Soaring property prices: Profits vs Basic right to housing


This video, ‘M-C-M: Utopia milik siapa?’ explores how housing – a basic human right – has been turned into a commodity that earns fabulous profits for developers and banks while pushing homes beyond the reach of young working adults.

Political parties on both sides of the divide realise that the lack of ‘affordable housing’ is likely to be a key election issue. In response, their approach has been to point to their record in building such homes or to come up with fresh pledges to build more such homes in the coming years.

But does this go far enough – when it is the entire system that has turned affordable housing into a commodity that enriches bankers and developers, not to mention supporting professionals. As housing prices soar, many ordinary Malaysians find themselves priced out of the market or incurring unhealthy amounts of household debt through burdensome housing loans.

From easy loans to the building of high profit-margin homes targeted at the wealthy elite (both locals and foreigners), many young Malaysians find themselves pushed further out to the outskirts of of the city – where public transport to places of work is lacking.

So then they have to incur further expenses on petrol, toll and private motor vehicles to reach their places of work in the city.

Boon Kia Meng’s production also explores the possibility that we may be heading for a property bubble and points to some similarities with the situation in Spain.

Verdict: A fine effort by Kia Meng on an important social issue, worth the watch. Hopefully, this video will prompt Malaysians to ask political parties what they are going to do to revamp the system – so that once again, housing will be viewed as a basic human right and not a commodity to enrich developers and bankers at the expense of the people.

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The observer

Agreed. Notice that most people are still sleeping, no matter which parties win. The issue of property overprice will be there as neither of them bother to cares. All they can do is making us having more debt.Its like postpone the issue for a greater issue in future. We are heading to a bubble soon.

Ong Eu Soon

today when the world economy is bad, our leaders are telling us that if we don’t buy the properties now, the price will continue to go up. Something that is out of their control. The worst thing is that you are so dumb and stupid to believe it, wasting hundred of thousands on a property that has only an artificial value. You don’t even has the brain to buy cheap property around the world at fiction of the cost. Only know how to bemoan like a sick and very ill human soul. You has failed miserably by endorsing your stupid… Read more »


Darren, Wong Chun Wai is doing a great job of creating awareness of Penang heritage, whether inspired by me or not. There are those who had done it earlier like Khoo Salma, who inspired me in the 80s-90s. For me, it is not a foremost reason to compete or profit from such an endeavor, rather an inner passion for what I genuinely know intimately that money or politics cannot influence. You can see it in the works of those who truly pursue a passion with a mission. As it is now, I will continue creating works of art at my… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon

If you want to be rich join me. If you wan to be miserable then join Lim Guan Eng. The coming election I will launch my last campaign against the dumb politicians in this country as a thank you gesture before i finally left this country for good. The battle cry for the coming election will be Vote for change not Guan Eng.
Lim Guan Eng will be remembered as the most dumb politician who make his supporters’ life miserable by artificially jack up the housing price.

Ong Eu Soon

Most of you probably believe that my story is just a make believe lie. All of you have forgotten that US still hardly recovered from the foreclose housing crisis. There are plenty of prime properties in Canada remain unsold. If you have cash, you can buy up properties at less than 1/3 the original price. I only targeted at resort destinations to source for my properties. It is better than buy gold which the price almost reached it’s peak. Nothing more to gain. With the profit margin you will become rich beyond imagination. The next thing you need to do… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon

RM40,000 you can only buy a poverty stricken slum like Green Garden at Paya Terumbung. You want to buy a bungalow with 4 bedrooms, it will cost you probably RM4 million. You want a decent home, you need to fork out at least RM400,000 to buy the so called affordable home. How many of you have the EPF’s saving of half a million? Even if you have the money, after purchase the affordable home, what is there left for you to survive for the rest of your retirement life? Our politicians told us that every where in the world, the… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon

As a non resident, I can buy a piece of land of over 27 acre in canada with down payment of USD1000 and monthly installment of USD415 for 10 years. The land is a water front prime land which I totally can’t afford in Malaysia. My EPF’s total saving of half a million is not sufficient for me to buy even the so called affordable home in Penang island. It is better that I migrate to Canada to start a new life as a timber planter. This coming election will be the last time I cast my vote. I might… Read more »


It seems many people here still failed to grasp the idea how the country money supplies jack up the price of house, goods, foods, AKA INFLATION. Property,goods alone, just CANNOT CAUSE INFLATION. It is the oversupply of money that cause inflation. It is the government CREATE abstract money (Printing it) and buy goods, pay government servant salaries using the ADVANCE money. It is similar like “buying” stuff using credit card , but printing money is way better than credit card borrowing, it DEVALUE the money. It is plain common sense in purchase power. Imagine there is 1000 $1 and there… Read more »

najib manaukau

No matter what Najib is promising any idiot knows that is an empty promise, BN was in control of Penang for so many decades, the housing shortage problem just did not happen in the last few years. Ice was not frozen from water the minute you need it ? It takes time to freeze ice from water, just like houses from the raw materials they nee time to have them planned and time to build, Najib you had all these for so many decades yet nothing was done about housing need in the island. Now you have the audacity to… Read more »


This has gone far enough. We are a nation of only 28 million with more then ample land. The culprits are developers and very very very importantly banks who use almost 80% of their lending portfolio on property instead of building businesses. The other culprits are of course the local councils and states under whom the purview of land falls. The BN has failed miserably because they cannot rein in the developers and they themselves are blackmailed by our bankers. They can’t even pass a simple law to cut off speculators who buy enbloc rows of terrace houses and shoplots.… Read more »


Housing is a basic need of every human, irrespective of class & creeds. But it has turned into a gambling chip where the average Malaysians now cannot afford to take a risk (servicing a bigger loan without defaulting payments) or to actually own a home until it is fully paid for by the end of probably 35 years of loan or at worst paid for by next generation. Q: How many Malaysians are in the 1% rich & wealthy? Q: Why not build for the 99% Malaysians who comprise the middle class, lower middle & the poor? The consequence of… Read more »


PR1MA housing for the poor. You can try to befriend MCA or Gerakan to try your luck for one unit.

Ong Eu Soon

To build a bungalow in US or Canada, the typical cost is from USD40,000 to USD70,000 depend on the type of house and the size you want to build. This is excluding the cost of land. Why in western country, a custom built home is cheaper than Malaysia? What is wrong with us? Guan Eng thought if he build more high end properties, he is developing Penang. The truth is end of the day, almost all the developers will suffer heavily from his wanton approval for housing projects. The number one crony of Lim Guan Eng, now can’t even afford… Read more »



Bankruptcy is not a PR or BN issue. Our monetary system is such that bankruptcy cannot be avoided. The problem is INTEREST!

Imagine the world only have 3 people. 1 banker and 2 loaners. Banker creates money through loans but only 1 loaner will be able to pay back principle + interest. The money for interest was never created or exist in the first place.


Without TONS of Money supplies (AKA printing money) , there is not enough fuel to jack up the properties bubbles.

And that’s how Keynesian economics play along. Unfortunately, the real economic are way beyond Keynesianism, the model COLLAPSE and explode in front of everyone.

We Siong

Mah Sing’s catalog that is given free with newspaper showcasing all it’s housing projects, but none is in the affordable category. Blame who?


When the housing industry gets ‘hijacked’ by wannabe who’s-who-developers in Forbes Mag & false-financial ‘mirage’ promotions by croc tearing O’Blady banks & compounded further by straitjacketed state gomen / local authorities, what used to be a manageable social need has now become a rich men’s commodity traded & gambled no different from Genting Highland’s sleepless casino roulettes. Home investment gurus can give glowing pictures of wealth creation of limitless possibilities, but they have to bear in mind (responsibly) the inflationary effect of artificial price spiral. No wonder one hears ecstatic expressions at investment talks of home building & investing as… Read more »



Are you echoing the view of Dr Ernest Cheung who had said in the video that the property bubble will burst in 9 months?

Couple with the expected sharp decline in KL stock market after GE13, we should get ready our hard cash to buy low to sell high later!


Wong Chun Wai could be inspired by tunglang to start reminiscing about old Penang in his Saturday column on The Star. With old tales and pictures of Gurney Drive and Canarvon Street so far, he is quite ahead in publishing a book of nolstagic Penang while tunglang still bemoaning his housing woes with kopi ah huat kau kau?


George, read my earlier numerous comments on Penang properties articles in which have highlighted many of what I wrote here including the dizzy reach for a slot in Forbes Mag.

Ong Eu Soon

George, if you have hard cash don’t ever buy any property in Malaysia. Go to Canada source for properties at world renowned resort destination. You can buy property at less than 1/3 of original price. For example i purchased a 4 bedroom bungalow and use it as a collateral to secure a loan to buy land, the bank evaluate my house based on market value of USD40000 when i purchased it with USD12,000. Today my properties in Canada worth USD100,000 when i only invested with hard cash of USD12,000. No economy guru can give you a better tips than i… Read more »


As property prices generally heat up globally, there are already some concerted restrictions by concerned countries to stabilize / protect / bring sanity to their local housing industry. Limitations on foreigners like restriction to buying of agricultural lands, withholding tax on rentals, larger down payments, restriction to one unit, etc have reversed some of the ill-effects. Reported figures by industry associations and media as varied as 3.5 per cent & 20 per cent for the percentage of housing sales that involve buyers from outside Canada have shown the dire effects on local housing prices. What if the % goes higher… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon

no big deal. the restriction is imposed on certain areas where the Chinese love the most. I only invest on place where the americans love the most. See the world has what you call double standard. There is total no restriction at all for places near US border to facilitate Americans to buy the properties. These areas are the one that have most potential. The place “I invested i doubt there is any chinese there. May be i am the first one. Anyway better make your move fast before it is too late. At least i won’t high spreed internet… Read more »