A step back in time

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The founding MDA team together with (seated front, from left) then FIABCI-Malaysia deputy president Mohd Salem Kailany, Koe, Yeow and SMG chief business officer Lydia Wang giving the thumbs up during the launch of the awards. - ÑIZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

The founding MDA team together with (seated front, from left) then FIABCI-Malaysia deputy president Mohd Salem Kailany, Koe, Yeow and SMG chief business officer Lydia Wang giving the thumbs up during the launch of the awards. - ÑIZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

How the MDA all began with just an idea

It all started in May 2021 when Datuk Seri Koe Peng Kang, who was then the president of the International Real Estate Federation Malaysian Chapter (FIABCI-Malaysia) and Star Media Group (SMG) chief executive officer Alex Yeow got together and brought up the idea of a joint effort to introduce a new award to recognise the achievements of property developers instead of their projects.

While both parties already have awards namely FIABCI-Malaysia’s Malaysia Property Awards (MPA) and StarProperty Developer Awards (SPDA), both awards were not awarded specifically to the developer. The MPA are for properties that have been completed and occupied while the SPDA predominantly recognises on-going property development.

So began a series of meetings to discuss the viability of the collaboration between FIABCI-Malaysia and SMG to create an award that would bridge a gap of which many in the industry are painfully aware of. An award that would take precedence as the premier accolade to provide confidence to buyers and investors as well as give overdue recognition to property developers.

“There is a multitude of property awards in Malaysia’s real estate landscape, each claiming to be the voice of authority and standard-bearer for the industry. This cacophony of claims creates confusion and lingering doubts, especially for consumers who are bombarded with conflicting information.

“As a stakeholder in the property industry myself, I understand the need for an award that can cut across the noise to give all those who have a stake in real estate the much-needed clarity.

“This gave birth to the Malaysia Developer Awards (MDA), a carefully crafted accolade that provides a credible and holistic benchmarking of the industry for property developers and consumers alike,” said Koe.

The private function was limited to specially invited guests held at Ceylonz Suites.

The private function was limited to specially invited guests held at Ceylonz Suites.

Ironically, it took nine months to give birth to the awards. So on Feb 21, the MDA was officially launched, signalling the start of a premier accolade that will stand out from the rest. A reputable award that is sufficiently holistic to cover all aspects so that projects are deservingly awarded, developers are properly recognised for their exemplary workmanship and most importantly, an award that provides inspiration and exposure for up-and-coming developers.

The MDA will serve as a creditable gauge to make informed decisions when it comes to buying or investing in a property or believing that the developer will deliver the envisaged development as promised. In short, the awards will serve to validate that the companies they are dealing with are reputable and their developments are of sound quality.

“The awards will provide a benchmark to show Malaysian developers who have made their mark in overseas ventures, elevating their expertise in competing internationally.

“By looking at everything holistically, we can work towards elevating the real estate industry via this joint strategic collaboration with Star Media Group and StarProperty,” said Koe.

“This award is aimed at elevating the standard of Malaysian developers, and we’re confident it will be the ultimate property awards accolade, thanks in large to the collaboration between both parties,” added Yeow. 

Through the combined knowledge and expertise of FIABCI-Malaysia and SMG, this inaugural awards programme is set to raise the bar even higher, with submissions judged on an international level. 

“It is a partnership that will only grow stronger with time, thanks to both parties’ strong foundation. With FIABCI-Malaysia’s international ties and Star Media Group’s trusted reach, the Malaysia Developer Awards is set to be prized above other Malaysian property awards and the winners are propelled to even greater heights,” he said. 

Guests using their mobiles to scan the QR code for the launch countdown.

Guests using their mobiles to scan the QR code for the launch countdown.

The MDA is tailored to be set apart from other property awards programmes. Beyond recognising the most well-deserving property players, it also set its sights on the long-term development of the industry. 

“Star Media Group will lend its own expertise as well. Utilising the competency and proficiency of StarProperty and StarBiz, the awards programme will leverage on its extensive reach in the property landscape. 

This inaugural awards programme is set to raise the bar even higher, with submissions judged on an international level. The expertise of both partners will ensure that deliberations are unfettered by any prejudice or bias, ensuring that the awards go to only the most deserving,” said Yeow.

To ensure that the awards are presented to the best of the best, the judging process is stringent, complying with international standards and beyond. 

The MDA is divided into two main categories - Top-of-the-Chart Awards and Special Awards, which consist of three sub-categories, namely The International Award, Transformation Award and The Rising Star Award.

“Among what is planned for the awards goes beyond just winning trophies as the winners will be encouraged to partake in workshops and site visits to facilitate the exchange of ideas and expertise. This will also foster greater ties and friendly competition,” said Koe.

While this is the first year that the MDA is held, the awards are envisioned to evolve as they progress, continuing to propel the property to new levels of standards.

To ensure transparency, full details of the methodology would be shared with the public through the print and online media. And finally the figures are validated by one of the Big Four accounting firms, KPMG.


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