Inspired – Journey of a New-found Love


Dato’ Sekarnor enjoys a developer’s life.

Text : Eunice Ng

Dato’ Sekarnor Che Omar was always looking for opportunities to start his own business. Little did he know his job as a bank officer back then became a precursor to what he loves doing today – real estate.

As a bank officer in charge of housing and bridging loans in the credit department, he met a lot of people involved in development and construction businesses. Wasting no time, he resigned from the bank and started his own developer company with a business partner.

Launching into the unknown after 10 years of stable income was nerve-wracking and Sekarnor finds life extremely challenging.

“Life was hard and the challenges unbearable but I never regretted my decision or wanted my old job back.”

There wasn’t much development when he was growing up in a small village in Kelantan. “Some people I know would give up everything they have just to own a house. At that time, I realized how important it is to own a house.”

That inspired him further to perfect the trade of building and selling affordable houses. Today, he describes his journey in property development as his “13 good years”.

“Seeing the happy faces of house-owners gives me absolute satisfaction, knowing that I am able to cater to what they need.”

“Money is not the ultimate goal. It is a means and a tool to help ourselves to help others, especially the needy ones.”

Sekarnor, 55, is a successful developer who manages his own property development company called Strata Merge (M) Sdn Bhd. His appointment as the Chairman of the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA) Kelantan branch 2010/2012 is something that he and his family are proud of. But life isn’t a breeze for Sekarnor either.

“It is not easy working with people,” he says. “It is very hard to read their true colors.”

“Sometimes you can easily misjudge people’s characters,” he says, which is why he is very careful not to make statements that are not mindful. 

From a man that rises above challenges, Sekarnor believes in the saying “God didn’t give you anything that He knows you can’t handle”.

And it is through his parents he learned the only way to get what he wants is to work really hard for it.

“I have always enjoyed working. I love what I’m doing now and I try not to miss going to the office every day.”

When not at work, he makes sure work stays in the office so he can focus  on his family and friends.

“I’ll have my family perform Isyak prayer together at least three times a week. I believe that no matter how successful you are in your business and life, it’s always the family that you have to keep together.”
Sekarnor has a 20-acre orchard just 30 minutes away from his home.

“It’s a very peaceful place. I always go there when I need my quality time alone as the greeneries keep me calm and focused.”

Although the switch in jobs and the journey there has been fruitful, Sekarnor has one regret. If he could turn back time, he would love to concentrate on developing new townships in Kelantan.

“Land price was cheaper then and it is impossible for me to develop a new township now as land price is not reasonable anymore,” he says. “But it is my wish, Insya-Allah.”

 “I have always enjoyed working. I love what I’m doing now and I try not to miss going to the office every day.” – Dato’ Sekarnor Che Omar