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Developers Council voices concern on issues

Published on: Saturday, April 26, 2014

Penampang: The Malaysian Developers Council (MDC) on Friday deliberated on the state of the housing industry and expressed concern over access to end financing for affordable housing, labour shortage issues and inadequate licensed land surveyors.

The council was represented by Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Shareda) President Francis Goh, Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (SHEDA) President Zaidi Ahmad and Malaysia Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (REHDA) President Datuk Seri Michael Yam Kong Choy.

They raised these concerns during the 19th Malaysian Developers Council meeting held in Wisma Kinsabina, here.

Goh said with regards to the access to end financing for affordable housing, the housing and property sector plays a key role in the adequate affordable housing for the nation.

"Whilst the Government's objectives and policies to increase affordable housing is to be applauded, the MDC is concerned that the financing facilities for these affordable units are not aligned.

"Feedback from members of the three associations indicate that the loan rejection for end financing for affordable housing is quite worrying.

"Purchasers, in particular first time home owners, are facing great difficulty in securing housing loans.

"The stringent housing loan guideline introduced by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) in 2012 has affected developers' sales and such guideline is clearly contrary to the efforts to promote affordable housing.

"We understand that the prime intent of BNM for introducing the guideline is to curb household debt but MDC is of the view that BNM and the Government should look at other better mechanisms and qualifying criteria to facilitate first time home owners and buyers to own such affordable houses."

On labour shortage, Yam said MDC acknowledges and recognises the success of the ongoing Economic Transformation Programme in transforming Malaysia into a high income nation which to date has started to bring about credible success to the economy, including the real estate and property industry .

"This, however, has given rise to capacity and demand side, including challenges such as cost increase and currently very critical acute labour shortage.

"Unless the Government reviews the measures taken against the use of foreign labour, this shortage of human resource would lead to delivery problems and legal implication arising from contractual obligations.

"As such, we appeal to the Government to engage the various stakeholders to quickly resolve this serious problem, otherwise projects, development and delivery will be in jeopardy and may even cause labour fees to surge upwards."

Zaidi said in line with capacity challenges, there is concern over the adequacy of professionals in particular, licensed land surveyors.

"Such shortage is not in tandem with development growth in the industry and has caused difficulties for developers."

In this regard, Shareda, through MDC, urged the authorities to urgently address this matter and if need be open up the land surveying practice to licensed land surveyors from the peninsula or Sarawak.