Housing policies, designs may see ‘out-of-the-box’ changes resulting from Covid-19

Sim Kiang Chiok

KUCHING, May 6: Real estate designs and development would require an ‘out of the box’ approach post-Covid-19, said Sarawak Housing and Real Estates Developers’ Association (Sheda) Kuching Branch chairman Sim Kiang Chiok.

“On the need of a new housing policy post-Covid-19, we might see more social distancing ideas being incorporated into the layout of housing estates and building design layout while looking after our environment,” Sim said in a press statement issued here today.

Sim was commenting on the chief minister’s post-Covid-19 economic exit strategy up to 2030, which aims to revive the economy towards becoming a fully developed state amidst post-Covid-19 constraints.

“The initiative will also provide the right direction with the best thought out strategy with the industrial players, academicians, policymakers and civil service,” he said, adding that an economic action council will be set up to formulate policy.

Besides that, Sim also lauded the chief minister’s big data economy as it would be a new business sector that will help to create new income source and new employment for Sarawak.

“It is very exciting that our chief minister is updating our economy with the latest industry that the world is requiring, which has a huge demand for such services. He rightly described that the big data is the ‘new oil’ for our economy,” added Sim.

As for tourism, Sim said, the industry was badly hit by the pandemic and it would affect a sizeable part of the state’s economy.

“Even restaurants, cafes and coffeeshops will be affected when social distancing is implemented on the way they do their business.

“Until a vaccine or a cure is found and post MCO (movement control order), our business will have to incorporate health, hygiene and social distancing into how we operate. This way of life will be the new norm for at least a year to 18 months,” he reckoned.

Sim reiterated that the new strategy would be much needed to reset the state’s economy in the next 12 to 18 months while not losing sight of its target of being a fully developed state by 2030.—DayakDaily