Dr Sim baffled by statement purportedly made by Zuraida Kamaruddin

Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian

KUCHING, June 24: The Sarawak government is surprised by local media reports quoting Minister of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) Zuraida Kamaruddin in Sibu today that Sarawak had yet to hand over land for affordable housing projects.

The press reports claimed that Zuraida said all the other states in the country had given the identified land to the ministry to build houses.

Commenting on this, State Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said during Zuraida’s last visit to Sarawak, the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) presented to her ministry 10 pieces of state land spanning a total of 1,223 acres throughout Sarawak to build about 12,000 units of affordable houses.

“But to date, none has been approved by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government. HDC has not received any news so far.

“Hence, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg decided to have 2,500 units of our own Sarawak Affordable Houses for 2019-2020, including continuing the PPR Tabuan Melayu project that was withdrawn from the KPKT project list under the new government,” Dr Sim said in a statement today.

He told PH to approve the funding, and the state will build affordable houses.

Among the projects undertaken by the Sarawak government is in Miri, involving part of the land banks proposed for KPKT to build affordable housing.

“The state government is also fully aware of KPKT affordable housing projects on private land in Sarawak. To date, there are two; one in Seduan, Sibu, and another in Matang, Kuching. Both of these projects are not in HDC’s project list,” he added.

Since land matters are under the state’s jurisdiction, Dr Sim said all planning pertaining to any housing development would be under the authority of the state.

“The Sarawak government hopes the federal government will understand that the State Planning Authority (SPU) is in charge of overall planning and decides where the houses are to be built,” he emphasised.

The state government also hoped that the federal government could work together with the state government so that the latter could carry out the shared responsibilities under the concurrent list of the Federal Constitution. — DayakDaily