Critically analyse the article titled ‘sustainability and housing provision in Malaysia’.
Analysis of the article
The author in this report critically analyzes the article titled ‘sustainability and housing provision in Malaysia’. The author of the article is Teck - Hong Tan. The article has been cited by other authors as well and it was published in January 2011. The article is a journal article that aims at explaining the effect of the housing process on the standard of living of Malaysian people. Housing policies based on sustainability is viewed as a necessary condition. Sustainability is not just living in a healthy environment but it means maintain a good standard living. Housing is one of the basic necessities that human requires. The housing policies and programs should be economically viable and technically feasible in order to ensure that the housing industry is sustainable. The article focuses on employment and income effects, labor productivity and growth effects of housing provision (Ong, 2013). The main aim of the paper is to analyze how successful is government in Malaysia in meeting the housing needs of people. It also analyzes the ways that is possible to achieve sustainable housing provision. It further analyzes the roles and challenges of public and private household providers in housing provision in Malaysia for the past twenty years. Malaysia is a multi cultural country where there are three groups that are prominent. Housing provisions depends on these racial religious groups. Most of the Malays live in rural areas, Indians in rubber and oil palm estate and Chinese in urban areas. It was essential for the government to break this stereotype and implement a new economic policy in 1970. The main aim of the economic policy is to foster unity by eradicating poverty and changing tax structure for the benefit of the society (Tan, 2011).
The article clearly states the plans of the Malaysian government regarding housing programs that is clearly laid in the five year plan. The main aim of the first and the second five year plan is to promote the welfare of the people irrespective of the ethnic background. The third plan aims at eradicating poverty. The fourth plan aims at providing housing provisions to all the people in the society. The fifth plan aims at providing the basic social facilities such as schools, hospitals and community in spite of the basic infrastructural facilities. In the sixth and the seventh plan housing provisions were divided into low, middle and high income group. The plan requires both the private and public housing to cooperate and meet the demand of housing plan specially the low income group. The article then specifies the housing provision plan by the public and private sectors. The second part of the article clearly specifies the importance and the role of the private and the public sector in provision of households (Tan, 2011). The third part of the article specifies challenges that they meet while providing the house. The article discusses the issues of the five year plan and the challenges that the government face in meeting the housing needs in Malaysia. After addressing the issues the author clearly states the achievement of the Malaysian government in providing housing provision. At last the article reviews the ways the issues can be addressed and solved. It provides ways to achieve the sustainable housing provision. The information and the hypotheses are clearly stated that gives a clear idea on what the author actually wants to say. But the article fails to specify various economic policies and its implication on the housing needs and provisions. The housing regulation in Malaysia is highly regulated. The housing plan needs to be approved from the federal and the state authorities in Malaysia (Stiglitz & Rosengard, 2015).
The Method section
The public and private sectors plays an important role in providing housing needs. The first phase of the housing policy development concentrated on the public sector. Public sector plays an important role in providing housing approach specially to low income group. Before independence the British administration concentrated on providing housing facilities to the government authorities only but after independence the government concentrated on providing housing to all. The public sector is directly responsible for providing housing facilities in urban areas concentrating on urban development. Intervention of private sector is essential as the public sectors cannot meet the demands of all the housing provisions. In Malaysia there are two components of private sector housing provisions. The first component is the housing developer that indulges in initiating projects themselves and speculative building. The second component is construction firms that develops and provides organizations and entrepreneurial skills that construct the dwellings themselves. Licensed are required by the private sector builders before starting any construction (Ball, 2013).
Private and public sector face many challenges and issues while providing housing needs to the people. The issues that people face needs to be addressed urgently to maintain sustainability. The main problem is with the five year Malaysian plan that does not specify provision of housing needs to the poor. The poor section has been given low priority by the public sector. The main issue with the public sector is that it is slow in approving the application for land developments. The problem with the private sector was that it only targeted the rich people and the cost of the houses provided by them was high. The private sectors are not keen on development of low cost houses as the main aim of the private sector is profit maximization. Another problem is that many projects that targets poorer section of societies has been abandoned and left incomplete. The victims are mostly the middle and the poor section. The builder’s aims at extracting as much money it can from then poor people for which they adopt various ways (Forrest & Murie 2014).
The housing policies and programs should be economically viable, socially feasible and technically acceptable to achieve sustainable housing provisions. The mortgage loans provided by the government should be low in order to make the housing facility affordable by everyone. Home finances should be made more affordable by providing subsides and financial assistance. The public and the private sectors should conduct the market research before formulating any housing plan. The housing plan laid and built should depend on various other factors. Both the private and the public sector should keep in mind the factors whether the buyer will purchase the house or not (Zainun et al., 2015). These factors are infrastructure and employment opportunities available. Many low cost building are available in areas where there are no employment opportunities and any infrastructure facilities that are left unsold. Proper actions need to be taken for those who are in a situation of abandoned house. Various policies and programs can help the government achieve its plan and objective of proving low cost housing to the low income group. Public sector should gear up its efficiency and should be fact to pass the applications for housing provisions. A committee should be set to look into the building of the house so that the purchaser doesn’t face the problems of incomplete house (Doling & Ronald, 2014).
The results section
The author provides various data’s to support its argument. A table is given to show the housing achievements under five year Malaysian housing plans. The table clearly states that the policies only benefit the richer section of the country while ignoring the poor and the middle group people. The main target of the public sector was to provide the housing facilities to the poor. But the table indicates that the housing program and plan only benefited the richer section. The condition of the private sector was even worse. The data suggest that the poor and low income group is the ones that are most affected by the five year Malaysian plan. The article fails to specify the economic implications of the housing provision plan and program. The article only specifies the achievement of the private and the public sector but it does not look into the demand side of the economy. It fails to specify the investment plan of the government as well. The main result that can be drawn from the article is that the housing plan and provisions in Malaysia has only benefited the rich and not the poor. The government needs to plan effectively and target in the low income group to achieve the sustainability and increase the standard of living of all the people. The article does not need any use of statistical analysis but the author could have used graphs of demand and supply to explain the economic implications of the plan (Samikon et al., 2013).
The discussion section
The author concludes that the government should concentrate on taking into the account the needs of the buyers. It is destructive to provide all the benefits to the builders. The conclusion does match with the results reported. The recommendation of the author is that government should formulate National Housing Policy to provide the benefit of the housing facility to all. The author also provided the ways that the government can adopt to improve the housing provisions in Malaysia. The article could have been better if proper methods could have been recommended by the government with the proper dataset and proof (Said et al., 2014).
Strengths of the article
The main strength of the article is that the author presents the importance of the public and private sector in providing the housing provisions. The author clearly specifies the five year plan of Malaysia and the plan of the government for providing the house to the needy it states that the main aim of the government is to eradicate poverty. The author also analyzes the issues and the challenges that the economy faces while providing housing facility. In the next part the author addresses the issues and provides the ways that can be used to correct the challenges that different sectors in an economy face. Private and public sector play an important role in providing housing facility. They also face many challenges. The article specifies that the main aim of the private sector is profit maximization while the public sector as usual is not effective. Hence the two combinations fail to provide low cost houses to the lower income group people (Hashim et al., 2012).
Drawback of article
The main drawback of the article is that the author does not provide any economic theories and empirical data to support the arguments. It also fails to specify the economic implications of the housing policy and programs. The economic factors such as employment opportunities, income levels, infrastructural development, interest rates, inflation rate, and economic growth affect the market for housing. The author does not specify these factors and its affect on housing. The provision of housing also is affected by the financial institutions and mortgages that the banks give. The author has just concentrated on the income level and public and private sector that affect the housing provisions. Unemployment is the main factors that affect the housing demand and supply. If the unemployment t rate rises in the country then the demand for the housing will decrease and the government will have to provide low cost housing. Shifts in demography also have its effect on the housing provisions (Foo & Wong, 2014).
Hence sustainability does not only mean providing healthy environment but maintaining a healthy standard of living as well. Standard of living can be maintained by spreading the income among the different sections of the society equally. The main issue in Malaysia is that the housing facility is only beneficial to the rich while it ignore the poor. The Government should take proper measures to bridge the gap between the rich and poor by concentrating on the low income group. Subsidies should be given to the one who cannot afford a house. The interest on housing loans should be reduced.
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Forrest, R., & Murie, A. (2014). Selling the welfare state: The privatisation of public housing. Routledge.
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