KUCHING: Special officer to the federal Housing and Local Government Ministry Voon Shiak Ni said there were no official records showing that the state government had submitted 10 parcels of land to the federal ministry for affordable housing as mentioned by state Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian.
In not discounting the possibility that there might be a miscommunication between her ministry and state Local Government and Housing Ministry on this issue, Voon requested Dr Sim to officially submit the 10 parcels of land to the federal ministry again, if state government had indeed offered the land to federal ministry.
“I have checked with the ministry since last year and there were no official records of submission of the 10 parcels of land as mentioned by Dr Sim. Therefore, I would like to request Dr SIm to officially submit the 10 parcels of land again to the federal ministry,” she said in a press statement today.
Voon was responding to Dr Sim’s recent claim that Sarawak, through the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) had presented 10 parcels of state land totalling 495 hectares (ha) to the federal Housing and Local Government Ministry to build about 12,000 units of affordable homes.
He said the handover took place when the federal minister, Zuraida Kamaruddin, visited Sarawak in June last year.
Dr Sim made this claim in response to Zuraida’s statement that Sarawak government had yet to handover land for affordable housing projects.
Voon said: “In fact, (Batu Lintang assemblyman) See Chee How and I had met up with the chief executive officer of HDC for at least twice last year to discuss on the issue of finding suitable state land to enable the federal government to kick-start affordable and low cost housing schemes for the people.
“In both meetings, nothing was mentioned by the officers from HDC on the availability of the 10 parcels of land offered by state government.”
In noting that building affordable housing is Zuraida’s priority, Voon assured Dr Sim that the federal minister would not neglect Sarawak even though it is an opposition state.
“She will definitely get affordable homes built for the people of Sarawak as soon as suitable state lands are submitted to the federal government.”
Besides that, Voon said the federal Housing and Local Government Ministry had also continued to channel funds to the local councils in Sarawak for the benefits of the people.