Cahya Mata Sarawak Berhad (CMSB) may have started out as a cement manufacturer in 1974, but today it has evolved into a leading infrastructure facilitator, catapulting the growth of Sarawak by leaps and bounds. One of the Group’s core businesses is property development, which falls under CMS Property Development Sdn Bhd.
“CMS has been involved in property for a very long time, and as most locals know, holds quite a fair bit of land across Kuching and Samalaju. We’ve been serving the community spectrum from the low income (in the affordable housing) all the way to up-market products such as Rivervale. That’s effectively what we’ve done to date. There’s a lot more to come…,” Shaun, who is CMSB’s Group Chief Operating Officer, told BorneoTalk in a recent interview.
CMS Property Development is by all means not shy in delivering products of prestige such as Rivervale Residences in Stutong, Kuching. At the same time, it also creates products that serve all spectrums of the society in the likes of commercial shops at Raintree Square, The Isthmus and Samariang Ria, Bandar Samariang. “Every time you deliver something like Rivervale for instance, you’ll always expect the next thing to be bigger and better. But we have to pass the litmus test of what is acceptable to the market. There has to be a balance between what the market requires and what it is that we are able to deliver, to ensure that we as a business are sustainable,” he explained, adding that trend-wise, what can be done is to adapt trends or products from other places and contextualise them to the local market. There is no one segment the division prioritises over the other. Ultimately, what CMS Property Development aims to deliver as a responsible and industry-leading developer is a product of good quality and value in a good location.
Of all the division’s projects, Shaun finds Samalaju to be the most challenging. The project is as greenfield as it gets and is a catalyst for initiatives planned by the State under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).
“The light at the end of the tunnel is quite far. It is something that the division understands is a responsibility and a privilege to be asked to undertake. On the flip side, there are also residential developments in Samalaju, which for all intents and purposes (similarly for other developers) the division builds to sell. Given the scenario that we’re in, we made the best of what we have and thankfully we are over 90% occupied there. The selling will come, I believe, but once again, the horizon for an industrial park of that scale is typically longer,” he quipped.
CMS Property Development has been receiving positive responses from the public in its developments in Samariang, a project that has been going on for more than a decade in the North of the River.
“Ultimately what we need to do in Samariang is to recreate and reinvent the masterplan, so that the future of the development (with over 3,000 acres) and its community is secured. When I look back at the division’s track record, it has consistently delivered homes for the Samariang community whilst sustainably providing for the Group,” Shaun disclosed, adding that he firmly felt that Samariang was something the division could be very proud of.
Having built over 5,000 properties in the area, the developer has assumed a strong sense of responsibility over the community. The master planning exercise is focussed on answering “what’s next” for the area, which may very well come in the form of a new industry to urge it on to becoming a self-generating community.
Shaun further expanded that a parallel exercise was being undertaken at The Isthmus where the division intends to supplement the existing involvements of the State entities (SEDC and LCDA), the Convention Centre and private sector players (SEB and UCSI) to ensure the project realises its full potential.
The underlying message appears to be a fundamental one with the division focussed on developing responsible and fit for purpose properties for the community whilst being nimble on its feet to ensure it is able to adapt to the ever-evolving economic landscape.
A transformation at CMS Property Development appears to be well underway!