Lee Shau Kee on property. “wealth comes with land.”

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Lee Shau Kee has a net worth of US$30 (RM12.5) billion according to Forbes.com He started Henderson Land Development in 1976. The bulk of his wealth comes from Henderson Land. He has also donated more than US$400 (RM96) million toward education over the years. With his success, I think we have a lot to learn from him too. This is especially because he built his wealth from real estate. Bloomberg interviewed him recently. Let’s look at some important learnings even if Hong Kong may be a more advanced property market than Malaysia by a lot of years.

Article in bloomberg.com . He says that Hong Kong property market has good demand because of low interest rate and Chinese people love to own properties. He said that while there are risks but the Hong Kong property market is not vulnerable to a crash. This is because those who choose to buy their properties do not usually have affordability problems. Moreover, the HKMA has always been vigilant against these risks and closely monitors the situation.

Shau Kee has donated some land and properties to be redeveloped to provide youth hostels and transitional housing projects in hopes that housing problems will be alleviated. Shau Kee said he is supportive of urban renewal as it’s beneficial to the society. It brings a face lift to the community, help deter illegal building works and prevent hazards from arising.

Shau Kee said Hong Kong still has a good business environment as the tax system is simple and the tax rate is attractive. The legal system and talents enable Hong Kong to maintain its status of international financial centre. He added that they have to cooperate with the mainland as Hong Kong will be better if China develops well. His interview is a long one and we have much to learn.

Furthermore, Shau Kee added that he has no worries for Hong Kong. He said the Hong Kong government has a surplus with good income. It also has excellent geographical location as an economic, finance and logistic international hub.

Moreover, he said land supply increase would be the solution to the housing problems. The government is respondible of taking care of those unable to own a home. Public housing is a safety net that ensures a stable and prosperous society. There should be a balance between private and public housing, and the government should be attentive toward the very strong demand for private housing. Do read it in full here. Article in bloomberg.com.

Malaysia has low interest rates too and I think many Malaysians love to own properties too. It’s also extremely hard to get the property loan applications to be approved because our very own Bank Negara Malaysia and all the commercial banks are conservative and lends only to those who meets stringent requirements. So stringent that our Finance Minister said if the banks did not lend to qualified applicants, these applicants could write in to the ministry! Article here: Could not get loan approved, tell Finance Ministry

Malaysia is a competitive nation and our position within ASEAN is a strategic one. However, as we know, there has been many complaints that the property prices have risen much faster than income. Fortunately, the government is looking at building more affordable homes for Malaysians and as announced earlier, a total of 100,000 of these are coming within 2019. Here’s that article earlier: More affordable homes are coming I do think Malaysia has a lot of the good traits which Shau Kee shared about Hong Kong. Remember, when all our neighbours prosper, Malaysia would too. ShenZhen prospered because of Hong Hong and vice-versa. Hopefully we take advantage of this. Happy understanding.

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Article written and edited by Charles. News article summarised by Dina Batrisyia.

<Featured Image is courtesy of Stock Photos from Nicola Pulham>

Next suggested article: Property still too expensive for Malaysians

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