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Budget 2012: Govt Proposes RPGT Rate Review To Curb Speculation

October 7th, 2011 No comments

The government today proposed a review of the Real Property Gains Tax (RPTG) to curb speculation.

The government has proposed that for properties held and disposed within two years, the RPTG is 10 per cent for both companies and individuals. For properties held and disposed within a period exceeding two years and up to five years, the rate is five per cent for both.

However, properties held and disposed after five years, are not subject to the RPGT.

If not controlled, speculative activities will put pressure on the price of real estate, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said when tabling the 2012 Budget in Parliament, here today.

Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, noted that in the long run it would jeopardise the ability of the low and middle-income groups to buy houses.

“I am confident the revised RPGT rates are low and will not affect genuine owners and curb speculative activities,” he said.

Source: Bernama


			
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Reveal details of Bayan Lepas coastal projects, state government told

October 7th, 2011 4 comments

GEORGE TOWN: Penangites should not be kept in the dark over talk of land reclamation along the Bayan Lepas coastal area.

Pantai Jerejak Barisan Nasional coordinator Wong Mun Hoe urged the state government to “come clean” on its dealings with Boustead Holdings.

“The reclamation of 40ha is estimated to be worth RM400mil without taking into account the sales profits — it doesn’t take a super accountant to do the maths and see that the compensation amount does not make economic sense,” he said.

Pantai Jerejak assemblyman Sim Tze Tzin had earlier said the state government was forced into a negotiation with Boustead after the company was required to scale down the height of the high-rise Royal Bintang Hotel which was approved for construction in the Unesco World Heritage zone under the previous state government.

Wong said residents of the area were in the dark as they did not know what development would be taking place in their own backyard.

“They may face a development tsunami and yet remain unaware of what’s going on until it’s too late to do anything.

“Where are the much touted CAT (competency, accountability, transparency) values?” he asked at a press conference in Bayan Lepas yesterday.

Wong alleged that Sim knew about the reclamation offer since May but he did not engage the residents here.

Bayan Baru Barisan coordinator David Yim Boon Leong, who was present, asked the state government to reveal whether any traffic and environmental impact assessment report had been conducted before the land reclamation offer was made to Boustead.

“There are other alternatives. Offering so much land for reclamation would impact the whole of Pantai Jerejak,” he said.

On Wednesday, State Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow reportedly said the state government had proposed compensation in kind in the form of reclamation rights but negotiations on alternatives were still ongoing.

On Oct 3, some 350 residents living in six condominiums and houses along Persiaran Bayan Indah in Bayan Lepas held a peaceful protest and press conference following information they received on reclamation plans for the area by a developer.

They want the seafront in the Bayan Bay area to be spared of any future land reclamation projects.

Bayan Bay Residents’ Action Committee chairperson Sharifah Hamidah said the residents were not against development but were more concerned about the quality of life.

Source: The Star

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Machang Bubok bridge work suspended

October 7th, 2011 No comments

WORK on the construction of a RM2mil bridge over a stream along Jalan Kulim in Kampung Machang Bubok near Bukit Mertajam has been suspended temporarily following objections from shopkeepers there.

State Public Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng said the shopkeepers had complained their business had been affected following the partial closure of the road last week.

“The authorities will decide later whether the project would be scrapped,” he said after visiting the project site with state Agriculture and Agro-based Industries and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Law Choo Kiang and representatives from the Public Works Department (PWD) and Drainage and Irrigation Department.

Lim said the PWD had closed off one lane of the road to enable the contractor to bring in heavy machinery for land clearance and piling works.

“However since the project would take a year to be completed, shopkeepers are worried their business will be badly affected due to traffic congestions there,” he said.

Lim said traffic was heavy along the road which is near the Penang-Kedah border.

He said the project was mooted after villagers complained of frequent flash floods. Some had complained the floods were caused by the box culvert covering the drain and utility pipes across the stream which was blocking the water flow.

Source: The Star

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20 firms to showcase projects at property fair

October 6th, 2011 No comments

The public having a closer look at the model of a housing project at The Star Property Fair 2011 in Penang in July.
 

PETALING JAYA: About 20 developers and property-related companies will showcase their projects and management services at The Star Property Fair 2011 from Nov 25-27 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

They comprise some of Malaysia’s most well-known developers like Dijaya Corp Bhd, Sime Darby Property Bhd, Mah Sing Properties Sdn Bhd, Naza TTDI Sdn Bhd, Encorp Bhd, Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd, OSK Property Holdings Bhd, Sunway City Bhd, IOI Properties Bhd and Ivory Properties Group Bhd.

This is the third year Star Publications (M) Bhd is hosting the fair. Last year, the event attracted about 20,000 visitors.

Executive for events management Ian Qua said property investment continued to attract a lot of interest despite the global economic uncertainties. “Based on last year’s numbers, we expect about 20,000 visitors (this year).

“This will be a good place to start for first-time property buyers as it will be an educational experience for them. For those who have made purchases previously, this will be a good event to go as the country’s major developers will congregate at the convention centre. Much time and effort will be saved for housebuyers as they will be able to compare the different offerings and pricing,” he said.

As for the developers, Qua said they would be assured of a constant stream of visitors.

“It will be a win-win situation for both housebuyers and developers and those offering property-related services,” he said.

To make the event more interesting, there will be talks on feng shui, property investment and other topics at selected times during the three days.

Two popular feng shui masters – David Koh and Joe Choo – will share their insights, knowledge and experiences on various interesting topics with potential investors and house owners.

Gavin Tee will talk about why property purchases continue to be one the most popular forms of investment in today’s economic climate.

Other speakers will discuss how the global economy impacts the property market.

SOURCE: The Star

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Govt revenue comes under the spotlight

October 6th, 2011 No comments

title= Prof Datuk Dr Mohamed Ariff, a professor of international economics at the INCEIF (International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance), said revenue has shrunk to 22 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) compared with previous years when it stood at 34 per cent.

“There was also only a marginal increase in revenue by RM1.1 billion in 2010 compared to the previous year although the economy expanded by more than five per cent. Clearly something is wrong with the level of taxes,” he said in an interview with the Business Times yesterday.

However, with the general election around the corner, Ariff does not expect to see any increases in taxes. Meanwhile, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will most likely be introduced only after that.

To generate revenue in the 2012 Budget, he expects a cut in the individual tax rate to raise disposable income, which will help raise domestic consumption.

Ariff also does not expect a cut in subsidies to be sufficient to bring down the budget deficit which stands at 5.4 per cent to the GDP significantly.

“From what I see, the government may increase the real property gains tax which stands at 5 per cent to 30 per cent.”

The coffers have not been growing fast enough while Malaysia started reducing tax rates to attract foreign investors as well as trade agreements to liberalise tariffs.

“Last year, the federal government debt stood at RM430 billion in the first quarter of 2010, up by RM23 billion from the first quarter in 2009 – that is an enormous increase in government debt,” he said.

Although the debt level at 53 per cent of the GDP is not that severe as that during the 1980s, it has been growing by 12 per cent per year on the average and in 2009 it spiked to 18 per cent per year.

If not addressed, it can snowball and lead to dire situations faced by economies elsewhere. Malaysia was able to withstand the Asian financial crisis because of a long fiscal surplus period it enjoyed in the 1990s.

“Fortunately, our debts now are locally sourced, but with the low revenue level, the government will face the strain to borrow further.”

The former executive director with the think-tank Malaysian Institute of Economic Research said Malaysia’s monetary policy, which is handled by Bank Negara Malaysia, has done well.

Banks are now well-capitalised, non-performing loans are also a non-issue while the growth of money supply is also impressive.

“It’s our fiscal side which is worrying and in serious problems. We have been in deficit since the crisis in 1998 and today we rank as one of the Asean economies with the longest deficit line.”

Rolling out RM68 billion stimulus package at the height of the global economies crisis has also added more fiscal strain on the government’s debt level and economy.

“We still lack the fiscal discipline in balancing the book (trimming the deficit). The problem is how to get it done when revenue is not growing. Do we cut expenditure or increase the tax revenue?”

With the run-up to the general election, Ariff feared that the focus seemed to be providing sweeteners to the people, saying populist policies do not benefit economies in the long term.

Policies should be focused on fixing the economy and getting more revenue while trimming the expenditure so that the economy continues to remain competitive in a global market.

Ariff also commented that the recovery of the global economy will be slow and probably take three years for the US and Europe to get back on track, posing further challenges to small trading nations like Malaysia.

SOURCE: Business Times

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