Irda chief executive Datuk Ismail Ibrahim
KUALA LUMPUR: Johor’s Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) has written to the Finance Ministry to ask if Medini Iskandar Malaysia, a new township that it is currently developing, will be exempt from the more stringent property transactions measures announced under Budget 2014.
After the budget was announced on Oct 25, there has been talk among property investors that Medini is excluded from the measures that targets speculators, and looks poised to be a gold mine for investors.
When contacted, Irda chief executive Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said in an e-mail reply: “We are in the process of obtaining written confirmation from the Ministry of Finance that residents and companies with IDR status are exempted from real property gains tax (RPGT), subject to certain terms and conditions.
“If the recently announced RPGT rates are not applicable in Medini, then the impact of the revised RPGT will be positive as demand will then turn towards Medini,” he said.
According to Ismail, an increase in RPGT from 15% for disposal within two years to 30% within three years would discourage speculation, and added that Irda is also awaiting written confirmation whether the RM1mil minimum floor price for foreign acquisition of local property also applied to Medini.
“The exemption from price ceiling will certainly make Medini more attractive to property buyers,” he added.
Spanning an area of 9.3 sq km, Medini is an urban township in Nusajaya, Johor, that enjoys special status to attract private investment, especially from Singapore.
There is no bumiputra ownership quota here, no restriction of foreign ownership, businesses are given flexibility to recruit foreign knowledge workers, and companies operating here are entitled to exemption from the Economic Planning Unit’s property acquisition guidelines.