Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said one of the objectives of the Bumiputera Well-being Transformation Policy launched earlier this year was to encourage Bumiputera ownership of property assets in strategic locations especially in urban areas. Pix by Yusni Ariffin

The Bumiputera community should own and invest more in properties located in prime and central areas to reap higher returns.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said one of the objectives of the Bumiputera Well-being Transformation Policy launched earlier this year was to encourage Bumiputera ownership of property assets in strategic locations especially in urban areas.

"Wealth creation should not only be measured in terms of shares but also property assets. This means that Bumiputera-owned assets must not only be in rural and suburban areas, but also in central and urban areas so that higher returns could be enjoyed," he said at the launch of Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera (AHB)'s additional 500 million units here today.

Najib said Bumiputera empowerment agenda should be focused on the property ecosystem and that part of its mechanism was the AHB scheme.

"I was told that the AHB scheme has been attractive due to its high returns that has been maintained at 6.2 per cent. The minimum investment has also been reduced to RM100 from RM500, to enlarge the participation base.

"We must ensure that the Bumiputera has a balanced position as the country progresses and we want our wealth to be distributed fairly so that no ethnic group is marginalised," he added.

At the event, Najib also launched AHB's 'Akaun Remaja' campaign which was meant for those aged as young as three months old to under 18 beginning next Monday (Oct 2).

"This scheme is to encourage the habit of saving and thinking ahead or long-term. In other words, we should not only look for instant gratification.

"We must have the awareness to set aside a portion of our earnings for future endeavours, such as for our children's tertiary education so we must encourage them to save up from young," he urged.

Present were Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, Pelaburan Hartanah Berhad (PHB) chairman Tan Sri Md Nor Md Yusof and group managing director/chief executive officer Datuk Kamalul Arifin Othman.

Meanwhile at a press conference, Kamalul said AHB's additional 500 million units were targeted at the younger generation.

"This year, our theme is 'simpan lah' (let's save) instead of 'labur lah' (let's invest) because 'invest' is a heavier word. This is to cultivate the culture of saving among the youth.

"Yayasan AHB will contribute 50 free units for each of the first 200,000 newly opened accounts. Based on our performance last year where by 1.5 billion units were taken up in less than a year, we hope the new 500 million units will be taken up within the next five or six months," he added.