In aiding an embattled economy dealing with the infamous Covid-19 pandemic, the Malaysian Government has announced a few fiscal moves to improve home ownership, especially for the low income group. But, is enough being done?
Featuring: Dato’ Sri Gavin Tee, Datuk Soam Heng Choon, Sr. Michael Geh, Harvindar Singh, Datuk Ar. Ezumi Harzani Ismail, Datuk Chang Kim Loong, Sr. Kit, Au Yong, Kevin Neoh, Edward Chong.
The Budget is a national direction and policy making exercise. Budget 2021 seems to lack vision for 2021 but is just at the moment aiding 2020. We should have a more forward looking Budget to cross to 2021 to recover the market and recuperate businesses for people to survive and get them ready for 2021.
Help needs to be given to the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), tourism and property industries. Other than tourism, these sectors are almost totally neglected. Tourism, retail, SME and property sectors are badly hit but there are no great incentives. There’s nothing much for SMEs which require help as they are important for the inudstry, providing employmnet for the economy to survive. If SMEs which form more than 70% of the job market close down, how can you feed the B40? Without them, whatever is allocated is useless.
Property is the hardware that needs long term stimulus. The property market is a matter of confidence so policy making is key to remain competitive. There should be incentives for tourism and Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) is long overdue to stimulate the market to make Malaysia competitive against neighbouring countries. The education and medical sectors need to be made competitive to attract foreign students.
REHDA Malaysia views the Budget 2021 as a comprehensive, inclusive and promising Budget for all Malaysians. The Budget is an extension of the various stimulus packages introduced by the Government since early this year, and focuses on the well-being of the rakyat, in particular the most affected group.
REHDA takes note of the measures announced such as the various healthcare incentives, Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat, lower income tax by 1% for those with an annual income of RM50,000 – RM70,000, and the announcement allowing Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) contributors affected by Covid-19 to withdraw from their Account 1 as well as the reduction in contribution from 11% to 9%. REHDA is grateful for the incentives provided to the housing sector which is set to further uplift the industry and gives more power for potential homebuyers. These incentives are additional measures besides those announced earlier under Penjana in June 2020.
REHDA welcomes the Stamp Duties Exemption on Memorandum of Transfer (MoT) and Loan Agreement (LA) for residential units priced RM500,000 and below from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2025 move to encourage homeownership amongst the rakyat, which was also REHDA’s Budget Wish List to the Government. Expanded from the earlier RM300,000 priced houses to RM500,000 for a period of five years, REHDA believes that the stamp duty waivers will benefit many Malaysians who find it hard pressed to own a house, particularly those in the B40 and M40 groups.
Stamp Duties Exemption on MoT and LA for “White Knight” Contractors and Original Purchasers of abandoned projects from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2025 will give peace of mind to purchasers who have been severely affected when the units they bought were abandoned. Similarly, the stamp duty waivers for the White Knights is hoped to encourage more contractors to come in and rescue abandoned units which eventually will realise the dreams of home buyers to have their own homes.
REHDA lauds the announcement for the introduction of the Rent-to-Own (RTO) scheme with selected financial institutions and hopes that this can be extended to more than just the 5,000 units of PR1MA homes. Purchasers in the open market can also benefit from the scheme. REHDA support measures by the Government to provide social housing for the B40 and believes that the various recipients of this allocation namely Program Perumahan Rakyat, Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad’s Rumah Mesra Rakyat and Program Perumahan Penjawat Awam Malaysia will provide relief for those in need. REHDA believes the allocation will also benefit the other 200 downstream and upstream sectors.