Sunday, January 31, 2010

Home Purchase-Sarawakian `Bumi' Status Questioned

No, that's not some headline written in the newspaper somewhere. This is our own unfortunate experience and the experience of many others when buying properties in Peninsular Malaysia.

No matter how much our Sarawakian 'bumi' status were protected by the Constitution which was drafted more than 50 years ago, when it comes to being in the land of 'Malaya', it is more or less meaningless. It is an open secret that we are still being regarded as 'foreigner' eventhough we are under one country, even by those who are the executioner of the law.

We have read in the news that some children of Sarawakian mixed parentage were denied their rights of going into public university, specifically UiTM, not allowed to have ASB account, not allowed to buy 'Bumi' quota stocks and many others. And that even happened to those whose parents were both Sarawakian 'Bumi' of which has been living in their land long before this country has been formed and the Constitution has been written.

I have never bothered myself with these issues as so far I have been quite lucky. I managed to get into UiTM eventhough by circumstances and not by choice, I was offered government position which I still believe was due to my own merit, not just because of me being a 'Bumi', I owned an ASB account including all my family members, and I can get a 'Bumi' discount on new home purchase, to name among other things that I was privilaged to. Maybe to an extend that I did not really appreciate having one, because I thought I could always live with or without it. I'm a survivor, that's what I have always believed in.

Somehow, I could not help being emotionally affected when our recent second hand home purchase was put on hold because of this issue. As readers may recalled, we bought a leasehold single storey house, from a Malay couple. The husband actually happened to be a lawyer.

Even before getting into the house during our first visit, I have asked them whether the house was bought under 'Bumi' discount, in which it will automatically fall under Bumi lot. I have foreseen that if it was, we might be having problem getting buyers in the future if we decided to sell it off due to reduce 'target' market. They assured us it was not. We were all aware that the house require Consent to Transfer from the local Land Office. Eventhough it was troublesome and the husband gently warned us that in our 'case'-meaning Sarawakian bumiputera buyers, there might be some hiccup during the application. They explained that first rejection was normal, and most of the time the first appeal is accepted. That will means the buying process will be slightly longer, but we all agree to give it a try, because we honestly do love the house.

From the very beginning when the application was first submitted, we already faced some difficulties. If you read back here, you will understand why. Application for Consent to Transfer is not a Memorandum Of Transfer, yet the first TWO applications were not accepted just because we used pen other than BLACK FOUNTAIN PEN. I felt it was a nuisance and done on purpose on the Land Office side as it was never mentioned anywhere in the form (which by law, we did not commit any mistake), but our lawyer asked us to oblige and we did.

Resubmitting the applications was a hassle, but luckily our lawyer was helpful and efficient and it made the process less painful. We attached whatever supporting document to prove that we are 'Bumiputera', although I did not understand why we had to since the house is not even a Bumi lot!

A month after the third submission, the wife called us and informed that the application was officially rejected, and they have quickly submitted an appeal letter. I was short of suggesting that we could attach the Article 153 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia copy along with the application, but that would just adding flame to the fire right?

Another month passed, and we heard that the first appeal was also rejected, without stating any reason. Without wasting time, our seller's husband the lawyer immediately submitting the second appeal, and this time we attached our birth certificates. They planned to meet up with the land officer to back-up their appeal.

Babai is still hopeful, but me being me, starting to falter emotionally. Intuitively, I became pessimistic not just because we were buying from Malays, but the name of the housing area itself sounds convincingly like a Malay reserve. I have read somewhere that there were certain places which was off-limit to the non-Malays, but those were normally places with Malay majority or outside the sub-urban area.

By law, there shouldn't be any issue to transfer the title to us. This make me believed that it all come back to human perception, including race and religion sentiment. Added with the current issue of 'Allah' (God have mercy on us...) usage, the timing was just bad. If you don't think so, what else could it be? Tell me, I'll be all ears.

The options for our seller was that, if the second appeal will be rejected, they may make the third appeal, or bring the case to the court. For us though, we will not be bother to do so. Prolonging the process or bringing the case to court will further add to our anguish. We did not just lost our pride, but also time and opportunity as we could have buy other property.

I hope that this post will be a strong reminder to any Sarawakian or Sabahan who were considering to buy properties in Peninsular, especially second hand leasehold property just like us. If you still decided to go ahead, be prepared mentally, physically, and financially. Discrimination is real, and it can happened to you even if you thought you are safe.

9 comments:

cyrildason said...

U know, those in the peninsular accuse us of having double standards when we impose rules over them owning property over here... We have our reasons, which is we need to protect our people whom earn less and safe guard land regardless of religion.

but over there,they want us to be muslim, then consider us bumiputera...

Yeah, talk about Freedom of religion and bumiputera rights.. pathetic Malaysia... better have no bumiputera rights and special privileges... People are using it as a gateway to discriminate others, and that's why we Sabah Swk ppl always feel like 2nd class bumiputera although the gov keeps and yanking that there is no such thing.

Yeah right... we know better.

Coffee Girl said...

You know, this is just another case of reality bites. No '1 Malaysia' concept can cover the truth. kesian.

Sumuk said...

Cyril : the truth sucks. our people has been discriminated for long time, but our people were just a peace loving type and rather not speak up. now is the time for us to do so, right?

coffee girl : i don't know who honestly believe in the '1 Malaysia' spirit. look at what just happened all around us...
p/s: why cannot comment at your blog? is it on purpose? hehe..

Coffee Girl said...

Ai, dapat bah. HOw come org lain boleh u sik boleh? hmm... try again.

Sumuk said...

kenottt.. ada kotak jak. sekda button..

Coffee Girl said...

Hmm... other people still can. Funny...

esthem said...

Hello there, interesting topic. I wanted to buy a house first hand in Klang and mentioned to them that I am a bumi. My parents are both Sarawak natives, but unfortunately they said only Malay Muslim are recognized as Bumi in Selangor. I was just taken back because they might as well just say Malay Muslim discount. I am not sure how true is that. Do you know where can I seek clarification?

Nimi Momo said...

Well, maybe u can threaten to sue them for discrimination, as it is actually not true. many sarawakian has bought bumi units in selangor. honestly, if ur a muslim, i don't think u would even have any problem at all, eventhough your race is still Sarawak native. Then where is the fairness of it all?

But my advise is that, if you know ur not going to be in Selangor forever, its best not to take the Bumi lot. Seriously, i knew a lot of buyers who did not use these privilages eventhough they were elligible, for the reason that Bumi lot can never ever be transfered to a non-bumi. this will certainly will limit your target market if u decide to sell the units later on.

Nimi Momo said...

Well, maybe u can threaten to sue them for discrimination, as it is actually not true. many sarawakian has bought bumi units in selangor. honestly, if ur a muslim, i don't think u would even have any problem at all, eventhough your race is still Sarawak native. Then where is the fairness of it all?

But my advise is that, if you know ur not going to be in Selangor forever, its best not to take the Bumi lot. Seriously, i knew a lot of buyers who did not use these privilages eventhough they were elligible, for the reason that Bumi lot can never ever be transfered to a non-bumi. this will certainly will limit your target market if u decide to sell the units later on.

 
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