Tuesday, October 29, 2013

MALAYSIA -RPGT hike gets Sarawak MTUC support

Meanwhile the trade union was vocal on the non-allotment of funds for workforce training under Budget 2014.
KUCHING: Sarawak MTUC is disappointment at the lack of allocation in Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s Budget2014 to further develop the productivity levels of local Sarawak labour.
Its secretary, Andrew Lo said that in terms of private sector workforce, there was nothing much to shout about in the Budget 2014.
“The federal budget had no distinction between its benefits and effects on labour everywhere in Malaysia.
“And in terms of allocation for workforce training, it was quite disappointing,” Lo told FMT when contacted today.

He opined that Sarawak should have receive an allocation to further enhance its labour productivity, which ultimately would result in the state being less dependent on foreign labour.
“We should have a particular allocation to provide training in further developing our workers’ efficiency.
“Otherwise, Sarawak will continue to depend on foreign workforce,” Lo said.
Lo however lauded the decision by the government to increase the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT).
The decision he said would ‘hopefully help to reduce house prices in Sarawak’.
In Budget 2014 unveiled by Najib on Friday, RPGT saw an increase to 30% for properties disposed within the first three years, a doubling of the previous rate.
For disposals within four and five years, the rates have been increased to 20 and 15% respectively, while for disposals made in the sixth and subsequent years, no RPGT is imposed, whereas companies are taxed at 5%.
House prices high in Sarawak
Over the weekend the Sarawak  Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (SHEDA) claimed that house prices in Sarawak were lower than those in Peninsular Malaysia.
Sheda secretary Sim Kiang Chok reacting to the RPGT increase had reportedly voiced his concern over its impact.
He opined that the RPGT increase could do more damage than good in a state like Sarawak, where house prices and purchasing trends are greatly different from those in Peninsular.
He also said that SHEDA members were already bracing for lower growth next year.
“In the first place, one should remember that house prices in Sarawak are not as high as in Peninsular Malaysia.
“Big cities over there might need these measures, but here, in smaller cities and towns, it’s not so good to implement such one-size-fits-all solutions,” Sim reportedly said.
But Lo disputed this.
“It is a complete lie. Clearly, the (housing) prices in Sarawak are higher than in the Peninsular.
“Sheda should work with the government in getting the prices reduced, rather than letting its members to continue charging exorbitant prices all over Sarawak,” said Lo.
Lo’s view was based on a earlier statement by Sheda president Zaidi Ahmad who had reportedly dislcosed that a standard double-storey or semi-detached house in Sarawak was from RM316,000 onwards depending on locality.
On the other end, a single storey-terrace unit would cost RM222,000.
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