‘No govt funding needed for FundMyHome’

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KUALA LUMPUR — The FundMyHome programme will not require any government funding, concessions or guarantees since the initiative came from the private sector.

Datuk Tong Kooi Ong, chairman of EdgeProp Sdn Bhd, which developed the programme, said this in an open letter to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday.

He was responding to Najib’s statement that he suspected insider knowledge led to the speedy launch of the peer-to-peer platform as it was unveiled barely two days after the concept was announced in Budget 2019.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng tabled next year’s federal spending plan last Friday, and the government launched the privately operated FundMyHome on Sunday.

“Let me stress that this initiative came from the private sector and will not require any government funding, concessions or guarantees, as you had insinuated in your Facebook post,” Tong said.

“After crystallising our idea, we took it to the government and have been engaging the various regulators in the past several months, culminating in having the idea included when the Budget was tabled in parliament
on Nov 2.”

He said the programme does not currently require regulatory approval as the financing of the scheme is open only to institutions and not the retail public.

“Approval for retail public participation as investors will be required and we will work with regulators to have this done by the first quarter of 2019,” Tong said.

The peer-to-peer financing programme matches first-time home buyers with financial institutions. All the buyers have to do is come up with 20 per cent of the price of the property while the balance is taken care of by potential investors in exchange for the potential appreciation in value or the property over a period of time.

During the launch of the FundMyHome programme, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said that one of the most challenging Pakatan Harapan pledges was the promise to build one million affordable homes in 10 years, but the current government was committed to seeing it through.

The Edge publication, which is owned by Tong, was instrumental in exposing the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, which had implicated Najib.