Local Authorities in Sabah Will Soon Be Able to Approve Development Plans
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The Rt. Hon. Sabah Chief Minister and Minister of Finance, YAB Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd. Shafie Haji Apdal
received a courtesy call from a delegation of Sabah Housing And Real Estate Developers Association (SHAREDA)
led by its President, Mr Chew Sang Hai at his office recently.
At the courtesy visit, Datuk Seri Panglima called upon developers and members of SHAREDA to work closely
together to complement the State Government’s initiatives and implementation of housing policies. This is important
for the growth of the housing & property sector in Sabah through better planning, whether in the city or township, to
be equipped with basic infrastructures or amenities especially in the aspects of supply of water and electricity, road
networks, tourism developments, health and wellness facilities, etc. He stressed that buildings must be of good
quality, practical and user-friendly especially for those in smaller towns.
He added that, currently, the state government is looking into several aspects on good policies and how to improve
the mechanism for planning townships and rural areas to serve the community with better amenities. Soon, some of
the more prominent Local Authorities i.e. DBKK, MPT, MPS, etc. will be empowered to approve development plans
under their jurisdiction instead of the Central Planning Board (CB) after the revamping of certain procedures and
policies to de-centralise and restructure the role functions of the CB. This should reduce unnecessary delay and
regulatory burdens on the government agencies in order to move towards a more conducive business environment.
This is in line with the aspiration to meet the World Bank Ranking Standard towards a developed nation status. This
will surely speed up the approval process for Development Plans (DP) and Building Plans (BP). If there is any delay
faced by developers in obtaining such approval, he assured that he will give his personal attention.
However, his top priority still stands firm for the rakyat and to protect their interest as housebuyers. He urged
developers to settle all land dues, expedite the process of subdivision and issuance of title to all their purchasers.
He said, a housebuyer will feel proud to receive and grasp the title deed of the property purchased.
On the eligibility of a residential buyer in obtaining a housing loan, he is very concerned and much aware of the
market sentiment in the supply and demand of housing. His administration is looking into ways and means to look
into alternative source of financing for Sabahans (B40) to secure housing loan.
SHAREDA also seeks the blessing and consideration of Datuk Seri to expand the guidelines of the State Economic
Planning Unit (EPU) on the acquisition of properties in Sabah by foreign interest at the threshold value of not less
than RM1 Million for the purchase of 2-3 units of properties instead of 1 property only. At this juncture, Datuk Seri is
contemplating to establish our own Sabah-MM2H programme under the tourism sector to act as a catalyst to lure
more foreigners to buy or invest in Sabah properties. This will surely give a spin-off effect to boost the economy and
growth of the real property sector and its related downstream businesses in the state.
SHAREDA informed that the nationwide Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) 2019 stamp duty exemption
commenced since 1 January 2019 till 30 June 2019 for sales of residential properties value at RM300,001 to RM2.5
million, has stimulated a slight improvement in the sales of residential properties in Sabah that transacted 605 units
at a total value of RM329 million to date. Hence, SHAREDA is optimistic that the property market in the second half
(H2) of 2019 will see a slight improvement in the delivery from the stimulus package with the extension of stamp
exemption from 30 June 2019 to 31 December 2019.
SHAREDA opined that this stimulus move would boast the confident sentiment of the depressed property market
and thank the Sabah and Federal Government for their foresight to give the incentive to housebuyers for stamp duty
exemption in the instrument of transfer and loan agreement. Subsequently it has also alleviated the overhang
market and boosted the property market nationwide.