Monday, October 17, 2011

‘Budget 2012 people-oriented’

WHAT HAVE WE HERE?: Zaidi (third right), Troy Yaw (second right) and others visit a booth.

BINTULU: Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) commended Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak for his commitment in tabling a responsible people-oriented Budget 2012 recently.

Especially the painstaking efforts to address rising costs of living and bringing down the deficit to 4.7 per cent in 2012 from 5.4 per cent in 2011, said its president Zaidi Ahmad.

According to Zaidi the expansion of the My First Home Scheme (MFHS) with a proposal to increase the limit of house prices from a maximum of RM220,000 to RM400,000, and joint salary threshold of RM6,000 effective January 2012 is a response  to the call by MDC (Malaysian Developers’ Council) to increase the price threshold above RM220,000 as the cost of these properties in major towns was much higher.

“Coupled with the introduction of a New Civil Service Remuneration Scheme, salary improvement restructuring and increase of retirement age, government servants would have more disposable income and savings to pursue their dream homes which is positive for the industry,” he said.

He said MFHS and Prima (Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia) need to be expanded to Sarawak concurrently and urgently to ensure deserving Sarawakians enjoy the same benefits.

Thus he urged Bintulu Development Authority and Ministry of Housing to request the federal government for immediate implementation of such projects in Sarawak.

He said this at the opening ceremony of Sheda Home & Property Roadshow 2011 at ParkCity Everly Hotel from Oct 11 to 13.

Also present were Sheda deputy president Joseph Wong Kee Liong, Sheda vice-president cum branch liaison chairman Troy Yaw Chee Weng and organising chairman Yek Nai Kwong.

Representing BDA general manager Datu Mohidin Ishak as guest-of-honour was his assistant general manager Pulusagi Tran.

“We laud the policy that the financing of these schemes be undertaken by Islamic banks,” said Zaidi.

On this subject, he said Islamic banks could also look into financing based on supplementary agreements of LCH and LC+H as an intermediary solution to LCH issues faced by developers, while waiting for a policy review by the government.

“Sheda opined that a review of the Real Property Gains Tax (RGPT) to 10 per cent for properties held and disposed within two years, and five per cent exceeding two years and up to five years to curb excessive speculation is timely insofar as Kuala Lumpur, Penang and maybe Johor Bharu are concerned.

“However we believe property markets especially in Sarawak are not highly speculative but mostly owner-occupied, and this move will certainly act as a deterrence to upgraders and investors alike. We hope the government could review this requirement,” he said.

This year the roadshow was participated by 23 exhibitors comprising developers, bankers, property valuers, real estate agents, suppliers of building materials, home furnishing, sanitary ware, furniture, security and smart home system.