THE existing mechanism that allows unsold Bumiputera quota housing units to be sold in the open market needs to be revamped and standardised nationwide.
Hartabumi.com chief executive officer Radzi Tajuddin said the current system is outdated and lacks transparency, and could lead to manipulation by unscrupulous parties for easy gains.
He suggested that the existing regulations be revamped and improved, taking into account current technological developments and the needs of the public.
“For example, among the current conditions that developers in Selangor must meet before qualifying for Bumiputera quota exemption is to advertise in Malay newspapers and participate in property expos.
“I feel these terms need to be updated, because in addition to the press, developers should also be required to advertise in real estate portals as consumers are now more likely to find homes for purchase on the Internet.
“Many qualified Bumiputera buyers may not be aware of the advertisement, which eventually leads to the unit being released into the free market. Of course, it’s a disadvantage for the Bumiputera market itself,” he told NSTP in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, recently.
UNIFORM SYSTEM IN EVERY STATE
Radzi said it is also important to standardise the system in every state to make it more transparent.
“The current system adopted is different in every state, and even at the local authority (PBT) level, there are additional requirements. How can we know that the system is transparent, and whether this is the cause of many corruption cases.”
On the proposal for the abolishment of Bumiputera quota, Radzi said he did not agree with the idea because it would not solve the issue of home ownership among the people. In fact, it would even cause the property market to become more uncontrolled and expensive, especially for Bumiputeras.
He said the Bumiputera quota requirement — ranging from 30 per cent to 50 per cent — has helped regulate the property market in terms of prices and offerings.
Radzi said the Bumiputera housing quota is still needed in Malaysia due to the varying levels of income according to race.
“Admittedly, more than half of the unsold units in the market are currently Bumiputera units. However, to use this as an excuse for abolishing the Bumiputera quota is unreasonable.
“It should be noted that the main agenda of the government is to ensure that all people, including Bumiputeras, have their own homes. Is it possible to abolish the quota that has helped uplift Bumiputera homeowners? This is what we all have to think about, and not leave it to the government alone.”
Instead, Radzi said, there are short-term solutions, such as making the mechanism more transparent and uniformed.
“In addition, the government may be able to improve the system by widening the scope of the housing quota to those with low income regardless of race, as there are also poor Chinese, Indians and Sabahans and Sarawakians,” he added.