Bank Negara Should Reinstate Developer Interest Bearing Scheme(DIBS) To First-Time Buyers As Well As Increase And Extend Syarikat Jaminan Kredit Perumahan(SJKP) To Buyers Of Affordable Homes Costing From RM72,500 Up To RM 400,000.

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Penang On 12.4.2014.

Bank Negara Should Reinstate Developer Interest Bearing Scheme(DIBS) To First-Time Buyers As Well As Increase And Extend Syarikat Jaminan Kredit Perumahan(SJKP) To Buyers Of Affordable Homes Costing From RM72,500 Up To RM 400,000.

The Penang state government urges Bank Negara to reinstate Developer Interest Bearing Scheme(DIBS) for first-time buyers as well as increase and extend Syarikat Jaminan Kredit Perumahan(SJKP) to buyers of affordable homes costing from RM72,500 up to RM400,000. Ever since DIBS was abolished, many first-time buyers of affordable housing could not obtain bank loans to buy their own homes.

Up to 70% of the housing loan applications, including low-cost and low-medium cost(LC/LMC), have been rejected by private banks. Bank Negara should reinstate the Developer Interest Bearing Scheme(DIBS) for first-time buyers to enable them to realise their dream of owning their own homes. Legal fees should be part of the DIBS package and stamp duty should be waived to lower the initial entry cost for first time home buyers.
At the same time, the funding for Syarikat Jaminan Kredit Perumahan(SJKP) should be increased to RM3 billion to include not only guaranteeing LC/LMC loans by private banks but also for loans from first-time buyers of affordable housing costing up to RM400,000. With the present small sum of RM180 million of SJKP loan guarantees approved nation-wide only for LC/LMCs, there is not enough to go around nationally(see graph below).
Presently SJKP guarantees a maximum loan of RM 120,000, which is insufficient for affordable homes costing up to RM400,000. Interest rates for LC/LMC and first time buyers of affordable housing should be fixed at Base Lending Rate or BLR if the Bank Negara is sincere in helping them. It is sad that high-end loans for expensive luxury houses get lower interest rates than LC/LMC and affordable housing loans.
The latest Bank Negara Annual Report 2013 has revealed that Bank Negara is being short-sighted and uncaring at best or irresponsible and unprofessional at worst towards the problem of Malaysia having the second highest level of household debt in Asia. Bank Negara dismissed the rise in the level of household debt in Malaysia from 81.1% of Gross Domestic Product(GDP) in 2012 to 86.8% of GDP in 2013 as not posing any risk to financial stability.
Bank Negara should realise that the reason for is that our income levels are stuck in a “glacial trap” with inflation outpacing wage rises. This has forced many households to rely on credit loans to make ends meet and even resort to loan sharks when they are unable to get loans from financial institutions.
With total household borrowings at RM854.3 billion in 2013, the proportion of households having loans with those having monthly earnings of up to RM3,000, accounted for 27% of total household borrowings at RM 230.l7 billion. This only proves that for lower income groups, their incomes are unable to keep up with inflation, forcing many to borrow to survive to maintain their living standard, forget about getting housing loans to purchase their own homes.
How can first-time buyers from lower-income groups afford to buy their own homes when Bank Negara has reduced the maximum tenure for loans of property purchases from 45 years to 35 years? Such reduction in tenure will only increase the housing installment payments and make it more difficult for lower-income groups to qualify for loans.
The Penang state government is taking pro-active steps on its own initiative to assist low-income buyers unable to get loans by introducing the Shared Ownership Scheme(SOS) for low-cost houses, a first in the country. Many lower-income groups are able to qualify for loans if they need to borrow only 70% of the property price.
Under the SOS, the property is jointly owned by the state government with the state government giving out loans of up to 30% of the property price interest-free. With this 30% interest-free housing loan from the state government, the buyer of low-cost home needs to only borrow 70% of the property price, which most of them can qualify.

-- CN Version --
















New Straits Times Should Be Severly Punished For Acting Against The National Interests By Trying To Exploit The MH370 Tragedy With Treacherous Intent Of Sensational And False Reporting Without Due Regards For Facts And The Feelings Of Family Members Of Th

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 13.4.2014.
New Straits Times Should Be Severely Punished For Acting Against The National Interests By Trying To Exploit The MH370 Tragedy With Treacherous Intent Of Sensational And False Reporting Without Due Regards For Facts And The Feelings Of Family Members Of The Passengers.

New Straits Times(NST) should be severely punished for acting against the national interests by trying to exploit the MH370 tragedy with treacherous intent of sensational and false reporting without due regards for facts and the feelings of family members of the passengers. As NST is owned by UMNO and regarded as both UMNO and the Federal government’s mouthpiece, its front-page world exclusive expose on 12 April 2014 has caught the world’s attention.
Indeed if true, the report was sensational, boldly titled “MH370’s desperate call for  help” with the sub-heading of “Investigators have revealed that co-pilot Fariq Abdul Rahman had made a call from his mobile phone as the plane flew low near Penang. Who he was trying to reach remains a mystery?”. Unfortunately, this so called world exclusive by NST is a bare-faced lie.
Bernama reported that Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein has refuted NST’s front-page report that the co-pilot of the MH370 aircraft had made a telephone call when it was flying low near Penang. He also said it was irresponsible for any quarters to take the opportunity to make a baseless report.
A public reprimand that is a mere slap on the wrist on NST is not enough. Such lies and baseless information may not only affect search operations but also the families of the passengers and the crew of the aircraft. The Federal government must be both unforgiving and punishing towards NST, more so when it is owned by UMNO and a mouthpiece for the BN leaders.
The whole world is watching whether the Malaysian government dares to act without fear or favour against such blatant lies. Failure to do so will cause Malaysia’s international reputation to lose any little integrity and credibility remaining. Further any inaction may even hamper and jeorpardise efforts by the Malaysian government towards the restoration of trade, tourism and goodwill of Chinese investors, tourists and people.
Flight MH370 and the kidnap of two women off Semporna Island in Sabah by Filipino terrorists have resulted in the boycott of Malaysia by Chinese tourists and investors. Even the two giant pandas scheduled to arrive this month, are not coming. Penang has also not been spared with 50% cancellation of mainland Chinese tourists’ arrivals and a Chinese airline reducing its weekly flight to Penang from 7 flights weekly to four flights weekly.
Mainland Chinese tourists in Penang constitute 4% of the total market, but what about other tourist destination with greater reliance on mainland Chinese tourist such as Sabah, Johor Baru, Melaka and Langkawi? Penang’s tourism is still growing because the other markets from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Europe and ASEAN countries are still coming in greater numbers.
By engaging in gutter journalism, NST is not helping efforts to restore confidence amongst the angry Chinese upset at the Malaysian government’s handling of the MH370 tragedy. Whilst NST should make a front-page apology, the Malaysian government must follow up with strong punishment to demonstrate to the world that it is not cohabitating with liars such as the NST.

-- CN Version --












Tamil New Year And Vasakhi Message

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Tamil New Year And Vasakhi Message By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in Komtar, George Town On 15.4.2014.
Resolve Malaysia’s Education Crisis By Rejecting “One Size Fits All” Uniformity In Favour Of Customization That Returns To The Basic Principles Of Pursuing Excellence And The Teaching Of Cognitive And Non-Cognitive Skills.
Malaysia’s education crisis is in a downward spiral following the latest Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report on education assessment that only one out of 100 15-year-old Malaysian students able to solve complex problems. We are willing to work together with the Federal government to address the wide disparity between its best and worst performers in order to improve educational standards.
The 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) put Malaysia again at the bottom 25%, coming in at 39th out of 44 countries, in the test on creative problem-solving. Malaysian students had been assessed by PISA to be 3 years behind the best students in South Korea, Shanghai or Singapore, scoring below average and ranked 52 out of the 65 countries in mathematics, science and reading. What is shocking is that Malaysia is worse than Vietnam of Thailand in science and mathematics.
Whilst Malaysia invests more than 20% of our national budget in education, there is no value for money as such investment serves to satisfy the needs of bureaucrats rather than meet the aspirations of the students to acquire knowledge and skills in order to realise their talent and potential. For instance Malaysia spends less than Thailand in education for students in the first ten years of their education from 6 years to 15 years old.
Unless there is a mindset shift towards investment in education accompanied by high aspirations as a nation to build on human capital, how can we grow into a high-income developed economy? One solution towards resolving Malaysia’s education crisis is rejecting the stultifying “one size fits all” uniformity in favour of customization that returns to the basic principles of pursuing excellence and the teaching of cognitive and non-cognitive skills
The time has come to empower teachers by rewarding the best, getting the best out of them with cognitive and non-cognitive teaching and able to help students who fall behind. Malaysia has no choice but to develop a high-performing education systems that focus on both cognitive (factual knowledge) and non-cognitive (team work, leadership and communication) skills. We cannot permit our education to fail our economy.


-- BM Version --

Perutusan Tahun Baru Tamil dan Vasakhi oleh Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang Lim Guan Eng di Komtar, George Town Pada 15.4.2014.
Selesaikan Krisis Pendidikan Malaysia Dengan Menolak Keseragaman “Satu Saiz Untuk Semua” Dan Memilih Penyesuaian Yang Berbalik Kepada Prinsip Asas Untuk Mengejar Keunggulan Dan Pengajaran Kemahiran Kognitif Dan Bukan Kognitif.
Krisis pendidikan Malaysia kian merosot berdasarkan laporan penilaian terkini Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) yang menunjukkan hanya satu daripada 100 pelajar Malaysia yang berusia 15 tahun mampu menyelesaikan masalah yang rumit. Kami bersedia untuk bekerjasama dengan kerajaan Persekutuan bagi menangani jurang perbezaan yang luas antara pelajar terbaik dan yang paling teruk untuk meningkatkan taraf pendidikan.
Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012 sekali lagi meletakkan Malaysia di kedudukan 25% tercorot, pada tangga ke-39 daripada 44 negara, dalam ujian penyelesaian masalah kreatif. Menurut penilaian PISA, murid Malaysia berada 3 tahun di belakang murid terbaik dari Korea Selatan, Shanghai atau Singapura, dengan skor di bawah nilai purata dan menduduki tempat 52 daripada 65 negara dalam bidang Matematik, Sains dan membaca. Apa yang mengejutkan adalah Malaysia adalah lebih teruk berbanding Vietnam dan Thailand dalam bidang Sains dan Matematik.
Walaupun Malaysia melabur lebih daripada 20% daripada bajet negara dalam pendidikan, namun hasilnya tidak berbaloi memandangkan perbelanjaan lebih banyak tertumpu bagi memenuhi keperluan birokrat dan bukannya memenuhi aspirasi pelajar untuk memperolehi pengetahuan dan kemahiran bagi merealisasikan bakat dan potensi mereka. Sebagai contoh, Malaysia membelanjakan kurang daripada Thailand pada pendidikan bagi pelajar dalam sepuluh tahun pertama pendidikan mereka dari 6 tahun hingga 15 tahun.
Tanpa anjakan pemikiran  ke arah pelaburan dalam pendidikan dan disertai dengan aspirasi tinggi sebuah negara untuk membina modal insan, bagaimana kita boleh berkembang menjadi ekonomi maju dan berpendapatan tinggi? Satu pendekatan ke arah menyelesaikan krisis pendidikan Malaysia adalah menolak keseragaman “satu saiz untuk semua” dan sebaliknya memilih penyesuaian yang berbalik kepada prinsip asas untuk mengejar keunggulan dan pengajaran kemahiran kognitif dan bukan kognitif.
Masanya telah tiba untuk memberi kuasa kepada guru-guru dengan memberi ganjaran yang terbaik, mendapatkan yang terbaik daripada mereka dengan pengajaran kognitif dan bukan kognitif agar mereka dapat membantu pelajar yang ketinggalan. Malaysia tidak mempunyai pilihan melainkan membangunkan sistem pendidikan berprestasi tinggi yang memberi tumpuan kepada kemahiran kognitif (pengetahuan fakta) dan bukan kognitif (kerja pasukan, kepimpinan dan komunikasi). Kita tidak boleh benarkan pendidikan menggagalkan agenda ekonomi negara.

-- CN Version --










Appointment of Y. Bhg. Dato' Suppiah Manikam as the Honorary Counsul of the Republic of Poland to Malaysia

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Speech by YAB Tuan Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang
Appointment of Y. Bhg. Dato' Suppiah Manikam
as the Honorary Counsul of the Republic of Poland to Malaysia
Traders Hotel
7.30 p.m., 8 April 2014

It is my pleasure to announce that the Penang State Government warmly welcomes the appointment of Yang Bahagia Dato' Suppiah Manikam as the very first Honorary Consul of Republic of Poland to Malaysia.
The appointment of Dato' Subbiah Manikam signifies the Republic of Poland's desire to enhance its bilateral relations with Malaysia, particularly with Penang.
Dato' Suppiah Manikam's personal merits and his experience as an entreprenuer and philantropist would help to strengthen the people to people relationship between Malaysia and Republic of Poland.
The formation of a new Republic of Poland's Consulate-General office here in Penang is an acknowledgment of Penang's growing importance as an international and intelligent city. As the second city in Malaysia with a UNESCO World Heritage city of George Town, world-class tourist destination and manufacturing cluster in electronics and medical devices.
Penang has what it takes to be a metropolitan habitat that is home to all the nationalities in the world. This can be seen by the present 19 Consul-Generals and Honorary Consuls already in Penang and Poland’s appointment of Dato Suppiah Manikam makes 20 foreign official representatives in Penang.
Penang State Government is fully committed to promoting our bilateral relations, endorsing mutual interests and further strengthening Penang's relations with the Republic of Poland, whereby Penang State wishes to be the gateway for Polish companies who plan to invest in Malaysia.
I am proud to announce that the Penang State Government has already agreed to the signing of the “Friendship Cities” project proposal between Krakow City in Poland and Georgetown, Penang. The collaboration between Krakow and Georgetown will be quite unique as both cities are listed in Unesco's World Heritage List. Krakow and Penang, both being a major economical, commercial, cultural and education hub in their respective countries, will greatly benefit from this collaboration.
We can be sure that Dato' Suppiah Manikam will successfully contribute to finding new possibilities in developing economical and cultural ties between Penang and Poland and to give advice and assistance to Malaysians and people of Republic of Poland alike.
I also wish to express my gratitude to His Excellency Adam W. Jelonek for his crucial role in establishing the new Polish Consulate-General office in Penang. I hope our collaboration will be very successful in promoting broad and deep relations between our two countries.
Lim Guan Eng
Thank you.