The President of the Sabah Housing and Real Estate Development Association (SHAREDA), Datuk Chew Sang Hai has released a statement welcoming government Budget 2020 initiatives, on behalf of the association.
"On behalf of SHAREDA, I would like to address and acknowledge the recent announcement by our Sabah Chief Minister cum Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd. Shafie Bin Haji Apdal on the Sabah State Budget 2020.
Also, I would like to congratulate our Chief Minister and His esteemed Cabinet for successfully introducing and implementing transformative and improvement initiatives in the State and administrative and financial management."
The Replacement of Central Board
Amongst the many initiatives, SHAREDA welcomes the establishment of the State Planning Council (SPC) which is to replace the current Central Board, and delegation of power will be transferred to the Local Authority (PBT) to consider and approve DP via six (6) zones of One Stop Center (OSC).
This initiative is definitely congruent with SHAREDA’s aspiration to heighten transparency, to reduce excessive bureaucracy/red-tape, delays and bottleneck, and shorten the duration of Development Plan (DP) approval process. Furthermore, SHAREDA welcomes the government’s new and streamlined approach of “Self Compliance” by developers and consultants. Also, the budget has spelt out the specified duration and time lapse for different stages of the approval process, such as issuance of Conditional Approval Letter within 24 hours, and further correspondences with State and Federal technical Departments within 3-6 months on matters related to technical compliances and requirements. This allows the developers to plan and manage its cash flow and resource/materials allocation more effectively and efficiently.
The replacement of Central Board with SPC and hence the power of DP process and approval is delegated back to Local Authority is consistent with SHAREDA’s vision. SHAREDA’s view on the roles of Central Board or SPC should be solely on matters related to rezoning and to formulate high level State physical development planning policy. Thus SHAREDA is eager to be one of the stakeholders in threshing out or refining the detail of the establishment of OSC. We praised the government’s proactive effort for introducing transformative and improved initiatives in this State Budget 2020.
Reduced Foreign Purchaser Threshold
On the second initiatives introduced by the government is the lowering of threshold level of residential home ownership by foreigner from RM1 million to RM750,000 only on residential properties with Certificate of Occupancy (OC) and remained unsold for more than 9 months. SHAREDA welcomes and acknowledges this policy by the government to address issues on “over-hang” properties and over- supplied of unsold high-valued properties in the State.
However, SHAREDA also would like to highlight the challenges and obstacles in the international market faced by Sabah developers. It is definitely not a walk in the park. As we are well aware that Sabah or Kota Kinabalu per se is considered as a tier-two city. With a lower rank City as compared to our counterparts such Kuala Lumpur, Pulau Pinang and Johor Bahru, it would be much challenging to
gain confidence and assurance of foreign purchasers to buy residential properties in Kota Kinabalu. This is because a more affluent foreign buyers would invest on properties in cities that of Tier-One status.
Therefore, an additional and alternative solutions to the apparent challenge, is the Sabah My Second Home programme. Sabah My Second Home programme incorporates friendlier immigration policies and investment criteria, enticing health and education services, friendlier state financing policies, which would be more attractive and effective to attract foreign buyers to Sabah and subsequently addresses issues such as “over-hang” and “over-supplied” of high-valued residential properties in the State.
Last but not least, SHAREDA would like to show our deepest gratitude to our Chief Minister and its Cabinet for addressing some important issues related to our property and development industry through this transformative and improving 2020 State Budget.