Economy, Featured, Govt, Politics

NEWS: ‘Don’t push people to be debtors for life to enrich crony-developers’

Adakah Rakyat didahulukan ataupun “Taukeh didahulukan, Rakyat tanggung hutang”?

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(Source: Harakahdaily.net)

PENANG, Mar 10: The Federal government has been warned that its newly-launched ‘My First Home Scheme’ would eventually drive young working Malaysians into deeper debts.

Steven Sim, who is Penang DAP Youth’s treasurer, said the scheme, which enables young working Malaysians to obtain up to 100 percent financing to buy their first home, was an instance of how short-term solution was used to cover-up “long-term major social problem”.

DREAM OR FANTASY … Owning a house is almost a fantasy to some. The government has been urged to create affordable housing and not encourage rising property prices by asking buyers to take long-term loans

“Recent reports showed that 60% of Malaysian households are earning a monthly income of less than RM3000 while 40% of the households are living with an average monthly income of RM1500.

“Through this latest scheme, instead of addressing the issue of soaring property prices and being responsible as a government to provide affordable housing, the government is encouraging Malaysians to take up more debts,” said Sim in a statement toHarakahdaily.

Sim reminded that spiralling property price had been long neglected by the government, and this he attributed to unplanned urbanization which encouraged mass migration of workers to cities, as well as lack of interest to provide proper housing to the people.

“Government public housing schemes on the other hand are poorly managed, resulting in many of these houses in bad conditions due to years of neglect and abuse of the system by cronies who received public housings only to rent them out to others, mainly foreigners,” he said.

Prime Minister Najib Razak, in launching the programme yesterday, said those earning RM3,000 could look forward to buying houses costing from RM100,000 to RM220,000 with full loans offered by 25 financial institutions with a repayment period of up to 30 years.

To qualify, buyers must be employed by the private sector for at least six months.

‘Only property developers will gain’

Sim however said the scheme would aggravate the country’s household debt, and pointed out a Bank Negara statement recently revealing that the country’s household debt had risen to a staggering RM577 billion, or 74 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

“The Government’s latest programme will drive up debts of the already debt-laden Malaysian families. The Prime Minister’s latest move can only continue to benefit property developers and the banks without solving the problems faced by the average Malaysians,” he stressed.

Rather than allowing the market to dictate on such basic necessity as housings, Sim urged the government to take on a more proactive role in providing affordable and quality housing for the people.

“It should also upgrade existing public housing schemes. In summary, the government should do a total review of the national housing policy to address the problem of housing and not drive Malaysians, especially young people into more debts.”

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