KUALA LUMPUR: Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar has been asked to explain to the Cabinet his move to allow housing developers to give loans to housebuyers, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.
The matter, he said, had not been discussed in the Cabinet.
“We have requested that he give an explanation on the matter at the Cabinet meeting,” Dr Ahmad Zahid told a media conference after opening the 8th annual general meeting of Makkal Sakti here.
On Thursday, Noh had said that eligible housing developers could apply for moneylender licences to provide loans of up to 100% to property buyers.
The ministry will issue the licences under the Moneylenders Act.
Several developers welcomed the move but consumers and some property experts and officials questioned the need for such a scheme.
Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani said the low supply of affordable houses, despite high demand for them, was the reason why many Malaysians still could not own a house.
Johari said the problem was not due to a lack of financial institutions willing to provide loans or about giving moneylender licences to developers.
CIMB Group Holdings chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak on Saturday said that allowing housing developers to apply for moneylender licences to provide loans to property buyers could compound the risk of a debt crisis in the country.
On another matter, Dr Ahmad Zahid dismissed a report by Bloomberg which said that the next general election could be held as early as March.
He said the report was based on a sampling of views, but in reality, Umno and Barisan need to base the decision on the actual situation on the ground.
Asked about the move by two veteran Johor Umno members to quit the party, Dr Ahmad Zahid said he welcomed it.
“I welcome the decision by Baharom and Tosrin. It is better that they leave rather than continue to be a thorn in the flesh of Umno,” he said.
The two who quit were Gelang Patah division permanent chairman Datuk Baharom Abdul Ghani and Kulai division deputy chief Tosrin Jarvanti Tosrin.
Earlier in his speech, Dr Ahmad Zahid lauded the party as well as other Barisan associate members and component parties for their efforts to secure Indian voter support for Barisan, which stood at 64% in the last general election.
Makkal Sakti was formed in 2009, and is one of Barisan’s 11 associate members.
“I am confident that if we can resolve the problems of the community, added with the sincere efforts of the Prime Minister, we can get at least 90% Indian voter support for Barisan at the next general election,” he said.