PUTRAJAYA, 31 March: Malaysians especially the younger generation are advised to switch their mindset by opting to rent properties instead of buying them to avoid huge long-term debts, said Finance Minister II Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani.
“It has become a culture that we do not subscribe to renting (a property) for the next 20 to 30 years. This mindset has to change.
“When one goes to UK or Australia and speak to families there, they just rent the property until they have enough to make a commitment,” he told the audience during a special dialogue session on the 2050 National Transformation (TN50) at the Finance Ministry, here, today.
Stating that no one wants to incur debts forever or throughout their life, Johari suggested that more affordable housing should be built for rental rather than purchasing.
“We waste 20 to 30 years of our lives settling housing loans, car loans, study loans.
“We are afraid of switching jobs or taking calculated risks such as entrepreneurship due to these liabilities,” he said.
The government’s investment in enhancing the public transport system is to ensure that the future generations would not have to invest in vehicles to get to work.
“We have spent RM43 billion for MRT (Mass Rail Transit) 1, RM45 billion for MRT2, then there is the LRT (Light Rail Transit) , LRT2, LRT3, ERL (Express Rail Link) and HSR (High Speed Rail).
“In 10 to 15 years time when these projects are completed, the younger generation need not have to buy cars to travel to work any more,” he added.
Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the government could face a potential crisis involving pension disbursement by 2050 due to an increase in life expectancy and population among senior citizens.
“In the future with the advancement of healthcare and technology, life expectancy is expected to increase up to 100 years. What will happen to our pensions?
“You have more people now retiring at the age of 60. Today, the government disburses RM14 billion in pensions. That is definitely going to increase. Imagine people are going to live until 100 years, meaning the government will have to pay pensions for 40 years,” he said.