Kedah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir intends to hold a dialogue with the central bank and a number of federal agencies to come up with ways to spur commercial lenders to offer mortgages to needy Malaysian families at the most affordable interest rate, reported The Edge.
"This is to help families whose [monthly] household income is not more than RM2,000 and don't have a salary slip to own their own house as these are the ones who want to get bank loans and find it very difficult to do so," he said when visiting the Kedah/Perlis edition of the Malaysia Property Expo (MAPEX) on Sunday (26 Aug).
Basically, Mukhriz wants banks to offer soft housing loans with an interest rate of under one percent and a tenure of up to 35 years to poor households.
Aside from that, he is urging Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM or central bank) to grant soft loans to private property developers so that they can construct more affordable housing in Kedah.
In line with the goal of providing more low-cost homes, the state authorities plan to search for suitable sites where such properties can be built. It will also instruct its district offices to look for land close to existing amenities and infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Mukhriz revealed that the release of lots originally intended to be sold to Bumiputeras in the open market has been happening since PAS wrestled control of the state government from BN in 2008.
"When these lots cannot be sold based on reasonable factors over a certain period of time, there is a policy to release the lot and is allowed to be sold to non-Bumiputera," he noted.
Mukhriz added that around 1,000 Bumiputera lots were left unsold in Kedah in the past 10 years. Given that these properties were collectively valued at about RM400 million, this imposed a huge financial burden to private home builders.