Locals unaffected by lower minimum property threshold

by TMR/ pic by BERNAMA

THE Johor state government’s move to reduce the threshold for foreigners to purchase properties from RM1 million to RM600,000 will not affect local house buyers, the state assembly heard yesterday.

Bernama reported that State Housing, Communications and Multimedia Committee chairman Dzulkefly Ahmad (picture) as saying this is due to the fact that foreigners may purchase only completed properties with strata titles that have been issued a Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC) for more than nine months.

“It’s possible that the CCC is for more than the period if the sale was made by the developer during the construction stage ie the property had been offered for a long period of time but there was no demand from local buyers, so the question of competition does not arise,” he said at the 14th Johor State Assembly.

Dzulkefly said this in response to Tan Hong Pin (Pakatan Harapan-Skudai), who asked about the impact of the state government’s lowering of the threshold for foreigners as announced last Thursday by Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal in the state budget recently.

Earlier, in reply to the original question from K Raven Kumar (Barisan Nasional-Tenggaroh) on measures to reduce the state’s property overhang especially in Johor Baru, Dzulkefly said it is one of two new initiatives to be implemented.

However, he said, the lower threshold will only apply between Jan 1 and Sept 30, 2020, after which date the threshold reverts to RM1 million.

The other initiative, he added, is raising the levy on foreign buyers from 2% of the transacted price or RM20,000 (whichever is higher) to 5% or RM30,000 (whichever is higher).

In a separate Bernama report, State International Trade, Investment and Utility Committee chairman Jimmy Puah told the state assembly that the government is mulling on bringing in investments in the drone industry in line with developments in Industrial Revolution 4.0.

This idea has also been espoused to industry players from the US and Europe,” he was quoted as saying.

“For so long, Johor has been a major investment destination especially for the manufacturing sector such as petrochemicals, in fact for the last five years, manufacturing projects approved for Johor have been contributing 35% to Malaysia’s cumulative investment value.

“However, in the current era, the Johor government needs to attract more investment into new economic sectors such as digital entrepreneurship and various services sectors,” he said.

Besides the drone industry, Puah said the committee will also focus on the halal and blockchain industries, noting that the former has now expanded beyond food to cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods and logistics.

“Blockchain is a hot topic in Asia now. We need to look forward and relate it to the ongoing industrial revolution,” he added.