Budget 2024: Developers say budget falls short of revitalising building industry


PETALING JAYA: Budget 2024 falls short of aspirations to revitalise the housing industry, say industry players.

The Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) president, Oliver Wee Hiang Chyn, noted that while specific projects had been allocated funds to enhance public infrastructure and support contractors in the G1 to G4 categories, the overall expectation for a more substantial boost to the construction sector was not met.

"One promising highlight in the budget was the government's commitment to implementing the Penang to Seberang Perai Light Rail Transit (LRT) project, amounting to RM10bil through a public-private partnership (PPP).

"Generally, MBAM expected a more uplifting Budget 2024 announcement for the construction industry.

"To prime the revival of the Malaysian construction industry, MBAM appeals to the Government to provide more assistance to the construction industry to revive and sustain the sector," he said in a statement on Friday (Oct 13).

MBAM stressed the importance of efficient and transparent implementation to maximise its impact, with hopes that groundwork could commence as early as the first quarter of 2024.

MBAM called on a robust monitoring and evaluation framework to ensure the projects progress smoothly, addressing challenges and adapting as necessary.

"We also urge the Government to engage with local communities to address concerns, gather feedback, and ensure that construction projects align with the needs and aspirations of the people," he added.

Meanwhile, the Real Estate and Housing Developer's Association (Rehda), president Datuk NK Tong, said the increase in the Housing Credit Guarantee Scheme to RM10bil benefited 40,000 borrowers, especially gig economy workers and those without a regular income.

However, Rehda expressed cautious optimism for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's proposal to reduce the majority consent for en-bloc sale from 100% to a level similar to Singapore's 80% to 90%, aiming to empower strata-titled property residents.

"This will better reflect the equity and voice of the people living in strata-titled properties," he added.

He said Rehda and other stakeholders await further details on the announcement, and they believed it could lead to a reformed urban regeneration landscape, potentially placing Malaysia on par with other global nations regarding urban sustainability.

For the housing industry, Rehda noted the budget allocations directed towards the B40 group, including funds for Program Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) in Johor, the development of residential units, and support for underprivileged rural areas, showcasing the government's commitment to ensuring housing accessibility for all citizens.

Mah Sing's Founder and Group Managing Director, Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum, noted that this would encourage the revitalisation of older city buildings, breathing new life into urban areas.

He said the government's decision to increase the Housing Credit Guarantee Scheme to RM10bil to raise the guaranteed loans under Syarikat Jaminan Kredit Perumahan Berhad (SJKP) to this substantial sum.

"This expansion is set to benefit 40,000 borrowers, ultimately making home ownership more accessible to a broader spectrum of individuals.

"This move is especially beneficial for first-time buyers and those without a stable, predictable income source, such as gig workers, freelance professionals, independent business owners, small traders, and entrepreneurs.

"The increased funding in this scheme is seen as a positive step towards inclusivity in home ownership, allowing more Malaysians to secure their own homes," he added.

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Housing , Budget 2024 , Rehda , MBAM , Mahsing , Madani

   

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