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Monday, April 12, 2010

Sunway -- from mining land to integrated resort city

The multi-billion-ringgit Sunway Integrated Resort City (SIRC) in Bandar Sunway started when founder Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah Fook Ling turned to property by chance in the 1970s.

Cheah was born in Pusing, a small town outside of Ipoh in Perak. He had his primary and secondary education in Batu Gajah before leaving to pursue his tertiary education at the Footscray Institute of Technology (now Victoria University) in Melbourne, Australia.

Cheah started his career as an accountant in a motor assembly plant in Malaysia but decided it was not his cup of tea and left to venture out on his own.

By luck he came across an opportunity to buy a tin mining company, owned by a British. The company was mining over 350ha of land in Bandar Sunway, Selangor.
When the British decided to exit the business, Cheah made a quick decision to buy the land at RM100,000.

In 1974, Cheah founded the Sunway Group of companies and later set up Sunway City (Suncity) Bhd to develop the 350ha land.

According to Suncity managing director, property investment, Ngeow Voon Yean, Cheah had envisaged more than 15 years ago that the SIRC would be a vibrant city attracting generations ahead and a major tourism destination.

Today, the SIRC is the only integrated resort city in Malaysia which fully encapsulates the "livability" concept with the presence of six key components - shopping mall, hotel, office, theme park, education institute and medical centre.

The amazing rehabilitation and transformation of the landscape has won the township many international awards, including being adjudged the world's best leisure project by FIABCI (International Real Estate Federation, Paris) in 2002.

By Business Times

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