Johor govt urged to quickly free bumi lots

Johor Rehda branch chairman Datuk Steve Chong Yoon On said the move should also apply to commercial and industrial properties as the take-up rate by bumiputra buyers was low.

JOHOR BARU: Developers are hoping that the state government can help hasten the release of more than 80,000 unsold bumiputra properties worth billions languishing statewide.

Most of the units were residential properties, said Johor Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) branch chairman Datuk Steve Chong Yoon On (pic).

He said some of the bumiputra units took up to five years to be completely released.

“Under the guidelines, developers will be eligible to get a release after nine months or 50% of the project is already completed,” he said.

Even then, it was done in small numbers, he said after attending a seminar on the Sales and Service Tax for Redha members here.

Some 40% of the units in any housing development project in Johor must be set aside for bumiputra buyers, who are entitled to a 15% discount.

To change the status, the developer will need to pay 7.5% of the initial 15% discount as a premium to the state government.

Chong also noted that the take-up rate for factories and shoplots for bumiputra was only 5% in the state.

“But developers are forced to hold on to these units, which are easily vandalised and costs money to repair and maintain,” he said.

Chong also said that Johor Redha was supportive of a state government’s move to build 100,000 affordable houses in the next five years.

Johor developers, he said, had some 10,000 surplus of affordable homes.

“The housing secretariat (SUK Perumahan) is the one identifying suitable candidates,” he said.

“We will be happy to help as this will hasten the state’s placement of those who need affordable housing.”

Chong added that Johor Redha was willing to work with the state government to review the “outdated” compliance cost which ballooned up to 18%.

“We are not saying we will not pay the compliance cost. But if some of these can be reviewed, I am sure the prices of houses can dip more than 10%.

“The costs incurred by developers is not just confined to construction materials but others costs as well,” he said, adding that developers would be happy to pass on the savings to consumers.

Johor Redha has 142 members.

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