Houses in Sarawak more expensive due to shipping, logistics — Abg Jo

Abang Johari (centre) visiting one of the participating booths at Sheda Property Expo, accompanied by Ngui (behind Abang Johari, red tie) and Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian (left).

KUCHING, Sept 20: The reason houses in Sarawak were about 10 per cent more expensive compared to the peninsula was due to additional cost incurred during transportation of materials from Peninsular Malaysia.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said it was basic economics, and that the Minister of Local Government and Housing Zuraida Kamaruddin should have a basic idea of it, instead of blurting out baseless comments.

“Somebody saying why Sarawak houses are 10 per cent more expensive (that in the peninsula); they must know economics, unless they are not familiar with economics, this is the problem – they just say things,” said Abang Johari when opening Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) Property Expo 2019 at the BCCK, here, this afternoon.

Abang Johari explained that when Sarawak developers imported building materials from overseas, the materials had to be shipped to Port Klang first before being shipped again to Sarawak.

“When you import something from say Shenzhen or Guangzhou in China, you (have to) go to Port Klang, and that is your cost. Then you have to ship again from Port Klang to Kuching. That is another additional cost.

“On top of that, the logistic cost again from the port to the site where you store your materials is another cost. So that’s why the cost of houses in Sarawak is slightly higher than in the peninsula,” he said.

Zuraida, when attending the Sarawak PKR Women Convention, here, last week, demanded an explanation from the state government on why the cost of public housing projects in Sarawak was about 10 per cent more expensive than in the peninsula.

Earlier, Sheda president Dr Christopher Ngui criticised Zuraida over her remarks indirectly blaming Sarawak developers for the slightly expensive prices of houses in the state.

“We would like to remind that the construction of houses in Sarawak incur additional costs such as the lack of ideal material choices locally, transportation costs and the lower development economy of scale in overall development compared to the peninsula.

“Therefore contributing to the 10 per cent more in the price of houses,” he said in his opening remarks. — DayakDaily