Local construction industry can leverage on social housing projects

Sim Kiang Chiok

KUCHING, Nov 17: Sarawak Budget 2019, despite no direct assistance to the private housing and real estate sector, does provide for social housing to boost local construction industry.

Thus, the cash injection into the housing industry will create business opportunities in the state, said Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developer Association (SHEDA) Kuching chairman Sim Kiang Chiok

“There is no direct assistance to the private housing and real estate sector, however, this budget has provided for social housing that would create much construction works in the state, with the RM141 million provided for Rumah Mampu Milik, RM72 million for housing aids for the poor and RM63.4 milion for village expansion programme.


“This will ensure the state economy will grow and creating many business opportunities and spin-offs to our local economy,” he said in a recent statement.

Sim also lauded the state government’s invitation of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Attorney-General’s Office to sit in the Tender Board.

“As both agencies are under the Pakatan Harapan-led federal government, there should not be any complaint of bias in our state awards of works. This will not give the opposition opportunities to create any doubt and negative perception of the state government.

“We are the first government to have this check and balance that will make it more transparent in its procurement than most states in Malaysia. This is highly commendable and will be appreciated by all Sarawakians that their wealth are being taken care of, in the best possible way,” he continued.

On the 5 per cent tax on oil, gas and petroleum products, Sim said it would help Sarawak to generate the necessary resources to develop and catch up with Peninsular Malaysia.

”Since 2011, when the Emergency Ordinance and Internal Security Act were revoked by the federal government, the state have steadily, in a ‘gentleman’s way’, restored eroded autonomous rights as agreed in the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

“This budget is another positive step towards restoring our rights, as provided for in our Constitution, where we are entitled to impose sales tax on our produce and extracted material such oil and gas.

“This is a forward moving budget, the biggest ever and we can expect more with the petroleum tax being imposed from now on. This budget will keep our economy growing in view of the disappointing federal budget for Sarawak,” opined Sim.

He believed the budget will provide for rural village upgrades, infrastructure projects including bridges, water supply, agriculture, industrial estate, entrepreneur development.

He was content that the budget, at a total of RM 9.073 billion with RM2.841 billion for administrative expenses, also catered for social housing and upgrading and maintenance of villages, skills training, repair of school building and teachers quarters, as well as the RM1,000 education fund for every Sarawakian new born from 2019.

The people of Sarawak will definitely benefit from this expansionary budget either directly or indirectly, with the forecast of the state’s economic growth of five per cent for 2019, which is higher than the projected national growth forecast. — DayakDaily