Sarawak property developers hard hit by MCO

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By Emma Victoria

HOUSING and real estate developers in Sarawak say the problems faced by the industry have been overlooked by the federal and state governments.

Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) President Dr Christopher Ngui said property developers were also facing challenging times following the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO).

Various on-site construction works have stopped until the end of MCO and this has caused severe losses to the contractors and developers.

The MCO has deprived our members of any income, yet they have to pay full salaries and other overheads, he said.

While Prihatin Economic Stimulus Package and the state’s Sarawakku Sayang Special Aid Package may have benefited many people, the interests and concerns of housing developers in Sarawak have been forgotten.

Ngui hoped that the federal and state governments can come up with policies and financial stimulus packages to alleviate the immediate problems faced by the industry players.

The association has written to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Abang Openg and the state Housing and Local Government Ministry to consider timely, tangible and comprehensive financial assistance and relief for its members.

They have also appealed to the federal Finance Minister and, Housing and Local Government Minister to look into cash flow issues and business sustainability of housing and real estate developers in the nation, overhang property as well as an open economy.

“To alleviate cash flow problems and to keep businesses running, we appeal that the respective ministries reimburse all outstanding GST refunds owed to the companies to improve cash flow.

Besides this, it should also be more open with the Wage Subsidy Programme and allow all employers with no pre-qualifying conditions to be on the scheme automatically. They should also allow direct bank-in of the wage subsidy for each employee to the employer’s account and be backdated to March 1,” Ngui said in a statement.

He said a moratorium of six months on installment payments should also be offered for developers’ loans for residential, commercial and industrial buildings.