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‘Loan scheme to help needy’

‘Loan scheme to help needy’

Thursday, February 9, 2012 – 17:00
by G. Prakash [1]
PUTRAJAYA: The use of RM1.5 billion from the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) to finance the city’s low-cost housing loan scheme was a promise made by the government a long time ago, said Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Seri Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin.

“The whole purpose of this scheme is simply to help the needy to own an asset … this was the whole idea behind it, which was to make it possible for those from the lower income group to own a low-cost house,” he said at a press conference yesterday.

Raja Nong Chik said the scheme would also benefit those already renting lowcost units from City Hall. “This offer is only eligible to those who have a clean record of paying up their rents,” he said.

He said that compared to bank loans, the scheme make it easier for those who wanted to buy the units as they did not need to put down any deposit.

It would also allow a repayment period of up to 25 years and was inclusive of insurance and lawyers’ fees. There was also a waiver on stamp duty.

Raja Nong Chik said 5,000 applicants had registered for the scheme and another 12,000 had yet to put in their documentation. The monthly instalment for such units is estimated at between RM200 and RM300.

He said City Hall was planning to fix the value of the units at between RM21,500 and RM35,000, which is lower than market value. Raja Nong Chik said the government would safeguard EPF’s interests, and the deal would secure financial returns for EPF.

“When we came up with the idea, EPF voluntarily came in and they were the ones who set up the terms and conditions during the discussions,” he said. “Any questions on EPF’s involvement should be directed to them as it is unfair for me to answer on their behalf.”

Raja Nong Chik said EPF would come up with a statement.

“The whole scheme is a win-win situation for everybody, including EPF, as they would gain a 5.5 per cent profit annually,” he said. He said the risk for EPF was minimal as City Hall would be able to buy the houses left unpaid by the buyers.

Raja Nong Chik said several roadshows had been slated, beginning next month, to educate the public on the scheme.

On another note, he said he had invited Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah, Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, and Kuala Selangor MP Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad to further debate the matter.

“This is my call to them to hold the debate in front of the residents as they will be ones who are affected,” he said.
© Copyright 2012 Malay Mail Sdn. Bhd.
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