Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Anwar can get 10% discount when buying his 4th house, but the poor Malaysians get no discount simply because he/she is not Bumiputra? JUST? REFORMASI?

How long will Anwar Ibrahim, by virtue of him being Malay or Bumiputra, be allowed to buy houses at a price 7-10% lower than the price that  other 'non-Bumiputra' Malaysians have to pay for the same house? For a RM1 million house, he pays on RM900-00... Well, the Developer is not going to let his/her profits suffer, thus money lost for this discount will end up being paid by other house buyers...

It may be reasonable for such 7-10% discount in house price being enjoyed by the poor, when they buy their first house > but if is irrational and unjust if it applies to the purchase of 2nd, 3rd, 4th, house, an entitlement that is enjoyed even by the rich and the super-rich Bumiputra buyer..

Where is this bumi discount for houses coming from - this allocation of certain number of units coming from? 

Well, looking at Art.153 of Federal Constitution, it talks only about  '... positions in the public service (other than the public service of a State) and of scholarships, exhibitions and other similar educational or training privileges or special facilities given or accorded by the Federal Government and, when any permit or licence for the operation of any trade or business is required by federal law, then, subject to the provisions of that law and this Article, of such permits and licences...' . There is no mention of DISCOUNTS when you purchase houses, or shops, is there?

Art 153 also does not talk about Bumiputra - it only talks about the '...special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak...'. At present, there is no legal definition of who is considered a 'Bumiputra' - does it include other than 'Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak.' Hence, if we are talking about discounts, by virtue of Art. 153, then it must limited to ONLY the qualified Malay and natives of Sabah/Sarawak - Not to the NEW Malays, as later arrivals from Indonesia may even now be taken to be Malays {Reasonably, the other biggest group other than Malays, given the fact that we share a significant border with Indonesia - but then national statistics do not disclose the number of Indonesian Malaysians, does it now.???)

I heard that this is NOT A CONDITION IMPOSED by the Federal Government, but rather the Local Government(Council) who has the full authority in approving development projects - housing estates, commercial properties, etc > and apparently, the condition is imposed when the granting of license to build to developers. Other conditions may include a playground/field for residents, an office space for management committees, meeting room for community meetings, surau or prayer rooms, spaces. Of course, at the end of the day, it the purchasers of the houses that end up paying for everything.

Now, one of this conditions for a DEVELOPER to get his development permit allegedly is a QUOTA reserved for ONLY Bumiputra/Malay buyers, whereby the units therein must be sold at 7-15% discount.  

Unlike land, that is clearly marked Malay(or maybe now Bumiputra) reserved land - no non-Bumiputra can buy it > when the sale is to be registered in the Land Office, it will be denied. Houses and commercial property, which come under the local government(council) are not so clearly defined. You see for land for sale clearly that it is a Malay/Bumiputra reserved Lot - not the same for Houses > and this can lead to an innocent buyer purchasing a 'Malay reserved house' thinking it is just a normal house...

MORE than a decade after purchasing their dream homes, hundreds of homeowners in Selangor find themselves trapped in a nightmarish situation.They had unknowingly bought bumiputra units and are now saddled with penalty fees amounting to millions as the developers have gone into liquidation.

Unity - how does a person feel when he/she has to pay 400k for a house, but a fellow Malaysian of a particular ethnicity have to pay only RM360k even though the later is richer person under the T20 category ... or even having same income. The one paying more also believes developers seldom lose out on profits, which means he/she is ultimately paying more just to 'subsidize' the later(Malay/Bumiputra) buyer?

If the government is providing SUBSIDY, that means whenever a Malay/Bumiputra buys a house, the puchaser pays 90% of the unit price, and the government pays the rest. I do not think this happens, which means that the other house buyers end up indirectly footing the 'discount' granted to the Bumiputra/Malay house buyer - this is just not right or JUST.

Further, the Malay/Bumiputra is not just entitled to the discount when he/she buys his first house/shop - but even when he/she buys his/her 10th unit... something the government must consider and revise.

Should 'discounts' be available for shops/houses irrespective of the sale price - or should it be limited to only certain category like low-cost units?


HBA: Limit bumi discount to first two houses

By The Editor / TheEdge
07 Aug 2013, 05:36 am Updated - 21 Aug 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: A cap on the 7% to 10% discount for bumiputera house buyers is a controversial but much-needed initiative to address spiralling house prices.

The National House Buyers Association (HBA) said the powers-that-be would have to just bite the bullet and explore such reforms if it were sincere in providing affordable housing to all.

In its presentation on July 17 at a discussion on housing issues, the HBA proposed that bumiputera discounts be limited to the first two properties.

HBA honorary secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said one must look at the spirit of the bumiputera discount, which was to allow not so well-off bumiputeras to own homes and avoid polarisation of neighbourhoods.

“It gives food for thought as to why the well-off should also enjoy this privilege,” he said, revealing that the HBA had proposed that high-end properties such as penthouses, semi-detached houses and bungalows be exempted from the bumiputera discount privilege.

It also proposed a price cap of RM1 million to enjoy the discount.

Other than that, a growing number of unsold bumiputera lots is also contributing to the glut.

“Instead of looking for more development sites, these unsold units should be opened up faster,” Chang said.

This is one area where the HBA and the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) are on the same page.

Rehda president Datuk Seri Michael Yam had last year proposed that unsold bumiputera lots be sold to non-bumiputeras six months after the property receives its certificate of fitness (CF).

There are about RM4 billion worth of unsold bumiputera property and Rehda has also been championing for a review of the 30% bumiputera quota imposed on developers.

However, Chang cautioned that this proposal must be dealt with delicately to avoid misunderstanding.

“We must explain this carefully and underline that reviewing this policy is merely a practical measure to resolve a bigger problem. It will benefit all Malaysians in the long run as there will be more supply,” he said.

The HBA also opined that the steep rise in property prices was attributed to the lack of land, hence opening up government landbanks would be one initiative that the authorities should consider.

Other measures to control the cost of constructing houses touch on specific government policies such as allowing direct recruitment of foreign workers instead of the current practice of hiring via agents; reducing the levy on foreign workers; and transferring the burden of providing utilities in new developments from the developer to utility companies.

Another proposal which the government is already looking into is to reduce the approval time frame for construction permits.

Currently, it takes up to 392 days for an approval, although this can be brought down to 67 days via a one-stop centre.

The target is to further reduce this time frame to 47 days by next year.

Firms breach bumi-housing quota, buyers penalised

More than 500 unit owners of a housing project in Rawang were sold bumiputra lots without their knowledge. — Photos: AZLINA ABDULLAH and LOW LAY PHON/The Star

MORE than a decade after purchasing their dream homes, hundreds of homeowners in Selangor find themselves trapped in a nightmarish situation.

They had unknowingly bought bumiputra units and are now saddled with penalty fees amounting to millions as the developers have gone into liquidation.

Shawn Nair and his wife Vicky Fang bought their unit in 2006 and moved in after it was completed in 2008.

Their new home was marketed as a well-planned township surrounded by greenery in Rawang, Selangor.

“It was a townhouse and was built on elevated ground, surrounded by foliage-covered hills,” said Shawn.

However, early this year, the couple received a notice from liquidators appointed for the developer who had built their home.

It said the developer had gone bankrupt and had sold them a bumiputra unit.

The couple discovered that they were not the only ones.

A total of 574 homeowners are now being asked to pay millions of ringgit in penalty fees to the Selangor government for purchasing bumiputra lots in the project which had a total of 1,716 units.

The bumiputra housing quota policy has been in force since the 1980s.

Developers are required to set aside a percentage of available units in a scheme for purchase by bumiputra buyers.

Bumiputra land or property can only be purchased and owned by bumiputra.

A bumiputra unit is usually 7% to 15% cheaper than a regular one, depending on the state.

Innocent buyers penalised

In the case of Shawn and his neighbours, the Selangor Housing and Property Board (LPHS) issued a notice to the liquidator on Jan 16 this year.

The notice stated that in order for LPHS to release the bumiputra lots to non-bumi owners, the buyers have to pay RM13mil in total.

Otherwise, the blanket consent for transfer will not be released.

For Shawn and Fang to receive their strata title, they have to pay a penalty of over RM20,000.

“We are still in shock as we paid full price (for the property),” said Shawn.

“There was no discount, nor was there any indication in the sales and purchase agreement that this was a bumiputra unit.”

Another unit owner, Susan Lawrence, 43, was equally dismayed.

“The developer had breached the approved bumiputra quota allocation, meaning he had sold to non-bumiputra buyers.

“If we don’t pay, we won’t be able to get our strata titles.

“The Selangor Land and Mines Office (PTGS) is refusing to release the titles unless we pay a 12% penalty,” she said, stressing that she had also paid full price for her unit.

“It feels like we are being punished even though we are innocent, and that is unacceptable,” she added.

Shawn felt that the discrepancy should have been detected at the start.

“When you look at a bumiputra lot and see an Indian name attached to the title, wouldn’t this trigger alarm bells?

“Without a strata title, we cannot sell or refinance our property unless we pay the penalty to enable the memorandum of transfer,” he said.

Shawn (left), Susan (second from right) and other housebuyers of the Rawang development are in a bind.

The liquidator discovered that the developer had failed to apply for blanket consent and breached the allocation quota in the sale of bumiputra units.

In documents sighted by StarMetro, Selangor State Executive Council (MMKN) had on July 9, 2001, approved a minimum 40% bumiputra quota with a discount of 10% to bumiputra buyers for the project in Rawang.

The developer had breached the quota requirement and had sold about 90% of units to non-bumiputra buyers.

The liquidator’s letter to buyers stated that after contacting LPHS, the state housing board still wanted homeowners to pay a penalty for breaching the bumiputra quota, but was willing to give a discount.

But buyers like Lawrence and Shawn are adamant that they should not be penalised, and are refusing to pay.

Most are middle-income earners who are already struggling with the high cost of living.

The fee that is being imposed comprises the bumiputra discount of 7% and an additional 5% penalty, or 12% of the purchase price (see chart).

Same issue elsewhere

Homeowners in a project in Subang Jaya are facing a similar predicament.

Several were told to pay the penalty for their bumiputra units, which were built by a different developer.

A unit owner, who wanted to be identified only as Gwee, received vacant possession of his house in 2013.

The project is a mixed development comprising landed property and a condominium.

Gwee was contacted by the liquidator for the developer about three years ago to start the strata title process.

Several homeowners in a Subang Jaya mixed development have also been asked to pay a 12% penalty.

During the application, he was asked to pay a penalty as he had purchased a bumiputra lot.

“This came as a shock as nowhere in my sales and purchase agreement did it state that I was buying a bumiputra lot.

“It wasn’t only me; about 200 of the owners of the strata property are also affected by this (overselling of bumiputra lots),” he said.

Gwee said owners were being forced to pay an additional 12% of the purchase price.

“So if a unit was purchased for RM500,000, the owners now have to pay an extra RM60,000. This is an exorbitant amount,” he said.He added that as the developer was currently under liquidation, it further complicated the issue.

Gwee said there had been little progress in resolving the matter.

He said most of the owners felt that they should not be held liable for something that was not their fault.

When asked to comment on the matter, Selangor housing and culture committee chairman Borhan Aman Shah said there was a need to ensure that companies could not take advantage of the situation to make a profit.

He emphasised the importance of identifying the developers involved, adding that non-compliance (with the bumiputra quota policy) could affect these companies’ future projects in Selangor.

“As administrators, we have rules that can affect their development plans if they do not follow government policies,” he said.

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