With companies and individuals still dealing with high unemployment rate brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, property entrepreneur Datuk Seri Vincent Tiew called on the government to extend the loan moratorium for another six months for the property sector.
This is to allow people to gain a clearer picture of the situation they are into and re-adjust their financial lifestyle and commitments, reported Bernama.
“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,” he said on Bernama TV.
“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 noted that while the incentives and packages under the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) were encouraging in terms of acquiring properties at a lower cost, people were not making a purchase.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on 25 March announced a six-month moratorium, restructuring of corporate loans and conversion of credit card balance into term loans in an initiative worth at least RM100 billion.
To end on 30 September, the moratorium is aimed at easing the burden of individuals as well as small and medium enterprises.
Given the challenges, Tiew believes banks would be stricter in providing loans to property developers this year. As such, he urges the government to allow foreigners to acquire 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.
He also suggested allowing the sale of Bumiputera lots to non-Bumiputera and international buyers to reduce the number of overhang units in Malaysia.
“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,” said Tiew.