Pua slams ministers for providing developers loophole to escape property ban

The government has been slammed for providing a loophole for developers to circumvent the luxury property ban.

Yesterday, Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Noh Omar announced that the Cabinet had set up a five-minister committee to review appeals from developers against the ban.

However, DAP National Publicity Secretary Tony Pua said that this would open the appeals process to “sweet-talk”.

“Now, the ministers have granted themselves full discretionary powers to grant approval to any developers who can sweet-talk (their) way to win the hearts of the ministers.

“Have we now become a communist regime where the government dictates how many left shoes to manufacture?” he asked in a statement today.

The ban on all on new shopping malls, offices and residential units priced above RM1 million was first announced on Nov 19 by Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani (photo) following a Bank Negara quarterly report that warned of an oversupply of unaffordable homes in the property market.

Johari had stressed that there would be “no u-turns” on the moratorium.

Following this announcement, Works Minister Fadillah Yusof and Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor both suggested there would be some leeway for developers to appeal the ban.

Tengku Adnan added Putrajaya-backed projects Bandar Malaysia and TRX, which include many high-end properties, would not be affected as their master plans had already been approved prior to the ruling, which came into effect on Nov 1.

Pua criticised this exemption as being “biased”.

“The fact that Bandar Malaysia (photo) has not even found a developer with a plan appears immaterial to the ban exemption.

“The biased exemption of such projects by government-linked companies (GLCs) has created an uproar among the private sector, who then lobbied hard to ease the ban,” he added.

Lack of consistency in policy making

Following the five-minister committee and a The Edge Markets report yesterday that quoted Johari as saying developers of offices and malls could now “approach relevant ministers with their plans” and provide justifications, the Petaling Jaya Utara MP accused the government of performing a “double-twist somersault” on the property ban.

“(These) multiple twists and turns worthy of a world-class acrobatic act only go to prove that the Najib administration is completely clueless in policy-making,” he said.

“How does the above (decision to set up a ministerial committee), for example, even address the main issue of the lack of affordable housing in the country and the largest oversupply of residential properties?

“The Cabinet must remedy its knee-jerk policy-making mechanism and instead, conduct a thorough study with all stakeholders, Bank Negara and think-tanks to design consistent, constructive and incentivised policies,” he stated.

Instead, he urged the government to ensure continued growth and sustainability of the property sector and the economy.


Artikel disiar pada December 7, 2017 - 2:01 pm oleh Susan Loo

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