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Perak’s move to release bumiputera units early divides opinion

The Perak state government’s recent announcement that developers would be allowed to release unsold bumiputera units after six months if certain requirements are met has been met with both skepticism and optimism from interested parties on both sides of the equation.

Datuk Chang Kim Loong says the HBA welcomes the move by the Perak state government to allow the early or rather ‘timely’ release of bumiputera lots as such a move will lead to lower house prices in the long run. (Photo by Low Yen Yeing / EdgeProp.my)

To recap, the Perak state government announced a policy taking effect on 1st April 2019 that would allow bumiputera units to be released for the open market after six months, with significant penalties for parties who do not gain approval before releasing said units. The release of 50% of the bumiputera units would be dependent on meeting several criteria, which are as follows:

 

  1. The physical construction has achieved 30%
  2. That 60% of the non-bumiputera lots have been sold.

 

The balance of the bumiputera quota can be released once the following conditions have been fulfilled:

  1. After physical construction has reached 80%
  2. That 90% of the non-bumiputera lots have been sold

The National House Buyer’s Association (HBA) met the move with praise, with chairman Datuk Chan Kim Loong expressing hopes that property prices will be reduced as developers stand to regain their capital through selling bumiputera units that may otherwise have gone unsold. He also expressed hope that with this move, the price of property in Perak could see a 5% reduction.

Meanwhile, several bumiputera rights groups have disagreed with the state government’s decision, with NGO Gabungan Peguam Hartanah Rakyat telling local politics portal FreeMalaysiaToday that the move would make properties harder for bumiputeras to afford, and result in racial monopolies in certain areas, expecting Indians and Chinese in urban areas and Malays in rural ones.

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