Racially incorrect even if it is for the love of the country?

By romerz

I was appalled when 22 police reports were made against MP for Petaling Jaya Utara, YB Tony Pua, sometime last week when he suggested that the Selangor government review the bumi discounts for purchases of luxury properties by rich bumiputeras. To me this is a pertinent suggestion since these discounts are meant to help poor bumiputeras own property and not rich bumiputeras enrich themselves further, usually at the expense of poor bumiputeras.

You can imagine my reaction when I learned that YB Tony Pua received a “death threat” to him and his family members for presumably making this suggestion! How far wrong have we become as a nation when a suggestion to review imbalances between the have and have not is deemed as a threat to a certain race that warrants intimidation of death?

First let me tell you why I agree with YB Tony Pua’s suggestion for the review of bumi discounts for luxury properties.

Sometime at the end of last year, my wife and I went shopping for a bigger residence than the one we currently reside in. We found one which appealed to us since it was not far from our present place and near to my mum’s house as well. More importantly, we thought we could afford it if we both tightened our belts.

The 3-Storey Super-Linked Courtyard Home is called Simfonia developed by UDA Holdings Bhd. So we put our names down as interested parties before the official launch of the project. We were told that they would contact us once the launch date is determined. A few months passed and I saw a banner advertising the launch but I hadn’t received a notification from UDA. Naturally I went to their office in Tanjung Bungah and asked about the launch which I wasn’t invited to. I was told that this was a launch for bumiputera buyers only. It would be open to the general public a week later with the remaining unsold lots.

A week went by and still no notification of the general launch. Again, I went back to UDA’s office to inquire. I was told that they need not have the 2nd launch as all the units were sold at the bumi launch. Naturally I was frustrated at not getting a unit but still accepted it as part and parcel of living in Malaysia.

Then the bomb was dropped by someone I know but probably thought that he was being helpful with a suggestion that if I’m that interested to buy a unit, one can be found for me but at a price around RM30,000/- above the original selling price! Most from the original buyers are more interested to make a quick return than to actually live in the homes they bought!

I was told then that the original selling price was around RM870,000/- (depending on the unit) so you can imagine how much the original bumi buyer would have made if you factor in the 5% discount (in Penang). 5% of RM870,000/- is RM43,500/- and add to that a price hike of RM30,000/-, that would be an instant profit of RM73,500/- and the first brick of the foundation had not even been laid then!

Is this what affirmative action is about? Who is actually being helped? And at whose expense? If I had gotten to buy a unit in the first place (which would have been owner occupied), wouldn’t UDA have made an additional RM43,500/-? Couldn’t this money be channeled back to more affordable housing for the poor bumiputeras?

Read more at: http://romerz.blogspot.com/2010/08/racially-incorrect-even-if-it-is-for.html