Scrap property discounts for rich bumis, says Bursa chairman

PUTRAJAYA: Discounts for rich bumiputra to buy luxury homes should be scrapped in the new economic agenda to empower the community in favour of policies that are aimed at those who earn low incomes.

"Property discounts for bumiputra buyers who want to buy a RM2mil ringgit bungalow are not suitable," says Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, who presented the findings of a cluster on wealth creation at the Bumiputra Economic Congress 2024.

The Bursa Malaysia chairman said that instead, the earnings from such a discount should be channelled into a fund that would help lower income bumiputra buy and own homes.

The bumiputra property discount should only be maintained for homes that are not luxury properties, Wahid told the congress on Saturday (March 2) at a session to present the findings of all of the congress's 10 clusters.

Ending practices that only benefited wealthy bumiputra in favour of needs and merit based initiatives was one of four thrusts under the cluster headed by Wahid that was tasked with crafting strategies to increase bumiputra wealth and corporate control.

"The cluster proposed that the new bumiputra policy to help grow corporate wealth be driven by the values of prosperity, inclusivity and sustainability," Wahid said.

"If our policies are needs and merit based, it will be embraced by everyone," he added.

Another presenter at this morning's session, Tan Sri Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali urged the community and government to rethink its education policies to produce better bumiputra talent.

This included investing heavily in quality preschool education for everyone and a shift from prioritising high-performing schools, said Azlan, who headed the cluster on education reform and talent.

"For instance, we always pay attention to the boarding schools which produce the best students but they only constitute 4% of all public schools.

"The remaining 96% of schools are attended by the majority of bumiputra children," said Noor Azlan, who was a former vice-chancellor of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

"We should instead start treating all of these schools as good schools and pay equal attention to them."

Besides focusing on primary and secondary schools, equal priority must be made to getting bumiputra children, especially in rural areas to attend pre-schools starting from the age of five.

"Because the pillars to building an adult's character start at this age. So we must also provide quality preschool education."

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