PENAMPANG, March 18, 2023: The State Government has encouraged developments and projects that will boost Sabah My Malaysia Second Home (Sabah MM2H) initiative, making Sabah an attractive destination for foreigners to live and invest in.
At the same time, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Joachim Gunsalam said, the developers are also urged to prioritise building affordable homes to cater to the growing demand.
“To achieve our goals of a healthy and accessible housing sector, we must work collaboratively between the Government, property developers, financial institutions, and other stakeholders. Our shared objective is to create an environment that promotes growth and development.
“The Government recognises the importance of supporting developers to stimulate the property sector and market. To this end, the Government have implemented incentives such as tax breaks, subsidies and the recently announced Federal Budget 2023 stamp duty exemptions.
“In the near future, Sabah MM2H will also be launched to attract more foreign investments into Sabah. However, our focus must remain on addressing the shortage of quality affordable housing in Sabah, which has become more urgent due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We urge developers to prioritise building affordable homes to cater to the growing demand. At the same time, we encourage developments and projects that will boost Sabah MM2H’s initiative, making Sabah an attractive destination for foreigners to live and invest,” said Dr Joachim, who is also Minister of Local Government and Housing (KKTP), at the ITCC Penampang 1st Property Fair and Dinner, here, on Friday.
Dr Joachim said KKTP also recognise the importance of embracing digitalisation in the property sector.
“The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies, allowing property developers and agents to leverage digital platforms to showcase properties, conduct virtual tours and manage transactions. As such, my Ministry will look into ways to improve the infrastructures needed to attract investors and enhance the property market. My Ministry will continue to be committed to supporting the public, homeowners and investors by ensuring that the housing sector remains healthy and accessible to all.
“For those looking to purchase a home, rising inflation can make it difficult to do so. However, this is an opportune time to become a homeowner and hedge against inflation through the property market. We should applaud the Federal Government’s decision to keep stamp duty exemptions for first-time homebuyers for homes valued less than RM500,000 and to waive 75% of stamp tax on sales and purchase agreements for properties costing between RM500,000 and RM1 million.
“For example, a 75% exemption on an RM750,000 property purchase will save the buyer up to RM15,000. This will attract first-time homebuyers with a middle-to-upper income, as well as those wishing to upgrade their property. Additionally, the Government’s decision to reduce the cost of stamp duty for the transfer of property between parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, will benefit Malaysians. The duty stamp on instruments of transfer of property is planned to be exempted, with the exemption limited to the first RM1 million of the property’s worth. The remaining balance of the property’s worth is subject to ad valorem taxation and is subject to a 50% reduction in stamp duty,” he said.
Dr Joachim also hopes the developers would do their best to have more cultural elements adopted as part of the state’s architectural identity.
“This would not only promote our rich culture but also indirectly boost the state’s economy by promoting our tourism industry. Sabah has a unique cultural identity and developers can draw inspiration from our culture and integrate it into design and architecture.
“By understanding the preferences of the people, developers can provide options that respect and honour our culture while keeping affordability in mind. I also encourage you to continue to innovate and bring new technologies and concepts to the property industry in Sabah,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Joachim urged the local councils to play their role to facilitate the growth and development of businesses within their jurisdiction.
“As we all know, businesses are the backbone of any community’s economy. They provide jobs, generate revenue, and contribute to the overall well-being of the community. That’s why I am here today to talk about the importance of supporting our local businesses. In recent times, I have heard of local councils implementing policies and regulations that harm existing businesses instead of helping them grow. This is a worrying development, and it is essential that we take action to prevent this from happening.
“I believe that the role of local councils should be to facilitate the growth and development of businesses within their jurisdiction. This means that they should be facilitating and creating a favourable business environment instead of worsening red tape. All business with the local government shall be processed or serviced as soon as possible,” he said while congratulating the organisers for putting together the 1st Property Fair 2023 at ITCC.
Hoping the exhibition will benefit both homebuyers and developers, he said homebuyers can gain valuable insights into their options while developers can address any concerns or problems that they face.
“Let us work together towards a better Sabah. With everyone’s effort, we can undoubtedly achieve our goals, Sabah Maju Jaya,” he said.
Also present were, the Chairman Malakun Holdings Group, Datuk Seri Clarence B. Malakun and wife, Datin Seri Sylvia Wong Siew Wah;YB Senator Datuk John Ambrose; Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, Datuk Dr. Jamili Nais; Assistant District Officer of Penampang, Stanley Sikolis; President of the United Sabah Chinese Communities Association of Kota Kinabalu and Managing Director of the WSG Group, Datuk Susan Wong Siew Guen; Members of the Council of Justices of the Peace Sabah, Members of Sabah Native Landowners & Developers Association, Government Civil Servants and all officers.