By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic By TMR
The 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme (PR1MA) will be rebranded and detached from any political agenda as outlined by the former government, while its focus would be tweaked towards delivering affordable homes for Malaysians — particularly those in the bottom 40% (B40) bracket.
Housing and Local Government (KPKT) Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the new government led by Pakatan Harapan will also steer away from injecting political brands to any of its programmes and initiatives.
“We are dropping the ‘1Malaysia’ brand from PR1MA. The new name is yet to be discussed.
“Of course, some may want to incorporate the current government brand of ‘Harapan’, but we might not want to follow the way the 1Malaysia name was used,” she told a press conference in Putrajaya yesterday.
PR1MA, the brainchild of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak, was established in 2012.
It is aimed at developing, building and selling affordable homes and was placed under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Department.
As reported by Bernama last week, Penang’s Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo had proposed to replace the PR1MA name to Harapan Malaysia People’s Housing.
Zuraida said she would look into the matter, as associating the brand with the current government’s aspiration is not a good practice.
PR1MA, along with other affordable housing projects — such as Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd, 1Malaysia Civil Servant Housing Scheme, Federal Territories Affordable Housing and other related housing schemes — had been proposed to be placed under KPKT.
The housing schemes and projects which are aimed at appeasing the B40 and middle 40% bracket needs will be controlled via the National Affordable Housing Council (NAHC) led by the ministry.
“The ministry will submit the Cabinet paper to streamline all proposed schemes to be put under KPKT by next month. “Perhaps by August, we could establish the NAHC,” she said.
The council will comprise several stakeholders from the federal ministry’s level, to the local councils nationwide.
However, Zuraida said the NAHC may not be chaired by the prime minister as mentioned in Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto, as it is more practical to be handled by KPKT.
She added that the uniformity would grant the ministry to have better control of the projects, and that the projects would be demographically distributed in a fair manner.
“The schemes, prices and designs will also be streamlined and make it easier to manage under one roof,” she said.
Meanwhile, at the ministry level, Zuraida had proposed seven additional tribunal panel presidents to clear the 7,000 backlog cases involving strata management.
“Currently, we do have 23 panels and we hope with the addition it can expedite the process so the cases could be resolved efficiently,” she said, adding that the ministry is also looking to add more interpreters in the tribunal.
Some cases were delayed due to a lack of Chinese and Tamil interpreters, said Zuraida.