KUCHING: A common policy on housing requirements must be formulated between the federal and state governments to improve the local housing industry.
Minister of Housing and Local Government Zuraida Kamaruddin said the ministry is planning to meet Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to speak on details over the various federal affordable housing schemes in Sarawak.
“I have to meet the CM (Abang Johari) himself or the exco of housing to realign or standardise at least the basic requirement or criteria in our guidelines in regards to housing,” said Zuraida to a press conference after a closed-door dialogue session with the Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) at a leading hotel here today.
She added the meet will enable the ministry to incorporate the perspective of the Sarawak housing industry and housing needs in the new national housing policy which is expected to be launched by the end of Sept this year.
Zuraida, who is also Ampang MP, revealed that her meeting with Abang Johari last month saw her requesting for state lands to be used for the federal housing projects.
“At that time he (Abang Johari) agreed, but of course we have not went to the details. Now, we can talk more on the details after gaining the input from Sheda,” she added.
Meanwhile, the dialogue session also saw Sheda sharing the challenges faced by private developers in dealing with various federal affordable housing schemes and federal housing loans in Sarawak.
Among the challenges that they are facing include, large land mass but only about 30 per cent are suitable for development while 70 per cent of the land are permanent forest estate; accessibility of land for development are not well served by roads; high cost of development due to unsuitable poor soil conditions for property development; population is sparsely distributed in localised pockets of land; lack of efficient public transport; high distribution cost of building materials which leads to overall higher building or development cost; higher infrastructure cost; overall lower development density as compared to Peninsular Malaysia; and Sarawak is therefore noted for its small scale development with slow take up rate.
Also present at the press conference were Sheda president Dr Christopher Ngui Siew Ling, State Fire and Rescue Department state director Nor Hisham Mohammad, PKR National Women vice-chief Voon Shiak Ni, State PKR Women Chief Nurhanim Mokhsen, Miri MP Dr. Michael Teo Yu Keng and Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How.