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MB: Kedah housing policy misunderstood

(© Steve Woods /

PETALING JAYA, 26 Feb 2009: Kedah’s 50% bumiputera housing policy only applies to properties built on Malay reserve land, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak clarified.

He said the ratio was still 70:30 for non-Malay Malaysians to Malay Malaysians on freehold land.

The 50% quota on Malay reserve land was in fact fair to non-Malay Kedahans due to shortage of freehold land in Kedah, Azizan told The Nut Graph when contacted today.

He was asked to respond to criticisms by Kedah Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang of the PAS-led government for allowing the 50% bumiputera quota to continue despite protests.

“There is no more freehold land in Kedah so we are allowing non-Malay [Malaysians] to own property on Malay reserve land. That is why the 50% bumiputera quota only applies to Malay reserve land. It’s fair, isn’t it?” said Azizan who sounded agitated.

He criticised Tan for not understanding the situation. “He makes a press statement because he doesn’t understand the situation, and you reporters buat kacau because of that. I am fed up of explaining this issue,” Azizan said.

Azizan yesterday told reporters covering the state’s weekly executive councilors’ meeting that the 50% bumiputera quota would stay, but without much explanation. This appeared to contradict a state decision on 24 Nov 2008 that it would revert to 30% after objections, especially by the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda).

The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Kedah state government was formed after PAS and Parti Keadilan Rakyat collectively won the majority of seats in the March 2008 elections. Azizan implemented the 50% quota on 1 Sept 2008.

Yesterday, Tan issued a statement that Kedah Gerakan Youth was strongly against the quota.

He said there was a hidden implication in the policy which, if continued over time, would gradually decrease the amount of land and housing available to non-bumiputeras.

He said this was because even though the housing quota only applied to Malay reserve land, it would involve swapping plots of land between Malay reserve and non-reserve land.

According to Tan, swapping is done to maintain the amount of land gazetted as Malay reserve land, the size of which is protected by state law.

Tan said the swap would convert plots of non-reserve land into Malay reserve land for development.

He said the same amount of land under Malay reserve would then be converted into non-reserve land as compensation, but he alleged that in practice this was done to land not suitable for development.

Tan said Azizan had to explain the long term effects and benefits of such a policy.

“The state government has failed to show how such a policy would assist the development of the state,” Tan said.

He also said that a suggestion by Kedah Rehda to have a release mechanism for unsold bumiputera lots has not been taken up.

Tan said top PR leaders such as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Karpal Singh and Lim Guan Eng should come out to say whether they agree with the quota or not.

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33 Responses to “MB: Kedah housing policy misunderstood”

  1. Peter Ho says:

    Who actually does not understand the issue, the Gerakan Youth Chief Tan Keng Liang, or the Menteri Besar of Kedah Datuk Seri Azizan?

    You increase the quota from 30% to 50% and you say people don’t understand the issue?
    Does the PAS government think the people in Kedah are stupid or what?

  2. kip says:

    Tan, please find out more before making these claims.

    Stop looking for faults in the current government. They are doing fine. If you want to complain, complain about why the previous stimulus is still a secret. Is the money distributed for development or is it distributed into somebody’s pocket?

  3. HJ Lim says:

    Is this MB of Kedah having trouble listening to complaints? Of course people are not happy if you increase from 30% to 50%.

    I agree with Gerakan Youth of Kedah … at least they’ve got the guts to tell the MB that his policy is bad!

  4. Roger Teoh says:

    At first, I thought why are people complaining? The PAS government is giving people a chance to develop land in Kedah, BUT what they did not say is that in due time, non-bumis will not have any more houses to buy – all will be bumi lots.

    People in Kedah should not be fooled by PAS in Kedah.

  5. Roger Teoh says:

    I am actually a developer in Kedah.

    The MB of Kedah actually and purposely did not tell the people that the Malay reserve land needs to be exchanged with non-Malay reserve land i.e. the non-bumis losing one piece of land first in exchange for the 50% bumi lot.

    So, YAB, please tell the people in Kedah clearly, don’t try to twist and hide things. If you cannot answer for your policy please don’t even try, you will only make PAS look more ridiculous.

  6. Vincent Ong W.C says:

    DAP is okay, PKR … mmm … cannot be trusted but PAS is too extreme.

    PAS must be thinking that the land in Kedah belongs to PAS. PAS gives you 1% and you must be happy. Who do you think PAS is? I am very concerned as a Kedahan that PAS is going to bring down the rest of Pakatan Rakyat with them.

    Where is the rest of Pakatan Rakyat? Stop this non-sense by PAS!

  7. Susan says:

    It is very sad to see that the Kedah MB wants to increase the bumi housing quota to 50%.
    I voted for PR in the last general election in Kedah, but after seeing this nonsense by the PAS MB in Kedah, I think I have lost hope with PR in Kedah.

  8. Jay Lim says:

    Yes, Anwar, Karpal and Lim Guan Eng must tell people clearly whether they agree with PAS’s policy in Kedah or not. Don’t hide and keep silent. Tell people the truth!

  9. Cynthia says:

    I think the MB in Kedah should try to understand why people are against this policy to increase the bumi housing quota in Kedah. People are sick of this extreme Islamic party’s policy!

  10. Kevin Lee says:

    Pakatan Rakyat, especially PKR must stop PAS in Kedah. It is really stupid for PAS to make the non-bumis in Kedah angry!

  11. Rizal says:

    I support PAS policy to make sure all bumiputera in Kedah are given houses. Why is Gerakan complaining? MB PAS perlu jaga orang Melayu. Hidup PAS, hidup bumiputera!

  12. BH Lim says:

    I agree with the measures taken by Kedah Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang. People should remind the PAS government that Kedah belongs to the rakyat and not PAS politicians. PAS must put in their heads that there are also non-Malays and non-Muslims in Kedah.

  13. AcHoo! says:

    Actually what is the problem? If there is sufficient housing for all will there be a problem? Also is the problem due to the higher price for non-bumis? What is the need for the higher price? Does it help anybody?

    Or is the problem because the developer has to hold on to unsold units and thereby creates cash-flow woes?

    In the matter of housing for the rakyat why should there be problems that the government cannot solve?

  14. Fedup says:

    Dear Nut Graph,

    I think it is important to be highlighted in your next article that it is not the MB’s new housing policy that is being misunderstood by the people BUT instead it is the MB who is not understanding how bad his new policy is to the rakyat in Kedah. How can increasing the bumi quota from 30% to 50% be good for the development of Kedah? I am concerned that one day, there will be so few houses in Kedah for non-bumis that they may have to squat in the streets!

  15. Rajoo says:

    Keep it up Gerakan Youth Kedah. Don’t let PAS take away the rights of Kedahans.

  16. Jacky Khoo says:

    There is no logic why the MB of Kedah needs to increase the bumi quota from 30% to 50%. It only shows the ignorance of PAS in managing the economy and development of Kedah. Gerakan Youth Kedah must press this issue until the MB of Kedah cancels this ridiculous policy.

  17. Ahmad Zainuddin says:

    Even I am a Malay, I feel ashamed of the act and policy of the PAS-led government in Kedah. The MB of Kedah’s policy is too extreme. Why is there a need to increase the bumi quota to 50% from the previous 30%? Do they think that the bumis in Kedah are weaker than the bumis in other states? I suggest that this policy should be reviewed by the highest authority of PR leaders. Why are they keeping quiet? Is it because of the by-elections?

  18. sumitha says:

    The norm is housing on Malay reserve land is only for Malays. Now the Kedah MB is allowing non-Malays to own houses in Malay reserve land. So how is it detrimental to non-Malays and how will it make PAS extremist?

  19. Jymmy says:

    It is not fair to criticize the MB as this is in fact an improvement for the non-bumiputeras as well as the bumiputeras. Take Kg Baru in KL for example. It is a huge area of very prime land next to Jalan Ampang, KLCC, Jalan Tun Razak etc. At the peak, land values were in excess of RM500 per sq foot or a standard 20 X 100 plot going for RM1 million.

    Kg Bahru is not worth much because, as it is Malay Reserve Land, it cannot be owned, rented or occupied by any non-Malay. This hurts the development as many investors dare not develop this land as it may be hard to sell because of the restrictions. The quota for this is “zero”. This hurts the Malay owners themselves as their land becomes of little value as it cannot be freely transferred.

    This is a case of win-win for both bumis and non-bumis. Bumi owners will get rich and non-bumi owners (50%) get to buy land. In fact this is an increase from 0% to 50% (not 70% to 50%) for the non-bumis.

    Don’t always believe what the BN people say. I guess the next issue will be that the bumis are losing their land to non-bumis, same argument as used in Kg Baru to stop the Malays from making money there. I don’t know how many Malay owners would object if the value made them instant millionaires.

  20. Roger Teoh says:

    I think Jimmy and Sumitha did not know that in Kedah, the previous government always allowed development of Malay Reserve land by swapping with non-Malay reserve. The condition imposed that time was 30% bumi quota.

    But now, after taking power, Pakatan Rakyat (especially PAS) increased the bumi quota to 50%. I think the case in Kampung Baru in KL cannot be compared with Kedah. I have been a developer in Kedah for more than 15 years. Now, because of this stupid policy by PAS, all developers are suffering. The MB in Kedah is trying to twist the story as if he is now starting to allow developers to develop Malay reserve land, when in actual fact, this had been done in Kedah for so long ago (I think maybe last 40 years) and the only difference is that previously, the bumi quota was only 30%.
    I am a supporter of DAP but I have no choice as this policy has hurt the economy of Kedah and all developers here.

  21. Roger Teoh says:

    I think it is important for people outside of Kedah to know that the MB of Kedah is trying hard now to explain to people after it has been exposed recently that last time, such policy was 30%.

  22. Jasline says:

    After reading from all comments and this article, I guess that the MB of Kedah is trying to cover up some mess which he created in Kedah. Personally, increasing the bumi quota from 30% to 50% is racist!

  23. BC Yeoh says:

    I am from Kedah and I don’t like how PAS is destroying Malaysians in Kedah. And trying to bluff people. PAS should follow DAP’s and PKR’s style. Don’t be too extreme! You bluff people that you are giving a chance for people to develop Malay reserve land by imposing 50% bumi quota? You think people in Kedah are stupid – last time was only 30%! Maybe you can bluff people outside Kedah but you can never tipu orang Kedah.

  24. James Wee says:

    I think Sumitha and Jymmy did not read the article properly. “Tan said the swap would convert plots of non-reserve land into Malay reserve land for development.” That means non-bumis need to lose out an equivalent of 100% of a non-Malay reserve land in exchange for 50% of a Malay reserve land. Is that a good bargain then? I don’t think so.
    I also noted from friends in Kedah that last time, the policy for such development on Malay reserve land was only 30%. Now at 50%, I think one day, non-bumis are going to squat in the streets.

  25. VINCE says:

    I think a lot of Pakatan supporters think that PR politicians are like angels. I agree that they are good for the country, BUT the issue in Kedah is totally different. The PAS MB is an extremist.

  26. Sherly says:

    I am surprised that none of the Pakatan Rakyat leaders at the national level are defending the MB of Kedah.

  27. Govindran says:

    MB of Kedah should cancel this policy. It only makes non-bumis hate Pakatan Rakyat in Kedah.

  28. Jeremy says:

    I am from Kedah and I hate the bumi policy by the Kedah MB. Last time was 30% and now 50%. Things are getting worse under Pakatan Rakyat and DAP is keeping quiet in Kedah. I really regret voting for PAS (Parliament) and DAP (State). You all won’t get my vote next time.

  29. JJ Lim says:

    I wish the MB of Kedah will stop using the bumi policy to get the Malay votes!

  30. Justin says:

    There is no misunderstading of the MB of Kedah from PAS’s housing policy in Kedah. An increase of 50% from 30% is still an increase of bumi quota and is a racist policy. Cancel it now!

  31. Sugeeta says:

    Maybe the Pakatan Rakyat, especially PAS should be thought a lesson…..DON’T underestimate the non-Bumi in Kedah. I am from Bukit Selambau and I will not vote for Pakatan Rakyat this time.

  32. Singam says:

    Rizal wrote, “I support PAS policy to make sure all bumiputera in Kedah are given houses. Why is Gerakan complaining? MB PAS perlu jaga orang Melayu. Hidup PAS, hidup bumiputera!”

    Is it Islamic policy to give preferential treatment to the bumiputeras? Where in the Quran does it say that one race of people can be treated better than other races?

  33. Hisham says:

    PAS perlu jaga Islam and orang bumi. Jangan takut kat orang bukan bumi. Teruskan perjuangan Islam! Naik quota Bumi jadi 100%. DSAI akan ambil Malaysia dan jadikan negara bumi dan Islam. Hidup DSAI!

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