UCAPAN PERDANA MENTERI Y.A.B DATO’ SERI DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD DI MAJLIS PERASMIAN “FIABCI WORLD CONGRESS 2002” PADA 29 MEI 2002 JAM 3.00 PETANG
Distinguish guest, ladies and gentlemen,
1. Thank you for inviting me to officially launch the 53rd FIABCI World Congress 2002. Let me also say a warm welcome to the delegates from 28 countries and the participants to this congress.
2. I’m proud that this congress is held in Kuala Lumpur with theme “ Building the Property Vision-The Global Experience. I’m also proud to announce that this World Congress is co-organised by Ministry of Housing and Local Government, Malaysia and supported by the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism, Malaysia. This congress is also officially endorsed by Malaysia External Trade Development (MATRADE). This auspicious World Congress has also received tremendous support from the local corporate sector. They are Uni- Link Smart Venture Sdn. Bhd, Talam Corporation Berhad, Europlus Berhad, Bukit Kiara Properties Sdn. Bhd, Sunvay City Berhad, Bandar Utama City Corporation Sdn. Bhd, Pulai Springs Resort, Alvanet, Kurnia Leisure Sdn. Bhd., Asia Wire, Malaysia Airlines and Apanac.com.
3. FIABCI is the French acronym for the International Real Estate, a United Nations accredited agency and a member of the World Habitat Forum seeking to improve the quality and competitiveness of the property industry through the sharing of knowledge, information and business opportunities at the local, national and international level.
4. FIABCI Malaysian Chapter was established in 1977 and it’s members are prominent professionals from the Malaysian real estate fraternity. FIABCI Malaysian Chapter’s role is in line with the International Real Estate Federation ‘s statement. It is in line with our Vision 2020 that emphasis’s on long-range development plans to build an advance and forward-looking nation.
5. FIABCI World Congress is held every year in May and offer’s FIABCI members the opportunity to get together in different countries each year. This congress would examine the success, issues and challenges in the property industry.
6. Ladies and gentlemen, the government will continue to give emphasis to the provision of adequate, affordable and quality housing to all. In this respect focus will be on the provision of better quality houses in suitable locations and conducive living environment. Housing development will continue to be closely coordinated with industrial and overall development planning to ensure adequate and timely provision of houses including access to social services and amenities as well as an integrated and adequate public transport system. The private sector will continue to play an increasingly important role in meeting the overall housing needs while the public sector will concentrate on providing houses for the low income group.
7. The property sector play’s a vital role in supporting the growth of the nation’s economy. The construction sector registered an improved rate of growth of 2.3 percent in the year 2001 spurred by the government’s fiscal expansion programmes particularly for infrastructure projects and the construction of low and medium cost residential housing. The property industry involves residential housing, condominium, hotel, retail space, office space, township, towering commercial shopping complexes, shopping malls, hospitals, theme parks, industrial estate and even high technology park.
8. Rapid urbanization process is presenting serious problems to many countries. It is forecasted that between the years 2000 and 2005, the world’s urban population will double from 2.4 billion (1995) to 5 billion and this means that city dwellers will rise from 47 percent to over 61 percent of the world population. Malaysia is not exception. Over the past decade, the urban population of the country has grown rapidly to 54.7 percent in 1995 and is expected to escalate to 73 percent in the year 2020.
9. The increasing number of city dwellers will create serious problems such as over crowding, housing shortage and severe demands on public structure and amenities. Malaysia has implemented various programme, undertaken by both public and private sector to reduce the impact of urbanization.
10. During the Sixth Malaysian Plan (1991 to 1995), private developers successfully achieved the target of building 217,000 low cost houses. Then came the Asian Financial crisis, which again spurred various government measures to counter the effects of the recession. To help reduce the property overhang, the government and the Real Estate and Housing Developer’s Association Malaysia (REHDA) launch Home Ownership Campaigns. The government also exempted ‘stamp duties’ for the purchase of new properties to generate consumer demand.
11. During the Seventh Malaysian Plan (1996 to 2000), the overall achievements of housing programme was very encouraging with the completion of 859,480 units of houses. About 121,624 units of houses were built by the public sector and 737,856 units of houses built by the private sector.
12. During the Eight Malaysian Plan (2001 to 2005), the government targets the construction of 615,000 units of houses whereby 312,000 units will be build by the public sector and 303,000 units by the private sector. This joint involvement of the public sector and the private sector in the housing industry is a good example of the Malaysia Incorporated policy. The government would continue to encourage the building of more medium-cost and low-cost houses to meet the increasing demand. Equal attention will be given to quality housing with all the necessary infrastructure facilities for sports, recreational and cultural activities.
13. The Malaysia Incorporated policy provides the private sector to air their grouses and criticisms and to make suggestions on how the government could improve it’s services. On the other hand the government is able to explain its policies and procedures to develop the country. Most importantly both sides not only learn to understand each other better but acted on the suggestions and ideas to improve the services. In fact this policy transformed Malaysia’s economic structure from agrarian-based to one that’s more industrialized. This policy will play an important role in overcoming the adverse affects of globalisation.
14. Globalisation is facilitated and driven by technological advancement. The information revolution is already bringing cities together in complex global systems of interaction and interdependence. Thus we need to anticipate the problems arising from the rapid growth of our cities. More importantly we must cope with these problems effectively through sound, innovative planning and design to provide quality living for our people. This congress therefore presents a good opportunity to harness the forces of globalisation in the property sector for mutual benefits.
15. Malaysia faces challenges at both the global and domestic fronts. Globally the rules of competition have changed with the coming of the Information Age and a more integrated global economy as well as greater liberalization of the market. A country’s competitive advantage is no longer dependent on factors such as labour, land, natural resources but on its potential to produce, acquire, utilize and disseminate knowledge. In this respect the government will introduce appropriate measures to develop greater economic resilience to enable the country with stand the negative impact as a result of globalization. The corporate sector will need to strengthen itself by focusing on their core activity, improving efficiency and productivity as well as enhancing their administrative and financial management capabilities. They must also capture to achieve a higher standard of professionalism and maintain their credibility and integrity.
16. In the line with ICT revolution, Malaysia established the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) in 1996 to provide the catalyst for IT development in the country. To provide a more formal and focused structure of IT policy and programme, the National Information Technology Council (NITC) comprising members from the public and private sectors was established. NITC has launched five strategic agenda; E-Learning, E-Community, E-Public Service, E-Sovereignty and E-Economy.
17. The government will encourage the private sector to focus their efforts on the provision of IT and establish educational institution and training programmes at the degree and diploma level. The educational and training programmes are expected to provide manpower who are knowledgeable, highly-skilled, computer literate, discipline, high moral values and good work ethics.
18. The government will also promote R&D activities related to production of cheaper building materials and better construction techniques with a view to improving the quality and safety of houses and ensuring their affordability. The property sector will also address a more broad-based agenda such as fulfilling the needs of the elderly and disabled, energy efficient design and garden city concept. Emphasis will be given to the maintenance of higher-rise building.
19. I hope this congress will be very productive and exciting. It offers opportunities to evolve new ideas to further enhance the property sector.
20. I also hope you will find the opportunity to tour the best attractions in this country. We have a lot of attractions like the Petronas Twin Towers, Putrajaya, Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), KLIA, and Genting Highlands to name a few.
21. I am sure this congress will make it an unforgettable event for all the participants for many years to come.
22. On this note, I have great pleasure to launch the FIABCI World Congress 2002.