Abang Johari (centre) seen receiving a memento from the AVA Congress organisers during the event last night. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (Sept 20): Property developers in Sarawak are encouraged to build buildings based on the Green Building Index (GBI) which can help with the state’s aspiration of having green cities.

In stating this, Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said cities constructing new buildings based on GBI will not only add buildings that are of higher value, but will also create a good and conducive environment.

“Having green cities are as important as having a good town planning for Sarawak. Hence, we are working closely with assessors, architects and engineers so that we can have green and conducive cities in Sarawak,” he said in his speech at the 25th Asean Valuers Association (AVA) Congress gala dinner here last night.

Abang Johari said it is important for the state to have cities that are green and conducive as it is in line with Sarawak’s goal of prioritising environmental, social and governance principles.

Besides that, he said having cities that are green and conducive will also make the properties more valuable.

Pointing out that cities in Sarawak should not be too cramped but more widespread, he said there is also a need to control certain heights of the buildings in the cities in addition to having a good traffic flow.

“All these contribute to a conducive environment of a city. Conducive environment is important for a city because if a property is located in a good locality but is lacking conducive environment, one might not be able to see the price of the property as much as they would expect,” he added.

Therefore, Abang Johari believed that it is vital for Sarawak to get help from valuers from the Asean region to gather new ideas and methodologies to transform city planning.

He also believed that the valuers can help Sarawak to build properties that are valuable as all Asean countries have a common methodology in terms of assessing the value of properties.

“This AVA Congress (for example,) is a good platform for the valuers to gather new ideas and methodologies to transform city planning and gauge the value of properties within the Asean cities, including cities in Sarawak,” he said.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari revealed that the usual planning procedures have also been carried out in Sarawak, particularly in Kuching to ensure it becomes a city that has good facilities, infrastructure and transport while at the same time aiming to be green.

He also mentioned that one of the vital projects planned for Kuching is the transport such as the Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) which is powered by hydrogen.

“We will soon have the ART in Kuching. We are lucky that we can create hydrogen to power it and we also have the forest which can also help us produce green energy,” he said.

With many things planned for Sarawak being green and the resources available for such ambition, Abang Johari said Sarawak believes in having a green economy which is why the state is working to develop such economic sector.