Premier proposes trust fund for private developers to replace 30 pct low-cost housing requirement policy

Abang Johari (sixth right) and other distinguished guests photographed during HDC's Golden Jubilee dinner held at Penview Convention Centre, Kuching on Nov 19, 2023.

By Shikin Louis

KUCHING, Nov 19: Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has proposed setting up a trust fund to replace the requirement for the private sector to build housing projects with 30 per cent comprising low-cost housing.

He stated that under the current State law, the private sector is obligated to allocate 30 per cent of their housing scheme or mixed development project to build affordable houses if the land being developed is 10 acres and above.

“My idea is, instead of (building) physical 30 per cent houses, you (private sector) substitute that with certain amount of fund equivalent maybe to the 30 per cent value of that scheme and you contribute to a special trust fund.

“Then, the government will do the low-cost houses on behalf of the private developer through that trust fund so that the developer can plan their housing scheme to the needs of a certain location instead of the 30 per cent,” he said during Housing Development Corporation’s (HDC) Golden Jubilee celebration dinner at Penview Convention Centre (PCC) in Demak here earlier tonight.

Abang Johari further said the proposed trust fund would assist the government to plan better in developing qualify affordable housing and prevent the private sector from ‘melepaskan batuk di tangga’ (performing half-heartedly).

“Otherwise, you look at the cases brought to Sarawak Housing Purchaser’s Claims Tribunal where there are a lot of complaints such as leaking roofs in new homes,” he added.

Nevertheless, he said the idea will be brought up to the State Cabinet for approval first.

Amongst those present at the event were Minister in the Premier’s Department Dato Sri John Sikie Tayai; Deputy Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government Datuk Michael Tiang Ming Tee; and HDC chairman Abdul Yakub Arbi. — DayakDaily