Finance News: No official requirement stipulating bumi-partnered law firms for civil servants’ housing loan applications

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 15): The government has not instituted a requirement for civil servants to only engage law firms with bumiputera partnerships in their application for government housing loans.

In a statement today, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong explained that he was assured by officers from the Public Sector Home Financing Board (LPPSA) during a briefing that such a requirement does not exist in government policy.

Chua was responding to an allegation by National MCA Youth Legal Bureau Head Ng Kian Nam, saying that civil servants applying for government housing loans will only be allowed to engage law firms with bumiputera partnerships to have their loan documents processed.

Ng had said such a rule, which was to take effect on Jan 1, was unfair as borrowers no longer had the option to engage lawyers of their choice.

Finance Ministry Treasury secretary general Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah had announced on July 8, 2015 that the role of the Housing Loan Department under the ministry will be taken over by statutory body LPPSA beginning Jan 1 next year to improve the administration of housing loan financing to civil servants.

“The condition of bumiputera partnerships should not be used as part of the consideration or evaluation (of housing loans applied for by civil servants),” he said in a statement.

“It should be open to all firms that are qualified,” he added.

Chua said that the implementation of panel lawyers by the LPPSA to process civil servants’ applications for government housing loans was meant to ensure that all related documents are in order to minimise unnecessary backlog.

He also said that the strict assessment and evaluation of law firms in the process had also resulted in the disqualification of many small and medium law firms.

Chua said he has directed the LPPSA to review the assessment and qualification system to enable more small and medium law firms to be included as panel lawyers.

“The panel lawyers for sale and purchase agreement and housing loan application could be separated from litigation cases so that more law firms can qualify to handle civil servants’ application for government housing loans,” he added.

Source: The Edge
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