PETALING JAYA (April 17): The government should seriously consider declaring 2020 a "tax-free year" in light of the economic downturn and the global Covid-19 pandemic that has brought the country almost to a standstill for more than a month.

“If I could only have one wish from the government, it would be to declare a tax-free year for 2020. This will have a great impact on the macro economy as it will boost market liquidity and create a great multiplier effect,” said MKH Bhd managing director and 1Malaysia People's Housing Programme (PR1MA) chairman Tan Sri Eddy Chen.

Chen is one of three property industry veterans who took part in’s Facebook Live Fireside Chat titled "Will the Malaysian property sector survive this mother of all crises?" today.

The others were Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) president Datuk Soam Heng Choon and Rehda Institute Chairman Datuk Jeffrey Ng. The session was moderated by EdgeProp Malaysia editor-in-chief and managing director Au Foong Yee. The 90-minute event received over 23,000 views.

Chen said in the current soft market, people are waiting for fresh leads to make buying or investment decisions, hence any “feel good factor” will create a positive impact on the economy.

Rehda president Datuk Soam Heng Choon also believes reviewing the current tax structure will help speed up economic recovery.

“Certainly it will help to put money in businesses and for people to spend more money so that the economy will grow. 

“If we take away Sales and Service Tax and move back to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for instance, there will be a tax-free period like the last time,” he suggested.

The Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted all economic sectors, but it also offered an opportunity to review certain policies for their relevance, he added.

Meanwhile, Ng hoped that the government would provide broad-based stimulus measures instead of limiting them to certain segments, citing for instance stamp duty waivers for home buyers which are limited to affordable housing purchasers.

“If they are extended across the board especially during such a time, it could boost the property industry and the final impact will be filtered down on the economy,” he said.

Stay safe at home and get more property insights at

For the full report on the virtual Fireside Chat read the April 24, 2020 issue of pullout.

Missed our first Fireside Chat on ‘Undervalued Properties: Opportunities or Risk?’ which was held on April 10? Please click here to view the video.

#myedgeprop  #epfiresidechat

Stay calm. Stay at home. Keep updated on the latest news at #stayathome #flattenthecurve 

  1. Konsortium Transnasional bags RM41 mil works contract for PR1MA Pahang project
  2. Do more to address housing matters effectively — Rehda
  3. Rise in OPR will affect M40 homebuyers ⁠— state Rehda chairman