Dato’ Kamisah Johan believes in creating homes that suit their owners’ lifestyle preferences and tastes. In a recent interview, the Group Executive Chairman of Rembawang Holdings Sdn Bhd shared her passion and her endeavours to turn her vision into a reality.
It is increasingly difficult to find green spaces in urban areas, let alone live among them. But Dato’ Kamisah Johan is making it possible for city-dwelling Malaysians to do just that. Teringin @ Sri Ukay – the flagship development of Rembawang Holdings – offers an address that is not only a stone’s throw away from the heart of Kuala Lumpur, but also one that integrates nature into the neighbourhood.
With Dato’ Kamisah at the helm as Group Executive Chairman, property developer Rembawang Holdings Sdn Bhd is currently gearing up for the launch of Teringin @ Sri Ukay in April 2019.
Rembawang, operating from its head office in Desa Sri Hartamas, was founded by Dato’ Kamisah and a team of property enthusiasts with a proven track record in property investment.
“Rembawang was initially set up as a property investment company. We acquired land, secured a team of consultants to work with us, created a concept for each land development, obtained the development order (DO) from local authorities, and packaged all of that to the big boys in the property development industry,” says Dato’ Kamisah.
“The company is driven to unlock the potential of sites that we selected to create beautiful homes with unique and thoughtfully-designed attributes, while ensuring that the socio-economic and natural environment of the surrounding localities remain intact.”
Having observed what other developers had done with their projects, Dato’ Kamisah felt that Rembawang could offer something to homebuyers that was currently lacking in the property market.
“I wanted to create something unique,” she says. “I wanted to be a property developer who would feel proud of what we had built – that was what I wanted to achieve. When I stumbled upon Taman Sri Ukay, I fell in love with the greenery and the waterfall nearby. That was when I knew that this land would be the site of Rembawang’s flagship development.”
Born and raised in Tampin, Negri Sembilan, Dato’ Kamisah began her career – not in property development as one might presume – but in the hospitality industry. After eight years in various hotel chains including Sunway Resort, Hotel Mutiara Kuala Lumpur and The Holiday Villa Group, she made a bold move to switch to property development.
“I wanted to earn more. Therefore, I was interested to work in the sales division of the property development industry where the more sales I made, the higher my commission. That drove me to work harder,” she shares.
It was not only financial rewards that kept Dato’ Kamisah going. As a property salesperson, she broadened her knowledge on architecture, space allocation and design development. In addition, she developed a network of like-minded contacts who shared her dream of becoming a strong player in the property market through a ‘quality over quantity’ approach. Everything culminated in 2009, with the support of family and investors, she established Rembawang Holdings to make her mark in the industry.
“As a property developer, I always think it is vital to build something that we would want to live in. The quality and sustainability of a project to me is of utmost importance,” she stresses.
Dato’ Kamisah is excited about the company’s maiden project, Teringin @ Sri Ukay, for she went through many obstacles to bring the project to life. Seeing that the land consisted of a mix of flat land and slopes, the land’s geography posed a challenge. It took seven years for the company to obtain the DO approval from the local authorities, as comprehensive geotechnical and environmental impact studies had to be carried out in the project site.
With Dato’ Kamisah’s sheer persistence and resilience, the long wait paid off when the comprehensive geotechnical tests showed that the land and its surrounding areas were safe for development with the right planning and proper mitigation.
“I’m very grateful for the support from my team throughout those seven years. They were with me since the company was founded. I felt like I had to make this project happen in order to not let them down. I’ve always believed that no problem is too big to handle because where there’s a will, there’s a way,” she affirms.
Teringin spreads over 5 acres and comprises of 24 three-storey semi-detached houses, one bungalow and a clubhouse with full facilities.
“What sets Rembawang apart from other developers is the careful thought we put in when designing each project. Each house will combine colonial and Peranakan themes with a modern twist, thereby creating 11 unique yet cohesive designs. There will be some similarities in the designs, but each home will have its own identity in order to add a sense of exclusivity to the owner. The rest of the land will be used for recreational purposes,” explains Dato’ Kamisah.
This gated and guarded neighbourhood will also cater to multi-generational living. Dato’ Kamisah explains that there are usually three generations living under the same roof. As such, she desires to create a development with ample space for the elderly and the children, not just within the house, but also the surrounding compound.
Even the name Teringin was specially selected. “We aimed to incorporate elements of harmonious living within a community. Surrounded by lush greenery, our homes will be places where people would desire to live in. Hence, the name Teringin which translates to “wanting” in English.”
Apart from Teringin, Rembawang is working on other projects such as the 21-tower Solitaire Kuala Lumpur at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng and an affordable housing development of 510-serviced apartments with full amenities in Senawang, Negri Sembilan.
According to Dato’ Kamisah, quality-consciousness is a core element of Rembawang’s business approach. Therefore, every project carried out by the company prioritises quality-conscious development. Through the launch of Teringin, Rembawang hopes to showcase its commitment to homebuyers and to meet the expectations of investors in creating sustainable, safe and value-filled communities.
With her excellent entrepreneurship and management skills, resilience, can-do attitude and philanthropic attributes, Dato’ Kamisah was recently lauded with several accolades, namely the Malaysia Excellence Business Award (MEBA) 2018 under the Women Property Icon of the Year Category, Anugerah Ikon Wanita Dalam Hartanah 2018, Corporate Social Responsibility Award 2018 under the SME and Personality Category, and a BrandLaureate Corporate CSR Award.
When asked what she believes to be her key to success, Dato’ Kamisah emphasises that being prepared and having self-confidence are both very crucial.
“I am also a firm believer of not shying away from saying “I don’t know”. First of all, it will inspire and encourage others around me to be bold enough to do the same. Secondly, by acknowledging that we do not have all the answers, we are able to humble ourselves and be open to receiving knowledge from people with great expertise in that particular subject matter.”