Home Ownership Campaign extended to Dec 31, 2020
The Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) has been extended until Dec 31, 2020. The campaign combines government incentives of stamp duty exemptions and at least 10% discounts on purchase prices from developers. Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the extension of the campaign was to encourage home ownership among Malaysians and reduce the number of unsold houses. “Besides the HOC incentives, the government has also made available incentives for first home purchases,” Lim said. First home purchases made in the secondary market or from developers not registered with Rehda can also apply for stamp duty exemption under the HOC incentive. (The Sun Daily)

Penang stratified property owners to pay parcel rent this year onwards
The owners of stratified properties will now have to pay parcel rent directly to their respective district and land offices, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said today. He said the parcel rent, which replaces quit rent for stratified properties, is effective from January this year. Previously, the quit rent was based on the mother lot each property was built on; it was paid by the respective management corporations (MC) of stratified properties. The parcel rent replaces quit rent for all stratified properties, with rates based on the size of the respective units. (Malay Mail)

Sugar tax kicks off today
The Customs Department announced that the import and manufacturing of sugary drinks were subject to excise duty effective today. The excise duty is imposed on sweetened beverages at 40 sen per litre on two categories of ready-to-drink packaged sweetened drinks. The beverages include carbonated drinks containing added sugar or flavoured, and other sweetening matter which contains sugar exceeding 5g per 100ml. Licensed importers of sweetened beverages must come up with a letter of undertaking and also submit lab reports, says the Customs Department. If the total sugar content of their drinks exceeds the threshold or if the reports are not submitted, the importers will need to make payment of the duties involved. The lab reports are compulsory for exempted goods but importers are granted postponement from submitting the lab reports from July 1 to Aug 31 during the two month transition period. (The Star Online)

Suggestion to recruit African workers dropped
Human Resources Minister M. Kula Segaran said the suggestion to source for African workers to work in Malaysian plantations will be dropped. In a statement, he said his comments on hiring African workers after a dialogue session with farmers in Cameron Highlands on Saturday had been taken out of context and blown out of proportion. The issue of taking in African workers arose when the farmers complained that they were in need of foreign workers, and suggested that the government consider employing workers from African countries where Malaysia had invested heavily. Kula Segaran had said that workers from Vietnam and Indonesia were no longer interested in working in Malaysia as wages were not too different from their countries of origin. (NST Online)

Targeted RON95 fuel subsidy by year-end
The targeted fuel subsidy for RON95 petrol is expected to be rolled out by the end of the year, said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail. “We have to zero in on the mechanism in order for us to implement this (subsidy system). It may not be perfect, but it can be perfected along the way,” he said. The targeted RON95 petrol subsidy is a measure outlined under the 2019 Budget to reduce the cost of living among B40 households. The ministry had also engaged with oil companies, petrol dealers, Bank Negara Malaysia, Statistics Department and consumer groups. (NST Online)