Saturday, August 20

DPM: Providing affordable housing important agenda of government

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NANNING, China: The Malaysian government is to focus on helping to make available more affordable public and private houses costing RM300,000 and below in view of current house prices being beyond the reach of the middle-income population, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said here.

He said the government had realised the problem some years back and was drawing up strategies to handle the situation in line with its ‘people first’ concept.

“House prices are way too high. An individual starting work as a government employee is unable to buy an affordable house,” he told Malaysian journalists covering his working visit to China.

Muhyiddin said helping the people to own affordable houses would be an important agenda of the government.

He said the focus would be on making available houses which cost RM300,000 and below after a study was made on the income of the people and the selling prices of houses.

The private sector might be encouraged with incentives to build affordable houses, he added.

“They (private developers) can still profit by taking a small margin if the number of buyers is large,” he said.

However, there were matters pertaining to housing sites which the federal and state governments and the ministry concerned had to help resolve, he said, adding that some areas might not be suitable as housing sites or they might not attract people.

Muhyiddin said he anticipated that the affordable housing programme could be expedited after the unveiling of Budget 2013 on Sept 28.

Asked for his comment on the budget to be proposed by the opposition, particularly with regard to affordable houses, the deputy prime minister said their budget did not have any legal standing.

“It is a political gimmick, just for the sake of showing one-upmanship, that Pakatan Rakyat can do better than the Barisan Nasional.

“However, the people must understand that they (the opposition) can talk about doing all kinds of things. But it has been proven, like in the case of Selangor, that many of their promises have yet to be implemented.

“If they want to implement affordable housing, they should have built many houses in Selangor or in Penang. However, that does not seem to be the case,” he said. — Bernama