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Housing discounts are a help to bumis

This letter is a response to my fellow Malaysians who had sent the following letters APs bad, but race-based house pricing worse and Five percent bumi housing discount - PM too?

Part of being Malaysian is to not only think of oneself but also to think of the fate of others. In this case, the real scenario involves residential housing and the five percent discount afforded to bumiputeras who by the way, are not just Malays.

Currently, I am renting in Penang in a residential area with 120 units. Here, there is one Malay and three Indian house owners while the rest are Chinese. This is the reality of Penang's housing scenario even after the NEP policy was enforced.

The crux of the matter is most middle-income earners like myself cannot even afford the house prices here even with the five percent discount! Bumiputeras like me will eventually have to resort to buying a house or an apartment out of Penang island and commute the one hour or more each day to work (that is, if there is no Penang bridge jam).

With the rising cost of petrol, toll charges and not to mention the time spent on the road instead of with my five children, I wonder what the writers above are complaining about. Maybe they do not care at all what happens to the rest of us Malaysians.

Wouldn't it be nice if out of 120 units, we have neighbours who are of from the various races and backgrounds so that we could learn more about and from each another while living side by side?

Even with this five percent housing discount, most middle-income earners cannot even afford housing on Penang island. The prices for three-bedroom houses here start from RM300,000 onwards!

A few months ago, I lined up at a developer's office in Sungai Petani, Kedah and ended up talking to a man (non-bumiputera) from Penang who was apparently purchasing his fifth house which he will either resell or rent.

The sales person told me that most of the people who were there were into property investment. Kudos to them for being able to afford it, but I can't help thinking that without the five percent housing discount, there is no way people like me and other bumis can even afford to own our own home to live in.

I am not for economic disparity between the races and social class as it will only escalate racial tensions and instability. Perhaps as Malaysians, we should examine the scenario objectively instead of just pouting our lips and whining that some have been treated unfairly by the five percent discount.

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