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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Builders positive on mega property projects

MBAM: Time’s right to revive construction sector in a big way

PETALING JAYA: Developers and construction players are generally, in favour of several mega property projects in the pipeline in Kuala Lumpur, especially the proposed development of a multi billion ringgit 100-storey skycraper, expected to be built near Matrade Centre, bordering Jalan Kuching and Jalan Duta.

Master Builders Association of Malaysia (MBAM) president Ng Kee Leen said the mega projects would help spur the Malaysian economy further and provide more jobs to players in the industry.

Occupying a 28-ha site owned by Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), the project could be completed in three to five years, if approved.

“It’s definitely the right time to revive the construction industry in a big way as (prices of) raw materials for the construction industry have stabilised and more importantly, consumer confidence, both local and foreign, is rising,” Ng told StarBiz yesterday.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall had approved several 30-storey and 50-storey property developement projects in the city, which are expected to commence soon.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall and top officials from PNB were unavailable for comments on the mega projects or confirm if the proposed100-storey skyscraper project had been approved.

Ng said despite the current property overhang, there were signs of a revival in the construction industry.

“There is now more hiring of draftsmen and architects and if most of the mega projects are appproved, it would certainly help further boost the Malaysian economy,” he said.

On the impact of the 100-storey property project, Ng said: “We don’t see this (building more mega property projects) as having a negative impact on the construction industry or the economy.”

“It would show to the world the Malaysia’s seriousness in following through with its plans,” he said, citing the continued property developments in Hong Kong and Singapore despite the current property overhang.

Jack Chua, a local real estate property agent and a property consultant specialising in property in the Golden Triangle area, said the impact of new mega projects would overall be positive to the economy.

“We believe if Malaysian government policies remain consistent and attractive, there should still be good buying interest from locals and foreigners, even if more mega projects come onstream,” he said.

Meanwhile, a local property analyst said while government policies had generally been proactive and supportive of the construction industry’s growth, the recent re-introduction of the real estate property gains tax (RPGT) did not go well with players in the industry.

“Many of them felt that the RPGT came very suddenly, just when the construction industry was showing signs of recovery,” he said.

The analyst said many construction players, including associations like MBAM and Real Estate and Housing Developers Association, had urged the Government to reconsider deferring the RPGT to a more appropriate time.

By The Star (by Danny Yap)

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