KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 11): The Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) has appointed 25 members to its Panel of Experts, comprising individuals and industry players with extensive experience in the housing sector.

In a statement on Tuesday, Housing Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said the appointment is a strategic initiative aimed at obtaining the views and suggestions of the stakeholders of the housing sector from various backgrounds including former senior government officials, academics, professionals, researchers, legal experts, developers, home buyers’ associations, bankers and representatives of the Malaysian Youth Council.

The appointments to the Panel of Experts include former minister in the Prime Minister's Department and Bursa Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, former KPKT secretary general Tan Sri Arpah Abdul Razak, former JPM Implementation Coordination Unit director general Tan Sri Ahmad Zaki Ansore Mohd Yusof, former Bank Negara Malaysia deputy governor Datuk Zamani Abdul Ghani, Khazanah Research Institute research director Dr Suraya Ismail, and Malaysian Youth Council president Jufitri Joha.

The panel is chaired by the minister, with former secretary general of the Ministry of Federal Territories Tan Sri Ahmad Phesal Talib as alternate chairman.

The minister said the move seeks to combine the knowledge, experience and expertise in assisting the government to implement the best housing policies and programs for the people, adding that a new approach is needed to improve access to home ownership, particularly the younger generation.

He said the housing sector is facing five challenges, which need to be jointly addressed by the panel, namely home availability, home ownership accessibility, affordability, housing quality and liveability.

To improve the housing property sector and help the younger generation own property, the ministry said it will implement several initiatives such as the Let's Buy a House Carnival 2022 which among others offers stamp duty exemption on transfer instruments and housing loan agreements and also introduces the Malaysian Housing Financing Scheme (SPPM) through cooperation between Cagamas Bhd and Syarikat Jaminan Kredit Perumahan (SJKP).

Besides that, the ministry said the National Affordable Housing Council (MPMMN) meeting will be held on Jan 31 to discuss the government’s goal of having 500,000 affordable housing units as outlined in the 12th Malaysia Plan.

MPMMN will also be attended by relevant government agencies, state governments and all stakeholders.

The minister emphasised that the ministry is committed to increase access to home ownership among the people, especially the young and the B40 and M40 groups.

Edited by Joyce Goh

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