1. I would like to thank the President Encik John Loh and the Executive Committee for inviting me and my wife to your Grand Annual Dinner and the honour to address this auspicious occassion.
2. We are now on the threshold of a new era marked by rapid changes in the economy which provides for new challenges and opportunities. Over the last decade our country's economy has experienced tremendous growth and as Malaysians we are proud to note that our economic growth has been used as a model by numerous countries around the world in their own pursuits for development.
3. Malaysia's achievement since the late 1980's has been at a remarkable rate of 8.5% annual growth. Our record of sustaining this growth above 8% for eight consecutive years is even more commendable. Our per capita income has increased to RM 10,072 or US $4,016. At the time when many countries are grappling with the problem of unemployment, Malaysia on the contrary is facing a full employment situation.
4. In tandem with this growth, we see many physical transformation all over Malaysia. The fast- changing Kuala Lumpur skyline, and the fast growing suburbia in many parts of our country are testimonies of the dynamism within our economy. This leap forward towards becoming a fully developed industrial nation by the year 2020 necessitates a tremendous amount of energy from every individual and professional bodies including valuers, property managers and estate agents.
5. The service sector is being developed to play a leading role in the economy. A well balanced and efficient services sector is of vital importance as it is recognised as a prerequisite rather than a mere support for the development of the economy. Currently, there is a net outflow from Malaysia for the purchases of various services and in the light of this, your contribution as real estate experts are of immense value in enhancing the quality and quantum of services produced within the country.
6. Your expert views on matters relating to property values, property management of real estate, project viability through feasibility and market studies for the private sector that includes investors, financiers, developers, landlords and tenants and contractors is crucial. It is based on your professional and honest inputs that major decisions involving large investment outlays are made. In this regard, the public sector with so much of landed assets under its management would require professional views of very high standards whenever you are called upon for your participation.
7. As a professional body having influence on real estate investment decisions, property valuation and assessment on real estate you will have to adhere to the highest standards as possible. It requires therefore professionals of high calibre, integrity and ethical values in discharging their duties. This compliance to a strict code of conduct will uphold the Association's credibility. It is therefore imperative that you maintain the highest standards of professionalism and continue to upgrade your skills and knowledge so that you will be in a better position to offer your services to the nation. Your efforts in improving your standards of services should also encompass benchmarking the best practices of your counterparts internationally.
8. The Malaysian Incorporated Policy is an important milestone which effectively opens an avenue for close collobaration between the public and private sectors. More significantly, it has redefined the role of the public service with respect to the private sector in synergising our efforts towards national development. Your participation under the Malaysian Incorporated Policy through your involvement in the National Consultative Council on Housing under the Ministry of Housing and Local Government and the Consultative Panel under the Ministry of Land & Cooperative Development is in line with Malaysia Incorporated. Many of your members are active in the Valuation Consultative Panel set up under the Ministry of Finance and have certainly provided considerable support the Civil Service. Your present initiatives to have your members to represent the private sector on the Board of Valuers, Appraisers & Estate Agents is being considered by the Director- General of Valuation & Property Services.
9. As you are aware, various administrative reforms have been introduced to improve the delivery and quality of service with a view to further enhance Malaysia's competitive edge. The public sector will continue to improve practices, processes and procedures for speedier decision making. I hope that your association will be ready to submit your views and recomandations in this respect through the Malaysia Incorporated Committee which I chair.
10. May I take this opportunity to wish your members and associates present today the very best as we work together towards nation building.