Minister to meet Sarawak officials in bid to make price of low-cost houses uniform in country

Zuraida speaking to reporters after visiting the site of RPR Taman Sri Tuang Phase II in Samarahan.

KOTA SAMARAHAN, August 11: Minister of Housing and Local Government Zuraida Kamaruddin will be meeting Sarawak government and Sarawak Planning Authority (SPA) officials soon to get their inputs for a federal public housing policy that aims to standardise the prices of low-cost houses nationwide.

The proposed policy is slated to be unveiled at the end of next month.

Currently, low-cost houses cost between RM35,000 and RM42,000 in the peninsula, but they cost more in Sarawak and Sabah, and Zuraida wants to know why.

“I need to know the housing policies in Sabah and Sarawak. It’s easy in the peninsula because all are uniform. I think it should be the same for all states, meaning the price should be between RM35,000 and RM42,000.

“But there may be factors that I do not know of that affect the cost in Sabah and Sarawak,” she told reporters after visiting the RPR Taman Sri Tuang Phase II low-cost housing project here today.

She added that she would be going to Miri next week, so the proposed meeting could be held then.

On a related matter, she revealed there were about 400 “sick” projects in the country. Hence, she planned to include in the proposed public housing policy a clause that stipulates that should contractors failed to implement projects entrusted to them by a certain period, the ministry would take over those projects.

SPC Construction Sdn Bhd managing director Vincent Ling (second right) presenting the project key to Zuraida in a symbolic gesture, as (from second left) Miri MP Dr Michael Teo and state PKR vice-chairman See Chee How looks on.

On the RPR Taman Sri Tuang Phase II low-cost housing project, she gave its developer, SPC Construction Sdn Bhd, a pat on the back for being two months ahead of schedule. The 800 units of low-cost houses would be able to hold some 4,000 people.

“I am satisfied with the progress of this project; however, I have told the developer to take note of the capacity of the surau, kindergarten and other public facilities.

“My advice to future developers is to make sure the suraus, kindergartens and other public facilities can accommodate all the population in their respective housing areas. I don’t want them to be built just for the sake of having them,” she said. — DayakDaily