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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Continuous improvement needed for developers to remain competitive

FIABCI MALAYSIA is urging local property developers to “raise the bar” in order to remain competitive at the annual FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Awards, which comprises the best of the best from around the world.

“The Malaysian real estate projects are some of the world’s best in the true sense. (However), the competition will get tougher each year as more and more countries enter the competition with their own national winners,” FIABCI Malaysia president Yeow Thit Sang said recently at an appreciation dinner for Malaysian developers that were honoured at this year’s FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Awards.

Yeow however commended the Malaysian companies that were recognised at this year’s Prix d’Excellence Awards.

“There is total transparency and independence in the judging process. None of the 47 judges knew who was marking which project. There was no comparison of opinion between any of them. All the marks were given independently,” he says.

FIABCI Malaysia is the organiser of the annual Malaysia Property Awards (MPA), which is considered the “Oscars” of the property industry.

Over the years, there has been an increasing emphasis on the environment and participants at the MPA have to take this into consideration.

“The impact a particular project has on the environment currently accounts for between 20% and 25% of the judging criteria,” says Yeow.

He also says the standard of judging for the MPA has increased over the years.

“It comprises a four-tier process,” says Yeow, adding that the judges comprise past presidents of FIABCI Malaysia.

“We also have a public auditor who collates all the marks,” he says.

Winners of the MPA in their relevant categories will go on to represent Malaysia the following year at the FIABCI International Prix d’Excellence, an annual competition that honours the world’s best property projects.

This year’s FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Awards, which was held in May at St. Petersburg, Russia, crowned four Malaysian developments in total, namely UEM Land Holding Bhd (for the Master Plan category), Mulpha International Bhd (Residential Low Rise) category, SP Setia Bhd (Specialised Project/Purpose-Built category and Sunway City (Ipoh) Sdn Bhd (Resort category).

Established in 1992, this year’s MPA will be held in November.

Separately, Yeow says he is optimistic about the outlook of the local property market for this year, adding however that things can turn for the worse should the global economic situation deteriorates.

“The economies of the world have a great influence on the local market. If Europe and the United States are affected – because they are buying from us, it will affect us. Eventually, our products cannot sell and there will be unemployment.

“Once unemployment comes in, the real estate market will be affected. If you’ve bought a house and you’re servicing the loan and lose your job, what are you going to do?”

By The Star (by Eugene Mahalingam)

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