KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — The unveiling of the FundMyHome peer-to-peer home ownership platform just two days after the Budget 2019 announcement opens the government to claims of cronyism, said Datuk A. Kadir Jasin.
The prime minister’s media advisor writing in his personal capacity said he was not opposed to the project per se, but agreed with questions over the proximity of the launch to when it was first proposed as part of the federal spending plan.
“While it is customary for the government to accept proposals from the public, the manner the people-to-people funding was made public exposes the government to allegation of cronyism and nepotism.
“Yes, the finance minister can announce this as a policy. But the right way to go about doing this is to request for proposals from as many parties as possible so that the government has many options to choose from,” he wrote on his personal blog.
Kadir said the scheme will come under further scrutiny due to the unique nature of the proposal to crowdfund home loans, even without added suspicion of the timing.
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak previously questioned how the FundMyHome scheme was launched just two days after the peer-to-peer lending concept was broached in Budget 2019, and insinuated insider information.
The Edge Media Group owner Datuk Tong Kooi Ong, whose EdgeProp Sdn Bhd operates FundMyHome, responded to Najib by saying it was because the scheme was the product of his group’s proposal.
The scheme ostensibly matches new home buyers with financial institutions. Buyers must put up 20 per cent of the purchase price while the remainder will be borne by potential investors that will gain an interest in the appreciation of the property.
Tong’s media group played a crucial role in exposing the 1MDB corruption scandal.
* A previous version of this story contained an error which has since been corrected.