Ever been confused by these 4 words? They sound similar but are very different, so here are their differences so you don’t mix them up. 

Who is considered Bumiputera?

First thing’s first, Bumiputera or ‘Bumi’ refers to an ethnic group of Malaysia which includes: Malays, Orang Asli,  Sabahans, Sarawakians,  and non-Malay Muslims.

1. Bumi Quotas 

These are percentages of property units all developments must allocate to Bumis. It  was introduced under the New Economic Policy in 1971 to encourage more Bumis to own houses and increase interaction between the ethnic groups. Quotas differ from state to state, but must be at least 30%. Developments in Kuala Lumpur, for example, have 30% while those in Perlis can reach up to 50% depending on State Consent.

2. Bumi Lot

These are units of land or property that can only be purchased by Bumiputeras. Note that owners of Bumi Lots can only sell their homes to other Bumis. If they want to open the sale to everyone, they must request to convert the home into a non-Bumi lot, which usually takes years to approve and often gets rejected. Bumi lots don't attract many investors due to their restricted market and slow price appreciation, but this is not always the case in heavily populated Bumi towns and areas.

3. Bumi discount

This is a reduction of price Bumis are entitled to when purchasing property.  All Bumis get a discount of up to 15% off the initial price, but this differs between states and property prices.

Developers must sell their Bumi Lots off to avoid losses and being penalised by state authorities. To do this, developers will draw up a list of Bumiputera buyers and 'mark' certain units as Bumi lots with their consent. Only after providing consent can the buyer purchase with a Bumi Discount. 

4. Malay Reserved Land (MRL)

These are lots of land that can only be owned and held by Malays. As opposed to Bumi Lots, some MRL differences include:

  • MRL owners are not allowed to rent out properties on their land to non-Malays. 
  • Businesses operating on MRLs must be owned by Malays.
  • Publicly traded companies must only have Malay Stakeholders.      

They are virtually impossible to be legally released to non-Malays, and if so, another property of similar value and size but be declared as a replacement.   

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