Preliminary Media Release and Comments on Budget 2024 by REHDA Malaysia
‘Madani’ continues to take centre stage in the development of the nation as is evidence in the Budget 2024 announcement, presented by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Themed ‘Madani Economy: Empowering the People’, the expansionary Budget rightfully placed the wellbeing of the rakyat at the core of its endeavours to improve the economy, while also heeding the need to reduce the nation’s deficit in phases. REHDA continues to support the Government’s Madani concept, as we have done for the past four decades, through cross-subsidising affordable housing for State Governments in one form or another.
For the housing industry, the various allocations for the B40 are much needed that will allow more Malaysians to own homes, including RM546 million towards Program Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) in Johor; RM358 million towards the development of 3,500 residential units under 14 Program Rumah Mesra Rakyat; and RM460 million towards the extremely underprivileged in rural areas to build or repair their homes. This speaks volumes of the Government’s efforts to ensure that no rakyat is left behind when it comes housing. The increase of Housing Credit Guarantee Scheme of up to RM10 billion to benefit 40,000 borrowers is also a much-welcomed news, which we hope will assist to increase homeownership amongst gig economy workers and those without a monthly income statement.
We view with cautious optimism PM Dato’ Seri Anwar’s announcement to reduce the majority consent for en-bloc sale from 100% to a level consistent with Singapore’s, which stands at 80% – 90%. This will better reflect the equity and voice of the people living in strata titled properties. As REHDA and other stakeholders await more details on the announcement, we believe that should this come into fruition, it will lead towards a reformed urban regeneration landscape that will finally see Malaysia on par with other global nations in terms of urban sustainability.
REHDA also welcomes the announcement to loosen requirements for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme. We look forward to receiving more information about these requirements, and as one of the stakeholders, REHDA hopes to be included in engagements and discussions pertaining to MM2H.
However, the Association expresses concerns over plans to introduce a 4% flat rate for the stamp duty on memorandum of transfers on purchases by foreign individuals and companies. Although the number of foreign ownerships in Malaysia is negligible, this may discourage homeownership and MM2H to those looking into migrating to Malaysia in the future. REHDA is also wary of the decision to increase service tax to 8% from 6% on selected industries and sectors. As a player of an industry that is still finding its post COVID footing and struggling with increased development costs, we fear that this will directly or indirectly impact the livelihood and income of so many stakeholders across so many industries.
As a Responsive, Respected, Responsible and Relevant NGO, we hope the Government will continue to put the rakyat at the forefront of its reformative efforts, for the benefit of all of us, as a united Malaysia.
DATUK NK TONG
PRESIDENT, REHDA MALAYSIA
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