Thursday, January 13, 2011

Skyscrapers and Luxury Apartments...

The skyline of KL has changed so much that every time you drive on one of the 'lebuhraya bertingkat" or multitiered highways cutting across the city like the lines on your palm, you feel as if you're a stranger in a new city. Especially when all the old landmarks are hidden away and you only see the old roofs or the sophisticated front of new edifices staring at you in the face.
Hey what building is that? you ask the person sitting beside you. Damned if I know, comes the couldn't-care-less reply.

There are so many of the high-rise buildings, not really skyscrapers yet, many of which are modern, high-class, luxury apartments, that you can hardly keep tag of their emergence (as if from nowhere), let alone of their names when not boldly written somewhere on the building itself. Take the new NUKE highway through the Sri Hartamas area and Mont Kiara. for example. All the super-posh apartments must have hit the million or multimillion ringgit jackpot price.

The big question is: Who can afford them? Certainly not the government servants (except in the Ministerial or YB category), the factory workers or the budding entrepreneurs and businessmen. These places can only be bought by the billionaires and millionaires from Malaysia or abroad, especially from Japan and Saudi Arabia. I recall Tun Mahathir's article on Kampung Baru.
If the Malay pseudo-slump area were to be opened up for development and filled up with modern high-rise buildings, who can afford to buy up or rent these su[er-expensive premises as a business center or a luxury home. Certainly not the people in Kampung Baru, not all of them anyway for there certainly are some who have joined the millionaires club. The same question can be applied to the thousands of super-posh apartment buildings springing like mushrooms in KL and the greater metropolitan are, extending to Puchong and Kembangan.

Certainly KL has become too expansive for the common citizens of the country. Especially the original settlers and 'orang asal' who have not become the nouveau riche - including the GLC bosses, businessmen, politicians or corporate executives. These exceptions remain a very small group in the 'orang asal' population as a whole. Their faces could be lost in the throng of millionaires and billionaires in the country. Kuala Lumpur is not for the "orang kampung" anymore, just like "orang Kampung Baru" if the area is opened up for modern development. You can't expect the budding businessmen to open up business in the golden triangles of Kuala Lumpur. They will fold up before one year, especially when they can't participate in the very lucrative night-entertainment, gambling. GROs, multi-level selling and other trades which involve commodities, activities or dealings which are "haram", "bida'ah", or even "syubahah" to the Muslims. . Most of the super-rich tycoons usually have a hand (or just a little finger) in these business though never directly. You cannot get rich by just selling "pisang goreng" or 'kacang putih". You must get your fingures into many and several lucritive business.

So, where does that leave the 'orang asal' ?( I avoid the terms "Bumi" or "Orang Melayu" because they are full of racial overtones!). Wish I can offer an answer. Once certainty is that KL bukan lagi mereka punya. The Skyscrapers and Suoer Luxury Condos are for the super rich, millionaires and billionaires. Unless the government wake up to this fact and do something to ensure that there are some 'orang asal' in the new imposing edifices making up KL skyline, we'll have a foreigners' city in the heart of the country.


Al-Manar said...

These Orang orang need not own anything because they will be given a luxury servants' room for free plus monthly pays. And most of the time the perempuan will just work within the four walls and the lelaki will have all the time driving super expensive cars. Otherwse they can go into the countryside working in vast estates and be provided free accommodation as well. Akhi, rizki ditangan Tuhan!

norzah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
norzah said...

You've given one possible answer to my question: where does that leave the 'orang asal'? and the way you put it is most unnerving. True , rezki ditangan Tuhan, Akhi, but how come the multimillionaires and billionaires of the world and Malaysia don't even berdoa untuk mendapat rezski mereka. Maybe they do and maybe Allah hanya menguji mereka but yang paling teruji ialah kita. I am still trying to find an answer to this question. Wassalam.

kaykuala said...

Akhi Norzah,
People will find ways and means to own property. The 15% down can range from many sources ie savings , EPF, business gains, windfall of myriad kinds ( lottery winnings, rich FIL, marrying a rich widow, ill gotten gains etc, etc ) Furthermore there’s no restrictions on foreign ownership and the RM has been weak ( only intermittent gains lately) Obviously there are buyers .
I’m more concerned not of the owners but of the dwellers. Many properties are not owner occupied. Who’re are these dwellers? Rents would be an average RM2000/mth for a fully furnished 3-room in a not so poshed locality ( more in poshed ones) Is this an indication that 1) prevailing income is high and 2) business is thriving? Prices of houses were up 50%? from a year ago ( even 100% for bungalows is not a myth)So rental will correspondingly rise at RM5000 or RM10,000/mth in some areas. I just wonder who these dwellers are!
It gets more frightening when the US sub-prime bubble burst 2 years ago. It triggered off the global financial crisis which is being put at a period from 2007 – 2011. So we’ve not seen the last. Apparently there’ll be a 2nd wave from April – June 2011 ( when oil which is rising now is predicted at US100/barrel) The weak euro-zone economies ( Greece, Ireland, Portugal,Spain) are teetering right now. The contagion affect may lead the global economy towards a depression. There may be a property glut following it as in 1985.
The bungalows in Taman Tun bought at RM300k in 1981 dropped to RM180K in the 1985 recession ( which now changed hands at RM3mil each). Guided by this premise, those with lots of cash when recession recurs a couple of years down the road can look forward for bargains. When that happens there’ll be opportunities for everyone including orang asal to be property owners in the Klang Valley! All is not lost. Just keep your fingers crossed, people!

norzah said...

Thank you very much for your very informative comment, Akhi Kaykuala. You've not only given us some of the price tags we are dealing with but also eased off my fear that the orang asal will ultimately be driven off the KL metropolitan area because of the skyrocketting property prices. I'm not too sure that the orang asal will be able to compete with the multimillionaires an billionaires in buying up properties should a depression set in and we have a housing glut. But
any ray of hope is better than none. Thanks again, Akhi.

new york luxury apartments said...

Luxury apartments are so popular these days because of its modern and elegant style. The spacious bedrooms, the stunning views and the community features like health facilities, clubs, entertainment facilities, etc. make life easier for them. They love to experience a relaxing time but a luxurious way of life.

norzah said...

Thank you for the information, Sir. I've no doubt that the luxury apartments are super comfortable and health oriented. It's the price that makes them beyond the reach of the lower middle-class group.

norzah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.