Letters: First, make homes affordable

Following this Bernama report of March 13, are two letters from a state assemblyman and a local councillor, from Selangor and Penang, respectively. It is a rare occurence of a meeting of minds between Umno and DAP – in the broad picture, if not the details.  The Bernama report, below, is followed by the two letters.

Skim Rumah Pertamaku tidak memadai

Pemuda Barisan Nasional (BN)  meminta Kerajaan agar mempertimbangkan semula pinjaman Skim Rumah Pertamaku dengan menaikkan jumlah pinjaman dari RM220,000 kepada RM300,000 bagi memastikan golongan muda mampu membeli rumah di kawasan bandar.

Pengerusinya Khairy Jamaluddin berkata kenaikan itu dilihat relevan berdasarkan harga rumah di sekitar Lembah Klang sangat tinggi, dan jumlah pinjaman maksimum sebanyak RM220,000 tidak membolehkan golongan muda membeli hartanah di sini.

“Di Lembah Klang, agak sukar dengan harga ini (RM100,000 hingga RM220,000), mungkin kalau di pinggiran bandar atau luar bandar, harga sebegini dikiralogik,” katanya.

Skim inisiatif kerajaan dengan kerjasama Cagamas Bhd dan institusi kewanganitu dilancarkan Perdana Menteri Najib Tun Razak pada 8 Mac lepas, dania menyediakan pinjaman seratus peratus kepada golongan muda yang berpendapatan RM3,000 ke bawah.

Walaubagaimanapun, skim itu , dilihat tidak mampu membantu golongan mudamembeli rumah yang agak selesa di bandar memandangkan harga rumah di kawasanitu melebihi RM300,000.

Sehubungan itu Khairy berharap kerajaan dapat mempertimbangkan cadangan untuk menaikkan pinjaman itu memandangkan golongan muda lebih cenderung untuk membeli hartanah di bandar kerana kerancakan ekonomi banyak tertumpu di kawasan bandar.

— Bernama


First, make homes affordable

The “My First Home Scheme” does not really benefit young adults in Klang Valley as most decent property in Klang Valley are sold at prices higher than RM220,000.

The loan amount limit of RM220,000 is totally impossible to benefit any potential young adult in Klang Valley as a decent house would easily cost RM250,000 to RM400,000. Some even cost more than RM500,000, depending on their location.

Potential buyers who wish to benefit from this scheme can only consider properties on the outskirts of the city, such as like Semenyih, Dengkil, Kuala Langat, Kota Kemuning, Kuala Selangor, Rawang, etc. However, huge transportation cost, long driving distance and duration are the major factors that deter young couples and young adults from moving to these areas.

The federal government should instead stabilise the price of properties in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, in particular, the Klang Valley which is a magnet for young adults from

all over the country to work, study and live in.

The federal government should take note of the huge influx of young adults into Klang Valley and other major cities in the Peninsula to work, live or study. Their demands for a decent living space are on the rise but property prices in the Klang Valley are simply beyond their means. Such scheme should be designed for them to own their dream homes in these areas.

I call on the federal government to first abolish Bumiputera housing discount for properties above RM500,000 to allow the developer to sell such property at market rates. In return developers will be able to further reduce the prices of medium-cost properties to cater the needs of young adults. With this, buyers of all races can benefit from lower prices of properties in the city.

I further call on the government to raise the loan limit to RM350,000 and open the scheme to young couples even though one of them is not working in the private sector. With this, if one partner of a couple is a freelancer, his or her spouse who works in private sector can still apply for such loan.

Lau Weng San

ADUN for Kampung Tunku,

Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Will more Malaysians take on more debt than they can handle?

The My First Home Scheme launched by the Prime Minister is to enable young working adults to obtain up to 100 percent financing to buy their first home.

This programme provides a short-term solution to a major, long-term social problem.

Housing is a universal human right. The United Nations’ Habitat Agenda states that “…Governments should take appropriate action in order to promote, protect and ensure the full and progressive realisation of the right to adequate housing.” (Paragraph 61)

In Malaysia, the rising price of property is a long-term problem. Unplanned urbanisation has encouraged mass migration of workers, especially young people, to cities, in search of economic opportunities. Property prices have not been subjected to any regulation and hence the rising cost of housing in the crowded cities of our nation.

Government public housing schemes on the other hand are poorly managed, and have suffered due to years of neglect and abuse of the system by those who given public housing, who then rent them out to others, mainly foreigners.

Recent reports show that 60 percent of Malaysian households earn an average monthly income of less than RM3,000 while 40 percent have an average monthly income of RM1,500.

Through this latest scheme, instead of addressing the issue of soaring property prices and allowing the market to meet the demand for affordable housing, the federal government is encouraging Malaysians to take on more debt.

With the rising cost of living, especially in cities, this scheme can only continue to benefit property developers and the banks without solving the problems faced by the average Malaysian.

In summary, the government should totally review the national housing policy and not drive Malaysians, especially young people, into more debts.

Steven Sim

Councillor, Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai