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Foreigners pick Sabah as second home Print E-mail
Friday, 21 August 2009 20:47
Foreigners pick Sabah as second home

SINCE the Malaysia My Second Home programme was launched in Sabah over five years ago, the number of foreign tourists deciding to settle in this Malaysian state on Borneo Island has increased.

This was disclosed by Local Government and Housing Minister of Sabah, Datuk Hajiji Noor, at the close of a two-day Sabah Housing Conference in Kota Kinabalu on Aug. 19.

According to him, the number of foreign tourist arrivals in Sabah had shot up from 423,000 in 1998 to 2.3 million in 2008. Over 200,000 of them had come from Asian countries such as China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan, whilst over 100,000 were from Australia, New Zealand, the European Union and the USA.

Datuk Hajiji Noor

Datuk Hajiji Noor

The minister urged housing developers, professionals and others engaged in the building industry in Sabah to strive for excellence to ensure that the quality of housing in the state was at par with that in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, European Union, America, Japan and Korea.

“We will never reach our goal to achieve international standard unless our building industry players seriously look into adopting good governance to delivery quality housing and services to all potential buyers both local and foreign,” he said.

The conference, with the theme ‘Good Governance towards Quality Housing and Services’, was attended by more than 300 participants from throughout the state, including a large number from local authorities.

Skilled workers

At various sessions of the conference participants had highlighted the widespread and urgent need for skilled workers in Sabah as well as other parts of Malaysia.

Touching on this, the state Local Government and Housing Minister pointed out that having quality building materials is not enough. This must be matched by skilled workers “who are properly trained in the latest technology or know-how”.

This, he added, would ensure that the products are applied correctly and in accordance with specifications and requirements of the manufacturers.

“All concerned, be they the professionals or contractors, must work together to ensure that our construction industry truly benefit from the latest technology and products,” he stressed.

He was pleased to see that professional bodies such as the Institute of Engineers Malaysia (IEM), the Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia (ACEM), and Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM) had joined forces to design and conduct a series of courses for clerk-of-works to help them acquire knowledge and skills so that they could assist professional consultants in supervisory work.

Building materials suppliers and developers held an exhibition in conjunction with the conference. A total of 15 papers were presented, covering a wide range of topics, including briefings by local authorities on their latest by-laws related to housing and construction.

A topic that generated considerable interest among participants was the Architect Centre, a subsidiary of PAM that has started operations in Sabah and other parts of the country.

Blue Ribbon certification

It provides inspection services to house owners in checking defects and assists housing developers in achieving quality control by introducing the Blue Ribbon certification in housing.

Among notables at the conference were: Datuk Susan Wong Siew Guen, chairperson of the Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Shareda); Datuk Dr. Ting Ing Chiew, Managing Director of A.C. Property Development Sdn Bhd, a key developer of commercial properties in the capital city; and Professor Francis Wong, a veteran architect with over 40 years of experience in the building industry in the state.

Hajiji Noor was represented by his Assistant Minister Datuk Edward Yong Oui Fah, and his ministry was the chief organizer of the conference, supported by the City Hall of Kota Kinabalu, and the Sabah branches of IEM, PAM, and ACEM.

Source: http://borneopedia.com/?p=689



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