Probe into housing scam


Many have suspected that “sold out” property launches in Penang are not quite what they seem. Now comes news that the state government will probe pre-launch “bookings”.

The state government says it is also committed to ensuring affordable housing for low-income Penang residents through the Penang Housing Board. It also wants to control speculation and curb rocketing house prices soon after launches.

What have you heard or what’s your experience with this?

This report from The Star:

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Government will probe allegations that employees of housing developers booked units in projects prior to their launch and sold them later at higher prices.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said such complaints had come to his attention.

He said the state, through the Penang Housing Board to be gazetted on July 1, would study measures to curb such practices, which allegedly caused house prices to increase almost immediately after their launch.

Lim said the board would also introduce measures to safeguard the interest of Penangites who wanted to buy affordable homes.

He said other steps that would be studied included control of the sale of affordable homes in Penang to only first-time house buyers.

“This is to ensure that every eligible Penangite will have the opportunity to own a home,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

He was asked if the state planned to introduce measures to limit ownership of homes.

“When the Penang Housing Board is gazetted, our main aim will be to build affordable housing and priority will be given to Penangites and first-time buyers,” he said.

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Dpm now offer you low cost and affordable housing?

Or is it an election talk?

Not sure what is the criteria for eligibility, after the JPA scholarship hoo-hah?


It is just out of logic to limit the low cost housing project to first time buyer and Penangites only, the chief minister should do better than that. He should act in line with the objective of the program, to make sure low income group preferably first time buyer can take advantage of the intended housing before all others.

Ong Eu Soon

LGe’s low cost unit cost over RM110,000, tell me who is behind the property speculation.


quite high % youngsters today prefers to spend RM110,000 on car first than to opt for low cost unit.
why ?
Spend it eg a honda civic (at this price range) then can tackle naive girlfriends easily and may be can convince rich-in-laws to buy them a new house later.
who says cars are expensed items ?. It’s a short term investment asset to gain access to long term fixed assets like expensive condos/houses provided by rich in-laws.



since anil’s readers like music video, i also dedicate this song PRICE TAG hopefully we are wise to turn away from greed be in property speculation or going on unnecessary impulsive purchases to keep up with the pack


a house should be a home but in penang it becomes house of fun madness bcos of greedy people with connection making fun and profit from system ineffectiveness & loopholes.

another topic for next ge rally ?


yes anil – high costs of housing and perceived non-listening to people governent caused 4 out of 10 Sporeans to go against the incumbent PAP, resulting major cabinet reshuffle (many veterans retired – forced ?).

will barang naik trend causes tsunami at national level in bolehland ? or are there more juicy revealations that could trigger part 2 of rally ? your guess is as good as mine


Former Spore Minister in charge of housing stepped down after general election there.

Msia Minister of Housing Chor Chee Heong probably has to give more logical (he was also an accountant) explanation on perceived housing scams otherwise he may share similar fate ?


madness – this is how we descibe housing situation in penang.


Trying to stop someone to own more than one house is not a feasible solution to homeownership project. But trying to stop the employee of the housing department from buying up all the low cost housing units with the hope of resell them at a higher price is a proper way to tackle the problem. The state low cost affordable housing unit is for the low income group, not the rest of the population including the state employees.


It is no different from insider trading of the stock markets – manipulating for pure instant profiteering of whether it is low cost or medium cost or high cost housing. And mind you, it is the first tier of insider (developer) artificial price increase manipulation before launch to the unknowing public.


This my personal experience at buying a property in Penang for the first time in my life. About 2+ years ago, when I heard of the Simfonia 2 proposed development, I was interested and went to UDA’s office in Tanjung Bungah. Together with my wife, we decided that the property in question would suit our needs and took a big decision to commit the rest of our lives paying off a massive housing loan but at least (as we consoled ourselves) we would leave our descendants a piece of real estate in a prime location in Penang. We duly put… Read more »


Change that! Otherwise be donkeys for more decades to come.


And this is on top of the 5% discount in Penang for bumi buyers regardless of quantam! No wonder UMNOputras do not want any change to the present system!

Yeah, after filthy profiteering from the 5% policy, have the biles to complain of not enough bumi-home ownership in urban Penang!
No wonder loud mouth katak-katak love to pretend to complain and decry from the comforts of renovated kampong’s water lily ponds!


Including legal firms’ lawyers and office boys and developers’ secretaries?

Nadarajan Rajagopal

One must look into all the aspects of developing, building, selling and speculating. Herein also must look at the functions of the developer and his staff; the end financiers and their staff; the lawyers and their staff and last but not least the legally registered house brokers and also the unregistered brokers(touts). When I wanted to buy a house in Penang I visited the sight office and the staff there said that it would be open for booking on a certain date and then only the exact price of the houses will be let known. When I came back I… Read more »


Nadarajan, thks for sharing but why must you pay for an additional of RM3k?


Nowadays, instead of the developers advertise and sell it to the public, some developers they make a deal with the Real Estate Company, and as a result of which, the public are paying a higher price unnecessary for the houses they purchase.


All because of Donald Duck Trumpet!
“It is not good (respectable) enough to be rich…” is a popular investment seminar’s opening pitch of money gurus. “You can be wealthy by following this mantra…Greed Is Good.”


Here’s another thought: Could this be one of those appease-the-masses exercise with no material change in policy at the end of the day? There are no questions that affordability is out of the hands of normal Penangites. The low interests rates, low up front costs when buying a property just serves as oil to a already fire hot market – something which the state government can’t do much there. They have to be aware of the unhappiness brewing on the ground. So do the drama/campaign of launching an investigation only to tell you that it was the land scarcity and… Read more »


Speculators and corrupted officials working hand to a glove with developers are the main causes for the first house owners. China today is fast becoming a Japan of tomorrow…where purchasing a house takes two to three generations to pay. Within 20 years the houses in big and medium cities are asking 15,000 Chinese yuan per sq m. where an average person earns in the city less than 2000 yuan…forget, the less urban areas, the earning capacity is less than 1000yuan. Surely Malaysians has better sense not wanting this situation reaching our doorstep.
Perhaps, PR govt will fare better, no?

Christine Yong

Hey, you cannot stop speculators if they are genuine buyers with solid back ground and money with no corrutpion involved!! They are also taking a risk as property prices might plunged. You just need to compete and buy what you can afford! Measures has to be implemented fairly and economically sustainable!! No Ali Baba business! Some ppl having privileges to buy low and sell high in corrupt ways!


Hey, you cannot stop speculators… But it will all add up to a boiling point of no return in this herd frenzy of speculative wilderbeest of the Serengeti Mad Rush of getting rich and wealthy faster than the meagre 3% crawl of bank deposit! Not even the once promising but now lagging share market can match this $$$frenzy of unimaginable sky high profiteering. Only the blue sky is the limit. But it looks like the average workers will not afford to own a decent home in their lifetime, unimaginable in the early 70’s and 80’s. Free enterprise economy must be… Read more »


Stop speculation!…because we are supposed to live n a democratic country, we cannot stop anyone from buying more than one home but, the authorities can ask the buyer to make a declaration. The potential buyer should be asked to declare the number of houses he owns, individually and in his family. Then, priority should then be given to those first house owners without prejudice.
We cannot help in the capitalist world “cash is the king”


Bare in mind that this will increase the trade cost, and TOO EASY to overcome.

Time to throw another question to government : what cause people so eager to own a house even they are young( low interest rate? rent collecting profitable? )? Can a house/apartment cost can be severely cut? E.g. should space use for car parking or should it use it to build more unit? If land are scarce, why urban state like Penang build so many road?


Well connected people and employees of developers booking up all the good units if not all the units for sale at a profit is nothing new, but an open secret since donkey years.

What is news is when a politician is said to be taking action on such activity.


B’cos previous politicians under politically eunuch … galloping in Komtar Tower didn’t care a damn of such hanky-panky in house business by developers to create artificial demands thus driving up home prices.

It takes strong political will power to rein in such monkey business by a leader whose back is not itchy for scratching by developers!


Just another point of view : transportation make a HUGE different in curbing housing speculation. It become Malaysia urban trends to stay near to working place to avoid traffic jam. IMHO, Penang state should be Malaysia urban example of “car free” city. It is funny that Malaysia love to use car even on short 5km ride. Since state government collect almost zero income from car, promote bicycle, electric bicycle are the way to go. A short 10km distance are always within the reach of electric bicycle and compensate for area without a feasible bus route. Saving HUGE AMOUNT of land… Read more »


In Penang, I would drive even if it is less than 1km away. Reason being that no proper pedestrian walk and hardly any overhead bridge to use.

If I choose to walk, I literally walk on the road with motocyclists brushing my shoulders over; when i cross the street, i have to brave over so many vehicles that could potentially drag me under their tyres any minute. It is very scary!


sunflower, yes, these days i am very scared to cross the road, and now you make it even more eerie for me to cross the road…


I don’t see a problem of taking my bicycle out in Klang valley. With helmet and safety light, bicycle is economical, faster,safer and more convenient. Well, you can call me crazy when you know I even travel to place 15-20 km away from home using a bicycle, cycling for 45 mins, on hilly and heavy traffic Klang valley road. Bare in mind that the road condition are not tip top, that scatter with rubbish, gravel and settled cement silts, since Klang Valley municipal councils are AFU in township maintenance. I saw lots of foreign worker travel with cheap RM200 bicycle… Read more »

James Cameron

At least a foot forward in this housing mess.

Beach Boys

government promote selling local cars like Proton & MyVi (survival for the #$@$%) as major priority hence traffic woes in the cities can never be solved.


In sarawak too. in a town in serian. They are a bought by cronies and sold again for profit to new needy buyers rampant ,happens everywhere.
no watch dog.. Syabas to Penang for at least doing something about it,


This is open economy, and limit ownership of house are ridiculous and increase the monitoring cost. It is pretty common sense : when house rental too profitable, you cannot stop people finding loop holes to join in the rent seeking game. Rich people can always find lawyer to do the ali-baba way(with legal agreement) work around the limit. Cost are one time and while rent collecting are long term. What’s the better way? Increase the assessment tax for UNSOLD houses to 300% is way to go. Confiscate long term vacant land, put time frame penalty on “undeveloped” private land is… Read more »


It is not an attempt to stop Penangites from owning more than one house, but to prevent the employee or insider from the developer to snap up all or some of the units build for the low income group mandated in state policy in order to profit through reselling.


Enact an EFFECTIVE policies and regulations are more complicate than general publics can imagine. Good government don’t simply enact law and regulation before close studies. There is lots of real live thesis around the world , show “good intention” gone bad, or even turn worst. E.g. ISA, OSA,printing press law in Malaysia turn stale and become worst, beside destroying the freedom of speech, it also curb the economy progress. Let’s take another real live example from Japan. In 2007, when Japan make hefty penalty on driving under influence of alcohol (AKA drunk driving), hits and runs cases continue to rise.… Read more »


We all know the tricks by the developers.

The lower price units they advertised on billboards are meant to attract you. But we all know that these units are not available for sale. Reason that is usually quoted is ‘reserved for bumis’.