FB Live Interview Session – Penang, Malaysia Showcase: editorial
Overseas Property FB Live
Co-organized by The Standard and Sing Tao The Standard Overseas Property Online, the Overseas Property FB Live gathers insights from industry professionals and introduces outstanding property projects from top markets around the world.
In recent years, Malaysia has emerged as a popular destination both for investment and immigration. The scenic island state of Penang is especially favoured by Hongkongers due to its large Chinese-ethnic population, high quality of life and close proximity to Hong Kong.
During last week’s FB Live, Dr Theresa Fok, Managing Director of Jade Land Properties (HK) Limited, highlighted Penang’s many similarities to Hong Kong. “A former British colony with a predominantly Chinese population, the place feels like home,” she said.
As one of Malaysia’s vital economic powerhouses, Penang boasts a strong manufacturing sector specialising in high-tech products production, in addition to a proliferating tourism sector. Home to the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone, Malaysia’s first free-trade zone established in 1972, Penang received the country’s largest foreign direct investments (FDI) for the manufacturing sector again in Q1 of this year, recording a promising MYR6.8 billion.
Given the comparatively low cost of living there, Dr Fok said that Penang is an attractive emigration choice, and the official immigration policy is highly accommodating. The Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program enables foreigners and their immediate family members to reside in the country for 10 years, yet with no obligation to stay in the country for any fixed period of time.
The international school landscape in Penang, Dr Fok said, has grown rapidly over the last decade. “Quality schools like the Prince of Wales Island International School and Dalat International School offer internationally-recognized syllabuses, such as the IGCSE and IB curriculums, that facilitate transition into top international universities,” she said.
In terms of medical service, Dr Fok pointed out that Malaysia is ranked among the world’s top medical tourism destinations because of its affordable and high-quality medical treatment.
On prime real estate locales, Isaac Lee, Head of Market Research of Jade Land Properties (HK) Limited, highlighted Bayan Lepas, an up-and-coming town in the Southwest District of Penang Island.
Earmarked by the state government as a major focus area in the ‘Penang 2030’ economic transformation program, the bustling hub is known as the ‘Silicon Valley of the East’, where over 300 multinational corporations, including Tesla, HP and Sony, have established their presence. The new Convention Centre, the prestigious Penang Golf Club and the Penang International Airport are also located in Bayan Lepas.
Capitalizing on the boom is PICC (Penang International Commercial City) by leading property developer Hunza Properties Group. As Penang’s first smart city, the development includes a lifestyle shopping mall, A-grade offices, residences, Shama serviced residences, and medical centre – all integrated and directly connected to a Light Rail Transit (LRT) station. “The nearby international firms have attracted many expatriates and professionals to settle in the district.” Lee said.
Muze is the first residential phase in PICC. “A 1000-sq ft apartment costs approximately HKD 2 million with a minimum of 2 parking spaces included,” Lee noted.