|Penang UMNO Youth Chief |
Rafizal Abdul Rahim
With respect to the statement made by Lim Guan Eng, the Chief Minister of Penang on his lame and outrageous attempt to “protect the state (Penang) from being adversely affected by the property bubble and to ensure that public and affordable housing are bought by genuine and qualified first time buyers”.
Please find below the Press Statement by Penang UMNO Youth:
Referring to the article in The Malaysian Insider on the 8th of December 2013 title “Penang imposes new housing rules for affordable homes from February 1”, we would like to highlight to the rakyat of this state on the additional cost and impact this will have on them if this unjust and oppressing rule is imposed. First, let us go through the weaknesses of this rule:
1. Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today that all public housing units priced up to RM42,000 (low-cost) and up to RM72,500 (low-medium cost) cannot be resold within the first 10 years after purchase. The state government's consent must be obtained if the owner of such a unit wants to sell the house in less than 10 years.
RESPONSE: Can the Penang State Government share with the Rakyat, since 2008 up till now how many low-cost and low-medium-cost house has been developed by the state government or private developers? It makes no sense to not allow owners to sell their property if there is none to begin with in the first place.
In addition to that, what are the criteria that will allow the house owners to sell their house in less than 10 years? Which committee and/or person that will review and evaluate the application by the house owners? This was never shared by the Penang State Government. We are afraid and concern if such vast powers are given to an individual there could be abuse of power and corruption involved which will than directly affect the rakyat.
2. The new buyer must be a "listed buyer" registered with the state Housing Department and certified as a low-income earner who qualifies to purchase low-cost or low-medium cost housing.
RESPONSE: Can the Penang state government clarify what are the wage brackets for low-income and low-medium income earners? Is the income of a listed buyer the main criteria for them to qualify to purchase these low-cost or low-medium cost housing or there are other criteria’s involved? This was never shared by the Penang State Government.
3. For affordable homes purchased under RM400,000 on Penang island and below RM250,000 on the mainland, owners are prohibited from selling them during the first five years unless with government consent. The units must also be resold to "listed buyers" from the middle-income group whose names are also registered with the Housing Department.
RESPONSE: Again what are the criteria that are involved in approving or rejecting the application by house owners to sell their property? Who will be evaluating the application by these owners? Will it be an individual or a committee? If it is a committee who will be the chairmen and who are the members of this committee?
In addition, what if the owner has already obtained approval to sell the units but there are no willing buyers from the “listed buyers” group. Can the owner then open his/her unit to be sold to people outside of this group? This was never shared by the Penang State Government.
4. The state is also introducing a 2% levy on property purchased from February 1 next year that are sold within three years from the date the Sales and Purchase Agreement(SPA) is signed.
RESPONSE: This is outrageous and clearly a burden to the rakyat. The impact will adversely affect the middle income earners. Why is the Penang government burdening the rakyat with this levy when at the same time they are criticizing the government for increasing petrol prices at RM 0.10 cents. A levy of 2% for a RM 450,000 flat is RM9, 000. That is a lot of many that needs to be paid by the Rakyat.
With all of the questions above yet to be answered by the Penang Government helmed by Lim Guan Eng, we UMNO Youth demand that the Penang government put on hold these new rules immediately until proper engagement is being done by the Penang Government with ALL state holders. Do not only engage with parties that is aligned with the Penang government such as developers and Pro-DAP NGOs!