Thought of the day

I thank whatever gods may be / For my unconquerable soul. / I am the master of my fate / I am the captain of my soul. ~William Ernest Henley, Invictus

Government's promises are like the Ringgit, they depreciate with time.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

First Step to a United Malaysia - Abolish NEP

Looks like nothing is going to stop this guy from assuming the premiership. What next?

It is soothing to the ear when Najib said that he will make changes to the notorious New Economic Policy (NEP), a bane to the non-malay Malaysians. As quoted in The Star:

"We will go back to the spirit of the NEP – to eradicate poverty among all races. At the moment, the policy is seen as a tool to help only certain groups of Malays which has caused some dissatisfaction," he added.

The changes to the NEP, he said, would ensure that only the group that really needed help would be aided by the government. And I am crossing my fingers, hoping that the group will not eventually turn out to be only the Malays again.
Let me quote an example to expose the demonic true form of the existing NEP, which is a vote-bait to entice the Malays to support the Barisan Nasional (BN). (Of course, BN's claws and clutches sunk deeper into the core of Malaysia's regime after 13 May 1969 due to the pseudo-support from the non-Malays in fear of the reoccurence of the sino-Malay race riots.)

For foreigners in Singapore, if you ever want to own a place to stay, you have 3 choices: (A) Housing Development Board (HDB) Flat, (B)Private Condominium and (C)Landed Property. For a country where land is scarce and precious, option (C) is definitely out of our league, at least for 85% to 95% of us. For (A), foreigners are not allowed to purchase firsthand units. So here's a scenario (these are rough figures, but it's more or less correct):

Singapore citizens buy firsthand units for $250,000 for a 4-room HDB flat. (Note that they don't pay full amount as the government will provide a certain percentage of subsidy irregardless of ethnic groups.)

When they resell it to foreigners, the market price for the same unit maybe $400,000++. Then the locals can either upgrade to a 5-room flat, private condominium, or repeat the process and earn a hefty sum again. As my Singaporean friend, a property agent once told me, "We Singaporeans will definitely earn $100K in our lifetime without much effort."

So foreigners will have to fork out 60% more to purchase a used flat in Singapore. Well, if you don't like how things work, you can always go for a 3-room private condo which is normally tagged with an attractive starting price of say, $500,000 or $600,000? Private projects are not controlled by government, so one can buy firsthand unit, that is, if you can comfortably afford it. Otherwise, just become a Singaporean!

Other than the aforementioned housing subsidy, there are many more incentives granted by the government to benefit its citizens, which is not accessible to foreigners, not even Permanent Residents. This is a formidable strategy formulated by this small yet smart regime to protect its own people of all races and to draw in foreign talents.

Across the Causeway in JB, a normal 22x70 sqft double-storey terrace house now cost about RM350,000 and above. With NEP, the Malays can buy the same unit at a 15% discount and surely the offset will indirectly be spilled over to the non-Malay buyers! In addition, certain percentage of units at good locations will be reserved for the Malays (Bumi lots), only to be released to the non-Bumis after a certain period after the project launch. So the non-Malays are not only burdened with the spillovers, they are also getting the leftovers. Despite the fact that these are all private housing projects, it is not a free market!

As for foreigners, they are allowed to buy properties in Malaysia. Of course, at a higher cost. How much more? According to a sales representative from a private developer in JB, foreigners just need to pay an extra RM10,000 levied government tax and they can buy any properties at the price the non-Malay Malaysians are paying:) Yes, only RM10,000 more. RM10,000 extra and they can own a firsthand property and probably resell it to earn a hefty sum when the market is right. I am stupefied by this kind of policy!

I can't help but wonder why is the Malaysian government treating its people this way. What is the past and present Ministers of Housing Development and Local Government doing in the office? So when Najib said that he will reform NEP to accomodate all races, I sincerely hope that we will all be treated the same way in every ways, as Malaysians. Otherwise, Malaysian unity is nothing but a forlorn hope.

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