, we also advised on the fee structure and discount packages, it’s like a consultant that provides strategies to succeed because we knew the market so well. Until today, when owners in Laman Seri want to sell, they still look for us because they know we are the area specialist here.” Zamzuri chipped in at this juncture,

sharing that they did not realise that they were involved in so many projects, because they were so busy working on delivering the results. “Looking back one day, we were delighted to find that among the 15 prominent apartment projects in Shah Alam, we were involved in 10!” Good news travels far and wide. When PKNS (Selangor State Economic Development Corporation) planned for the upcoming high end condominium Datum Jelatek in Ampang, they decided to secure a trustworthy partner for advisory and sales support. As a TransitOriented Development (TOD) that takes advantage of being located right next to Jelatek LRT Station and comes with a Gross Development Value (GDV) of RM1.3 billion, Datum Jelatek is the litmus test for Datum, a subsidiary assigned for high end products, therefore they cannot afford to fail. Armed with a huge database of buyers, Homefield naturally was the most suitable candidate to deliver the results. More so since Homefield is capable of introducing the project to a lot of cash buyers. EDUCATING THE MASS Upon completion of her studies, Zamzuri and Munirah’s daughter, Ainal Maryam Zamzuri returned to Malaysia and stayed with a developer for a year. A graduate of Real Estate from the University of Reading, UK, Ainal has joined Homefield as the Manager for Special Projects, and one of her objective was to widen the customer base by digitalising the sales and marketing process.

Ainal decided to gather like-minded youngsters through Facebook, for example those Malaysians expatriates working in oil and gas (O&G) or construction industries in the Middle East countries. She started sharing basic knowledge about real estate in articles, in order to educate people about investment. For example, Ainal writes on the meaning of property terms, such as ‘cul-de-sac’. Her writings gained traction and sometimes a post is shared by more than a hundred people. From there onwards, she began to introduce projects to potential customers. “It’s amazing what technology can do for us. I managed to sell properties worth million dollars to people I never knew before, and has since closed many deals through WhatsApp!” Of course, Ainal’s parents are certainly very happy to see what she has achieved. Zamzuri stressed that, “We fulfill the needs of developer with the knowledge and experience that we have. We know the market well and create value for developer, that’s why we are strong.” Munirah reiterated that, “If you have the knowledge, there’s nothing too challenging; it’s all about how you look into a problem and tackle it; we believe in our products, we reach out to the target market, we deliver, they trust us!” Munirah was one of the winner for Million Dollar Roof Top (MDRT) in the National Read Estate Awards (NREA) 2016 hosted by Malaysian Institute of Eatate Agents (MIEA). When organizing chairman Eric Lim contacted her for nomination, Munirah was so busy and at first tried to decline it. However, Eric insisted, stressing that the hard work done by Homefield meant a lot to the industry as a whole. In Homefield, sales personnel concentrate fully on sales as they are supported by staff in the back end. Just like Zamzuri said, “People claimed that we are the number 1 agency in the Bumiputra sector. I guess we can do it because we really know the target audience. It’s not so much about 10 or 20 branches. It’s more on how much you can deliver. In the end of the day, it is the result that counts.” As a compact agency, Homefield has created such an amazing success story with a total headcount of only about 20. Its vibrancy, efficiency and resourcefulness are certainly the reasons why they are admired by so many in the industry. APRIL 2017 I 61


EVERYTHING THAT’S WRONG WITH THE CHARITABLE INDUSTRY IN ONE SENTENCE No conflict of interest in the business of helping people 62 I APRIL 2017



here is one crucial thing I learned from running both a for-profit business and a social enterprise, and I think every so-called “social entrepreneur” should take a minute of introspection to contemplate on this. Because in my humble opinion – and I’m sorry (not sorry) if this offends you in any way, but if you don’t apply this one principle as a social entrepreneur, you’re a poser. And you should probably re-assess what it is you’re looking to achieve in the ‘business’ of helping people. Just the other day Zikry (my business partner) and I were discussing how we could get more exposure for our IndieGoGo campaign (we’re raising funds to donate solar lights to rural areas in Malaysia) and who we could reach out to, to get more exposure and more donations. WHAT CONFLICT OF INTEREST? We were throwing around some names of people we know, and organizations we are partnered with – both locally and globally. And after coming up with a list of who we think would want to support this initiative I asked Zikry ‘hey, did you already reach out to ‘John’ from ‘Great Planet Fund’? (fyi

– both ‘John’ and ‘Great Planet Fund’ are made up names for obvious reasons). ‘Yeah, I did ‘, Zikry replied. And so, I asked him how they could get involved, and how they could help us help these underprivileged Malaysians living without electricity. ‘They can’t ‘, he said. I asked why not? ‘Because it’s a conflict of interest,’ Zikry replied. A bit surprised and confused by his answer I chuckled, and just to make sure that he wasn’t messing with me I asked him ‘are you sure that’s what he said ‘? I even asked him to show me the Skype conversation he had had with John, because I just wouldn’t buy it. A conflict of interest… What does that even mean? What kind of interest? What are YOU getting from this? Is there something to gain to begin with, besides the fact that these people will have a better life? Competition doesn’t (shouldn’t!) exist in the business of helping people. (And if you believe it does, you should probably find a new career path) I could not believe what I was hearing. How can there possibly be a conflict of interest, when we’re both trying to help people? If we apparently both share a passion for solving the same problem, then why on earth are we not collaborating yet?!? If we’d join forces, we could expedite and amplify the impact we’re having significantly. Many hands make light work, don’t they? You see, John from Great Planet Fund is also running an amazing project that also provides rural communities with solar powered lights. From where I’m standing it only makes sense to work together one way or the other. But apparently by trying to tackle the same problem we are considered competition. CHECK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU WRECK SOMEONE ELSE! I like to call myself a social entrepreneur, but in reality, I’m a rookie when it comes to entrepreneurship, let alone social work.

So, what do I know, right? There could be something that I’m completely overlooking, something that I’ve missed. Maybe there are some things at play here that are beyond me. Could be… But from the 4 years that I’ve been running Incitement I’ve learned very quickly that there is no such thing as competition in the business of helping people. And if you believe there is, you need to seriously re-asses yourself and the market you’re in. Because the only way we can create some serious change in this world is if we team up, collaborate, and share knowledge and resources. It doesn’t matter who does it, as long as it gets done. And if getting it done is in conflict with your interests, then screw your interests. Clearly, you’ve got your priorities mixed up. It is this kind of mindset that is slowing us down when it comes to tackling the world’s challenges. It is these kinds of views that are the difference between having shelter or no shelter for the night, the difference between having food or no food for the day, and in our case the difference between having streetlights in your jungle village or living in the dark. Do yourself and especially everyone else a favour, and if you’re running an NGO, a social enterprise, if you’re a social entrepreneur, or running any kind of impact initiative – please, PLEASE stop thinking about who you are competing with. You’re not competing with anyone! Instead, think about the people and organizations who are doing the exact same thing as you as vehicles that can help you deliver more impact. When it comes to solving social problems, it doesn’t matter who does it, it doesn’t even matter much how it’s done (as long as it’s a sustainable solution), the ONLY thing that matters is that it happens. Because it’s not about you, nor your interests! It’s about the people that need your support. Don’t ever forget that.

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR Daniel de Gruijter is the co-founder and CEO of Incitement; the next-generation social business - powered through inspirational talks - connecting proactive youths, social causes, and corporations, to contribute to tackling global issues together. Incitement was founded in 2011 and today, its events are being organised in 43 countries. Daniel has been running a variety of businesses in his home country, The Netherlands, and came to work in Malaysia for Mindvalley as Head of Conversions. APRIL 2017 I 63




eaders may be horrified when they read the headline. Who is this writer, is the writer out of his/her mind? Generally Asians love investing in property as it is deemed to be solid investment, landed and tangible. This is true especially with the baby boomers and generations before. Back then, unit trust, Exchanged-Traded Funds (ETFs), bonds were not common investment vehicles and definitely not easily accessible to the manon-the-street. This mindset is so ingrained, so much so that it is handed down from generation to generation. However, there is another group, albeit small in number, who thinks otherwise. This is true in the corporate world as well. What makes them think otherwise? One individual I know shared with me. “Linnet, I am single, with no commitment. I want a simple life. I don’t even own a car as taxis, now Uber, Grab, MRT, LRT and monorail is so easy. I save on insurance, 64 I APRIL 2017

road tax and escalating car repair, especially when the car gets on in age”, said SL. SL had a point. As for his residence, he has a similar outlook. He is a consultant and works mostly at home and when he is not, he is based at his client’s premises. Hence his preference to rent rather than commit to a residential property and pay instalment. He prefers fully furnished condominium with swimming pool and / or gym facilities and good security. Service apartment, if you please. “If the management of the condominium goes down the drain, I just move. I am not stuck with a property that depreciates because the type of residents or management deteriorate. That way, I just pack up and move. In the meantime my excess cash can go into investments and I just monitor them”. SL did not cherish the thought of renting out properties as investment, as it requires dealing with tenants who can be difficult

and leave your property in a shambles when they leave. SL told me of his friend’s experience, whereby the tenant removed all the fixtures and moved out with them in the middle of the night. The owner had to replace ceiling fans, washing machine, curtains and light fittings. Even the mirror in the bathroom vanished! There was another incident that made SL glad that he chose to rent. The condominium he was staying was really well located, with easy access to public transport, yet within a decent neighbourhood. Several years after that, someone in his block decided to commit suicide by jumping down from the highest floor. SL decided to move elsewhere. His neighbours who bought the units around claimed that they sometimes sees things at night. Some are contemplating on selling their units and moving out. Another friend’s tenant was angry that he was vacated because of back rental. He poured cement into the toilet bowls and the

commotion breaks out, the organisation needs not worry about leaving property behind or that it may be vandalised during a commotion. The last reason for preference to rent is that in the event of natural disasters, some insurances does not cover the damage unless you pay extra premium for the extended coverage. Remember Highland Towers in Ulu Klang, Ampang? There was a dispute over compensation as the insurers insisted that the landslide was due to ‘Act of God’.

friend had to spend a bomb to remove the cement and replace the toilet bowls. In all fairness, there are some decent tenants too. There are tenants who will repaint the walls at their cost because they prefer to live in a unit with a certain ‘feng shui’ colour. Bring their own furniture and furnishings so that they feel more at home. This is quite common with expatriate who is located here for a year or so. In the corporate world, there are companies who prefer to rent for a similar reason. the owner of AXB Pte Ltd decided to rent for several reasons; one is the same as SL, the ability to move should the management and condition of the office runs down – they have the opiton to rent a newer and better equipped venue. Further more, being a subsidiary of a parent company based overseas, there is a possibility of the HQ closing overseas operations. The company then, does not have the burden of selling off its properties to move. Also, in case a civil unrest or

Joining the likes of SL and AXB Pte Ltd are young adults fresh out of university and just started working. As they have not built their financial reserves yet, they are the third group most likely to rent, especially if they are from out-of-town. By careful budgeting, you can rent a residential property within your means and put aside savings to buy your own later. As can be seen from this article, there are different stroke for different folks. This is another way to put a roof over your head based on your personal preference.

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR Linnet Lee is the CEO of Financial Planning Association of Malaysia (FPAM). She obtained her Certified Financial Planning (CFP) Certification and Islamic Financial Planning (IFP) Certification through FPAM, and has been its member since 2002. She can be contacted at APRIL 2017 I 65


THE ‘WHY HOW WHAT’ SECRET Inside-Out Leadership the difference between great entrepreneurs and losers

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And what you do serves as the proof of what you believe” -Simon Sinek


any entrepreneurs constantly ask me why some entrepreneurs and their organisations are more innovative, influential, and profitable than others, even though they may be less funded, less equipped, and possibly far inferior? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Everywhere, small start-ups’ were outwitting big giants, and little ‘people’ like Nelson Mandela, Gandhi and Sam Walton were out-muscling far more advanced and illustrious opponents. Yet at the same time, many small companies fail significantly to beat the big boys. Why does small Wikipedia win yet many

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small Malaysian companies fail to win? Why do some big companies which don’t have great products keep winning yet innovative companies fail? This question kept bugging me until I met Simon Sinek via a TED Talk, who similarly grappled with this issue. He studied the lives of Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers, who did not have as much funding or expertise as Samuel Langley in the aviation wars, yet won against the odds. Sinek found that successful entrepreneurs think and act completely opposite from the others who ended up ‘losing’. He used 3 words – WHY, HOW and WHAT in a concept he named “the golden circle.” The outermost circle, labelled ‘What’ represents, for example, a company’s product. The next circle, ‘How,’ would be the technology behind this product, and the innermost circle represents ‘Why’ the company makes the product. With successful individuals, everything started with ‘Why’ followed by ‘How’ and finally ‘What’. Sinek discovered that the ‘losers’ communicate in the exact opposite manner. He adds, “any organisation can

explain what it does; some can explain how they do it; but very few can clearly articulate why.” Success can easily be replicated if we all start practicing “inside-out” instead of “outside-in” leadership. The Why-How-What model is actually grounded in biology. Our brain is split into the Neo-cortex and the Limbic brain. The neocortex (how & what) is responsible for all our rational, analytical thought and language. Our Limbic brain (why) is responsible for feelings, trust and all human behaviour and decision making with no capacity for language. When we communicate from the insideout, we are speaking directly to the parts of the human brain that control behaviour. The neo-cortex will then follow, rationalizing that behaviour. When we communicate from the outside-in, people may understand vast amounts of complicated information, but may not trigger behaviour. This is why you can give someone all the benefits of your product but they still don’t buy your products while in some cases (as with Apple IP4 with receptor problems), people would still flock to the product.

WHY Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about how you’re led.” Jobs understood clearly how to lead and it meant starting with the ‘why.’ The crux of Sinek’s idea lie within this centre ‘why’ circle. The ‘why’ represents an entrepreneur’s beliefs and passion. Why does your organisation exist? This is probably the most important strategic question your business needs to answer yet most entrepreneurs answer this question with “making money.” Making money is necessary for survival but cannot be your sole purpose. After all, we all need good health to live but that doesn’t make good health the purpose of living. Your ‘why’ should be enduring and involve a social contribution and be worthy—bringing a sense of purpose. Here are some examples - Google (let’s organise the world’s information), Mozilla (let’s kill Microsoft), Wikipedia (let’s all contribute knowledge and create a true depository of global information), AirAsia (enabling everyone to fly) and at Leaderonomics (let’s transform the nation). Neurologist Buchman claims people who understand their ‘Why’ in life, actually live longer and have lower risk of Alzheimer’s. He adds, “People with high purpose in life have a lower risk of dying and developing disability. We found that people with high purpose in life at the beginning of the study had a two-and-half times lower risk of developing dementia.” Knowing your “why” gives you direction. You tend to have more opportunities than you could possibly pursue. Knowing why you exist helps you decide what you will do and what you will intentionally choose not to do.

HOW After your ‘why’ is formulated, you can then figure out ‘how’ it is going to accomplish the ‘why’. Take Walmart, the world’s largest retailer. It started with a simple ‘why’ – Everyday Low Prices. Sam Walton wanted to create a store where customers didn’t need to cut coupons, compare prices or engage in non-value added activities to obtain the lowest price. Then, he went about the ‘how.’ He built an entire infrastructure to support his ‘why’ including

the world’s best supply chain, an EDI system that ensured cost efficiency, hiring of ‘lower cost’ retired folks, establishing stores in remote locations where rental was lower, completely cutting out advertising and keeping his corporate team as lean as possible. Most organisations benchmark Wal-Mart and try to “copy” their ‘how’. However, the ‘how’ at Wal-Mart has its foundation on its “why”, thus making copying immaterial. AirAsia’s ‘why’ was to ensure “everybody can fly.” Their ‘how’ was to build an entire infrastructure to support this “why.” To enable everyone to fly, they needed to manage costs and price tickets from zero (for those with no money) to full price (for those who can afford to pay). If their “why” was to be the “best low-cost airline”, all their tickets would be priced low. Essentially, the ‘how’ are ways the “why” gets accomplished – your value system, your processes and structures, your infrastructure, the talent in your organisation and the eco-system you create to support your “why”. Wikipedia’s ‘why’ enabled them to build an entire web eco-system (how) with a global volunteer and policing organisation.

WHAT is a business that defies logic--an online retailer that has become the biggest bookstore in the world. Jeff Bezos, its CEO and founder, knew his “what” – to open an online book store. But unlike others, he didn’t start with “what”. He spent countless hours in traditional brick-and-mortar bookstores trying to figure out ‘why’. As Bezos visited bookstores, he realised there was an ‘experience’ people went through buying books. People read parts of the books, compared books, browsed the best-seller lists and got frustrated when a book they wanted was out of stock. Bezos quickly understood his ‘why’ – to become “earth’s biggest bookstore.” He later refined his ‘why’ to “We seek to offer Earth’s Biggest Selection and to be Earth’s Most Customer-

Centric company.” His “how” was to ensure the ‘experience’ in a traditional bookstore was replicated whilst the frustrations (ie. lack of book titles) was addressed. This infrastructure that he built costs millions but guaranteed Amazon provided a truly unique customer experience (his ‘why’). Finally, after this entire infrastructure was built, he focused on the ‘what’ – the actual products and services that Amazon offered – books, music and videos. The ‘what’ may have started out as a bookstore, but once he understood his ‘why’, it progressed into much more. Likewise, Apple started out as a computer company, but their ‘why’ was to make a dent in the universe. Apple believed that “everything we do, we do differently.” They believed in challenging the status quo. That was their ‘why’. And ‘how’ they challenged the status quo was by hiring talented people and making beautiful products with great designs. And finally, ‘what’ Apple does is make computers, MP3 players, phones or anything that supports their ‘why’. We often communicate starting from the ‘what’. Companies communicate ‘what’ they’re selling. But the truth is, people don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.

FINAL THOUGHTS There is a difference between giving direction and giving directions. Direction is the end destination (your ‘why’) to which you are headed whilst directions (your ‘how’ and ‘what’) is the plan to get you there. Leaders often give directions when they should be setting direction. Martin Luther King inspired many to make a difference on racism. Interestingly, his speech began with “I have a dream” and not “I have a plan.” We think a great business begins with a solid business plan. But numerous businesses built on solid business plans don’t last either. So, start with ‘why’ and you may just end up inspiring millions and becoming a great entrepreneur.

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR Roshan Thiran is CEO of Leaderonomics, a social enterprise passionate about transforming the nation through leadership development. To connect with Roshan directly, connect via Facebook at or via LinkedIn to hear his daily leadership nuggets or email roshan.thiran@gmail. com APRIL 2017 I 67


HARD TO FIND “GOOD” PROPERTY DEALS? “Don’t be paralysed by fear even if you can’t find any “Good” deals to invest in!”


his is an article that touches on psychology, personal finance & property investment. For 17 years, I have been working as an employee (a career banker). I have seen many of my colleagues who barely had RM10,000 in savings. Sadly, they are living from paycheck-to-paycheck. Some do not even have a property yet. I’m sure we have come across statements like this before: • “I’ve been to a few property courses, 68 I APRIL 2017

but I have not bought anything yet. Things are just so expensive lah. Hard to find the property I want lah.” • “I have read 30 books on property investment, but I am still not quite sure what to do.” • “It is very hard to find GOOD deals that are 20% below market value lah. So, I never buy anything yet lor.” Whilst I may be able to lend a listening ear, it is hard for me to be empathetic. Let me explain.

KNOWLEDGE ALONE DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING Many have complimented me for having a “knowledgeable mind” because I’m a nerd to the core. I consume about 2 to 3 books per week, as I have always viewed books as one of my most reliable mentors. However, knowledge alone is overrated and doesn’t mean anything. You could gain tremendous pearls of wisdom from property courses, books and networking sessions. But it doesn’t count for anything

if you do not APPLY your knowledge and take ACTION. If all we needed was ideas and positive thinking, then we would all be living a Paris Hilton inspired lifestyle and zooming down the highway in a sweet Ferrari 488GTB. MUST WE ONLY INVEST IN SUPER “ONCE IN A LIFETIME” DEALS? Is it a great thing to buy Below Market Value (BMV) properties or super distressed properties? Of course it is it. Is it fantastic and fabulous to find once in a lifetime property deals? You bet. However, I’ve seen too many investors who feel like a dilapidated pond scum just because they can’t source fantastic “winner” deals like the ones described above. They think that the path to investment riches has to be supported by fantastic BMV deals, thanks in part to “experts” that indoctrinated such philosophies to them. Because they follow such inflexible and stringent “winner” criteria, they are often paralysed into inaction. Let me share a little secret. I have been fairly consistent in my property investments in the last 17 years. However, only 20% of my properties are BMV or super deals. If I abided strictly to “super deal” criteria, I would have a non-existent portfolio today! Folks, the Malaysian property market has consistently returned close to 6% capital growth per annum over the last 20 years. Why, then, do you have to try and pick a “winner” all the time? Since this is the norm, being choosy is more about mitigating risk to make sure you don’t pick a loser, as the average “boring” property still performs remarkably well. This is a point worth making – if you buy a boring condominium of RM400,000 at market value in an “aunty & uncle” middle class suburb – you would have to fork out a downpayment of RM40,000. Assuming your property appreciates by a conservative 3% per year and you took a 30-year mortgage, your net worth (market value of property – mortgage) after 10 years = RM 247,000. Your return on capital is a cool 62% per year (RM 247,000 net worth ÷ 40,000 downpayment ÷ 10 years). Who says a boring condominium which appreciates by a pathetic 3% per year can’t create wealth?

OUR INTERPRETATION OF EVENTS MAKES OR KILLS US Many new investors always come to me petrified and numb, they seem paralysed with fear. They are fearful that the market will tank. They are fearful about the shaky economy. They are fearful about the precipitous fall of the Ringgit. Consumer sentiment sucks. Lending policies have become tighter. They are “fearful” of the “economic dangers” that persist. Do not misunderstand me. The dangers out there are very real. The world isn’t exactly full or roses and sunshine. However, fear is a choice. Fear is a product of our own thoughts and interpretation of events. Victory starts in our mind. Think victoriously. I’m sure we all know some successful investors out there that seem to do very well in any type of economy. Are they natural born geniuses? Or perhaps they are just more resourceful, and dare to think differently from the rest of us? Let’s be resourceful and logical. Properties will always be needed for shelter, and form a huge part of our net

worth. Off the top of my head, there are plenty of “boring” condominiums worth less than RM450,000 in areas like Old Klang Road, Jalan Kuchai Lama, Overseas Union Garden (OUG), Taman Desa and Cheras in Kuala Lumpur. Am I endorsing these areas? Certainly not! Do your own due diligence and do not assume the prices will jump exponentially. My point is, even in today’s “difficult” market, some potential opportunities remain. Moral of the story? Your mind is your greatest asset in wealth creation. The quality of your thinking determines the quality of your life. Secondly, the thought of finding the property deal of a lifetime is seductive for many investors, but be careful not to be paralysed into inaction just because you couldn’t find any. Building wealth is like building a house. Lay the foundation and build your house “brick-by-brick”. The combination of “boring bricks” over time creates a beautiful house. It may not be necessary for each “brick” to be super undervalued deals. If not, your house may never be finished.

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR Mark Chua is the bestselling author of the book “Who says”. He was a former senior vice president of a bank and an avid lover of properties. He is a living proof that one can be successful in both their Careers and Property investments. He can be reached via or MarkChuaMY. APRIL 2017 I 69


NO PAY... NO STAY A tenant not paying their rent is the equivalent of your boss not paying your salary


or the most part, customers understand this essential Rule: rent gets paid in return for living in your property. However, at times this Rule can be forgotten, misunderstood or just plainly ignored. Customers not adhering to this Rule can be a major source of frustration, anxiety and several sleepless nights. Many investors have lending on their property, with mortgages and loans to pay every month – a large chunk of which gets paid from customers’ rents. Non-paying customers are therefore a major issue to investors and need to be dealt with quickly and effectively. Chasing customer debt is one of the least welcome parts of the job and it can be one of the most stressful. Customers will come up with a barrage of reasons and excuses as to why rent has not been paid. However, a tenant not paying their rent is the equivalent of your boss 70 I APRIL 2017

not paying your salary. Now, when you look at it like that, how often would you be willing to go to work and not be paid your salary as agreed? Not often, I would have thought! This is how you need to approach the subject of non-paying customers: a tenant not paying their rent is like your boss not paying your salary. Now you understand the importance of this Rule - and it is an essential Rule – it is time to get tough and take action. Procedures must be put in place so that you know instantly the moment a customer falls behind with their rent. These don’t have to be anything fancy – a simple note on the calen¬dar every month will suffice. The key lies in checking whether the rent has been received, and if not, taking appropriate steps to rectify the situation immediately. Allowing rent to go unpaid for long periods of time not only sends the signal that you don’t really need the money, it also makes it incredibly difficult for customers to catch up and get back into credit. Debt can quickly spiral out of control – remember, if your rent has gone unpaid, it’s likely that other bills the tenant is liable for may also have not been paid. This could potentially mean you are joining a queue of debtors, and you need to make sure you are at the head of the queue! Everyone needs a roof over their head, but tenants can sometimes forget just how vital it is to have somewhere to live. When rent goes unpaid, you may need to remind them of that, making it clear that they must keep up with their payments if they wish to continue living in your property. This may sound overly harsh; however, unless you want to start your own housing charity, you’d be best advised to keep on top of debtors. People not paying the rent means you will be footing the bill, and unless you can manage non-payers yourself you will probably end up paying a solicitor to sort it out in the court. Check the calendar and mark when the rent is due. Set a reminder to check the bank that day. If the rent has not been received, contact the tenant immediately to clarify the situation.

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR Dato’ KK Chua is the strategic advisor & managing director of Armani Media. He is also a registered real estate agent and an investor with more than 10 years of experience in the industry. He can be contacted at

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Property Insight April 2017  
Property Insight April 2017