Speech By CM At REHDA 42nd Annual Dinner (e/c)

SPEECH BY YAB CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG AT REHDA 42nd ANNUAL DINNER ON 24TH OCTOBER 2016 AT G HOTEL

I wish to congratulate the organizing committee for the excellent manner in organizing REHDA’s 42nd Annual Dinner Celebration.

2. We are aware of the current unfavourable economic situation and the state government is working closely with REHDA to resolve the challenges faced by the industry whereby a series of meetings together with other stakeholders have been held by EXCO for Town & Country Planning and Housing to consider all views put forward. Towards this end, the following has been achieved in order to cushion the unfavourable economic impact upon developers:

(a) First, the use of corporate guarantees to replace bank guarantees given by developers for various contributions and charges, which has been extended from previously contributions of: (i) rezoning land value increase; (ii) additional density / plot ratio; (iii) contribution in-lieu of physical development of low and low medium cost housing and (iv) contribution of the North Coast Road development under MBPP, now to all other contributions whereby the total sum is more RM500,000.00;

(b) Secondly, the 87 units per acre guideline after deliberation with all stakeholders, will be replaced by a new guideline of 128 units per acre, whereby the units developed under this guideline cannot be less than 900 square feet and cannot be priced less than RM400,000.00, and further the development charges for the 20% affordable housing units under this guideline are to be standardized at RM5.00 per square feet as well;

(c) Thirdly, the financial contribution for several facilities not physically surrendered such as hawker stalls is being reviewed whereby we are considering placing the same on a fixed rate rather than market rate;

(d) Fourth, to allow flexibility for developments in the North East District to build their affordable housing units under the compliance quota in all development guidelines outside of the North East District, up until the southern part of the island at Teluk Kumbar.

3. The state government is aware of escalating property prices in Penang and has initiated pro-active steps to provide quality housing at affordable prices. The Penang State Government is actively pursuing the challenge of providing affordable housing which will be overcome when 26,255 homes are built over the next 5-7 years with another similar number to be built by the private sector. I strongly urge all REHDA members to further develop the housing industry as well as to implement affordable and social housing programmes as it contributes to nation building and betterment of life for the people of Penang.

4. Making Penang a world class international and intelligent city is not impossible. Penang has garnered numerous international accolades; for example, hitting No. 4 in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Cities list for Best in Travel 2016 and No. 6 in CNN Money’s Top Places to Retire in 2016. Recently, Penang has added another new feather to its cap by clinching the number 2 spot as “Top 10 best places in the world to retire” by travel magazine Conde Nast Traveller. Our tourist arrivals have increased every year until the Penang International Airport has already reached the maximum capacity of 6.5 million passengers 4 years ahead of the scheduled 2020.

5. The practice of good and clean governance in Penang has helped Penang become an attractive state for financial investments. In the recent report, Malaysia Commercial Real Estate Investment Sentiment Survey 2016 produced by Knight Frank, Penang is the most attractive region for commercial property investment in Malaysia. In the survey of more than 700 fund managers, property developers and lenders, KL was No.2 with 56% confidence whilst Penang drew 67% of the votes overall.

6. Our vision is to transform Penang into an international and intelligent city. Over the last few years, the Penang State Government’s good governance and clean leadership, has aggressively promoted Penang as a location of choice for investors, a destination of choice for tourists and a habitat of choice for residents who desire sustainable living. From 2007-2015 onwards,
· Penang has recorded annual budget surpluses with accumulated surpluses of RM574 million over the last 8 years of 2008-2015, more than the accumulated surpluses under BN over the last 50 years from 1957-2007 of RM373 million. In other words we did betterin 8 years than the previous government did in 50 years!
· Penang’s asset reserves have nearly doubled over the 8 year period from RM850 million to RM1.6 billion.
· For the comparative 8-year period from 2008-15 compared to 2000-7, Penang’s manufacturing investment increased by 87% to RM54.9 billion from RM24.9 billion, with job creation increased by 17 % to 128,317 job opportunities from 106,583. Unemployment rate is at a low of 1.6% creating a shortage of 20,000 workers.
· Penang’s state’s debts has been reduced by 90% over the same period and at RM69 million by end 2015, is the lowest in the country. This RM69 million debt compares with the total RM16.8 billion of debts owed by all 13 states, with Pahang owing the most at RM2.9 billion, followed by Sabah RM2.6 billion, Sarawak RM2.5 billion, Kedah RM2.3 billion and Kelantan RM1.3 billion.

7. Our successes have created traffic congestion which the state government hopes to overcome under the RN27 billion Penang Transport Master Plan(TMP) combining rail, roads, air and water. We are awaiting Federal government approval.

8. Malaysia and Penang face many challenges due to the economic slowdown caused by imposition of GST and depreciation of the ringgit. Unfortunately, the 2017 Budget does not offer anything new to save our economy, especially to the construction industry. At a time of economic downturn, government projects are important to stimulate the economy. There is no reason why the Federal government cannot grant approval to the TMP, when it can add 0.5% to the country’s GNP.

9. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate REHDA for taking the lead in assisting the less fortunate inmates from charitable homes through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. I strongly urge all developers and associates present here this evening to inculcate a CSR culture in all your companies. It has been demonstrated that it is possible to be profitable while also being socially and environmentally responsible.

In conclusion, I would once again want to thank REHDA for your invitation and your effort in working closely together with the State Government to develop Penang.

Thank you

LIM GUAN ENG

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槟城州首席部长林冠英于2016年10月24日在产业与房屋发展商公会42周年晚宴的演讲

2. 我们知道目前的经济不景气,因此州政府正与州内的产业与房屋发展商公会密切合作以解决产业面对的挑战,当中包括其他利益相关组织在与城乡规划与房屋行政议员展开一系列的会议寻求各种对策。为了解决问题,以下措施推出以缓冲发展商在经济不景的情况下所面对的冲击:

(a) 首先,以企业担保替代银行担保,让发展商在原有需作出的各种贡献之外,延伸额外的贡献与费用作为其企业担保,当中原有需作出贡献或费用的项目包括:一)增加土地价值重划;二)增加密度/增加容积率;三)贡献以替代实体承建廉价及中廉价屋;四)贡献予槟岛市议会发展北岸公路,而其他额外的贡献费则是约超过50万令吉。

(b) 第二,在与各造审议商讨好,原有每英亩87单位的准则,将由每英亩128单位的新准则替代,在这项准则之下,每单位将不可低于900平方尺,每单位价格不可低于40万令吉,同时在这准则之下20%的可负担房屋的发展费一律定为每平方尺5令吉。

(c) 第三,发展商在诸如小贩摊格设施上的金融贡献而非实体建造将会重新调整,我们正考虑以一律定价而非随着市场价格拟定贡献费用。

第四,在涵盖东北区及至公芭西南地区的发展准则之合理配额之下,允许伸缩性发展东北区建设可负担房屋。
3. 州政府了解槟城的产业价格正在调涨,因此以积极的步骤提供可负担的有品质房屋。槟城州政府主动解决这项挑战,在接下来的5到7年内,提供2万6255可负担房屋,同时私人发展商也将同时提供同等数量的可负担房屋。我强烈呼吁发展商公会成员进行可负担及社会房屋计划,以提供槟城人也更佳的居住环境也为国家建设作出贡献。

4. 槟城要成为国际及智慧城市并非不可能,例如我们有无数被国际承认的事迹如2016年孤独星球10大旅游城市第4名;CNN财经2016年第六名最佳的退休地点;最近Conde Nast Traveller杂志也将槟城列为全球最佳退休地的第二名。我们的游客逐年增加导致我们的槟城国际机场已经超出650万人次的负荷量,原本预计2020年达标,但已经提前4年不敷使用。

5. 槟城实践良好及廉洁施政,有效协助槟城成为具有吸引力的金融投资地点。近期由莱坊(Knight Frank)所作的2016年大马商业产业投资调查,槟城成为马来西亚最吸引人的商业产业投资地点。此项调查对象涵盖了700名基金经理、产业发展商及融资者,该调查显示吉隆坡以56%位居第二,而槟城以67%名列第一。

6. 我们的愿景就是将槟城转化为国际及智慧城市。过去数年,槟城州政府在良好施政及廉洁领导下,积极的将槟城推销为投资的首选地、旅游的目的地及向往永续生活的人们宜居地,从2008年至2015年:
· 过去8年自希盟政府执政以来,槟城年度财政预算年年有盈余,2008-2015年8年来共累计了5亿7400万令吉,远比国阵过去1957-2007年执政50年的3亿7300万令吉还要多。我们过去8年表现得比国阵执政50年还要好!
· 我们的储备金8年来增加了近乎一倍,从8亿5000万令吉增加至16亿令吉。
· 过去2008至2015年8年来与2000至2007年对比,槟城的制造业投资从2000至2007年的249亿令吉增加到2008至2015年的549亿令吉,增加了87%,同时就业机会也从10万6583个就业机会增加至12万8317个就业机会,增加了17%。失业率低至1.6%,导致州内缺少2万名员工。
· 最重要的是,于此同时我们州的债务已经减少了90%,截至2015年终的债务是6900万令吉,是全国最低债务的州属。这笔6900万令吉的债务乃是跟全国13州所欠共168亿债务作比较,当中彭亨所欠29亿令吉的债务最高、其次是沙巴26亿令吉债务、砂拉越25亿令吉债务、吉打23亿令吉债务及吉兰丹13亿令吉债务。

州政府将要进行270亿令吉的槟城交通大蓝图,希望能克服随着繁荣进步而来的交通阻塞副作用,当中包括了铁轨、陆路、空中及水路。我们正在等待联邦政府的批准。

8. 马来西亚及槟城因为实施消费税及货币贬值所导致的经济衰退,面对诸多挑战。不幸的是,2017年的财政预算案并没有提出任何拯救经济的方案,特别是在建筑产业方面。 在经济衰退的时候,政府的计划对刺激经济是至关重要的。因此联邦政府根本没有任何理由不批准交通大蓝图,因为交通大蓝图能增加0.5%的全国国民生产总值。

林冠英

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