SUPP Official Website DATO SEBASTIAN ON HOUSING PROBLEM

DATO SEBASTIAN ON HOUSING PROBLEM

Sarawak United Peoples’ Party, through its Secretary General, Dato Sebastian Ting, who also heads the Land and Housing Committee in the Party, welcomes and congratulates the Minister YB Datuk Amar Abang Johari on his announcement that the Government would build 3500 affordable houses in Sarawak for the next three years. There would also be a Special Housing Loan Scheme to assist those in the lower income group.

People of all races require reasonable shelter and roof over their heads, for their families and loved ones. Since the beginning of time a shelter and a roof was and still is a necessity. Thus housing is an important part of our life journey.

Here we are talking about affordable houses only for the low income group. Prices of properties have rocketed beyond the reach of this low income group. They do not have the money to buy properties in the open market..

The middle income group are also having a tough time and indeed a challenge to save for just the deposit to pay for a house. Just like the low income group, prices of properties are beyond their reach. In West Malaysia the government is building 1 Prima houses between RM300, 000 to RM 500,000 with government subsidizing 20% of the purchase price.

We are happy to note here that on the 24th October 2014, the Federal Government announced two Prima Projects in Sarawak , namely DBKU and Padawan areas, consisting of 1877 units with prices ranging from $235k and 1560 units from $198k respectively.

In November 2013, Datuk Amar Abang Johari announced that according to studies conducted, about 8000 to 10,000 Prima houses would be required and built in Kuching, Sibu (Nangka area) and Miri (Permyjaya area) to accommodate the increasing population and migration of new families. He further added that this would provide the young working graduates and families of middle and low income groups an opportunity to own a house. This great news last year was very much welcomed, and we hope that these projects can be implemented soon. We also hope that similar Prima houses be built in Bintulu.

Securing a banking loan from the normal banking institutions is always a major headache for purchasers of HDC’S houses, as the purchasers are normally from poor, low and middle income groups. This is more so, with the present stringent loan guidelines by the banks. Many purchasers are unable to borrow money to finance the purchases of HDC’S houses.

Even if those purchasers can secure housing loans from these banks, the interest will be at market rate and it follows that the monthly loan repayment will be high. Default payments amongst borrowers are not uncommon.

It is therefore the duty of the government to find solutions for the people. The introduction of a Special Housing Loan Scheme to finance the housing need of those who are unable to borrow money from the normal banking institutions to finance their purchases of HDC’S houses are therefore very much welcomed. We would like to congratulate the Government, especially The Minister of Housing YB Datuk Amar Abang Johari, for this announcement during his winding up speech. This Special Housing Loan Scheme will be implemented by Mutiara Mortgage and Credit Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of HDC next year after the technicalities and management team are in place.

On the number of affordable and Prima houses, we should have more affordable houses and should also have 1 Prima houses in Sarawak to cater for different income groups

Most people in their entire lives, very often than not, can only afford to buy a house and thus a house to provide warm and comfort to their loved ones. With such a warm surrounding parents hope their children will be in an environment to study well and prepare for their examinations. They can make full use of all the modern information technology and acquire up to date knowledge. With better education their future will be so much better. That is the dream and wish of all parents.

Nearer to home, we are given to understand that we have over 8000 squatters families and in Miri alone, we have over 3900 squatters families. The 3500 affordable houses which includes 742 affordable houses planned for Miri as per the announcement, is therefore grossly insufficient. More over, there are many tenants who are still paying rental.

That being said, the 3500 affordable houses for the next three years are a good start but Sarawak requires more. The Federal Governmenjt should or must provide the necessary funding for both the affordable and Prima houses. Sarawak with its vast land bank can provide the necessary land.

December 2017
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