SHAH ALAM, Dec 6 — Gamuda Bhd, a leading infrastructure and property developer in Malaysia, has proposed to the government to collect a levy from private housing developers which can then be utilised to develop affordable housing projects for the low-income group.
Group Managing Director Datuk Lin Yun Ling said the move was important as private sector developers were developing affordable housing in locations that were not conducive for the B40 group, thus resulting in low uptake.
Gamuda had to bear a significant amount of holding costs for certain unsold units for up to three years, he noted, adding that the amount was estimated to be about 20 per cent of revenue.
“We have found that many newer townships developed by private sector developers are in locations where the B40 group is not keen to buy due to being too far from their place of employment. “To address this issue, Gamuda as a developer is proposing that all developers pay a levy from their total sales to the government.
“The government can then utilise the levy to build affordable housing projects which they think are suitable for the B40 group,” he told a press conference after Gamuda’s annual general meeting here today.
Lin said developers could contribute two per cent from total sales to help state governments purchase land which they believed was suitable for B40 group, which could boost the supply of affordable housing over the long term.
“For every 100 units we launch to sell, we have 50 units which are unsold for more than three years where the holding costs come with an interest rate of about six to seven per cent per annum,” he said.
On the growth outlook for next year, Lin said Gamuda was looking to participate in infrastructure projects overseas, mainly in Australia.
“For example, the state governments of Victoria and New South Wales in Australia are going to invest over A$100 billion (RM300 billion) in railway and metro projects, mainly in Sydney and Melbourne, over the next 10 years,” he added. — Bernama
Source: The Malay Mail Online