Thursday, May 27, 2010

SHAREDA’s trip to Mabul Island

(a) Datuk Susan Wong (standing extreme left) in a group photo with the Council Members and their families at Sipadan Water Village, Mabul Island.

(b) Datuk Susan Wong (third left) with (from left to right) Ms. Leena Toyoi, Datuk Kong Kwok Wah, Hajah Juita Haji Drap, Dato’ Jimmy Pang, Haji Zain Bin Abdullah and Mr. Calvin Teo Poi Loi at the SHAREDA Fellowship Breakfast Gathering.

SHAREDA’s trip to Mabul Island

KOTA KINABALU: Mabul Island, the beautiful luxurious holiday and diving resort located in an island just about 45-minutes’ speedboat ride from Semporna is a paradise not to be missed by all holidaymakers especially the scuba divers. The 19-member group from Sabah Housing And Real Estate Developers Association (SHAREDA) led by its President Datuk Susan Wong Siew Guen made the right choice of having their 5th Council Meeting on May 7, 2010 at the island.

SHAREDA had earlier in the day held a Fellowship Breakfast Gathering for their Tawau members at the Promenade Hotel in Tawau and later proceeded from there to Semporna to take the speedboat ride to Mabul Island. The SHAREDA group consists of its President, Immediate Past President, Vice President, Secretary General, Treasurer General and Council Members and their families.

Upon arrival at the Sipadan Water Village resort in Mabul Island, the group was received by the resort Manager, Mr. Ravindran Isperan and his staff. The welcoming reception to the guests makes the group so thrilled and excited and were looking forward to more adventures ahead.

“This resort is really a very beautiful place. It’s a place to make a retreat and enjoy the sun and the sea,” said Datuk Susan Wong. “We are glad we have made the right choice of having our 5th Council Meeting here”, she added.

The Sipadan Water Village is beautifully constructed with 45 water chalets reflecting the Bajau architectural design. The entire resort is built over the water on stilts made of belian woods, commonly known as ironwood. Its splendid water cottage accommodation with flowered walkways has impressed the many foreign visitors from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and United States, just to name a few. The floor of these chalets is less than a meter above the high water mark and they are spacious with wide sliding doors that open onto the room’s private deck.

Scuba diving is the popular water sports there. The Dive Centre, which is responsible for all the in-water facilities especially scuba diving and training is open daily from 7.00am onwards and is equipped with lockers, shower facilities, toilet and a common area for resting between dives with free snacks, hot coffee and tea for the guests. All the Dive Masters are also specially trained in the marine ecology of Mabul Island.

SHAREDA’s group went on an exciting speedboat ride to the nearby Sipadan Island in the afternoon of May 07 and the trip of going around Sipadan Island enabled the members and their families to see the beautiful corals in the water and the many small and big turtles swimming in the sea.

Just after a delicious and sumptuous dinner of BBQ seafoods and a mixture of local and continental cuisine that evening, SHAREDA 5th Council Meeting was held at the Function Hall, an open space area in the island at 8.00pm. A “Happy Birthday” cake-cutting was held immediately after the meeting and SHAREDA celebrated the birthdays of Datuk Susan, Mr. Chew Sang Hai, Ms. Salina Lee Abdullah and Datin Annie Ng (wife of Dato’ John Chee) whose birthdays fall in the months of April, May and June this year.

On the following morning, a nice and simple breakfast was served at 7.00am and immediately after breakfast some of SHAREDA’s group members went on snorkeling. They were all so thrilled with the underwater experience and were very proud in swimming along with the big fish underwater.

The group returned to Semporna that morning at 11.00am and proceeded to Tawau airport for their flight home. It was indeed a very well organised and memorable trip and will always be remembered forever.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

SHAREDA holds Fellowship Gathering with Tawau members

(a) Datuk Susan Wong (seated centre) in a group photo with SHAREDA Council Members and Tawau members during the Fellowship Breakfast Gathering held recently. Datuk Kong is seated fourth right and Datuk Jimmy is seated fourth left.
(b) Datuk Susan addressing the gathering.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Housing And Real Estate Developers Association (SHAREDA) held a Fellowship Breakfast Gathering for its Tawau members at the Promenade Hotel in Tawau recently (May 7, 2010).

SHAREDA President Datuk Susan Wong Siew Guen said this is the very first time such gathering was organized for the Tawau members. She hoped the members could bring up the property development issues in Tawau so that SHAREDA could understand them better and their action sub-committee could deal with them.

She also said that at present SHAREDA is working on the approval procedures for the Development Plans (DP) by the Local Authorities and Central Board which took a longer time to approve. SHAREDA wish the procedures could be expedite with only the DPs requiring re-zoning should go to the Central Board and not all DPs like previous practice as this is too difficult for the Central Board to sort out all the DPs from 21 Local Authorities in Sabah. The issuance of letter of offer for subdivision of development projects to applicants by Lands & Surveys, including Hasil Bumi is also taking a longer time and SHAREDA is requesting for the time frame of 6 months, if possible. On the capital contribution of electricity by Sabah Electricty Sdn. Bhd. (SESB), she said they have requested for a fixed and lower rates for electricity.

Datuk Susan also informed the members that the 4-day property exhibition “SHAREDA PROPEX 2010” will be held from 28th to 31st August this year at the Sabah Trade Centre in Likas, Kota Kinablau. She urged Tawau members to participate in the exhibition and said that they are only 3 more booths available. She hopes that this year the Chief Minister, YAB Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman would give his precious time to officiate the opening ceremony of “SHAREDA PROPEX 2010” which coincides with the National Day celebration.

Mr. Tony Ng, the Assistant General Manager of Rasa Sierra Development Sdn. Bhd. in Tawau who also spoke at the gathering concurred that the DPs in Tawau took a very long time to approve by the Central Board and Local Authority. He said it took more than a year to have the DPs approved. He also said the approval of his application for land conversion premium was held up by Hasil Bumi for a few months before getting the approval. He said the Banker’s Guarantee placed with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing (MLGH) which is 5% of the total development cost is very high if the value of the project is big. He suggested that SHAREDA to request MLGH to lower the percentage or to fix a deposit sum of RM100,000 per project irrespective of the size and value of the project, as similar to Sarawak.

Mr. Calvin Teo Poi Loi of Masama-Winquest JV Sdn. Bhd. also spoke on the issue of the DPs going to the Central Board and Local Authority and shared the same view with Mr. Tony. The Managing Director of Supremin Sdn. Bhd., Dato’ Jimmy Pang, who is also a Council Member of SHAREDA shared the views of Mr. Tony and Mr. Calvin. He said some time they have to wait for more than one and a half year before the Development Plan is approved by the Central Board and Local Authority. Dato’ Jimmy also urged more developers to join SHAREDA and said that this will strengthen the association for the betterment of the housing industry.

Wah Mie Realty’s Managing Director, Datuk Kong Kwok Wah who was also present said the problems on the time taken for the DPs to be approved through the Central Board were since February 2008. He also said the price of river sand especially in Sandakan is increasing to an extent beyond the developer’s dream. He said at the moment river sand is available at RM70.00 per cubic yard from previously RM40.00 per cubic yard due to the ban of the barge services and they are forced to transport the river sand by lorry using roads. Datuk Kong is the Immediate Past President of SHAREDA.

Ms. Liza Lee of Unika Housing Sdn. Bhd., Tawau said the company was charged by SESB a very high capital contribution for electricity for their project. They were charged almost RM10,000 per unit of their property and they are now appealing to the charges. Mr. Chew Sang Hai, the Secretary General of SHAREDA who is working on this issue with the company and SESB said he hopes to get the issue solved soon.

Mr. Ben Kong, a Council Member of SHAREDA spoke on the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme for foreigners and suggested that the Housing Controller should also imposed control on foreign developers in order to maintain the good name of the housing industry in Sabah.

Among the members who also spoke at the Fellowship Gathering was Ms. Leena Toyoi, a SHAREDA Council Member from the Sabah Urban Development Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (SUDC). She said the assessment rate in Tawau is very high and is about triple the rate in Kota Kinabalu. She said she was shocked that the assessment rate is charged even for the toilet. She called on the Tawau Municipal Council to review the assessment rate. Another Council Member of SHAREDA, Mr. Lee Hon Liong of Kinawill Development Sdn. Bhd. who is also a professional architect, spoke on the appointment of the Councillors in the Local Authorities in particular the Penampang Council. He said the Councillors just served for only about six months even though their appointment is for a year, as the process of their appointments took about 6 months.

SHAREDA’s entourage later visited Taman Sawit, developed by Masama-Winquest JV Sdn. Bhd. in Tawau. The 50-acre project in Balung, Tawau consists of new shops, office and single storey terrace residential project which is selling at RM138,000. The SHAREDA entourage was on a stopover trip in Tawau before proceeding to Mabul Island for the 5th SHAREDA Council Meeting.