Penang pushes ahead with property ruling despite criticisms

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 12 Dec 2013

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government is standing firm with its new ruling on property sale even as critics slam it, saying the ruling is illegal.

State Housing, Town and Country Planning committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the state controls the land office, so with land being a state matter, it has the mechanism to impose restrictions on property sale.

“In order for a person to own a property, he must get it registered at the land office.

“Under the ruling, we can impose a 2% levy, on top of the existing 0.1% stipulated for transfer of land title,” he said on the sidelines of the state assembly meeting here yesterday.

Several groups, including Gerakan and MCA, have taken the state government to task over the new ruling that it plans to enforce from Feb 1 next year, saying it would be illegal as the National Land Code needs to be revised first before the ruling can be enacted.

“Currently, the application fee for any transaction pertaining to a leasehold property is 0.1% of the selling price,” said Jagdeep.

“As for freehold property, the seller will have to produce a statutory declaration that they have indeed paid the 2% levy before the transfer of land title can take place,” he said, adding that the new ruling would only affect property bought with sales and purchase agreements signed from February.

Jagdeep said the restriction would be imposed on properties priced above RM250,000 in Seberang Prai and above RM400,000 on Penang Island sold within three years of being purchased.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng also brushed off criticisms.

“We have been subjected to criticisms from the Consumer Association of Penang and Gerakan. At first they criticised the state government for not doing anything to help. When we try to help, they attack us. So, what do you want us to do?” he asked at a press conference yesterday.

Several groups have come to the defence of the state government, saying the ruling would curb speculation.

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