7 May'17 - Housing in Malaysia : Issues, Challenges and the Way Forward

housing in malaysia

Penang Institute, the public policy think tank of the Penang state government is proud to host a Forum entitled Housing in Malaysia : Issues, Challenges and the Way Forward which is scheduled as follow:

        Date        : 7 May 2017 (Sunday)
        Time       : 2.30pm (Registration starts at 2.00pm)
        Venue    : Conference Hall 1, Penang Institute, No. 10, Jalan Brown, George Town, Penang

Housing has always attracted a lot of attention, especially in Asian communities where rented housing was rarely a long-term consideration compared to home ownership.

However, achieving home ownership is not as simple as merely constructing houses. There are many factors which will determine the dynamics of the housing market, including government policy on development, the timing of delivery by market players, financial and socio-economic considerations as well as the personal aspirations of house buyers.

It is also important to differentiate between housing demand and housing need. In the past decade, home ownership among the middle-income group in Malaysia has suffered due to the lack of mid-range housing stock in desired neighbourhoods or townships, as well as the tightening of mortgage requirements.

As such, in his 2014 Penang Budget speech Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng outlined the vision of the state government to democratise housing in order to fulfil the aspirations of every Penangite to own a home. In order to achieve this, Penang is the first and only state to establish an Affordable Housing Fund with an initial grant of RM500 million seeded by the state government. The strategy is to build 20,000 affordable housing homes throughout the state.

However, all this is not without its challenges.

Market dynamics – such as land and material costs, financial regulations and our current model of federal-state power sharing in regards to jurisdiction on development – affect the goal towards making housing accessible to all.

One example is the recent controversial "extension of time" (EOT) granted by the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, where developers are allowed to extend their stipulated deadline of delivery. This means they are exempted from paying late delivery charges, known as liquidated ascertained damages (LAD), to their buyers.

This example encompasses several important issues, the key of which is the risk of development is unfairly borne by buyers when government policy disproportionately sides the developer.

Penang Institute has been at the forefront in terms of housing policy research. Our papers were cited by all parties, both government and opposition as well as market players and civil society groups. This latest forum aims to provide the public with a platform to discuss current issues and challenges pertaining to housing. It also aims to allow the brainstorming of ideas to move forward.

The forum will be opened by YAB Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang.

The panelists are:

  • YB Jagdeep Singh Deo - Penang State Exco for Housing and Town & Country Planning
  • Mr Chang Kim Loong - Hon. Sec-Gen, National House Buyers Association (HBA)
  • Dr Lim Kim Hwa - Director of Penang Institute

The forum will be moderated by Ong Siou Woon, Senior Executive Officer of Penang Institute.
Due to limited seating for each of the forums, we require your kind assistance to reserve your participation as soon as possible. Please click here for registration.

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