Bank Negara urged to review policies


KUCHING: The Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Sheda) has requested Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to review various policies, including establishing a minimum quota for housing loans and business finance approvals in Sarawak.

While Bank Negara cannot dictate what commercial banks should do, Sheda president Augustine Wong Chung Ho believes that it is equally important for BNM to examine macro policy so that more balanced financing can be allocated to economic activities, particularly those impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In 2020, Sarawak recorded only about four per cent of total approved residential transaction approval for the whole of Malaysia while our impairment rate is only at 0.5 per cent, showing that Sarawakians are generally better paymasters.

“However, it was noted that certain rent-to-own schemes such as HouzKEY and others offered by commercial banks in West Malaysia are not extended to purchasers in Sarawak although there were requests made to the respective banks by local property developers.

“In this endeavour, we urge all Cagamas initiatives be extended equitably to include properties in Sarawak,” he said on Thursday (Sept 30).

He disclosed that Sheda had also sent a formal letter of request to the Sarawak BNM representative to be forwarded to federal policymakers in the hope that its involvement would set a clearer vision for policymakers when it comes to financing related to the state’s housing industry.

Sheda also expressed support for the BNM deputy governor’s recent remark that the banking industry must be proactive and extend new financing to help the country’s economic recovery, and further call for a discussion with Sarawak BNM on Sept 24 previously.

Among the issues highlighted by Sheda were related to project financing, end financing banking guidelines, and general banking issues affecting house buyers and property developers.

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