The changing skyline of Ipoh as seen from the 10th floor of the Ipoh City Council (MBI) building in Greentown is proof of its rapid progress and booming growth which has been especially exceptional over the last few years.
“Ipoh is changing fast over the last three to four years as can be seen from its skyline and this used to be a boring city when even colours were not allowed some 25 years back,” says Datuk Lee Seng Hee, Chief Executive Officer of Team Keris Berhad which is one of Ipoh’s major property developers.
Lee himself had been in this business for 22 years and is definitely speaking from experience.
He acknowledged that much of the recent expansion and rapid progress of Ipoh has a lot to do with the good work of the city’s current Mayor Datuk Roshidi Hashim, whom Lee describes as proactive, daring to do changes where necessary, and playing a progressive role that is never ‘retardant’, nor ‘obstructive’.
Lee who spoke to reporters during a special interview at his office recently said the business communities now have the courage to bring their projects to Ipoh, and projects such as the Tower Regency, Sunway, The Haven, and the rejuvenation of abandoned schemes are all reflecting on the reaching out role of MBI and its positive reaction towards investors.
“The Mayor has put in a lot of personal touches to get businesses through and one was during a recent trip to Kuala Lumpur for a meeting between Keris Properties and AEON group from Japan over Station 18’s Jusco project.
“He was there to give his assurance to our Japanese partners that MBI would be proactive and will facilitate them in their undertakings, and the foreigners were touched and overwhelmed that the Mayor has travelled all the way to convey this message personally to them,” said Lee.
Lee also describes Roshidi as daring to be different especially in dealing with master plans where in the past, these plans seem to be casted in iron and no one dare make changes.
“Our Mayor and his team would revisit a Master Plan to question its relevancy under this fast changing times and environment and he has the courage to do it,” he said.
Lee also commented on the cosmopolitan names given to new projects, as he says in the supposedly good old days, the authorities even had restrictions on such names being used for projects within the council area.
“The council now even encourages the setting-up of gated communities, as MBI recognises the need for security in this increasingly challenging society,” he said.
On the greening of Ipoh, Lee lauded the Mayor’s role in bringing alive his vision of “Ipoh – City of 1,000 Parks”, which Team Keris actively responds and supports by being the first to finance the creation of a park by converting an idle 2.58 piece of land into a people’s recreational park, complete with walking and reflexology paths, duck and fish ponds, futsal and badminton courts, as well as many trees and flowering shrubs.
And this is just a start for Team Keris, which has also pledged to grow 1,000 trees over the next two years all around Ipoh.
Lee also praised the MBI staff as friendly, ever-smiling, and responsive. He dubs the council building as “Building with 1,000 Smiles”, and says their friendly and helpful disposition makes ratepayers feel happy and appreciated.