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How Penjana Benefits Young Property Buyers

How Penjana Benefits Young Property Buyers, HOC

The National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) is said to be good news for young, middle-income prospective homebuyers into realising their dream to own a property. Here at LBS Bina Group Berhad (LBS), we welcome the government’s measures to stimulate the property sectors through the incentives announced by the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on 5 June 2020.

LBS Group Managing Director, Tan Sri Lim Hock San, believes that these incentives can spur the property market during this pandemic. As to support this measure, LBS will be unveiling additional incentive package through the LBS #DudukRumah Deals to help Malaysians own a home.

According to Scott International (Malaysia) chairman, Datuk Sr Lau Wai Seang, given these trying times, with various uncertainties and economic challenges, where there are many layoffs and pay adjustments, many potential purchasers very probably will defer their plan to own a house.

Buying a property is a big commitment, and for first time buyers, hunting for a dream house is an experience the buyer is not likely to forget. The entire process could be intimidating when not equipped with the right knowledge, and you might overlook certain critical elements in calculating the total expenditure of acquiring your home.

Proper research is required when one is about to purchase a property, and with the announcement of these PENJANA incentives, property buying activities is expected to heighten in the next few months and help stimulate the Malaysian economy. So, what were the incentives announced? Let us briefly go through it one by one.

From 1 June 2020 to 31 May 2021, the Home Ownership Campaign 2020 (HOC) is to be reintroduced. Buyers will be granted stamp duty exemption on the instruments of transfer and loan agreement for the purchase of residential homes priced between MYR300,000 to MYR2.5 million, subject to at least 10% discounts provided by the developer.

For buyers, it is important to note that you can get these exemptions only if the property is registered with REHDA Malaysia (for Peninsular Malaysia), SHEDA (for Sarawak), and SHAREDA (for Sabah).

The exemption on the instrument of transfer is limited to the first MYR1 million of the home price, while full stamp duty exemption is given on loan agreement effective for sales and purchase agreements signed between the period stated above.

Under the incentive, the 70% margin of financing limit that was applicable for third residential property valued at MYR600,000 and above will also be uplifted. Which means financial institutions can now choose to approve up to 90% property loan, even if the buyer is already buying his third property. The ability to obtain loans however is subject to internal risk management and assessment of the respective financial institutions.

The incentive also caters to existing home owners who would like to sell their residential property. Between 1 June 2020 to 31 December 2021, any gains arising from the disposal will be exempted from RPGT, and it is applicable up to three properties for each home owner. This exemption will help owners who need to liquidate due to financial woes caused by the pandemic.

For first time property buyer, the question that lingers on your mind would be if it is a good time to commit to buying a property post-MCO. If you have been looking into owning a property, if it is currently in your short-term goal, now would be the absolute best time to proceed with the idea.

Owning a property is good for you as it is an asset that increase in value over time (value appreciation) as a result of changes in inflation or interest rates. Why does appreciation matter so much? At the most basic level, it makes us feel financially secure, especially knowing that we are able to liquidate our asset in time of need.

The Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) is exceptionally beneficial and you get to save a whole lot of money from the exemptions. TA Research believes that home buyers and investors are expected to be the biggest beneficiary from PENJANA, as measures unveiled would help to reduce their entry and exit cost.

For those who have been working for a few years, this is the best time to start looking into a property. Getting one at a young age would be one of the best investments you can make, especially with the PENJANA incentive introduced, it would be highly wasteful to not make full use of it. This is the only time when bank would be lenient with their loan, and to not seize the opportunity presented would not be a smart thing to do.

We cannot stress enough on how this sort of campaign does not happen often so when it does, it is best to not miss out on it – seize the opportunity and reap the benefits for your own self.

Adapting To The New Normal

Life has been full of uncertainties for us lately. Every two weeks we wait in front of our televisions, our mobile phones, to find out what is next? Where do we go from here? What is the news we will be receiving today? What will the prime minister tell us? Will the MCO be extended? Are the number of cases going down? Are we in the clear now? Can we, finally, go back to normal? Hundreds if not thousands of questions go through our heads and most of the time, we do not like the answers to it.

As much as we hate to admit it, and as in denial as we want to be, life will never go back to normal for us, those days are over – until a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus has been developed at least. Even so, it is unlikely for our lives to go back 100% to the way it was – we are all traumatised now. We will always involuntarily be extra conscious among strangers. Having a person sneezing near us will make us anxious, and when we start sneezing the next day, even for a completely different reason, our anxieties will shoot up through the roof.

Whether we like it or not, we must start adapting to the new normal. Wearing a mask when we go out even for just a short while, is vital – it is literal life or death. Having to be alert of your distance to a stranger at all times may feel odd in the beginning, and will feel taxing after a while, but this is our reality now, this is our new normal. We have to do it!

Recently we have been requested to go back to work as per normal to restart our economy. We were taking in major losses every day and our country could no longer afford it. It was a tough decision but one that had to be made. From small businesses to companies with substantial revenue, many Malaysians are losing and have lost their jobs. According to BNM Annual Report, the unemployment rate is expected to hit 4% this year due to the outbreak – that is over 2 million citizens, and the livelihood of even more will be affected.

It is understandable for us to feel fear of having to go back to work in the middle of a pandemic, and to deal with the anxiety that tags along with it, it is important for us to have knowledge on how to stay safe. It is crucial for us to abide by the rules of the new normal. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, wear a mask when going out, practice social distancing for at least 1 metre from the next person in the office, and always carry a hand sanitiser with you, just in case. Do not gather for lunch, and do not eat others’ food. These may all seem tedious, but it could be lifesaving.

Will this new normal change us? Hopefully, for the better. In a way, it trains us to have self-discipline and be aware of our environment. This new normal will push us to become more cooperative, and to listen to the authorities better, because our lives depend on them.

When we cooperate with the guidelines given by the Ministry of Health, we are also helping the frontliners. In fact, there is a saying that we are actually the frontliners. We are the ones who are capable of putting a stop to this pandemic. When we apply these guidelines in our daily lives, we are the one who get to decide on whether we are going to infect our society or not. The doctors and nurses are the last line of defence, when we are infected, they will be our last hope. Naturally, it is our duty to help lessen their burden.

Just the other day, we were informed that Raya gathering is permissible, provided the house contains a maximum number of 20 people, no crossing your residential state, and they must all be family members only. Although we have been blessed with this leeway by the government, we must use our own discretion and not abuse the privilege.

It is best to exercise our own judgement on whether this Raya gathering needs to be done within our families or not. Do we have many elderlies in our family? Will we be asymptomatic and unknowingly infect them? As we already know, the elders are more prone to be infected and they are unlikely to recover or survive from it. The best way to show our love for them is by staying away and using technology to keep in touch with them.

Wanting to be with our loved ones during Raya is normal, but we all must pull ourselves together so we can win this fight. We must put aside the desire to have a normal Raya gathering with our family and friends, so we can ensure we will still be able to celebrate Raya with them for many more years to come.

As much as we find this new normal to be suffocating and limiting to our normal routine, we have no other choice but to buck up and just do it. It is for the literal survival of ourselves, our loved ones, and our species as a whole. If we stay disciplined and apply the guidelines provided into our daily lives, we will get through this pandemic alive.

Flatten The Curve, Strengthen The Love

We’re treading through uncharted waters. Unless you’ve lived through the Spanish flu, the deadliest pandemic in history, we’re facing an unprecedented event. It’s been a little over a decade since the world experienced the last pandemic – the 2009 H1N1 swine flu. 1.4 billion people across the globe were infected and over half a million did not make it. Therefore, it seems reasonable to expect stringent measures by the authorities.

But that’s not the case.

The world is in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic caused by a novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, a virus that has no precedent hence no vaccine yet. By all serious estimates, it is going to be a major killer. Our government has taken all the necessary measures to curb it from spreading further and as socially responsible citizens, it is our duty to follow orders.

What was initially a two-week Movement Control Order (MCO) has now become a month, with expectations of an extension. Although it feels a little suffocating to be cooped up in your house for a month, this decision was made after a thorough analysation by the authorities and considering the curve we were heading towards, this measure is not extreme at all but highly necessary. Based on global data collected, so far, COVID-19 is most deadly for people over 60 who have underlying health conditions. If you’re a student who’s feeling stuck at your university during this period, missing your parents and family and dreading not being able to go home, change your perspective. You are not stuck, you are safe and sheltered, a privilege that plenty are unable to enjoy during this pandemic.

You’re potentially saving their lives, too. Many healthy young adults are asymptomatic and silent carriers; you might infect other people especially the elders like your parents. Therefore, the MCO is highly important and must be obeyed 100%, which means no hanging out with your best friends too. Limit the number of physical interactions to only the people you’re living with, that’s how you help flatten the curve.

We understand working adults are also restless about not being able to go back to your hometown and be with your parents, too. Basically, every Malaysian right now would want to be with their family and loved ones. Don’t worry too much if you’re unable to physically be with your loved ones in this duration. It is normal to miss the sense of your mother’s touch, your father’s smell, your sister’s infectious laughter. You need to try your level best to pull it together and you will come out of this stronger. Your emotional bond, your connection with them, would also become undeniably stronger.

Now that we are home-bound, it is also a good time for us to take the time to reflect on the importance of love in our lives and how we must learn to appreciate things as they can be taken away from us in a split second. Who would have thought going out to restaurants with family and friends would become illegal, or even going to the park to do some light exercises? These are among the things that we have all enjoyed throughout our lives and somehow took for granted; because we never thought we would lose our freedom to do these basic things.

We are lucky we are living in the 21st century, where we have modern technology that is sophisticated enough to allow us to communicate with anyone we like 24/7. Besides that, not only do we get to hear their voice, we also get to see their face and see their gestures. In this pandemic, that is enough to feed and warm our soul, and to temporarily cure our longing for the natural human experience.

To date, the Ministry of Health has announced that the current MCO is working in flattening the curve. The number of new cases is lower than it was initially projected to be, which is great news for us Malaysians. This is a good example of why we must strictly adhere to the “Stay-at-Home” order accordingly. As long as we cooperate and work as one, the sooner we will be able to end this and start going back to our normal lives. Until then we all must stay strong, stay put, keep ourselves updated, take care of our health both mentally and physically, and wash our hands frequently. Stay safe, everyone. Together, we will get through this.

– Corporate Liaison and Digital Media Department

Being Grateful Amid COVID-19

This month has been a challenging month for us Malaysians what with the recent new strain virus outbreak known as COVID-19. To date, there has been more than 1,500 positive cases in Malaysia. Good news is, so far 139 patients have recovered and been discharged.

Now that Malaysia is under Restricted Movement Order (RMO), we at LBS hope everyone is quarantining themselves at home to help flatten the curve. Go out only when it is absolutely necessary and practice social distancing at all times. It is up to each one of us to help stop the spread of the virus. Only with our collective effort, we will be able to end this and stop the nightmare.

During this RMO period, let’s take the time to really dig deep and reflect on every little aspect of our lives, do a little soul searching. Look at the things we have been taking for granted for years, and how important it is for us to start being grateful for every blessing that comes our way, be it big or small. You don’t have to be picky, there is nothing too small for you to be thankful for. It can be as simple as appreciating the clear weather or how quickly your online shopping parcel arrived despite the current restriction.

Find gratitude in your challenges. Sometimes, thinking about negative or difficult situations can help to really nail down what you have to be thankful for. Dig a little deeper into some of your own past experiences and try to figure out how they have helped shape you into the person you are today. How those experiences have matured you and strengthen you, and how they’ve prepared you for future obstacles.

Take this time to cultivate better health habits. Eat more nutritious food to help boost your immunity, do some home exercise to keep fit, and avoid risky behaviours such as going out unnecessarily. Our health is one of the things we tend to subconsciously take for granted, and this will stop us from having optimistic and healing attitudes. When we take better care of our physical health, our mental state will be better too.

We know by now a lot of people are starting to get restless. A sudden halt from the hustle and bustle of life, and we understand completely. In times like these, you must learn how to slow down and take things one day at a time. Don’t think about two weeks, but rather focus on today. Do some breathing exercises. Count your blessings. Say it out loud if you have to! Make small goals for the day that you would like to achieve. This is a reset, and a chance for you to look at life from a different perspective.

Until then, stay safe, follow the orders, and wash your hands frequently!

International Women’s Month 2020

“Behind every successful man, there is a strong woman.” – Anonymous.

As cliché as this famous saying goes, there’s a big chunk of truth behind it. Behind every man’s success, there is a strong woman who’s holding the fort when he’s unable to, a strong woman who caters to the man’s needs so he doesn’t have to, a strong woman who takes up the man’s responsibilities so he would not need to worry about anything else other than to successfully chase his dreams.

Often time, a woman’s role as an equal partner often gets overlooked, and despite the amount of hard work she has put into managing everything, she still ends up as just a shadow to her man’s success, that is if she’s lucky. Sometimes, she barely even gets a mention.

The truth is, gender stereotypes and bias have always existed, for decades. For years, women have always been asserted of their role as men’s support system, never the person in charge who’s capable of paving their own way to success. This has always been the belief for many years, and surprisingly, it still is in the 21st century, up to this very day.

Ask any woman, and most of them, if not all, will tell you they have experienced being discriminated simply for being born with the XX chromosome. Discrimination at the workplace is often unheeded – heard and noticed by many, but disregarded, even by women themselves. Have we ever stopped and asked ourselves, why is this happening? Why are we allowing this?

Since young, women have been taught to tolerate being disrespected at or looked down upon. “Boys will always be boys.” As if women need to expect to be treated poorly by the opposite gender, as if it is inevitable; and because of this, there are still plenty of sexual violence against women cases in every continent of the world. Women are being murdered simply for rejecting men’s advances. This is despicable and should not have a place in today’s modern society.

An equal world is an enabled world. A gender equal world can be healthier, wealthier, and more harmonious, what’s not great about that? Gender equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive. Both men and women have different roles and strengths, but what the society often mention to acknowledge is that both genders are equally strong. Women are educators, and primary caretakers of children and elders in every single country of the world. International studies demonstrate that when the economy and political organisation of a society change, women take the lead in helping the family adjust to new realities and challenges.

Yet at the same time, women have contributed plenty in technology, in sports, in health, in economy, and in creatives too to name a few. Throughout history, women play an integral part in the development of society. The central role of women in society has ensured the stability, progress, and long-term development of nations.

According to the United Nations, women’s voices and participation in all aspects of society are more important than ever, as witnessed in the context of the global economic crisis, during the political transitions in the Arab world and elsewhere, and environmental disasters.

“Behind every successful woman, there is herself.” – Bart Jackson.

Today, the median female share of the global workforce is 45.4%. The role of women in the urban and rural workforce has expanded exponentially in recent decades. Women’s formal and informal labour can transform a community from a relatively autonomous society to a participant in the national economy.

Gender equality and the empowerment of women are gaining around worldwide, but despite this momentum, there is a long way to go before women can be said to enjoy the fundamental rights, freedom, and dignity that are their birth right and that will guarantee their well-being. Celebrating women’s achievements and increasing visibility, while calling out inequality, is key.

“When women are empowered and can claim their rights and access to land, leadership, opportunities, and choices – economies grow, food security is enhanced, and prospects are improved for current and future generations,” – Michele Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of United Nations Women.

Here at LBS Bina Group, we have plenty of women staff who have tirelessly contribute on a daily basis to ensure the growth of the company. It is vital to us for their hard work to be seen and acknowledged. Individually, we are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions, however we need to be mindful that we are all parts of a whole – our individual actions, conversations, behaviours, and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society.

We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations, and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal work environment, and pave our way towards a gender equal world. After all, equality is not a women’s issue, but a business issue.