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Manifesto on affordable homes for Malaysians. Let’s Do It!

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Malaysia should have 1 million affordable homes built within 2 terms. That’s our new government’s promise in its manifesto. My belief is the same regardless of the government but I think with the federal government in control of many state governments, it should be easier to work as a team. Remember, this is for Malaysians and not whether they are ‘our’ state or ‘their’ state yeah. 3 years ago, I wrote this: Poor should own their own home, period. My views remain the same. The below would be all the rest, as reported in Edgeprop.my

Below are Pakatan’s promises: (my comments as a normal working professional in bracket)

  • To create a special housing loan scheme tailored for youths who want to buy their first property. (My opinion remains the same. Simply lending to everyone who says they want to borrow for a home is not a good solution yeah. Please read: Lending to everyone is not that wise)
  • To take over maintenance costs in low-cost housing areas in order to lower the burden of residents. (Very good idea. Please appoint good property managers transparently yeah. This is for Malaysia and not the political party)
  • Tax incentives will be given to companies that focus on affordable housing, especially to encourage them to use the latest cheaper technologies such as the industrialised building system (IBS) so that cost to buyers can be reduced. (This is in progress but definitely can be made faster! During the recent INSPEN 2018, it was also shared that the cost of production is actually going down)
  • Widen the rent-to-own scheme nationally through cooperation with commercial banks by enabling such a scheme to be introduced in primary and secondary markets. (This is very useful for immediate assistance to people needing a home instead of starting to build only today. There are many unsold units and even from the secondary market too)
  • Enable those who are currently renting to have the opportunities to migrate to a rent-to-own scheme if they qualify. (Good idea, single agency to handle this please… Copy that neighbour down south who’s doing it very well today)
  • Prevent landbank hoarding activity through setting a time limit for companies to complete their construction so no corporate giants can hoard land without developing them. (This allows even smaller developers to compete better because else, deeper pocket developers could just buy and keep those land parcels for some time)
  • Incentives will be given to the smaller bumiputera and non-bumiputera developers so that they can compete with others on a level playing field.  (Good idea. Remember yeah, meritocracy is about everyone competing with the same foundation / resource. Having the same requirement to the established developers versus a newcomer is NOT meritocracy. A student from a village without the same access to resources will never be able to beat a student whose parents could buy the best equipments and hire the best tuition teachers ok…)
  • Reform the PR1MA programme so that there is no more exploitation by crony developers who obtain government land at discounted prices but then reap high profits by building just a small number of affordable houses. (As long as all programmes are managed more efficiently by a single agency, I think it’s going to be great)
  • To increase bumiputera homeownership, simplify the processes to build affordable houses on land owned by state Islamic authorities including Waqf land. Incentive will be given to encourage Islamic authorities to work with private developers.
  • Set up a National Affordable Housing Council, chaired by the prime minister, to bring together the work of the various agencies under one roof. This council will be tasked with overseeing affordable homes construction matters, coordinating a unified and open database on unsold affordable homes and organise a rent-to-own scheme for the B40 and M40 groups. (This is good. This must be implemented but after some time, it does not need to be chaired by the PM all the timelah. Perhaps a minister from the PM’s department would be better)
  • Allocate part of the dividends derived from Felda investments and Felda subsidiaries will be used to build new Felda townships and houses for the second-generation settlers. (Good idea. Remember to do it in such a way that even the developers building these homes would be from Felda too. Profits ploughed back to do more)
  • Ensuring that state housing agencies provide assistance to Indian families who are in need, especially former farm workers and those in the B40 category. They should be given an opportunity to have a quality home at a reasonable price, and a loan repayment mechanism that is based on their ability to repay such as a hire purchase scheme. (Already stated earlier. Perhaps this is more of Rent-To-Own RTO basis)
  • Instructing local authorities (PBTs) and state governments to place conditions on housing developers so that in areas where there are former Indian plantation workers, the developers must build affordable homes for them. (I think this is fair to the former Indian plantation workers)

written on 12 May 2018

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