February 22, 2012

Dawn (Pakistan) article on Property Investment in Malaysia

Was commissioned by our Counsel General in Karachi, Pakistan, En. Abu Bakar Mamat to write an article about investing in the property market in Malaysia. It was to come out in Dawn, a Pakistani newspaper. It came out last Sunday. Here is a snapshot of the article in Dawn (sent over through Twitter by En. Abu Bakar Mamat).

Although Dawn have an online portal : Dawn.com, I couldn't find a link to show the full article. For the sake of posterity and in case you are curious, I reproduced the article below :

Malaysia is a great property investment destination. As a well-known Islamic country with great infrastructure, accessible through various points of entry and with a predictable climate, all the cost and returns from any investment you make can be easily calculated from the offset.

Anyone above the age of 21 can invest in property in Malaysia including foreigners. The only restrictions for foreigners are the price of property that they buy must be above RM500,000-00 (USD$166,000-00). Another form of restriction is the type of property that they can buy must not be the native or bumiputra properties and areas in certain areas due to the restrictions found on the tittles of the land as imposed by state governments. A property tax of 10% is levied on the profit you make if you sell a property within 2 years of purchase but it will be lowered to 5% for profit made between 2 to 5 years. After the 5th year, no tax is levied for residential property.

The usual popular properties easily bought by foreigners are freehold properties in the middle of towns like Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur or the beautiful island state of Penang. Apartments or condominiums there can easily reach the price of RM1 Million (USD$330,000-00) with a possible returns of 8% per year. The lands there are easily bought and transacted by foreigners as the land offices in these towns have vast experience in deals involving foreigners.

Property loans for foreigners can be obtained up to 80% of the property price but it depends on the collateral that you can offer such as fixed deposit cash emplaced at the banks. It will be easier if you join the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program so that you can enjoy multiple entries visa and various other convenience.

It will take between 6 months to one year for a property transaction involving for foreigners depending on the type of property that you buy. The usual transaction involves the booking by paying a 2% deposit, another 8% upon the signing of the sale agreement and then the balance of 90% will depend on how much property loan you have obtained. Any purchase of property by a foreigner in Malaysia will require consent from the land office and this usually takes up to 3 months. 

Upon arrival in Malaysia if you are on a property hunt either for investment or holiday homes, consult your local real estate agent or lawyer.

February 10, 2012

Sang Kancil and the crocodiles

There was this Sang Kancil who liked to wander around the forest. Although a bit cunning, he always abided by the laws of the forest set upon all animals since time immemorial. He kept to himself as what he wanted was to be able to eat and drink in order for him to survive.

One day, as he was wandering around the forest, feeling hungry, he came across a river full of crocodiles. On the other side of the river was an orchard full with ripe fruits, ready to be eaten. He knew that the river was full of crocodiles which would just eat him if he was to fall into it.

After doing some thinking and understanding the nature of crocodiles, he called upon one of them. Being the leader of the crocodiles in the river, Buaya came over and talked to Sang Kancil. Sang Kancil told him that he was asked by the great Lord of the Jungle to count the population of crocodiles in the river.

Buaya went to get all his brethren and they lined up across the river. They let Sang Kancil climb on top of them one by one in order for Sang Kancil to do his counting. While he did that, he sang “Satu dua tiga lekuk, jantan betina aku ketuk”. He did this until he crossed to the other side.

As smart as Sang Kancil was, as he came down on the other side of the river, he immediately told all the crocodiles in the river that he had just pulled a prank on them as there was never such instruction from the Lord of the Jungle.

Now, change the scenario. The river is the country that we are living in and lovingly call Malaysia. Change Sang Kancil into the rakyat who are only trying to make a living from the bounty of the land. Then imagine the leaders of this land as the crocodiles who control the river. Everyone must go through them to get to the fruits of their labour.

Imagine how we have to think every minute of the day to get some benefits from the river. We have to outsmart the guys who are supposed to be the guardians of what are rightfully ours. These leaders do let us have a taste of these benefits in so many forms but never the whole of the benefits so that you will understand who actually rules over you.

These benefits come in so many forms. Affordable housing, scholarships and sometimes when we are lucky, cash, such as was offered under BR1M. When it is given, we take it and we spend it. Then we come to the river again and bow our heads before we can drink from it or outsmart the crocodiles again to be able to eat the fruits....

I wonder how we have come to this....

Originally published in Malaysian Insider at this link : Sang Kancil and the crocodiles
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