Lim defends Penang’s new housing rules

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has defended the state’s new housing rules, saying that the state government is prepared to face lawsuits.

“We (state government) also have our own lawyers. If you are not happy, sue us.

“It’s okay if people want to go for me. People can criticise me or even hold demonstrations,” he said at a press conference after witnessing a signing ceremony between Heng Lee and Company Sdn Bhd and HSC Property (Penang) Sdn Bhd here yesterday.

Lim said the state government had been criticised for not doing enough to help first-time buyers of affordable housing.

Now that we are doing it, we are being criticised. It’s wrong when we do (something) and wrong when we don’t do,” he said.

Penang MCA and Gerakan leaders have slammed the state government over the new property rules, saying that it was unfair to buyers and was against the National Land Code.

State Wanita MCA head Ooi Siew Kim said owners of low and low-medium-cost units might need to sell their property during an emergency situation but could not do so under the new rules.

State Gerakan Wanita head Rowena Yam said the restrictions were illegal.

Yam said the new rules when implemented in February would override the National Land Code.

Lim said the state government would be flexible in implementing the rules.

“For those who need to sell their property due to an emergency, they can appeal to the state government to sell to other buyers besides the qualified ‘listed buyers’. We will definitely consider on compassionate grounds.

“These are rare exceptions, rare cases. We are looking at the entire industry and do not want prices (of property) to be jacked up by speculators,” he added. - By The Star

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