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Bumiputera quota houses can be sold in open market

KUALA LUMPUR, 24 Nov 2008: Real estate allocated for bumiputera can be sold to the other communities in the open market through a special mechanism approved by the government.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Ong Ka Chuan said the bumiputera quota could be lifted if there was no demand from bumiputera for the properties within a certain period.

“In such a situation, the ministry will discuss with the state governments concerned for the mechanism to be put into place and the bumiputera quota lifted as soon as possible.”

Ong was replying to Dr Puad Zarkashi (BN-Batu Pahat) who asked whether the government would consider the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association’s (Rehda) request for the bumiputera quota for real estate ownership be opened to the other races and the price discount for bumiputera be abolished.

He said although the mechanism would take time to be effective, it existed to lessen the burden of developers with unsold real estate allocated for bumiputera.

On the proposal to abolish the price discount for bumiputera, Ong said the ministry was discussing the matter with the state governments to find the best solution to the issue.

Earlier, to a question from Billy Abit Joo (BN-Hulu Rajang), he admitted that currently the supply of real estate had exceeded the demand.

He said based on the 2008 Real Estate Status report from the National Property Information Centre, there were 24,151 unsold housing units from the second quarter of 2007 to the second quarter of this year.

Ong said the ministry viewed this seriously and was working closely with other ministries and government agencies like the Finance Ministry and state governments to improve the sluggish real estate market.

He said among the incentives or measures taken were reducing the stamp duty by 50% on the sale and purchase agreement for properties valued below RM250,000 and creating a fund for the Housing Credit Guarantee Scheme to enable those without proof (statements) of income to obtain a housing loan.

Developers were also encouraged to reduce the property prices and build more low- and medium-cost houses, and civil servants to make use of the housing loan facility and Employees Provident Fund contributors to withdraw part of their contributions to buy property. — Bernama


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