Govt should not be involved in promoting high-end properties to foreigners

The HOC does not need to be exported overseas to resolve overhang in the premium segment

by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE government should focus on making affordable homes available for Malaysians instead of backing efforts to promote sales of luxury properties abroad.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah said the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) does not need to be exported overseas to resolve overhang in the premium segment.

“I believe developers can address this issue themselves without having a campaign specifically on luxury properties. They’ve made their calculation and took the risk to build these premium units, so hopefully they can settle this on their own.

“The government’s focus should be on what the people need, which is to build affordable homes to address mismatches in the market,” he told reporters after the launch of the Malaysia Property Market 1H19 report by the Valuation and Property Services Department’s (JPPH) National Property Information Centre in Kajang yesterday.

Amiruddin was commenting on the proposed plan to market unsold high-end residential units to buyers in Hong Kong and China.

The idea was first mooted by Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin to resolve the worsening oversupply situation.

The latest available data by the JPPH showed that the premium segment had a record of 4,213 unsold residential units in the first half of this year (1H19).

Malaysia plans to woo Hong Kong and Chinese investors to buy unsold premium residential units under the existing Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme.

MM2H, under the Culture, Arts and Tourism Ministry, is an initiative that allows foreigners to stay in Malaysia on a multiple entry social visit pass for a period of 10 years, a term which is also renewable.

The ministry’s official website showed that 42,271 approved participants were recorded between 2002 and 2018 in the MM2H scheme.

Zuraida’s proposal, however, had received widespread criticisms including PKR women’s wing vice chief Faizah Ariffin who said such move would result in the country being owned by foreigners.

Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad also described buyers from Hong Kong and China as a last resort as priority should be given to local buyers.

“I don’t know if there will be a campaign or not, but when there are unsold houses, we will make an effort for them to be sold to locals,” he said last week.