KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — The Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry will soon propose to the government to set up a new agency to regulate the construction process of public housing and government quarters in the country.
Its minister, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said that the agency would coordinate the responsibilities of several entities such as PR1MA Corporation Malaysia, Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad and Ministry of Rural and Regional Development which are responsible for building low-cost and medium-cost housing.
He said other government agencies which provide living quarters like the Royal Malaysia Police and Malaysian Armed Forces should also be put under the supervision of the new agency.
“We have many agencies. There should be a coordination because many departments are responsible for public housing including staff quarters,” he told Bernama.
Abdul Rahman made the proposal following the government’s approval to review the National Housing Policy pertaining to prices of real estate to allow for the government to determine them instead of market forces.
Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the government via the ministry could undertake prudent price control by considering elements such as location and type of houses.
Abdul Rahman said the ministry had various agenda to ensure people in the low-income group, especially civil servants can own houses.
He said the ministry was planning to set up a land bank or to purchase land using government allocations in advance to build public housing before paying it back after the projects had been completed.
Meanwhile, Cuepacs president Datuk Azih Muda said government’s intervention in controlling house prices could prevent price speculation which deterred the bottom 40 per cent household income group (B40) and middle 40 per cent income (M40) from owning affordable houses.
“This is important to ensure that house prices will not only be controlled by the private sector,” he said.
Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (FOMCA) vice-president Siti Rahayu Zakaria said the housing policy which was introduced in 2011 needed to be reviewed in accordance with the changing time and economic situation.
“Housing is a basic need that can no longer be determined by the free market. The government’s decision to review house prices is timely,” she said.