In Malaysia, today, the federal and the state governments have started to build affordable homes. Many schemes were introduced and many have applied I believe. In Penang, the state government does not allow reselling within 10 years. Johor state government announced that all affordable homes cannot be resold within 5 years. I seriously think the reselling should be allowed but the profit which they get from reselling the home should be used to subsidise the next purchase. Be reminded, these affordable homes were already subsidised in the first place. No one should be profiting from them. Of course, some would say what about the interest rates paid etc? Sure, minus them off and whatever profits left are given back to the state government for the subsidy of the next affordable home.
There are still friends who told me that all these allocations are hard to get and if you want them, you need to find ‘ways’. Yet, these are the same friends who said that they want more transparency from the government. To me, it’s simple. You qualify, you apply, you are allocated when your time comes and you buy. Then, you stay for many years before you are allowed to upgrade. Come on, not many suddenly got rich after they were allocated an affordable unit, right? Publish all the applicants online, publish all those who were allocated online, publish those who SOLD their units too. This should be easy to do because all the owners of these affordable units should have applied before to a central database, whether at federal or state level. Can we do it?
There are also friends who said, I wanted units in X area but they gave me Y area. It’s far away from my home. When asked how far, he said, additional 30 minutes. Then, he said it is thus very inconvenient. I seriously think this friend does not need the affordable unit. If you are not desperate, you do not need it yet. Just wait in the queue for the next one or the next one or until you have enough to buy one yourself without any subsidy. Once all these people who really do not need one are taken out from the list, guess what it becomes much easier to identify and allocate the units to the right people.
There are already existing programmes. Use them correctly and make sure those who needs it benefit from it. Affordable units are not for profits. Affordable units are not for those who do not need it yet. Affordable units are paid for in terms of tax by those who can afford some other more expensive units. Buyers of condos in Penang would have already paid some ‘subsidy’ for the affordable units. It’s best that these units really do go to the needy and not the greedy.
written on 21 Sept 2014
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