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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Raising industry standards

By The Star

SP SETIA Bhd group managing director and chief executive officer Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin sees the company taking a leadership position to set new industry benchmarks to further raise the standards of industry players.

According to Liew, the company constantly challenges the standards to stand out from the competition.

“From organising annual mega carnivals and international star-studded concerts to providing a-class-above quality and service standards, we are unwavering in our commitment towards excellence and delivering unrivalled value to our customers,” Liew said.

SP Setia’s Setia Eco Park, with its landscaped waterways and lush greenery, won the FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Award 2007 for Best Masterplan Development.

He said that with the growing competitiveness, developers who deliver outstanding properties would capture the bulk of the market whilst those who continue to churn out shoddily-finished products would eventually be phased out.

“Today, local players not only need to compete with home-grown names but also have to face intense pressure from foreign developers who are already flooding the local market.

“I believe this development should be welcomed as local house buyers will see positive benefits as far as the quality and specifications of residential properties are concerned, because foreigners – used to the high-quality finishes of famous real estate destinations such as Hong Kong, Singapore and London – will not tolerate sub-standard finishing,” Liew said.

He said one of the most significant coups for SP Setia was the successful development of Setia Alam and Setia Eco Park in Shah Alam, which turned out to be trendsetters in the lifestyle market.

When SP Setia first bought nearly 4,000 acres of land in Shah Alam in 2002 to develop the two projects, it was met with scepticism from the market.

Armed with a solid plan and the right strategies, the company’s persistence is now paying off.

“We were confident as we had a solid plan to make it work,” Liew said.

After carving out some 2,500 acres to be developed into Setia Alam – a self-contained integrated township, and nearly 800 acres for the country’s first eco-themed enclave – Setia Eco Park in a partnership with the Employees Provident Fund and Great Eastern, the balance of the land was sold to Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor.

“These well-strategised manoeuvres effectively lowered our holding costs and put us on a strong footing to turn our ambitious plans for Setia Alam and Setia Eco Park into reality.

“It is most gratifying to note that these two flagship projects have earned the approval of homebuyers and are the frontrunner in the lifestyle-driven market today,” he noted.

A philanthropist who believes in giving back to the society, Liew also encourages his staff to be actively involved in community and social work through the company’s SP Setia Foundation.

Since its formation in 2000, the foundation has raised RM35mil to support various needy and deserving individuals as well as non-governmental organisations, schools and medical establishments.

The core project of the SP Setia Foundation is the Setia Adoption Programme that funds the educational needs of needy children from across the country. Each year, more than RM2mil is spent on running the programme and 2,300 students are benefiting from the project.

Through the company’s efforts, Liew hopes to dispel the myth that all property developers are purely self-interested and seek to profit at the expense of house buyers.

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