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Bay 21 gets ISM sustainability award
Published on: Monday, July 20, 2015

Kota Kinabalu: The fully sold Bay 21 condominium project here made history when it was awarded the only Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (ISM) citation 'Contribution to Sustainability' Award 2015 in the whole country recently, according to its developer Datuk Sr. Chua Soon Ping.

"After the June 5 earthquake, I asked my engineers to check the structure as well as Wisma Perindustrian which was developed by me also, there was no damage found," Chua revealed.

It was at the recently held China-Asean Top CEO Business Summit (East Malaysia) in conjunction with the East Malaysia official launching of the 14th Asia Pacific International Entrepreneur Award 2015 at the Ming Garden Hotel Ballroom where one of the organiser's speakers lauded his timely decision to buy Bay 21 property as introduced by Chua, who was also an award winner in the past.

It is one of the new structures here strengthened against seismic waves, according to its architect Ar. Lo Su Yin.

The project uses recyclable aluminium formwork minimising plastering, bendable plumbing piping eschewing much joints, soft concrete in bathroom / toilet for easier renovation alteration, quality granite mixed concrete for all other reinforced structures, solar film for green energy besides other passive architectural features for wind flow ventilation minimising heat gain, double panel glazed glass etc.

It was only recently that the Silver GreenRE Award winner, the first in Sabah, had its soft opening launch on June 12. The grand opening is expected to be at end September or October, 2015 in time for some buyers' wedding do of their offspring to settle nicely in honeymoon.

GreenRE is a green building and carbon rating tool set up by the Real Estate Housing Development Association of Malaysia (REHDA) and is intended for the building industry to act in a more responsible manner by building and creating a sustainable and living environment.

The next phase commercial status condo tower Bay 21 TOO is expected to be launched in 2016 to be completed in time for the Kota Kinabalu Sabah International Convention Centre to be operationalized for some business delegates to live in while events are held thereafter.

As for the some 11 units of shops at the lower levels of the building, Chua said he is vetting into the potential tenants for selection, one of which is Shareda's Datuk Ir. John Chee family business in Mexican fusion cuisine eatery – Cabo – which is doing well at Lintas Plaza after the closure of another Mexican food outlet at the former Jesselton Hotel back side annex to the Wishbone (now defunct) renewed as Kudos for fine European dining.

Judging from the success of some eateries at the Peak Vista enclave thronged by outside visitors, there is a niche captive market for specialised quality cuisine eateries in easily approachable urban condominium areas with sufficient parking that are not located above malls.

This is also the direction planned for the eventual success of the delayed 1Sulaman project now seemingly left in an incomplete limbo state. Likewise the airspace above the Star City Mall is crucial for the eventual rescue and transformation of the building by the white knight building a new hotel or condo complex to make the venture viable.

Bay 21 and Bay 21 TOO situated between the fast upcoming PacifiCity and proposed 1Likas are well poised to transform the Sabah Trade Centre area with its ample parking at night into a lively enclave that needs a new lease of night life next to the mundane Likas Square that lacks the dynamic critical mass that generates happenings, pending the completion and operation of PacifiCity Mall, TGV Cineplex and Imax theatre.

On sale on the Internet is an 18th Floor unit with floor area of 1,854 sq. ft. for RM1,600,000 and on the 20th floor with area of 2,400 sq. ft. for RM2,400,000 which are examples to gauge the kind of speculative driven market price sentiment for this project with the connivance of estate agents, which is way above what the developer sold off plan.


At Alam Damai formerly a medium cost condominium project now positioned above its original developer's concept has seen units selling from the developer's off plan some RM360,000 a unit now asking for RM900,000 to RM960,000 by speculators wanting RM500,000 profit margin that developers lamented as even more profitable than they make in profit per unit.

Staff of developers' offices handling requests for developer's consent for reselling properties, say that most speculators' expectations are like as if the sky's the limit.

If such sale data captured by Napic and used by valuers to justify comparative examples in valuation, it would only push the market stiffer fuelled by greed, only tempered by harder to get loans.

Not all buyers require loans to buy though, the rich are still very rich and richer.

In future the Sabah Trade Centre will be rebuilt after Bay 21 TOO, a 28-storey, 325 units of condominium block with units' floor sizes ranging from 400 to 1,300 square feet.

According to the developer Datuk Sr. Chua Soon Ping, managing director of Remajaya Sdn Bhd, "The building plan is being improvised with additional reinforcement of steel bars which necessitated the redrawing of the size of columns to accommodate the additional reinforcement bar for greater earthquake safety measures."

Property launches here have dropped from 7 billion to 4 billion last year to just one billion ringgit as developers hankered down to tide out the uncertainty.

Meanwhile, The Bay Residences with 82 condos from Type A, A1, B, C, D, E & F is nearing completion located along Likas' Mile 3.5, Tuaran Road across from the Kosan Complex.

There were some dissonance over the hill cutting earthworks needing retaining walls (later painted green) upon its commencement of the project approved by the last Mayor which is effect is built into a semi-niche 'hugging' the structure.

A few property experts say that the younger generations are more into self-engrossed living in condominiums as they have little time to manage a landed garden compound being of the Internet connected generations, aside from the issue of travels, security and privacy.

Many rich parents and grandparents put out the financial deposit needed to secure a comfortable loan repayment amount for these more fortuitous youngsters than many of their struggling 'homeless' peers eking out a living locally unable to buy affordable homes.

Some parents and grandparents who had sold off lands and building properties to finance their offspring for further studies overseas can hardly afford to buy back those types of assets at today's pricing.


Those graduates who chose to return can hardly earn enough to buy back such properties sold to finance their tertiary education, unless if they make it big in business or property speculation or brokerage commission. More are having two or more income earning streams.

Hence, what looks like a stagnant market may not necessarily so as some fathers, parents, grandparents start to transfer fully paid real estate properties or partly paid realty properties to their heirs out of love and affection, rather than see how probate works out later.

Those income earners from Singapore and elsewhere are richer in ringgit purchasing power.

In Tuaran the RM3.3 million show unit of the Alila Resort has been outfitted by Borneo Benar S/B, just only one Sabah based firm competiting with ten over West Malaysian firms for the project. The project is expected to draw foreign buyers for beach front property.

A Sinsuran 2nd floor shop unit seller is disposing his property for RM500,000. Some years back, a 1st floor unit was sold for RM500,000, which is reflective of the ascending market value.

The seller asked whether should he collect GST as he was not registered for GST but the selling price of RM500,000 is at the qualifying threshold for GST registration, the reply given by the newspaper without prejudice was 'no need to collect and register for GST.'

Unsatisfied and unsure, he went to the Customs office, asked the same and was given similar reply. He wanted an official reply in black and white, but the Customs did not give any.

No Customs officer would want to give an official undertaking as even the higher ups are also unsure, given the changes and new directives.

They are just employees caught up in the haste to implement the GST so that the government could have the needed funds and to make rating agencies like Fitch not to down grade the country's credit rating.

Until further clarification comes from the Customs, the question to ask is: 'How many commercial properties do I have in hand which are invested for the purpose of subsequent sale and not for rental or put to own use?'

If the answer is more than two commercial properties, theoretically, registration requirement is met by virtue of a new circular by Customs from March 30, 2015 meant for property developers in its Guide for Property Developers.

Clause 52 of the guide stipulates in the case of land, any individual is treated as carrying out a business if he or she has in his or her possession more than two commercial properties or more than one acre of commercial land; and has the intention to supply such commercial properties as a supply of goods.


It is unclear to many as how to define 'intention'?

In reality, property matters is not as straightforward as 2 + 2 = 4 as circumstances do change from time to time, and case to case like for instance, a buyer who first purchased the property with the intention of own use, may then decided to sell it as he found a better property for his business requirement but he also has another father's shop who had just transferred it to him, and his brother just sold his half-share in another commercial lot to improve his business cash flow etc.

The Royal Malaysian Customs should have some measures in place for individualised case consultation and solution for the public as soon as possible.

As for requests for the newspaper to go and sit in the Customs office to get the answers for interest of the public is just beyond the purpose of the publication as a business to entertain commercial property owners over time and effort spent for poorer, unfortunate members of society who have less means to fend for themselves on more pressing, urgent matters, when it is the business of the government to serve all people regardless as effectively and expeditiously as possible as a matter of duty and responsibility with the answers and solutions.

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