Country Garden Malaysia clarifies restructuring exercise amid claim ‘hundreds’ laid off

Azril Annuar
Residential buildings are seen at Forest City in Johor August 20, 2018. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — Property developer Country Garden Real Estate Sdn Bhd has denied that “hundreds of jobs” were cut in its recent restructuring exercise as reported earlier today.

The builder of the massive Forest City project in Johor said the overhaul saw changes to its internal organisational structure to merge its Malaysia and Singapore operations, stressing that many employees were retained.

Country Garden Malaysia said it still has a total staff strength of more than 1,500, of which 80 per cent are Malaysians.

For employees leaving the company, the developer said it offered a “fair consolation reward” that had a consensual agreement between both parties.

It said its management processes are similar to other global companies “to ensure a healthy and sustainable development of our company as well as the growth of our workforce”.

It added that as a real estate construction developer, there are times when it needs to reshuffle its employees’ job scope and prioritise resources according to the annual business development direction as well as the cyclical characteristics of industry development.

Country Garden Malaysia pointed out that it is in healthy operating condition with local credit rating agency RAM rating its bonds as “AA3” — strong capacity to meet financial obligations and is resilient against changes in circumstances, economic conditions and operating environments.

“In order to cultivate the Malaysian market and have a unified interface within all sectors, the organisation has carried out an internal organisational restructuring exercise where Malaysia and Singapore region was combined together with Forest City to become ‘Malaysia-Singapore Region’.

“This integration will help our company to gain greater support from the Group, improve management efficiency, strengthen management control and enhance the operations.

“The newly formed ‘Malaysia-Singapore Region’ will be comprised of regional management, project management, real estate, sales and marketing, property management and 7 subsidiaries, and will be running two top rated hotels, two award-winning golf courses (the third one under construction), one IBS plant, one water park, one international school and multiple clubs,” the developer said.

As a result of the integration exercise, the organisation had to identify and manage overlapping skills and talents.

Its management had proposed “several solutions” to resolve the matter based on what the employees want.

This included transfer to other departments fitting an employee’s skillset while other were reassigned to other projects.

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