PUTRAJAYA, June 1 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he has directed the Local Government Development Ministry to review policies on housing development to address the chronic shortage of affordable homes.
He said the current policy requiring developers to build a proportion of affordable homes along with other developments, was not addressing the issue effectively.
“It is a current policy but it’s not working at the speed and scale required. That’s why (Local Government Development Minister Nga) Kor Ming is being tasked to relook at the policies and impose new conditions.
“Why must only the government prepare (houses) when we have developers building huge condominiums when partly it’s their responsibility (to provide affordable homes) for at least for their own workers,” Anwar told reporters after key presentation to owners of the Dalur Malaysian Civil Servant Housing (PPAM) here today.
Anwar also said the lack of affordable housing was a complex issue that needed public involvement and feedback, without which significant changes would not be achievable.
The PM then thanked members of the public, residents’ groups, as well as organisations such as the Congress of Union of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) for participating in engagements held over the matter.
“I think it is rational that residents offer their input so that projects such as this can continue and how it can help solve problems faced by residents.
“If you speak to architects, it’s different from speaking to residents who actually live in the housing projects.
“Such as a case I came across when I was education minister. I was told to solve an issue whereby squatters refused to move into new housing units that were built for them, in Tanjung Tokong (Penang),” Anwar said in his address to new home recipients of the Dalur PPAM here.
He recalled how the residents had an issue with the housing units that had restrooms built at the front of the house.
Anwar said this was a design that was adopted in Western nations, but not suitable for Malaysian culture.
“But it isn’t the same here, if we place restrooms at the front where the living room is it will create a mess.
“So, all these things, we have to go to the ground to see for ourselves, otherwise we will never know what people are facing on the ground.
“Just because you’re seated ‘up there’ it doesn’t mean that you know everything; you don’t,” Anwar added, indicating that the housing units then were built by architects trained in the US.
Anwar earlier handed over mock-keys to home owners of the Dalur PPAM in Precinct 18 here.
New home owners Nor Azila Ibrahim @ Yacob and her husband, Azhari Ibrahim, a disabled person, said they were excited to move in once they receive their keys next week.
“We applied for this in 2019, and finally gotten the approval in 2021. This housing area is very conducive for my husband compared to where we are living now in Precinct 9.
“In this area there is everything from hospital, to public transportation and that is what my husband needs.
“We are really thankful that we can finally move in soon,” Nor Azila said when met at the launch event.
There are five disabled persons’ housing unit allocated under the Dalur PPAM out of 495 housing units, with two size variants — 1,000 sq ft and 1,200 sq ft.