I wish to thank the organisers of PropEx 2017 for inviting me to join you here today. Congratulations to the Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association for yet another successful staging of PropEx.


Your many years of hard work and dedication have resulted in a product called ‘PropEx’. As a group from whom the PropEx idea was first mooted, you deserve the honour of being the creator and the owner of a brand which is now recognized all over the country, if not further afield. Congratulations to SHAREDA, and may you continue to take the industry to greater heights.


I have been following developments in and around SHAREDA for many years. Other than your valuable contribution of ideas in mitigating and resolving the numerous issues linked to real estate and housing development, I take note that SHAREDA has not overlooked the issue of leadership and continuity.


In spite of its size, magnitude and wide reputation, SHAREDA has always been open to place the PropEx project in the hands of newer and younger organisers. I understand that for over a decade, the organizing of PropEx is always led by a new person every year. This year is no different. The Exco of SHAREDA has entrusted PropEx in the hands of Ms Jen Kah whose committee has come out with numerous new ideas and new approaches. This approach by SHAREDA not only guarantees freshness of ideas, but also allows leadership to be rotated and experienced, and the process will no doubt enrich SHAREDA and the real estate sector in general.


I was informed that SHAREDA has also organised the younger generation among developers into a youth group to take on, for example, corporate social responsibility activities for the benefit of the community at large. I think this is a great approach, and it is also timely because Malaysia is looking to develop all-rounded, holistic human capital to take our country forward. It is no longer sufficient for our society to produce smart people who only know how to make profit. We need to encourage the involvement of more people, especially the young, who can make use of their intelligence and innovative nature to make our world a better place.


I am pleased with this year’s PropEx theme on ‘livability’ in all its abstract and real forms. I think ‘livability’ is a concept that everyone will want and will pursue as our standard of living continues to grow. I think that ‘livability’ will become the rule rather than the exception. I congratulate the organisers for putting forward the theme and to make it a topic of conversation as we continue to push the boundaries of real estate and housing development in Sabah.


In almost every opportunity I get to comment on issues related to the real estate and housing industry, I never fail to mention the important role played by industry players, and the fact that problems in the industry are constantly evolving and require our unbroken attention.


Just take a cursory glance on the horizon of the industry, and we see challenges being surmounted while new ones emerge.  Not long ago we were dealing with set-back rules, capital contribution and subsidiary titles. Now we are looking at the larger issue of affordable housing and how to put a cap on prices. We have the Malaysia My Second Home Scheme, and now we are looking at how to attract foreign buyers without pushing our house prices to unacceptable levels.


One thing is obvious – the real estate and housing development industry will require constant and long term cooperation between industry players and the government. It is a cooperation that cannot afford to falter because what is at stake is the well-being of multiple other industries involving thousands of jobs. On our part, the Sabah State Government is always willing to listen to concerns that are brought up and to seek solutions that work for all parties.


I once again congratulate SHAREDA for another successful property exhibition. The Sabah State Government looks forward to continuously working together with SHAREDA and the real estate and housing industry. On that note, I am honoured to officially launch PropEx 2017.

Thank you.