The new import steel tax will cause property prices to increase, further side-lining the people who already could not afford a house. Call for Putrajaya to provide tax rebate or subsidy to local steel players instead of imposing import duty.

We strongly condemned the government’s move to impose new taxes on imported steel products. This new tax will increase the domestic construction costs and thus lead to higher property prices.
Finance Minister II Johari Abdul Ghani earlier said new taxes on imported steel products were meant to protect the local steel industry. If the Government’s intention is to protect the local steel industry, the government should provide the local steel industry with tax rebates or subsidy, there is no need to impose a new import tax on steel products.

The move to provide local steel players with tax rebate or subsidy will not only ensure that the local manufactured steel is able to maintain at a competitive price, it can also prevent the property prices to continue climbing, killing two birds with one stone.

Property developers will definitely not absorb this newly imposed import duty and pass on the cost increase to property buyers. Ultimately, it will be the property purchasers who will foot the bill for the steel import duty. We call on the government to put a stop to this potential property price hike and withdraw the steel import tax with immediate effect.

In the third pledge of BN last General Election manifesto, BN had promised to provide affordable and secure housing. The imposition of new import duty on steel shows that BN has betrayed its election manifesto and the people’s trust.

The Malaysian Real Estate Development Association had earlier revealed that the real estate industry in Perak has been stagnant in the past six months. On average, the property sales rate does not exceed 30%; some developers has not sold even a single house recording zero sales.

The government’s new steel import tax will make the current stagnant property market worse and house ownership even more difficult for young people hunting for their first home.

Joint Media Statement by YB Paul Yong Choo Kiong ADUN Tronoh, YB Sivasubramaniam ADUN Buntong and Chong Zhemin DAP Perak Economic Development Chief on 17th April 2017.

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