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NEWS UPDATES 26 December 2009

Tax amendment to boost Malaysian property market

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The property market in Malaysia will benefit from the real property gains tax (RPGT) amendment, national news agency Bernama quoted the Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association Malaysia (REHDA) as saying Thursday.

Association President Ng Seing Liong said in a statement the property market would benefit from the amendments as it "has a very significant stimulating effect" on investment in the property sector both by foreign and local investors.

"This can be acknowledged by the fact that the market reacted positively to the RPGT waiver in 2007 where increased sales and enquires were recorded," he said.

The re-imposition of RPGT, effective next year, would now be only applicable on properties disposed within five years of ownership. In the 2010 Budget tabled in Parliament, Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is also Finance Minister, announced the re-imposition of the RPGT at five per cent, irrespective of the number of years of a property's acquisition.

The RPGT was waived in 2007 to attract more foreign investments by the then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"In accordance with the Prime Minister's vision to see stronger growth in the housing industry, these amendments together with the government's liberalisation policy will further stimulate the property sector on a wider scale.

"However, there must be assurance from the government on the consistency of the policy to avoid any misperception on the country's image due to frequent changes in policy," Ng added.


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