By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic By TMR
The Pakatan Harapan’s plan to build one million affordable houses within the next 10 years — a project that is spearheaded by the Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) — is a “realistic goal”.
KPKT Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin (picture) said the government, via the newly established National Affordable Housing Council (NAHC), has already identified specific locations for the first 100,000 units of homes to be built this year.
“Among the states are Pahang and Penang, and the project includes some development in the urban areas that have solid infrastructure as well as established transportation accessibility,” she told reporters after closing the Malaysia Urban Forum 2019 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Zuraida was responding to a statement by Gerakan party president Datuk Dr Dominic Lau Hoe Chai that the promise to build a million affordable homes for the low-income earner is merely a populist move for Pakatan Harapan to remain in power.
Lau claimed that the Auditor-General’s Report 2010 had shown that Penang, which has been governed by DAP — a Pakatan Harapan component — has failed to build even one unit of low-cost house from 2008 to 2010.
Zuraida said Putrajaya is ready to fulfil its promise as outlined in the 2018 General Election manifesto.
“I am not sure about them, but as for the last 60 years, they could not do it. Since they failed to do so, that doesn’t mean we would fail too,” she said.
The first NAHC meeting was held last month and chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. KPKT also launched the National Housing Policy 2.0 and its subpolicy, the National Affordable Housing Policy last month.
The Malaysian Reserve has reported that KPKT has agreed to build 2,200 units with TISY Sdn Bhd on 121.4ha of land in Rawang, Selangor — the first affordable housing project after the policy was launched.
The project would be a public-private partnership, with TISY bearing the whole planning and developing cost, while the ministry will allocate the land to the company.
Apart from that, KPKT is also on its way to create an integrated property data system, which will allow and assist developers, to gauge and understand the property market better.
Zuraida said once the big data system is ready, the government would then revise the plan according to market needs.
“However, I don’t deny the fact that in the fourth and fifth year, by the time that our data management is ready, and the big data (system) has been completed, we would get a better projection (of the housing market),” she said.
She said the projection would then be reviewed based on the data if the country still needs one million houses.
“So, it depends on the data that we’d collate,” she added.