Expensive housing prices in Sarawak due to heavy reliance on building materials imported via Port Klang, says Tiang

Michael Tiang

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By William Isau

SIBU, July 4: House prices in Sarawak are among the most expensive in the country as the State relies heavily on imported building materials from West Malaysia which must pass through Port Klang, says Deputy Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government Michael Tiang.

He told reporters this today when asked to comment on a report by the Economic Planning Unit under National Property Information Centre (NPIC) which is overseen by the Premier of Sarawak’s Department.

According to the report, Sarawak is third after Selangor and Kuala Lumpur with the most expensive houses in the country.

NAPIC’s preliminary figures revealed that Sarawak’s average house price in the first quarter of 2021 was RM482,592, slightly lower than Selangor at RM482,061 and Kuala Lumpur’s average residential price of RM763,234.

“A lot of this is due to the State depending on the import of building materials from West Malaysia through Port Klang,”said Tiang after presenting incentives to newly wed couples and newborn babies.

He said in order to solve this dilemma, the State hoped to import building materials directly from West Malaysia instead of having to go through Port Klang due to the Cabotage Policy which adds to shipping costs.

He said housing with dearer prices were mostly houses built by private sector developers.

“When they (SPU) mentioned the housing cost, it is because they were looking at the private sector. But for my part, affordable housing, Sarawak is the only State that its government provide assistance with a RM10,000 housing deposit scheme. By giving this assistance, it actually boosts sales of affordable housing in many ways,” he said.

Tiang added that it also gives young people the chance to own a house.

“The government has also set up a Mutiara Mortgage and Credit Scheme to help young people who could not get loans from commercial banks to buy a house,” he said. — DayakDaily