Thursday, October 05, 2006

Housing Quota - Unequal Opportunity?

04 Oct 2006

Call to abolish 30pc Bumi quota

This call can potentially cause another uproar to the already heated racial uneasiness that had erupted publicly since the Khairy's Statement and Penang UMNO's marginalisation propaganda.

It is important that all Malaysians, irrespective of race and religion should look at the issue objectively and with proper understanding of reality.

Since the inception of the NEP, it was made a rule that 30% of new houses built must be allocated for sales to Bumiputeras. This is to ensure that Bumiputeras are given the opportunity to own at least 30% of houses in any housing estate. However, within a specified period, if the Bumi allocation are not taken up, the housing developer can apply for exemption whereby they will be permited to sell it to the others.

So what's the problem?

According to the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce (PCCC) honorary president, Tan Sri Tan Kok Ping, the 30 per cent Bumiputera quota in housing and commercial projects would make them less competitive. Apart from this point, it was also to ensure equal opportunities are given to all, irrespective of race.

According to Tan, "If it is enforced in a rigid way, property developers will have a tough time fulfilling the criteria. As it is, they are already facing problems meeting the quota, especially on the island."

Before anyone jump the gun and start shooting, let's analyze the facts stated and the rationale.

Firstly, Tan Kok Ping contended that it makes property developers less competitive. Is that true? In what way? Every housing estates have to comply to the same rule. At such, no property developer would have any unfair advantage over their competitors, be they Bumi developers or non-Bumi developers. When we talk about competition, it is about advantage one developer holds over the others. There isn't in this case. So, the issue of competition and competitiveness is but BULLSHITs! Utter Bullshits!

Secondly, he cited that it was necessary to ensure equal opportunities are given to all, irrespective of race. What the fuck is this about? Did anybody stops anyone from buying? It's about supply and demand. If the demand is there, the property developer will begin phase 2, 3, and 4. If there is land constraint, then the developer could buy up the adjacent land or land within the vicinity to built more houses, sell at higher price and makes tonnes of money. The 30% does not hamper their commercial enterprising. Let's assume some 20% were not taken up by Bumis and all the developer had to do is wait for the specified period to pass and then apply to the authority for exemption. There is absolutely no competitive disadvantage except for the fact that developers may incur holding costs. For that matter, businessmen or organisation should have factored-in the holding cost in their budget. The fact is clear - it has nothing to do with equal opportunities - the only aspect of unequalness is that non Bumi buyers do not enjoy the 15% discounts, but it is not the issue that the PCCC is fighting for, they are trying to lower their (developers) holding cost, and absolutely nothing about benefiting the non-Bumi purchasers. If property developers are so altruistic, they should also offer the non-Bumis the same 15% discounts; the authorities are not stopping them from doing so. So, don't blame the quota just to gain personal advantage.

The third point: "... property developers will have a tough time fulfilling the criteria. As it is, they are already facing problems meeting the quota, especially on the island." What the fuck? I had been a manager for a property developer in Penang Island and we didn't have the problem of fulfilling the criteria. If you built something that the Bumis' like, they will buy. If they didn't, then we just wait for the 6 months gestation period and apply for exemption. So far, the authorities had been reasonably fair in granting the exemption. So, what's the hue and cry? The only issue at hand is probably the fact that luxurious and expensive houses could face problem with bumi buyers. It's not because there are no rich Bumis there; there are plenty, but the rich Bumis have their own land and will engage contractors to built their own houses. Most of the luxurious houses are sold to investors, mostly foreigners or Malaysians who are in foreign land.

Lastly, but not the least, lets be open-minded. The 30% Bumi allocation is not a racial issue and do not constitute discrimination and do not marginalise the non-Bumis, neither disadvantage them. There is no competitive disadvantage for developers or house buyers except the fact that developers do incur holding cost, if any.

The non- Bumis should not be sensitive over this allocation and there is no unfairness that exist as there is the 70% to buy from. In fact, if there is an oversold situation, the developers will take advantage and hike the price by building another parcel or phase. The property developers do not bother whether you are white, yellow or black - they only recognise you by the $$$. They are only interested in making money. If 100% Bumis wants to buy, the property developers (Bumi or Non-Bumi developers) will sell all to them - they won't reserved the 70% to non-Bumis, nor even 10%. They are capitalist without color or creed. So, don't they try to portray as champions of any race.

It's all about supply and demand, irrespective of color or creed. It's all about making money. There is no love and none (developers) are altruist. Leave the 30% quota intact, maybe, the authorities can consider some flexibilities in certain areas where the Bumis are totally uninterested. It's easy to know as you can do a market survey and see the response during the launching of the project sales. But I hope we don't not allow some opportunist who comes in the clothes of the sheep and uses race and religion as a front for personal or institutional benefits.

Look out for these false prophets!!!


lucia said...

so you are saying that this 30% quota for bumis is fair?

well right in the beginning there shouldn't be whatwover quota for the bumis. everyone should be treated equal!

Maverick SM said...

Lucia, equality does not mean all are equal, inclduing communism's theory of equality. It is universally impossible to have equality. The police have power to arrest where ordinary citizens don't have. Diplomats have immunity, judges have immunity, the king is above law... these are references that indicates that equality does not mean equal, per se. Socio-political realities dictates that where a section of the community had distinct disadvantage or handicap, good government must take positive actions to assist and help elevate the society. In other words, the poor needs some help more than the rich and those in destitute conditions will have some privilege where those who are better off may not enjoy those benefits; it's about social leveling as if you refer to the guidance from the Bible and Quran, it is enunciated clearly - help thy neighbour and love thy neighbour.

In jurisprudence, and the theory of good government, in order to provide peace and harmony, those who are blessed must be willing to assist those in needs. At such, socio-political realities requires a balancing act. The fundamental is that the rule made to benefit some did not deprive the others to the extent that it is a detriment and empirical marginalisation. Purchasing a house means that the buyer will have to pay themselves...which means the bumi buyers are paying for it; not others.

Anonymous said...

let's make a policy that non-bumi must have 70% in education, hospital, government department, police, army, etc...


Maverick SM said...

Lucia, take another example: the rich pays income tax of which, theorethically, the monies are used for development projects, education, health care, etc of which the primary beneficiaries are the poor who didn;t pay tax. So, if you talk literal sense, it is unfair as the monies contributed by the rich in the form of taxation did little to benefit the rich. In foreign countries, they had social security of which the rich are taxed heavily to subsidised the poor and those who needs social security. You see, it is socio-political jurisprudence and the application of good governance and natural law theory. We got to be open minded; likewise, it should be remembered that the poor chinese and indians also do deserve aids and assistance.

However, note that two wrongs do not make one right. If there is a wrong, it had to be corrected and if it is not, then the citizens had to put their voice in the ballot boxes.

A law is a command which obliges every citizento a course of conduct and proceeds by way of a relationship of "superiority".

Human power is embedded in reciprocal relationships and government can be toppled by the peoples' resistance.

The science of jurisprudence distringuishes positive law and the rules created by political will which are the reasons. The key is understanding the nature of command that is positive law. A command is an expression of a wish, a significant desire, which is distinguish by the power and the purpose of the government commanding to inflict an evil or pain in case the desire be disregarded. Being liable to evil, the government commanded is bound or obliged by the command and placed under a duty to obey it.
Secure knowledge will provide and serve as the foundation and structures of the new social order. The modern science of government is to be a governmentality of law and knowledge, not of arbitrary desires; while society is a relationship of men dominating another men and women, the domination structuring modern society is to operate according to law, guided by knowledge and confident in its justice (utility).

- John Austin.

Maverick SM said...

Dear Anonymous,

Blinkered and calsified doctrines are feudalistics and nomadic. If you belief in social orders and harmony, you can't live in a one man's island. We are a society and I repeat, social justice is not about tit for tat and a wrong by another wrong. The poor cannot be placed in the same social plateau as the rich. There can be no social order if we choose to close our mind and to allow mongoliods to rule. We are all civilised people and we all subscribe to social justice and the rule of jurisprudence.