1) What does SHAREDA Youth Council mean to you?
Being the president of the SHAREDA Youth Council, I am privileged and honoured to have been appointed for my second term to continue and finish our largest corporate social responsibility (CSR) program in the history of SHAREDA with the donation of RM$500,000 for the construction of the Blind Association of Sabah quarters with its ground breaking ceremony on the 30thJuly 2015.
Being entrusted with the CSR undertakings and projects for SHAREDA, I hope to complete an even larger project to help the underprivileged and needy before my term ends.
2) How has the GST impacted the market? Has SHAREDA Youth been involved with matters concerning the GST?
The GST is purely inflationary and has been set at a ridiculously high a rate for Malaysia. A gradual implementation of say 3% over time would have been a much better policy. As a result, we have seen a widespread drop in sales in all industries ranging from 30-50%. Australia took literally a year before the markets returned to normal. I believe its impact could have been minimized with a lower tax rate.
As an association with charitable principles, our main ambition is to help the needy. We foresee that the poorer income group will be most effected as a result of the GST. As such we are hoping to extend our Christmas shoebox giveaways to not only orphans, but the extremely poor and old folks homes.
Additionally as and when the need arises, we will continue to support the community via donations. Recently, due to the earth quake in Ranau, Sabah we donated over RM50, 000 to the families of the lost guides.
3) How important is SHAREDA Youth to fellow developers and its impact on the overall market?
As a purely CSR motivated sub association, SHARED Youth has given a fresh and noble image to all our fellow member developers. Once upon a time we may have been perceived as a bunch of rich, snooty, middle aged businessman, but today the market and community view Sabah developers as noble philanthropists of the community.
Although I sit on the main council as Chief and is involved in policy making decisions of the association, SHAREDA Youth’s main goals are CSR and to promote a better teamwork and synergies among the new generation of future developers in Sabah.
4) How do you see the market in the near future and the investment potential of Sabah as a whole?
As a developer I must be bullish about the market. However, I am personally distraught and disillusioned with the saga of the 1MDB issue and numerous blunders by our government.
I do hope that these ‘issues’ will be resolved and confidence restored in the market with the return of foreign investments and strengthening of the Malaysian Ringgit.
Contrary to idiotic insinuations that Malaysians who buy local products are immune to forex deficiencies, let it be known that there isn’t a country in the world that can be completely self-sufficient (see North Korea) and not even Russia a superpower and no less Malaysia.
Having said that, I believe that certain market segments and locations will be better insulated than others with affordable housing below 400,000 being the prime market for growth over the next two years.