Oct 18, 2012

Malaysia - M'sia govt mulling over infrastructure subsidy

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The Malaysian government is considering a system to help pay for infrastructure costs so that developers can sell houses below the market price, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak disclosed yesterday.

He said developers interested in building affordable homes could approach the 1Malaysia people's housing programme (PR1MA) to work out such an arrangement.

“We can come up with a government allocation to defray the infrastructure costs, so private developers can sell houses below market price. I have asked PR1MA to discuss with the developers,” he said during an interview on Chinese radio station Melody FM's Morning Boss show yesterday.

The announcers of the show, Chui Ling and Jentzen Lim, had asked Najib on a number of current issues, including high property prices.

“We do realise this is a serious issue. The solution lies in looking at both demand and supply. On the demand side, we have increased the income eligibility limit for the My First Home loan scheme.

“On the supply side, we have set aside about 500 million ringgit (US$165.1 million) for PR1MA to build 80,000 houses in locations like Kuala Lumpur, Shah Alam, Seremban, Kuantan and Penang,” he said, adding PR1MA would be given unutilised government land to build the homes.

Other topics that were discussed during the one-hour live interview included sports development, small-medium enterprises, cost of living, Chinese education and crime.

On the high prices of imported cars, Najib said Malaysians actually pay less for their cars in the long run compared with those in other countries in the region due to the government subsidy on RON 95 petrol.

“Take five years (after owning the car). With the capital costs of buying the imported car and the running costs, you actually pay much less than your counterparts in Asean although you pay more initially,” he said.

On education, Najib said Malaysia was the only country outside China in which Chinese education was part of the national system.

Najib has made several radio appearances since becoming Prime Minister in 2009, including on 988 FM on March 22.

Joseph Kaos Jr 

Business & Investment Opportunities 
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