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In an industry which is often ridden with credibility issues, one property developer made a successful attempt to help straighten the record by winning an excellence award on business ethics.

Up-market property developer, Bukit Kiara Properties Sdn Bhd (BKP), became the first property development company to win the Malaysian Business Ethics Excellence Award 2005, and thus chalked another milestone in its 5-year history.

The inaugural award was presented by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Business Ethics Institute of Malaysia (BEIM) and Malaysian Institute of Integrity, at an awards presentation ceremony in Kuala Lumpur today. BKP was also the country's first property developer to be awarded the country's Best Overall Small and Medium Business (SMB) Award just a few months earlier.

BKP Chief Operating Officer, Vincent Lim said that it was an honour to be judged as one of the country's best companies to embody and practise exemplary business ethics.

"This award will inspire us to continue subcribing to these ethical standards. It's our belief that only through moral principles and integrity we can constantly and consistently offer innovative, quality and value-for-money lifestyle homes to our customers. That's why Integrity is an integral part of BKP's core values, the others being Caring, Quality and Innovation," he said.

BKP won the award in the Large Business category, which was defined by having a sales turnover of more than RM25 million or more than 150 employees.

The winners were selected by a panel of experts from the Centre of Integrity Auditing which is under the auspices of Universiti Teknologi MARA. The winners were selected based on a set of predetermined benchmarks which audit integrity standards of the organization's commitment to ethical practice, management of operations, people, resources and information, as well as its relationship with external parties.

In its 96-page submission, BKP outlined its code of business practice that operated a set of values on a platform of integrity.

Vincent Lim added that the company's endeavour in advocating integrity and ethical principles was made known to and supported by business associates, homebuyers and friends.

"We have printed tens of thousands copies of BKP's Code of Ethics booklet, and distributed them to purchasers, future customers, friends, existing and prospective business associates since 2004. These ethical values set the foundation to guide our action, and strengthen our relationships with them."

"As a result, BKP is able to practise good corporate governance and transparency in our dealings with them. The code helps us to improve our service to homeowners and forge more meaningful partnerships with business associates, " Vincent Lim said.

BEIM received 44 submissions, of which 23 were from local companies, and 21 international companies. Chairman of BEIM, Dr. Zainal Abidin Abdul Majid said that the award was part of the 9th Malaysia Plan to promote corporate integrity and good governance.

"The participants in this award are role model corporate citizens, coming forward with profound integrity to share their code of ethics. It is proven time and again that code of ethics is an essential document in the sustainability of a company's business success," he said.

Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Dato' S. Veerasingam, who gave away the award said, "Having a statement of values and ethics is a foundation but not the whole ethical building. We need to make sure that noble intentions are backed with effective systems and procedures for compliance and enforcement."

He also urged for more companies to participate in next year's award as a way to learn and enhance their ethical standards, and not merely view it as a competition.

BKP's latest project is the Verve Suites, an 881-unit fully-furnished and serviced- apartments in the high-end Mont Kiara neighbourhood. Continuing its tradition of offering niche and innovative products to complement the lifestyles of homebuyers, BKP through Verve Suites, introduced the unique sky lounge, named Vertigo Lounge. It spans 6,000 square feet and perches on the 35th floor of the penthouse.

BKP's maiden project was Aman Kiara, an exclusive gated and guarded precinct of 19 bungalows and 12 duplex condovillas. Launched in 2002, it is fully sold and completed 9 months ahead of schedule. Hijauan Kiara was the second project, a luxurious spa-themed condominium development. Hijauan Kiara introduced exclusive features such as a layout with a maximum of 2 units on each floor, private lift lobbies, sunken baths and a spa island. More than 85% of the units are sold, with only the bumiputra units remaining. Both Aman Kiara and Hijauan Kiara are also located in Mont Kiara.

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