KUALA LUMPUR (SIN CHEW DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) -Starting next year, the threshold for foreigners to purchase urban high-rise properties in Malaysia has been reduced from RM1 million (S$327,191) to RM600,000 (S$196,314).
This is only applicable to unsold condominiums and apartments and the measure has generated heated discussion in the country.
Malaysians can't afford to buy a property.
However, the government chooses to care only about high end condominiums (that only the rich can afford) and does not increase the pace of building affordable homes.
These condominiums should have their prices lowered instead of lowering the threshold for foreigners to buy properties in Malaysia.
Foreign buyers are enticed to buy Malaysian properties. Rather than offering buyers a Malaysia My Second Home package, foreign speculators buy and sell them later at a higher price. Are they restricted to sell to foreigners only?
Would the prices of newly - built condominiums be pushed to even higher prices once the oversupply of high end properties worth millions of ringgit are sold off due to lowering of threshold and depreciation of ringgit?
Isn't this a case of creating opportunities for foreign conglomerates to speculate property prices in Malaysia even further?
A few years later when the domestic economy have improved, the demand for property would increase.
But by then, property prices are higher for sure. The properties will be even more expensive than RM600,000 (S$196,329).
By then Malaysians' income may still be unable to catch up.
When the properties are facing oversupply again, can the properties still be sold to foreigners?
Would there be conglomerates waiting to buy unsold properties in Malaysia?
More speculators may be drawn when the threshold is lowered.
Sin Chew Daily is a member of The Straits Times media partner Asia News Network, an alliance of 24 news media organisations.