MIEA: Prepare Commercial Properties For The New Normal

Providing property incentives for retrofit, radical rebuilds or six-foot office concepts is a new way forward, says Chan Ai Cheng, President of the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) in a chat with Business Today.

“The way offices work these days will change radically in the post-Covid era. A new order in office setups like workspace or stations will emerge. 

“A socially distanced office will have to be introduced for safer working environments, where existing office layouts have to be rearranged to meet new demands like the six-foot office concept, while capital has to also be injected to remodel. As such, tax incentives on these capital expenses will help to encourage building owners to carry out such improvements,” Chan says in a discussion on tax incentives for business property owners.

To allow sufficient distancing for staff seating arrangements and to encourage upgrading and relocations of office space to partly address the office space glut estimated at about 25 million sq ft, she says that a tax incentive should be raised to One Million Ringgit (RM1,000,000) upon expiry of the existing regime and to be enforced until end 2022.   

Commenting further, Chan says that planned “Digital Industrial Parks” should be established and that these trade parks should be designated as” Free Trade Zones” to attract foreign direct investment. 

She adds that the demand for E-Commerce warehouses in Malaysia is fast growing as well.

“We need to take advantage of this. Some of the different types of warehouses include private, public, consolidated, cooperative, bonded and smart warehouses catering for distribution hubs, automated warehouses, centralized kitchens and more. 

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