Federal ministry has no records of land offered for affordable housing, Dr Sim told

Voon Shiak Ni

KUCHING, June 26: Mystery surrounds Sarawak Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian’s statement that the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) had long ago presented 10 pieces of state land to the federal Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) to build affordable houses.

The lands totalled 1,223 acres across the state and could host about 12,000 units of such homes.

“To date, none has been approved by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government and 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2,500 units of our own Sarawak Affordable Houses for 2019-2020, including continuing PPR Tabuan Melayu project that was withdrawn from KPKT project list under the new government,” Dr Sim said in a statement two days ago (June 24).

Commenting on Dr Sim’s statement, KPKT special officer Voon Shiak Ni said she had checked with her ministry since last year but there were no official records of the submission of these 10 parcels of land.

Hence, she suggested that Dr Sim submit officially these lands to KPKT to resolve possible miscommunications between the state and federal governments.

Voon, who is also Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) National Women vice-chief said, “In fact, Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How and I had met up with the CEO of HDC at least twice last year to discuss the issue of finding suitable state lands for the federal government to kick-start affordable and low-cost housing schemes for the people.

But during these meetings, nothing was mentioned by HDC officers on the availability of these 10 parcels of land.

“Has Dr Sim officially submitted the 10 parcels of land to the federal government? We do not rule out the possibility of some miscommunication between the federal ministry and state ministry on the matter.

“In the event it is true the state government has offered the said 10 parcels of land to the federal ministry, I do request Dr Sim to re-submit officially the said 10 parcels of land to the federal ministry,” Voon said in a statement today.

She said it was baffling to them too that their minister, Zuraida Kamaruddin, was never shown any records of submission of the lands as described by Dr Sim to her ministry till today.

“Zuraida, as a minister for local councils, have never neglected Sarawak even though it is an opposition state. Her ministry has continued to channel funds to local councils in Sarawak to do what is required for the people, and building affordable homes for Sarawakians is also her priority. She will definitely get the affordable homes built for the people of Sarawak as soon if there is suitable state land,” Voon assured. — DayakDaily