MACC should investigate Penang’s low-cost housing following A-G’s report, says PAP

 |Aug 2, 2017
People’s Alternative Party (PAP) vice president Rahmad Ishak. – File pic.

GEORGE TOWN :The DAP-led Penang state government should respond to the low-cost housing sales “scandal” and also to the 2016 Auditor-General’s (A-G) report which stated that there were applicants who exceeded the qualification for getting the houses while those who were truly qualified were still waiting for their houses.

People’s Alternative Party (PAP) vice-president Rahmad Ishak also described the audit report findings as being “shocking” whereby under the Low-Cost Housing Scheme (PPRK) between 2014 and 2016, as many as 208 applicants with salaries exceeding RM2,500 were eligible to own low-cost homes together with some 162 applicants with salaries between RM2,501 and RM3,500.

Rahmad also pointed out that among the findings in the 2016 A-G’s report, four were detected to be eligible for low-cost homes despite earning an income of RM8,500.

“Even more worrying is that there are 490 financially challenged applicants who are still waiting for the low-cost homes offer and it has been a fifteen-year long wait despite having applied numerous times at the state housing department office.

“The matter must be immediately investigated as it is indeed a very serious one as an individual who can afford to buy a bungalow unit can own a low-cost home,” he said in a statement here today.

He also called on the state government to make public the list of over-qualified low-cost homes’ applicants.

Rahmad accused the state government of robbing the eligibility of those who were more deserving of low-cost homes through its own vetting system.

“Throughout the nine years of their (DAP) administration, the construction of low-cost homes are only carried out by private developers and even if they carry out ‘backdoor sales’ of the low cost units they built, it will never be known.

“The list of those entitled for low-cost homes and their eligibility through the application forms must be shown to government agencies before offer letters are issued,” said Rahmad.

This, he said is important so there will be no issue of “overlooking” or other excuses when discrepancies happen unless there is abuse and misuse of power.

“The father of an assemblyman was previously investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for acting as an agent to sell low-cost homes,” said Rahmad.

The state government, he said, should be more stringent in this matter, he said, adding that it was PAP’s hope for the MACC to investigate the issue. – MO