HBA in support of removing needless red tape and bureaucracy

KUALA LUMPUR: The "New Deal For Business" (NDFB) document must tackle structural and situational hurdles such as bureaucratic red tape, inefficient regulations, and undue regulatory burdens that hinder investors and businesses operating in Malaysia.

  Datuk Chang Kim Loong, the honorary secretary-general of the National House Buyers Association (HBA), acknowledges the challenges involved in implementing the NDFB.

  The drafting of the NDFB document is underway by the government, facilitated by the Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (Pemudah).

  "I'm sure that the government will make the necessary efforts to improve the business environment and resolve concerns through the NDFB document.

  "Similarly, our rakyat too face many unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles and significant delays which have, to a certain extend, been overcome," he told Business Times.

  Chang cited the property and housing sector, where long-standing bureaucratic obstacles and protracted backlogs that have plagued citizens for a long time have been partially addressed.

  He highlighted the resolution of various delays and red tape issues, including the discontinuation of the sale of pre-printed bank forms or loan documentation fees. 

  Following a directive from Bank Negara Malaysia last year, local banks ceased charging documentation fees for housing loan borrowings, as mandated.

  He explained that banks had been imposing fees for security documents since 2013, ranging from RM100 to RM600, despite these being solely soft copies of standardised security documents and not printing costs for borrowers. 

  Consequently, lawyers were compelled to incorporate these fees into invoices for borrowers.

  Another area of concern addressed is the acquisition of vacant possession of properties with strata titles.  

    "There have been enough cases of distressful consequences experienced by property owners when their developers have deliberately failed, neglected, or refused to apply for and transfer the strata titles to purchasers, even when the latter have paid in full," he said.

  He commended the government's response to these issues, which involved enacting new statutory provisions, amending ambiguous laws to plug the loopholes, and repealing redundant sections of acts. 

  Notably, under Section 6(1) of the Strata Management Act 2013, developers are now required to file the Schedule of Parcels (SOP) with the Commissioner of Buildings (COB) before selling any parcel.

  Chang emphasised the importance of strata titles in granting full legal ownership to house buyers.

  "The government must continue to safeguard house buyers by ensuring the process of vacant possession simultaneously with the issuance of strata titles," he said.

  Regarding the registration of individual and strata titles at Land Offices, Chang noted a significant reduction in processing time, from three months to one day for individual titles and from six months to seven days for strata titles. 

  He praised the efficiency of Land Offices, Valuation Department, and Stamping Offices in expediting processes, facilitating property transactions, and enhancing the housing industry's operational efficiency.

  "Though the entire world suffered the Covid-19 pandemic, our Land Offices were still able to transact the dealings without any fuss though there were delays of up to seven days. This is acceptable to us," he said.

  He also commended the Valuation Department and Stamping Offices for implementing the one-day rule. 

  Chang explained that this policy ensured that all valuation and adjudication processes by the JPPH and the issuance of stamping notices by LHDN adhered strictly to the one-day work chart. 

  This efficient system aims to prevent delays in government revenue collection, he said.

  Chang said that these streamlined processes have greatly improved work schedules in property transactions and are a welcomed development for the housing industry.

  "These are some of the crucial matters that have been satisfactorily resolved. Many more are in progress and have been brought to the attention of the technical committees of the Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (Pemudah)," Chang said.

  "We are committed to upholding the government's commitment to resolving issues and improving the business environment through initiatives like government technology or the GovTech Malaysia method. At HBA, we will continue to highlight positive outcomes periodically," he said.

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