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Bumiputera lots. Erm… as a buyer how would I know?

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Bumiputera lots. Erm… as a buyer how would I know?

Every new development has an allocation of bumiputera units which comes with discount

I know that developers will have to sell the bumiputera units only to bumiputera. This is because it’s allocated. There is no need to debate on this matter as this has been the practice for a very long time. However, I read an interesting news recently about homeowners who somehow ‘bought’ bumiputera units but never gotten the discounts and after a decade later, they are now being asked to pay a penalty. Let’s read the facts of the case below.

Article in Hundreds of homeowners never knew they were sold bumiputera lots and are now faced with a total of RM13 million in penalty fees. they have owned the properties for more than a decade.

The reason why this has come to light is because the liquidators of the now bankrupt developer has now come and demand the payment of the substantial penalty fees, which is required to get the Selangor Housing and Property Board (LPHS) to transfer the bumiputera lots to non-bumi owners.

The owners said they had paid the full amount for their properties and there was no discount or indication in the sale and purchase agreements that they were bumiputera units. Typically bumiputera units are entitled to discounts ranging from 7% to 15%. Do read the full details here: Article in

I wonder where in the process we need to improve

If the developers are the only party who’s involved in ensuring the bumiputera allocation and the maintaining the percentage, then I think there has to be some improvements yeah. I do not think the lawyers would be the ones asking whether the allocation is correct or incorrect or if they ask, who do they ask? The developer? Well, if they only ask the developer, then it’s back to square one.

What about the land office? Do they have a list of all the units and all the allocated units and they will refer to this unit prior to any transfer? Or there is no such list and the land office / authority will reply on what the developer provide to them? Again, it’s back to square one. I have no answers to this. Probably someone who has this can advise me yeah.

Caveat Emptor to the buyer?

As for the buyers, we cannot say Caveat Emptor lah. What is Caveat Emptor? I learnt this term in Business Law way back in 1995. Haha. Investopedia has this definition on Caveat Emptor.

Caveat emptor is a Latin phrase that translates to “let the buyer beware.” It means that an individual buys at their own risk. Potential buyers are warned by the phrase to do their research and ask pointed questions of the seller. The seller isn’t responsible for problems that the buyer encounters with the product after the sale. Read here for full explanation in Investopedia.

As a buyer, it’s not possible for me to know whether my unit is bumiputera or not bumiputera unit lah. I ask developer, the developer says it’s a normal unit, then it’s a normal unit yeah. I definitely do not ask them to show me the list of all the buyers, do my own calculations and then tell the developer, cannot be! There are too many non-bumiputera buyers!

Let’s see how this ends in the end. Hopefully everything ends well and we have a new safeguard measure in place too.

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.


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