WHILE scouting around for a house for my daughter, I came across this notice: “Two-storey house in Amanputra, RM400K; cheap.”
I thought that it was quite exorbitant for such a house in suburban Puchong.
Since when did a terrace house come to be priced this much and still be considered cheap?
Then somebody told me the average price for such a house in the Kuala Lumpur area was around RM620,000!
I was also informed that in areas further from the Federal capital and other core centres in the Klang Valley like Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya, the average price of a three-bedroom house in places like Rawang, Semenyih and Kuala Selangor was around RM450,000.
There are either too many exploitative profiteers in the country or the population, in general, has become exceedingly rich.
However, a recent survey showed the average monthly disposable salary (after tax) of Malaysians is just slightly more than RM3,200 a month.
So, that rules out the possibility that many home seekers are cash-loaded since that much money is usually quickly spent on medication, education, groceries, meals, transportation, utilities and financing of other comforts like leisure, clothing, furniture, home computers and TV.
If there is any money left, it is barely enough to cover a house or apartment rental, which, in the Klang Valley could be between RM1,500 and RM2,500 a month for a three-bedroom unit in city areas or RM800 to RM1,500 a month in areas outside the dense urban centres.
Ten years ago, a person earning about RM5,000 a month could “only just” manage to pay RM150,000 for such a home. If anyone, at that time, was offering a house for sale at around RM250,000, that would be considered robbery in broad daylight.
Today, a person earning RM5,000 would be regarded “poor” and, at best, only be eligible for one of those homes under the 1Malaysia People’s Housing (PR1MA) schemes.
In Malaysia, what goes up does not come down but, sadly, in some cases, employers have been known to cut the salaries or allowances of their workers or not give further increments to purportedly “save cost” for the company.
If there is any increment, it would just be a nominal sum that would essentially cover an additional meal for the day.
So, rather than Malaysians becoming attuned to the national aspiration of becoming high-earning citizens, we are digressing into a population with high debts and victims to an economic turbulence that we, the laymen, know little about or do not understand at all.
I suspect the people who are getting richer by the day, are the ones who would soon be controlling the national economy, are the money lenders.
They control anyone seeking quick cash to pay for a business expansion or for mortgage payments, or for health and education purpose or, these days, even for weddings.
So, who is it that decides that a non-luxurious terrace house going for RM400,000 is cheap?
SAD SACK Puchong, Selangor The STAR Home News Opinion Letters 04/07/2014