GEORGE TOWN: State Housing Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo’s move to question the number of homes to be built by the 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme (PR1MA) and then claiming that none was built by the Federal Government is akin to a joke, said a Penang Umno man.
Kepala Batas Umno Strategic Planning Committee chairman Azizi Safar echoed
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim’s statement questioning Jagdeep’s recent claim that not a single housing project under PR1MA was allocated for the state.
Azizi also reasoned that PR1MA is not the sole Federal Government agency tasked to build affordable homes for the rakyat, citing JKP Sdn Bhd, Penang Development Board (PERDA), Perumahan Penjawat Awam 1 Malaysia (PPA1M), Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB), and UDA Holdings in Penang as examples.
Azizi pointed out that for the 2008-2016 period, 34 projects have been completed by four Federal Government agencies and departments to provide 5,950 affordable homes in Penang, adding that was a contribution by the Federal Government to the overall total units of affordable homes which have been completed by both private and federal government agencies.
Azizi said in comparison with the Penang state government’s number which he claimed still stood at zero, it was clear that the completed affordable homes provided by the Federal Government outnumbered those allocated by the Penang state government.
“What Jagdeep said could not have been more inaccurate as a total of five PR1MA projects are destined for Penang, a total of 15,392 will be built namely 6,796 units in Sungai Pinang, 3,994 in Teluk Kumbar, 1,017 in Permatang Pauh, 1,248 in Batu Ferringhi, and 2,387 in Tasek Gelugor.
““This goes to show Jagdeep’s claim that no PR1MA projects are being built in Penang is unfounded and misleading.
“He needs to get his facts right,” he added.
On October 16, Jagdeep was reported as saying that 21,535 affordable homes under Category A (Low Cost) and Category B (Medium Cost) had been built by the DAP state government since 2008.
“What Jagdeep failed to mention was that those homes were built by private developers and not the Penang state government itself,” said Azizi.
Azizi also agreed with Shahidan that instead of nitpicking, Jagdeep should assist PR1MA by helping to speed up the approval process.
Jagdeep was also reported to have said that from the total of 625,000 PR1MA units promised by the government only 1,332 units were completed to date.
Shahidan, however, clarified that PR1MA had in fact completed 10,199 units all over the country and was optimistic to achieve its target of completing 17,000 units by end of this year.
Azizi also said that the state government could actually use the power it has to compete with the Federal Government agencies’ plans to build affordable homes in Penang.
“The issue of affordable housing is a big issue in Penang and should be handled sincerely by those in power so everyone from every single segment of society can own homes, not turning it into a political issue or be made a topic to bicker about between the state government and Federal Government.
“The rakyat should never be victimised,” added Azizi.
Instead of finger-pointing, he said, the Penang state government should admit its failure to build affordable homes for Penangites.
“Until today,not even a single unit of completed affordable home has been handed over to residents namely Penangites to stay in.
“They should know that approving housing projects by private developers is not the same as building those affordable housing units itself,” he explained. – MO