CM on affordable housing: We’ll do it the ‘Sarawak way’

By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, Jan 14: The state government plans to build more affordable houses the “Sarawak way” in order to enable more low-income earners to own houses.

In revealing this at a press conference after launching the booklet ‘For the people of Sarawak — Team Abang Jo’s Initiatives’, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said building more affordable houses was among the 65 initiatives he had announced since being sworn in as the state’s sixth chief minister on Jan 13, 2017.

“We feel that the definition of affordable homes at RM300,000 (at the federal level) is still expensive. Therefore, the Sarawak government will do it our own way under ‘Rumah Pertiwiku’,” he said.

This year, the state government aims to build between 2,000 and 2,500 units of affordable houses for those earning between RM800 and RM2,500 per month.

Several pilot projects under the ‘Rumah Pertiwiku’ initiative are being implemented in places such as Kemunyang (Sibu), Jepak (Bintulu), Kuching as well as Niah and Lambir (Miri).

Under the ‘Rumah Pertiwiku’ initiative, one-third of the building cost will be absorbed by the state government. This people-centric policy will be carried out by the state Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

“The selling prices, once completed, will range from RM90,000 to RM150,000,” he said.

Other notable initiatives listed in the booklet relate to developing a digital economy, the introduction of a new financial model for Sarawak, greater participation in the oil and gas industry, accelerating project implementation, emphasis on rural basic infrastructure and restoring Sarawak’s rights through the Malaysia Agreement (MA63) negotiations.

Abang Johari (sixth from right) reacts during a cake-cutting ceremony to mark his second anniversary as Sarawak Chief Minister.

Before the booklet launching, Abang Johari chaired a meeting with four state ministries to discuss development projects. The ministries are Ministry of Local Government and Housing, Ministry of Utilities, Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture and Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Transportation.

“We are carrying out people-centric projects, where we have 324 minor projects at the grassroots level with an allocation of RM6.24 billion,” said Abang Johari.

On the progress of these projects, he replied that some of them were still at the design stage.

“I am satisfied that these projects are on schedule,” he said.

At the booklet launching ceremony, Abang Johari also presented allocations to Curtin University Malaysia (RM2 million) and Subis District (RM3 million). — DayakDaily