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Country Garden Holdings “shrinks” Malaysia staff, says report

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 2): Mega China developer Country Garden Holdings has reduced “its workforce and sales team” in Malaysia “by two-thirds over the past two years,” according to a report by the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

The report also gave details such as the reduction of Malaysia staff “to 500 as of June following three rounds of retrenchments over the last 18 months, from 1,700 in 2019”.

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“Another round of reassignments” involving “offshore employees” being “recalled back to China to find open vacancies at home” will also likely take place soon, sources told the Hong Kong-based daily.

“Staff who fail to settle into new jobs will have to leave the company,” added the report.

SCMP noted that three major events negatively impacted Country Garden’s huge Forest City (pictured) development in Johor.

The first was when the Chinese government decided to curb capital flight by its citizens into offshore investments back in 2017, the second was hiccups in Beijing/Putrajaya relations especially during the premiership of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the third being the closure of international borders owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The daily also stated that Malaysia's shifting policies last year in its Malaysia My Second Home scheme also played a role.

Country Garden has already shuttered its sales centres in China in 2017 owing to Beijing’s policy on overseas investments.

The pandemic reportedly reduced the sales of bungalows and strata property at Forest City to “fewer than 10 over the past 18 months”.

“Covid-19 has impacted the construction and operation of the project, but it has not changed Country Garden’s determination and belief to continue to focus on the Malaysia market,” the company told SCMP.

“We have introduced online sales to continue to serve clients in Singapore, Malaysia and mainland [China] and have maintained a stable and healthy development among the projects in Singapore and Malaysia,” it added.

The developer also stated that owners of 10,953 units at Forest City received their keys at the end of July.

Forest City was planned as a development on four reclaimed islands near Johor and Singapore. It is a collaboration between Country Garden and Esplanade Danga 88 Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of the Johor state government.

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