KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 — The alienation of government land on the outskirts of cities to developers should be frozen, instead it should be set aside for low and medium-cost housing.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani said the land should be reserved for relevant government agencies such as Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia or Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd to build low and medium-cost housing.
“This perennial land issue must be resolved if we were to determine housing objectives for the low, middle and high-income groups. People in the high-income group do not have any problem if they want to buy a land.
“What is important now is how do we accommodate the needs of the low and medium-income groups who could not afford houses fetching above RM300,000,” he told Bernama in an interview today.
Johari said housing development for low and medium-income groups needed government’ intervention in order for them to own houses.
“Today, if newly-minted graduates earning RM3,000 a month were to buy a house, 50 per cent of their pay will be spend on home loan repayment unlike before when the repayment was just 10 per cent.
“This does not give economic benefit to young people,” he said.
Commenting on the Congress of Unions for Employees in the Public and Civil Service’s (Cuepacs) call for a review of the National Housing Policy, Johari said the government would make some changes to it with a view of instituting recommended prices on properties, instead of leaving them to market forces.
He said Cuepacs’ proposals would be raised at the Cabinet’s meeting next week.
Earlier today, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi lauded Cuepacs’ proposal that the government should set up a land bank and buy land in strategic areas for building houses for civil servants.