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KUCHING, May 25: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak women’s wing is happy that the entry ban on its national women’s chief Zuraida Kamaruddin is lifted so the newly appointed Housing and Local Government Minister could come to Sarawak to bring news on affordable housing.
“The minister (Zuraida) is committed to upholding the promises made in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto and to deliver one million affordable house to help the people, especially youth, own their first home,” PKR women’s national vice-president Voon Shiak Ni told reporters.
Voon said the problem faced by Sarawakians to get housing loans was also highlighted to Zuraida, who had also discussed the issue with Economic Affair Minister Datuk Seri Mohamded Azmin Ali to see whether Bank Negara could relax loan requirements.
“In Sarawak, we also note the issue of the difficulty to get housing was further aggravated by the restrictions imposed by EPF (Employees Provident Fund,” she added.
Voon said PRIMA applicants had raised the issue that they were unable to withdraw their funds from Account Two to pay for the deposit for house purchases under PRIMA scheme, and withdrawals can only be made to purchase houses under commercial housing projects only.
Questioning the rationale of such a policy, Voon said it was one of the main reasons many applicants faced deadends in their efforts to purchase and own a house.
One setback, according to her, is basic income as a financial requirement.
She pointed out that overtime pay and allowances form a significant portion of many employees’ incomes, especially those who work on a shift basis like those in the airline industry.
“If only the basic income is used as the financial requirement (for housing loans), then many will be deprived of the opportunity to buy an affordable home.”
She added that the Pakatan Harapan government had also pledged in its manifesto to improve the country’s housing policy including having a special housing loan scheme. — DayakDaily