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Budget 2022: Promote sub-urban areas, and aspects of the MM2H programme

Published: Friday, 15 October 2021

The government should make more efforts to promote sub-urban areas and housing as a viable alternative to densely populated urban areas. general manager Shylendra Nathan said that should consumer demand for sub-urban areas increase, the government could introduce key infrastructure development projects to sustain long-term interest in these areas.

He said by doing this, the government will lessen urban pull forces and, as a result, decongest central business districts by making amenities more accessible inside these locations, such as better roads, hospitals, educational institutions, lifestyle amenities, and public transportation services.

He hoped that in Budget 2022, the government would announce this effort to improve people's livelihoods across the board.

Shylendra also urged the government to rethink some aspects of the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme to make it more appealing to non-Malaysians.

He expressed optimism that the government will stick to its guns when revising the MM2H policy to safeguard the country's status as a viable second home destination for international purchasers.

He said that this would increase international homebuyer interest in the local housing market in the long run.

"As we transition to an endemic phase by the end of October, the MM2H programme will play a significant role in enabling a better economy after two years of the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic," he said.

He also recommends that the government streamline the application process for home financing programmes such as the Rent-to-Own Scheme, Youth Housing Scheme, Fund for Affordable Homes, and First House Deposit Financing Scheme (MyDeposit) to make it easier for first-time homebuyers to get into the market.

According to Shylendra, several schemes have been presented in the past, but the websites are obsolete or provide confusing information, and some schemes have multiple pages.

He proposed bringing all of the schemes together under one roof so that customers could pick the one that best fits their needs and criteria, thereby speeding up the application and approval process.

"To encourage renters who wish to transition to being homeowners, we suggest the government to introduce a framework that will allow financial institutions to recognise rental history as a supplementary reference when reviewing an applicant's loan," he said.

This approach, according to Shylendra, will give applicants an extra edge in terms of getting house loan approvals.

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