SHEDA approval for HOC decision

Augustine Wong Chung Ho, president of Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers Association

KUCHING: The Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Sheda) applauds the Ministry of Finance’s decision to prolong the 2020-2021 Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) till Dec 31.

Sheda advised those who are financially capable of purchasing property to do so following the extension.

“In trying times such as Covid-19, every government is trying to maximise its income as fighting Covid does not come cheap, so whether or not the government will decide to continue with HOC after the latest extension (waiting for gazettement), remains a question. 

“Since it is to be extended until Dec 31, for those who have the financial means to do so, better purchase (property) soon.”

Sheda said the implementation and adherence of standard operating procedures (SOPs) during the movement control order (MCO) in March 2020 and the subsequent time had led to severe labour shortages in the construction industry.

“The acute shortage means another round of wage increase as workers are poached by other industries after housing contractors suspended development on worksites.

“Indonesian construction workers have returned to Indonesia, but those returning are unable to come into Sarawak due to current travel protocols imposed by the Indonesian government…also the Indonesian government has not opened its borders.

“Construction material costs, such as steel, cement, sand, and bitumen, have been on the rise, ranging from 20 to 40 per cent or more compared to before the MCO, so that’s why we think, for those who are financially capable, buy property given the HOC extension.”