Hunza – shaping Penang for the future
> The company and leader transforming the vision to reality
Apremium housing developer in Penang, Hunza Properties Berhad (HPB) continues to contribute to the people of Penang. In the managing director’s seat is Datuk Khor Siang Gin who honours his father Datuk Seri Khor Teng Tong as the group founder. Following in his father’s footsteps, Khor junior is regarded as the person who helmed the company which played a crucial role in forming Penang’s modern landscape.
Khor was recently awarded the Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negri (DSPN), in August this year, which carries the title Datuk. The appellation was received from Penang Yang di-Pertuan Negri Tun Abdul Abbas.
Looking back, Khor shares that he joined his father’s company as a major shareholder in 1997. He was appointed as HPB executive director in 2010 and was soon promoted to group managing director. EARLY YEARS Prior to joining HPB, Khor worked as a marketing executive at Malaysian Oxygen Berhad (MOX). He took up this post upon graduation from a Singaporean educational institution after receiving a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from the University of Toledo in Ohio, USA.
Since joining HPB, Khor has been leading the company in its journey as a private business entity. He has managed to transform the group business model from a property development firm to become a real estate venture capitalist and property investing conglomerate.
Having realised the importance of human capital and people resources as key assets for any successful business, Khor motioned the company to invest in its people. It has since, consistently provided avenues for employee training and improvement via programmes and courses. Moreover, it is also the first private company in Penang to provide retirement benefits to its staff working with them for more than 10 years.
Besides his designation at Hunza, Khor also holds the post of president of Fiabci Malaysia’s Penang Chapter. The position befits one whom many claim is highly concerned about the development of the real estate industry in Penang. Actively leading developers to meet with government officials, Khor takes his position and the responsibilities that come with it most seriously.
He not only ensures smooth and open communication between industry players and officials but understands the need to maintain good relations to ensure industry matters and issues can be broached, tabled and resolved timely and professionally.
EXCITING FUTURE Into the future, Khor states that he is proud of HPB’s many achievements, especially settling the squatter issues in Bayan Baru. The company now has its sights set on bringing the company into the next chapter, as the developer that leads Penang to become an integrated city – Penang International Commercial City (PICC).
“More than 90% of the squatters that were occupying the land needed for this development have been compensated monetarily or with a brand new low-cost home in Bayu Nyaman in Bayan Lepas. In terms of compensation, we have paid up close to RM100 million to the settlers,” shared Khor.
From the market price angle, the settlers received a good deal. Those who received homes also were also awarded units with maintenance for free for a year. “I can say we have done our part to assist the community, at the same time help these squatters who mainly consist of hardcore poor, to own a decent home, in a decent area,” said Khor.
“At the same time, HPB has also helped the state government develop the once squatter area, in turn bringing it closer to the state’s vision of transforming Penang into an international smart city.”
According to the blueprint, PICC integrated city will encompass 43 acres, conveyed in a state-of-the-art township offering commercial components that include retail shopping, hotels, a hospital, offices, educational institutions and more. Divided into three phases, construction on PICC is scheduled to begin in 2017 with phase 1 expected to be completed after four to five years.
“PICC will be in line with the state government’s policy of building an international and smart city that provides more than 20,000 employment opportunities to the people of Penang. It will be Penang’s landmark,” shared the formidable leader, bent on making the state government’s vision for Penang a reality.
Khor shows a model of HPB’s Alila 2 condominium at Hunza Tower.
Focused and formidable Khor.