Friday, September 30

Realising home ownership dreams


Abang Johari inks his signature to launch the book on his 65 initiatives, witnessed by Uggah (left) and (from right) Deputy State Secretary Datu Jaul Samion, Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting, Deputy State Secretary Datu Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki and Assistant Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil.

MIRI: The Sarawak government plans to build 2,500 affordable homes costing between RM90,000 and RM150,000 in Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said under the initiative, the government will subsidise a third of the actual cost to make it more affordable for the low-income group.

He added the project is to be handled by the Sarawak Local Government and Housing Ministry and is separate from the programme initiated by the federal Housing and Local Government Ministry.

“Those earning between RM800 and RM2,500 a month will be eligible for this scheme. The price should be reasonable and affordable for Sarawakians.

“The RM300,000 price for affordable homes at the national level is costly for us (Sarawakians), and that is why we have our own initiative where a third of the price is absorbed by the state government,” he said during a press conference here yesterday following the launching of a book detailing 65 initiatives carried out since he assumed office.

Abang Johari said the government has earmarked Kemunyan in Sibu, Jepak in Bintulu and Lambir here, as well as two areas in Kuching, as the locations for the affordable housing scheme.

“Mutiara Mortgage and Finance would be given seed capital to provide housing loans to applicants. This is part of the state government’s long-term strategy to make housing affordable to the target group in the state,” he said.

Deputy State Secretary Datu Jaul Samion (front right) presents to Abang Johari the book detailing the chief minister’s 65 initiatives, witnessed by Uggah (on Abang Johari’s left) and members of the Sarawak Cabinet.

On Jan 10, federal minister of Housing and Local Government Zuraida Kamaruddin said her ministry aims to build 3,217 affordable houses in Sarawak this year, with a further 8,336 in Sabah.

She said under the 11th Malaysia Plan Mid-Term Review for 2019-2020 tabled by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Oct 18 last year, the federal government promised to build 7,000 affordable houses in the two states.

For the 11th Malaysia Plan, Sarawak’s applications totalled 20,742, she told The Borneo Post when contacted then, adding that her ministry would coordinate all housing projects under Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB) and build 100,000 affordable houses a year beginning this year.

Meanwhile, prior to the press conference yesterday, Abang Johari was briefed on the status of approved projects in Sarawak involving housing, agriculture, infrastructure and utilities.

He said he was pleased that the projects were in different stages of being carried out, ranging from design to tender to implementation on the ground.

Among those present at the ceremony were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, Utilities Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian; Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah, assistant ministers and assemblymen from Gabungan Parti Sarawak.