Absurd? — Lim Mun Fah
OCT 13 — Let me tell a joke that you might have heard of.
There was a year when the world was hit by famine. When the Emperor Hui of Jin, who enjoyed his life in the palace and neglected public affairs, was told that a large number of people had starved to death, he was indifferent and asked: “Why don’t they eat meat?”
The absurd joke has been spread for over 2,000 years because until today, some officials still do not understand the suffering of the public. They just sit in an air-conditioned room and develop a set of self-righteous plans and policies to temporary solve problems.
They have no idea that, just like the ridiculous question asked by the Emperor of Jin, the so-called problem solving measures do not actually help much.
For an example, increasing the limit of house prices under the My First Home Scheme from a maximum of RM220,000 to RM400,000 seems to be able to solve the difficulties of urban people to buy houses under RM220,000. However, for many low-income earners, the more pressing problem is their low incomes instead of loan problems.
Head of the Chinese division of the National House Buyers Association (HBA) Tan Chong Leng pointed out the blind spot: How could a person earning RM3,000 per month afford a RM400,000 house?
A friend working in the banking sector told me that the repayment period for a housing loan amounts to RM400,000 is 30 years. With 4.3 per cent of annual interest, the house buyer would have to pay RM1,979 of loan every month.
After deducting the housing loan of RM1,979 and RM330 for compulsory EPF saving, only RM691 is left. How is he or she going to support a family in a big city?
Moreover, the loan would not be approved for applicants earning less than RM6,000 per month.
Therefore, it is almost impossible for people earning RM3,000 a month to buy their first homes in a big city like Kuala Lumpur.
The situation is clear and simple. The problem does not lie only on housing prices and loan issues, but as well their limited incomes.
Let me tell you another joke.
Two brothers asked their father when they saw no dish, but only rice on the dining table: “Father, how should we eat without dishes?”
Their father pointed to a dried salted fish hung on the wall and replied: “Take a look at the fish before you feed yourselves with a scoop of rice.”
The brothers had no choice but to obediently follow the instruction. Suddenly, the father harshly hit the head of the elder brother and scolded: “I told you to take a look for a scoop of rice, but you took a few looks for one scoop? What a waste!”
The jokes seem ridiculous but aren’t they happening everyday in reality? — mysinchew.com
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.