Kadir Jasin says P2P housing scheme rollout badly handled

(The Star) – The manner in which the peer-to-peer (P2P) housing scheme was handled exposes the government to allegations of cronyism and nepotism, says Datuk A. Kadir Jasin (pic).

The Prime Minister’s media adviser said the scheme was announced in Budget 2019, which was delivered on Friday (Nov 2), and just two days later on Sunday (Nov 4), parties believed to have submitted their proposal had revealed themselves to the public.

“Yes, the Finance Minister can announce this as a policy. But the right way to go about doing this is to request for proposals from as many parties as possible so that the government has many options to choose from,” Kadir said in his personal capacity as a blogger on Friday (Nov 9).

Kadir, who is also Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia supreme council member, said that while they wanted the project to succeed, this was the first ever such financing scheme in the world and people would wonder and ask questions about it.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng in tabling Budget 2019, said the peer-to-peer (P2P) financing framework, which would be regulated by the Securities Commission, will go “live” in the first quarter of next year for first-time home-buyers.

According to Kadir, the real issue with housing was affordability, not financing, as prices had skyrocketed while incomes had not.

“Profiteering makes the situation worse,” he said, adding that he would leave it to the clever people at Bank Negara and the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) to figure it out.

He said that technology could help and there would be better and cheaper ways of mass producing affordable homes.

“I understand that at least one large government-linked property developer is experimenting with the idea of manufactured houses and apartments,” he said.

On another matter, Kadir said a former minister had pointed out to him that Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Ong Kian Ming had gone on television to discuss the budget before it was presented.

Kadir said the “angry” former minister argued that the budget was a highly confidential document as it involved taxes and critical policies.

“What this former minister is driving at is that confidentiality is important when planning and drafting the budget, and that the civil servants must be given due respect and recognition,” he said.