News Sungai Buloh & PKNS
Friday November 26, 2010
By YIP YOKE TENG
MAH Sing Berhad’s latest venture in commercial development, Star Avenue@D’sara, taps on the prospect of Sungai Buloh that has generated much attention among investors following the Government’s proposed development on the Rubber Research Institute land.
The first phase of the project comprises 49 three-storey retail units, to be complemented by the second and third phases consisting of retail units and a street mall, all on 7.3ha of land.
Chief operating officer Andy Chua said Star Avenue’s strategic location made it an excellent investment.
“The project fronts the busy highway between Shah Alam and Kota Damansara, and is just five minutes away from the Subang Airport, thus providing great visibility from Jalan Lapangan Terbang and Jalan Sungai Buloh.
“Also, it will be the first commercial project along this road, while others are situated within housing estates in the area,” he said.
He added the project would enjoy easy accessibility mainly from Jalan Batu Tiga-Sungai Buloh, New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), Damansara-Puchong Highway, North-South Expressway and Penchala Link.
“Meanwhile, the nearby Persiaran Cakerawala is being upgraded into a six-lane road and will lead to the proposed new Help University College Subang 2 campus, which can accommodate 13,000 students,” he said.
He also highlighted the project’s large population catchment including Subang, Subang Bestari, Sungai Buloh, Ara Damansara, Kota Damansara and Mutiara Damansara.
Chua was also proud of the project’s contemporary architecture attributed to the company’s visionary concept.
The shops boast glass frontage and cantilever design that create a sophisticated appearance.
“The stylish look is suitable for retail and lifestyle outlets, investors can save a lot on renovation while the wide walkways accommodate al fresco dining concept.
“Night security patrolling will be in place to give tenants and patrons peace of mind, as it will be the first and only guarded concept shop office development in the vicinity. Apart from that, parking bays are abundant on the ground and basement levels,” he added.
He pointed out that Star Avenue would be the company’s third major commercial project after the successful South Gate at Jalan Chan Sow Lin and Starparc Point in Setapak, thus investors would reap the rewards of the experiences earned from the previous ventures.
The shops are priced from RM2.3mil and Chua said they were value-for-money as the company was confident the property had high investment value.
“Furthermore, buyers are actually getting the space of a four-storey unit for the price they pay,” he added.
Mah Sing Group has been involved in property development since 1994 with 32 projects under its belt, encompassing commercial, industrial and residential in both high-rise and landed properties.
Early birds will be rewarded with two free parking bays and free Sales and Purchase legal fees.
For details, call 03-9221 8888 or visit www.mahsing.com.my.
RESIDENTS and traders near the Rubber Research Institute Malaysia in Sungai Buloh hope the proposed housing development will be holistic so that it will be a boon, not a bane.
Many are worried that the development will worsen the traffic congestion in the nearest township, Kota Damansara,
They are also concerned about the social and environmental impact of the development set to replace a huge swathe of green lung measuring 1,348ha.
They think it is imperative for the government and developer to be transparent throughout the process to allow the people to have their say in what is going to affect their quality of life.
Some also commented that the housing projects to be developed by the Federal government and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) should be made accessible to EPF contributors.
Friends of Kota Damansara co-chairman Jeffrey Phang said residents should be informed about the project and meetings must be held.
“As usual, residents are not given any information on the project so far. We hope the planning and execution can be carried out in an open manner so that the project benefits all.
“If we are kept in the dark and then hold protests when we find out about the problems, that will be a waste of everyone’s time,” he added.
Selangor MCA chairman Datuk Donald Lim said he was confident that the project would improve the quality of life and boost the country’s economy.
“It is a common phenomenon in major cities all over the world. When cities become overcrowded, we have to move away from the area.
“Given the project’s proximity to the Subang airport, it will become an attractive business centre especially to foreign investors. The only concern is that we need to improve the area’s public transportation,” he added.
Subang MP R. Sivarasa’s aide Peter Chong urged the parties involved to be transparent.
“We would like to know what transpired between the developers and land owners since this involved an institutional land. We do not stop development but the people should be informed about what is happening.
“Workers will be displaced and their welfare must be safeguarded. Also, houses to be built on the land must be within reach of the public, not just the rich,” he added.
Kota Damansara assemblyman Dr Mohd Nasir Hashim said the people wanted holistic development that would not worsen the traffic, social and infrastructure problems in the bustling neighbourhoods surrounding RRIM Sungai Buloh.
“Kota Damansara is already notorious for crime, traffic congestion and flooding and development of such a scale in Sungai Buloh will have a huge impact on the nearby areas.
“It is also taking away a large green area and we want the development to be as green as possible,” he said.
He added that the project, even though was a joint venture between the Federal government and EPF, must be monitored closely with the involvement of the people.
“People should be allowed to have their say on the project through objection hearings conducted by the Shah Alam City Council. The council must keep a watchful eye because they, as well as the state government, will have to take care of the problems arising from this project in the future.
“The state government would question the project if it feels that the development is not conducive,” he added.
Members of the Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Landscaping and Nursery Operators Association in Sungai Buloh were worried that their business might fade out after the development.
More than 40 nurseries have been operating along Jalan Sungai Buloh-Subang for 11 years now but faced Temporary Occupancy Licence (TOL) issues when the Selangor Agricultural Development Corporation (PKPS) withdrew from the Selangor Greenland project. They also faced problems with traffic and infrastructure.
“We face so many problems ever since the road was upgraded to a busy dual carriageway. What will happen to us when such a massive development takes place?” asked association president Lee Chee Hoong.
Lee said the association hoped that the government would set aside a plot of land within the proposed development as a hub for the 100-over nurseries in Sungai Buloh.
“We can turn it into a business platform that generates income through trading and tourism,” he said.
Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Furniture Association president Richard Ko hoped that the proposed development could complement the furniture industry that had been contributing significantly to the country’s export.
“Many furniture factories in Kampung Baru Sungai Buloh (near the rubber plantation) occupy illegal buildings because it is still an agricultural land and that retards the growth of our industry.
“We had wanted to buy the RRIM land but since it had been offered to EPF, we hope the development can help us make the furniture industry grow further,” he said.
It has not even been a week since the announcement of the New Economic Model and already the sparkle is starting to fade.
Market talk of Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) being the front-runner for the position of “master developer” for the government and the Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) 3,000-acre project in Sungai Buloh has rubbed many the wrong way.
But it should be pointed out that neither the EPF nor the government has announced who will head the project. However, given that the EPF is a major shareholder of MRCB with a rapidly increasing stake, the company’s participation in the venture makes sense.
Even so, should MRCB should get a portion of the project, no matter how big or small, by virtue of the EPF’s stake in the company?
Public perception of the politics aside, a look at MRCB’s track record shows that the company lacks extensive experience as a developer of a sizeable piece of property.
The company’s biggest achievement to date is KL Sentral. It is smaller in size and it is chiefly commercial and high-rise residential. To be fair, MRCB does have one township development under its belt, Bandar Seri Iskandar in Perak, which has a gross development value of RM5 billion.
“However, the project is still ongoing. It would raise questions as to why the EPF and the government didn’t choose a developer that already has proved itself to be successful in township development,” says a property player.
While the size of the Sungai Buloh land alone would invite scrutiny, property analysts do not mince words on how prime the land is. A phrase that is normally used to describe the land is “cream of the crop”. One property analyst places the price for the area at possibly RM70 to RM80 psf, which is at the top end of the pricing scale.
“However, even prime land can see its value fall without expert planning. Because the project is under the EPF, it is unlikely that it will be all high-end residential properties. There will be some parcels that will be designated for medium to low-cost housing.
“Usually that would bring down the GDV of a township, but with proper planning this can be avoided. Also, given that it is the EPF that is embarking on this venture, it is even more critical that the value of this premium land is optimised, so structure becomes even more important,” says a property analyst.
So it becomes clear that an open tender or a beauty contest is the best solution.
The EPF and the government should hold an open call for developers to present their proposals for the township, with certain criteria such as an allocation for low and medium-cost housing, and pick the one that maximises the value of the land.
While 3,000 acres seem a lot for one property developer to handle, it is not unheard of for property players to combine their resources.
This was the case with Sime Darby Property Bhd and Sunrise Bhd which formed a joint venture to undertake a RM1 billion property development in Bukit Jelutong in Shah Alam.
There is also no reason to limit it to just local players. The field could be opened to regional property developers with the caveat that they team up with a local party.
Regardless, most fund managers and analysts still hold the belief that MRCB will end up with a portion of the pie in some shape or form. One scenario put forward is that the land will be parcelled out with MRCB getting a portion.
“However, parcelling out the land without a lead developer with a concrete master plan would also prove detrimental. There is no getting away from the fact that there has to be one company in the driver’s seat, otherwise, the entire development won’t gel,” says a property analyst.
Some fund managers see another scenario where MRCB becomes the master developer and then farms out the various jobs.
“If this turns out to be the case, it would be in MRCB’s best interests to form a joint venture with a more experienced party to take on the first few parcels of this development. After obtaining some success with the initial phases, then MRCB could strike on its own... Embarking on this development by itself could prove suicidal,” says an industry observer.
In the midst of all this speculation, MRCB has come out to say that it is keen to participate in the development of the Sungai Buloh land, if given the opportunity by the government and the EPF.
“With the success of KL Sentral as one of the leading urban property and infrastructure developments in our country, we believe the MRCB group has the right resources to play a role to help implement the Sungai Buloh development,” states MRCB CEO Mohamed Razeek Hussain.
However, it would be unwise to put the cart before the horse at this stage. Neither the EPF nor the government has revealed further details as to how they will tackle the Sungai Buloh land. Even so, judging by the public outcry to even a rumour of MRCB overseeing the project, the EPF and the government would definitely be inviting an even bigger backlash if it becomes a reality.
This article appeared in Corporate page of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 800, Apr 5 - 11, 2010
New Straits Times
MALAYSIAN Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) looks set to benefit from the latest government plan to develop 3,000 acres of land in Sungai Buloh into a new hub for the Klang Valley.
This is in view of the government forming a joint venture with the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to promote the development and the fact MRCB has strong backing from EPF, its biggest shareholder with a 30.6 per
Furthermore, MRCB chief executive officer Mohamed Razeek Hussain recently said the company's rights issue was to raise funds for business expansion, and the bulk of the proceeds estimated at between RM508 million
and RM541 million would be used to augment its landbank, especially in the Klang Valley, for residential and commercial projects.
Last year, the government announced plans to sell or co-develop its prized landbank in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur; and in Sungai Buloh, Selangor.
In addition, Budget 2010 also identified 100 acres in Jalan Cochrane near Taman Maluri in Cheras and 3,000 acres at the Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia (RRIM) in Sungai Buloh for similar purpose. The RRIM land is situated near an industrial park in Kota Damansara.
The market rate of the Jalan Cochrane land was estimated at RM100psf to RM150psf then and the RRIM land at RM30psf.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in his keynote address at the recent Invest Malaysia 2010 Conference said the development of the new hub in Sungai Buloh could result in over RM5 billion of new
investments with a lot of opportunities for the private sector to participate in.
At the event attended mostly by portfolio managers, he also announced that several other land parcels located in Jalan Lidcol, Jalan Stonor and Jalan Ampang, all in KL, will be tendered out for development by the private sector.
He said the government will incur costs maintaining these assets if left idle, adding its initiative will be a good kick-off for more outright sales and joint ventures between the public and private sectors in land development.
KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 (Bernama) -- The government is studying proposals to extend the 43km Light Rail Transit (LRT) line between Kota Damansara and Cheras to Sungai Buloh and Kajang, the Dewan Rakyat was told on Thursday.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said the proposed extension, at the length of 3km from Kota Damansara to Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) station in Sungai Buloh, was to provide a better integration with the northern commuter train services.
The extension from Cheras to Kajang, at the length of 9km, was to integrate the line with KTMB's commuter services in the south, he said.
"The new LRT route will also have additional line from Uptown Damansara Utama to Kelana Jaya, at the length of 4km, to overcome traffic congestion on the Damansara Puchong Highway," he said in reply to Tan Kok Wai (DAP-Cheras) during question time today.
Tan wanted to know the status of the LRT project between Kota Damansara and Sungai Long, Cheras and the progress of the Ampang and Kelana Jaya line extension project to Puchong.
Ong said the proposal for new routes under the project would involve an addition of 16km, with the length of the total project extending to 59km.
On the extension of Ampang and Kelana Jaya lines, he said, the designing works for both projects were almost completed.
"The construction is expected to start from middle of this year and takes about 36 months to complete. We have also issued the offer of contract," he said.
The existing Kelana Jaya line is from Gombak to Kelana Jaya and it would be extended to Putra Heights while the Ampang line from Sentul Timur to Sri Petaling would also be extended to Putra Heights, he added.
Replying to a supplementary question from Dr Lo' Lo' Mohamad Ghazali (PAS-Titiwangsa) on the waiting time for the commuter service, Ong said the waiting time for the Kelana Jaya line during peak hours was 2.8 minutes and would be further reduced to two minutes in October.
KUALA LUMPUR: The New Economic Model (NEM) unveiled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Tuesday will generate benefits for all Malaysians, irrespective of race under its inclusive growth goal and approach.
The pro-poor growth warrants that no groups be marginalised and the essential needs of the people will be satisfied, according to the NEM.
Under the NEM, inclusiveness will enable all communities to contribute to and share in the wealth of the country.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak speaking at the launch of the New Economic Model (NEM) in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.
It points out that a key challenge of inclusive growth is the design of effective measures that strike a balance between the special position of the Bumiputera and legitimate interests of different groups.
While saying that ethnically divide societies are more prone to violent conflicts, NEM emphasises that the multi-racial composition of the Malaysian population is still its outstanding feature and this ethnic diversity will always be with us.
As such, the market-friendly affirmative action programmes in line with the principle of inclusiveness will target assistance to the bottom 40 per cent of households, of whom 77.2 per cent are Bumiputra and many are located in Sabah and Sarawak, and ensure equitable and fair opportunities through transparent processes.
It also allows access to resources on the basis of needs and merit to enable improvement in capacity, incomes and well-being, and has sound intellectual frameworks for better monitoring and effective implementation.
"The ETP (Economic Transformation Programme) will provide mechanisms to strengthen the capability of the bottom 40 per cent so that they can take advantage of opportunities to secure better jobs, raise their productivity and grow their income.
"This group will be assisted with programmes to build skills so that they can use their entrepreneurial instincts to start and grow their businesses," it says.
The NEM will also ensure equality be achieved through competition that is complemented with merits and recognition.
"Families will be endowed with the opportunity and capabilities to pursue their aspirations in connected, sophisticated modern cities, townships and villages. They will live, work and study in localities free from the fear of crime, the indignity of discrimination and the anxiety of need," it says.
Below are some of the keypoints in Najib's speech:
*Petronas has identified two subsidiaries to be listed on Bursa Malaysia
* Government and EPF to jointly develop 3,000 acres of land in Sungai Buloh that will produce activities worth RM5bil
*Pos Malaysia to get new investor; wages to be improved
*Khazanah Holdings to divest its investment in Pos Malaysia after detailed study and review of postal services
*EPF will be allowed to invest more money overseas to get better returns
*Government to allow private sector investment in GLCs through new coalition of public-private sector
*MIDA to be corporatised to make it more flexible, empowered to draw in more investment, including offering instant investment incentives. It is to be renamed Malaysian Investment Development Authority
*Private sector innovation to be supported
*Modernisation of our education to create a world-class workforce is imperative to achieve high income nation status
*Special Economic Reform unit will be set up to ensure the successful implementation of the NEM and the choosing of economic activities that will be declared as National Key Economic Activities or the country's economic champions
*Government has identified 6 National Key Economic Activities to be the engines of growth to generate high growth rates including oil and gas, electronic and electrical, Tourism, Agriculture and Financial Services
*There's a need to change rent-seeking and patronage system that has wracked our old system and the NEM must overcome this
*NEM will focus on inclusiveness where all Malaysians of all races will contribute
*The NEM aims to take Malaysia to a high income country with per capita income of US$15,000, from the current US$7,000, in 10 years
*We will use NEAC report as a roadmap to a new Malaysia but welcome public input to make them part of the decision process
*NEM forms the backbone of reform and is vital in the rebuilding of the Malaysian economy
*Don't be fooled by calls to protect the status quo. Old ways cannot be continued. We have to break-out of middle income trap
*Government relooking at the subsidy system and introduction of GST which are common sense policies that need to be implemented
*Najib pledges to carry out the economic reforms needed for businesses to grow and people to prosper
*The NEM report by NEAC is 160 pages and warns that Malaysia can fall further behind its neighbour
KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announces Tuesday the highly anticipated New Economic Model (NEM) that aims to transform the country into a high-income nation.
The NEM is part of the four key thrusts of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's agenda.
The others are the 1Malaysia, People First, Performance Now concept; the Government Transformation Programme (GTP); and the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP).
Najib unveiled the NEM's framework at the Bursa Malaysia's Invest Malaysia conference on Tuesday.
It was at the same function last year that Najib announced various liberalisation measures to make Malaysia more business friendly including the doing away with Foreign Investment Committee requirements.
The NEM recommendations were drawn up by the nine-man National Economic Advisory Council, which is headed by former Maybank chief and ex-minister Tan Sri Amirsham A. Aziz. The NEAC was formed on June 1.
The framework to be unveiled today is the first part of the NEM.
The NEAC is expected to submit the second part of its report on how the model should be implemented after studying all the feedback on the framework from various groups.
Najib is expected to elaborate on the targets of the NEM and the pitfalls facing the country if the recommendations are ignored.
Besides Amrisham, the members of the council include London School of Economics head of department Dr Danny Quah, finance expert Dr Yukon Huang and the World Bank's East Asia chief economist Dr Homi J. Kharas. All three are advisers to the World Bank.
Datuk Dr Zainal Aznam Yusof, a distinguished fellow of the Institute for Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia, is also on the council.
Joining Zainal from ISIS are current director-general Dr Mahani Zainal Abidin and its former research director Datuk Dr Hamzah Kassim.
The other distinguished members are China Bank Regulatory Commission chief adviser Datuk Andrew Sheng and Universiti Sains Malaysia vice-chancellor Professor Tan Sri Dzulkifli Abdul Razak.
The sole corporate representative is Datuk Nicholas S. Zefferys, the past president of the American-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce.
Kota Puteri The Landmark For Selangor's Northern Corridor Development
Oleh Mohd Wazir Abdul Gani
Jan 14, 1898 – the colonial government gazetted an area of 6,590ha under Article 6 of the Selangor Land Enactment 1897 as Sungai Buloh Forest Reserve for public purposes of ensuring accessible sources of wood.
1908 – Gazetting of the Selangor Forest Enactment (18/1907) and the forest reserve falls under State Forestry Department.
1929 – a tree nursery and a Forestry Department training centre was established in the north of the forest reserve.
1954 – Forest Reserve Research Institute (FRIM) set up a number of long-term research plots to study the dynamics of tropical rainforest ecology.
1983 – About half of the original reserve had been excised for agriculture.
1988 – Entire eastern edge of the area was cleared for the North-South Highway.
1992 – 1,600ha was given to PKNS for Kota Damansara township (originally named Bandar Baru Sungai Buloh Jaya).
1993 – Kota Damansara township launched with theme Living in Harmony with the Environment.
21 Dec, 1993 – State Government excised 402.6ha from the forest reserve for botanical garden
3 Feb, 1994 – State Government reserved the area under Sect 62 (1) of the National Land Code for the public purpose of a Botanical Garden to be maintained by the state government.
2000 – Federal Government allocated RM125mil to the Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute (Mardi) for the National Botanical Garden under the Eighth Malaysian Plan (2001-2005).
2002 – Federal Government decided to shift the National Botanical Garden to Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve in Shah Alam.
May 2002 – development proposals for the parcel was published. Residents protested. March 2004 – State Government promised that the land would be left as Taman Botani
17 June, 2004 – State Government published its intention to revoke 58.83ha of the Taman Botani to the east of the highway for a Muslim cemetery.
2006 – State Government agreed to lease the Bukit Cahaya Sri Alam (Bukit Cherakah) to the Federal Government for 60 years.
March 2006 – Friends of Kota Damansara (FOKD) produced guidebook entitled “A Step Beyond the City”.
Dec 2006 – State Exco member said the area to the east of highway too rocky and unsuitable for cemetery and approved 50acre of Taman Botani for the purpose.
March 2007 – Earthworks on the cemetery starts.
Oct 2007 – Federal Cabinet approved RM141mil for the site to be developed over five-year period.
Dec 2007 – the Draft Petaling Jaya Local Plan 2020 was published, zoning more of Taman Botani for residential development with a small area for recreation (inclusive of the cemetery area).