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KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 — The loan moratorium for the property sector should be extended for another six months by the government in order to provide a clearer picture for the people to re-adjust their financial commitments or financial lifestyle, said property entrepreneur Datuk Seri Vincent Tiew.
He said against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, individuals and companies were still dealing with the issue of high unemployment rate, which was affecting the social situation.
“The fact is that banks themselves already have so much on their plate and it is possible that there could be another one or two Overnight Policy Rate cuts this year.
“In my view, it is very unlikely that banks will extend the moratorium to individuals or companies . If the government leaves it up to the individuals to apply, (it’s) highly likely they will not be able to get it,” he said during The Nation programme on Bernama TV today.
Although the packages and incentives announced in the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) were positive and encouraging in terms of transacting properties at a lower cost, people were not committing to a purchase or buying, he said.
On March 25, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced a six-month moratorium, conversion of credit card balance to term loans and restructuring of corporate loans in an initiative estimated to be worth at least RM100 billion.
The moratorium, which will end on Sept 30, was introduced to ease the burden faced by the small and medium enterprises as well as individuals.
Meanwhile, Tiew said given the challenges, banks would have tighter terms in giving out loans to property developers this year so the government should consider allowing foreigners to purchase properties without quota restrictions.
“Why worry about foreigners buying the whole block itself in any event? The kind of buying activities and investment activities — when they (foreigners) invest in your hotel, for example — it is good for the hotel or tourism sector because it means that there will be employment in the industry,” he said.
Besides that, he also noted that unsold properties, especially the Bumiputera lots, should be allowed to be released to non-Bumiputera and international buyers.
He also suggested that Bumi-owned properties should be able to be sold to non-Bumiputeras on a willing-buyer, willing-seller basis to reduce the overhang units in the country, whether in the commercial or residential segment.
“The government can set guidelines if they want investors to focus on the Klang Valley or certain areas in the states so that they can experience reasonable growth. I believe the efforts to allow foreign buying and the release of Bumiputera quotas can help to spur the property sector again,” Tiew said. — Bernama