I AM writing on behalf of a family friend who has been working as an expatriate in one of our government hospitals for the last 10 years.
Recently, he planned to buy a home for his own stay but surprisingly, his application was rejected by the Mentri Besar’s office on the grounds that the house value should be above RM500,000.
This is a new rule just introduced in January this year by the Economy Planning Unit (EPU) under the supervision of the Prime Minister’s Department. Prior to this, the minimum purchase value was RM250,000.
Can anyone imagine someone living on a government salary being able to afford a half-a-million ringgit home? And, most of these expatriates are hired to fill the gaps in rural hospitals due to a severe shortage of specialists in the country. So, where do you find a RM500,000 house in small towns like Sungai Petani , Kuala Pilah or even Changkat Melintang?
When these expatriates came to Malaysia, they were assured that the same treatment will be given to them as other Malaysians since they are working for the Government and sacrificing their time to serve the Malaysian community.
However, rules such as these have left many talented expatriates frustrated and disappointed.
Can the Human Resources and Foreign ministries and the EPU look into this matter? At least make reasonable exceptions for those who have served the people for many years. Otherwise, we risk losing more of these talented specialists to European and middle eastern countries who pay much more than we do in salaries.
DR RAMESH GNASEGARAH,