#Latest* Real property gains tax applicable to properties sold within five years

PUTRAJAYA:  The real property gains tax will now only be applicable to properties that are sold within five years of their purchase, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced Dec 23.

He said the five percent tax would be imposed on those who sold their properties within less than five years after purchasing them, while the announcement in the 2010 Budget saw the tax being imposed on all properties sold.

Najib said this decision would see the government foregoing about RM200 million in revenue.

"This policy was also decided as the government wants to see stronger growth in the property sector next year.

"We are willing to forego a substantial amount of revenue so that the sector can expand and grow," he said in his speech at the swearing-in of Hua Zong's office-bearers for the 2009-2011 term at Marriott Hotel here.

Also present were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong and Hua Zong president Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah.

Najib also said that the decision was made following requests from the business sector and Federation of Chinese Associations of Malaysia or Hua Zong.

"I have taken note of some of the requests which are reasonable, sensible and fair, and the government will give some positive considerations."

He said the property sector had shown signs of improvement, but the government felt that it required further impetus so that it could continue to grow from strength to strength.

"We have met one of Hua Zong's requests and we hope they will respond accordingly by working even closer with the government in the future," he said.

Najib also announced that hotels undertaking additional investments to renovate, refurbish and expand their premises would enjoy 60 percent re-investment allowance for the period of five years, meaning that it had now been extended to 15 years.

He said the move was to encourage the property sector to play a greater role in the tourism industry which had seen 22 million tourist arrivals this year.

On education, he said he would address it with his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the Education Minister.

"We will do what is right for the Chinese community and the country," he said.

Najib said communities could fight for their interests but not at the expense of others.       

"I believe that there is a lot of scope and latitude to fight for our community. The Chinese can fight for the Chinese, the Malays can fight for the Malays and the Indians for the Indians. But not at the expense of the other communities."

Najib said he wanted to work closely with Hua Zong and his attendance at the the dinner tonight was a clear signal that the government wanted to work closely with the Chinese community through Hua Zong. -- Bernama



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