The Amanah Hartanah Bumiputra investment scheme launched on Monday, will provide an opportunity for the Bumiputra group to equitably share in the country's wealth and succeed economically.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the scheme was part of the government's move to bring about a major change in the country's economy, so that wealth would not be concentrated in the hands of the upper class.
"We do not wish to see a widening gap between those with high incomes and the low-income earners, so with efforts like this we can help reduce that gap.
"It (AHB) also provides another instrument, whereby the country's wealth can be earned by as many Malaysians," he said when launching the AHB scheme at the Sime Darby Convention Centre in Bukit Kiara, here, Monday.
Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, secretary-general of the Treasury Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, and Pelaburan Hartanah Berhad managing-director/chief executive officer Kamalul Arifin Othman.
Najib said the government held to the principle that the country's wealth must be distributed equitably and justly because, if a large section of the population, who were Bumiputra, could not share the wealth, it meant the situation had denied them of their rights.
"This will also not contribute to political stability in the long run. We do not want to deny the rights of the Bumiputra to continue investing and succeeding in business and the economy.
"Surely, if the Bumuiputra are passing through the city and each time they look up and see the skyscrapers and commercial buildings of high value are not owned by them, they will feel dissatisfied and uneasy," he said.
Najib, who is also the chairman of Yayasan Amanah Hartanah Bumiputra, said the move to ! introduc e the AHB scheme was not only to increase Bumiputra ownership of high-value commercial assets, but also to ensure permanent ownership.
"The government will continue to assist Bumiputra with opportunities to invest and own high-value and strategically-located real estate so that our aspiration to see a more balanced distribution of wealth is achieved," he said.
The AHB scheme was announced by Najib, who is also Finance Minister, when he tabled the 2011 Budget in October to provide an opportunity for the Bumiputra community to increase ownership of strategically-located commercial property.
The RM1bil scheme is open to Bumiputera investors aged three months and above, with the condition that investors who are below 18 have the signature of their lawful guardians who are Malaysian citizens, to invest.
The units are sold at a fixed price of RM1 per unit. Bumiputra can participate in the scheme with a minimum investment of RM500. - Bernama
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