Malaysia’s exemplary projects reflect speedy journey to developed-nation status

Real estate sector instrumental in achieving country’s ultimate ambition

TRIA Seputeh in 9 Seputeh, Kuala Lumpur by MRCB Land

Singapore is still the only fully developed nation in Southeast Asia, but it may soon be joined by its neighbour.

The Malaysian ministry of housing and local government reminded the property sector of its role in helping the nation attain the status of developed economy.

Growing at a clip of 5.4 percent since 2010, Malaysia will likely switch from upper middle-income economy to a high-income one by 2024, according to World Bank projections.

The country already produces world-class properties, the finest of which were showcased at the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Malaysia) on 12 April.

“It is our collective goal to ensure that Malaysia is on track to become a true ‘developed nation.’ We can certainly achieve that with the help of the real estate sector,” said Tuan Hizwan, political secretary to the Malaysian housing and local government minister, in his opening speech at the awards.

The country can expedite the path toward developed-nation status by making progress on decentralisation measures, according to Wing Thye Woo, president of the Jeffrey Cheah Institute in Southeast Asia.

Accelerating the development of Malaysian human capital is just as imperative, experts believe. Malaysia currently ranks 55th out of 157 countries on the World Bank’s Human Capital Index.

Malaysia’s leadership in infrastructure projects shows that the economy is growing beyond the confines of Kuala Lumpur. Special awards for Public Facility were given to projects in Penang Island (Chowrasta Market, Penang Coastal Cycling Route) and Penang Hill (Penang Hill Funicular Service). SUKE, a 24.4-kilometre expressway connecting Sri Petaling and Ulu Kelang, also won the accolade, as did the CIQ Walkway in Johor Bahru.

More: 2019 PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Malaysia) recognises the country’s finest developers at glittering gala celebration

Malaysia’s seamless switch from an agriculture- and commodity-based economy to higher-value sectors such as manufacturing and services is manifest in the awards’ special recognitions for industrial/logistic development. Winners in this category were Area Logistics Hub @ Ampang, KL; i-Park@Indahpura; and Sendayan TechValley.

Already a top exporter of appliances and electronic parts and components, Malaysia is once more showing its tech savvy in the belated rise of data centre facilities across the peninsula. A twin-core data centre will be launched in Cyberjaya by the end of April.

In his speech, Hizwan underscored the ministry’s desire to “see more outstanding mixed-use and mass market developments” launched in the future.

“I’m also excited to witness our design industry thrive using sustainable practices and eco-friendly concepts,” he added.

Best Mixed Use Development this year went to Best Developer winner MRCB Land for the sprawling 9 Seputeh, Kuala Lumpur.

The Special Recognition in Sustainable Development was awarded to Matrix Concepts Group, which also won Best Township Development (Klang Valley) for its Bandar Sri Sendayan project.

In Iskandar, Best Township Development went to Horizon Hills by Gamuda Land.

Over a span of three decades, Malaysia has reduced extreme poverty incidence to less than one percent of all households.

Read a recap of the glittering gala dinner here