by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, March 4, 1992:
The extension of the three-year Special Low Cost Housing Scheme to nine years till end of Sixth Malaysia Plan shows that the Housing Ministry is probably the most incompetent and inefficient Ministry in the Feder¬al Government.
The Minister for Housing and Local Government, Dr. Ting Chew Peh, announced in Port Dickson two days ago that the Federal Government’s Special Low Cost Housing Programme (SLCHP) would be extended for another five years till the end of the Sixth Malaysia Plan so that more people in the
low-income bracket can own ‘decent homes’.
This is the latest proof that the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, over the years under a succession of MCA Ministers, is probably the most incompetent and inefficient Ministry in the Federal Government.
The SLCHP low-cost housing housing programme to build 240,000 low-cost houses in three years from 1986 – 1989 was announced with great fanfare as a ‘special exercise’ and an ‘immediate and urgent plan’, and the people were told that for the first year alone, the government had allocated $2 billion for the SLCHP.
A low-cost house under the SLCHP was defined as one costing less than $2,000, with a minimum floor area of 48 square metres, two bedrooms, a lounge/dining area, kitchen and bathroom/ toilet and normally a single-storey building.
The Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister for Housing and Local Government and the Deputy Housing Ministers, repeatedly declared that the Government was confident that the SLCHP target of constructing 240,000 units of low-cost houses in three years from June 1986- June 1989 would be achieved.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, even gave his personal attention to the SLCHP and asked, for fortnightly reports on the progress in the implementation of the SLCHP from June 1986 when the project was launched.
The then MCA Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk Chan Siang Sun, was so confident and optimistic about the SLCHP that on 20th June 1986, three weeks after the launching of the scheme, he announced that the SLCHP had increased the three-year housing target of 240,000 units by 48,000 units to 288,000 units or 96,000 units instead of 80,000 units a year.
The SLCHP is years behind schedule and a three-year crash programme has become a nine-year slow-motion proqramme!
Since then there had been three more MCA Ministers of Housing, namely Datuk Lee Kim Sai,
Datuk Ng Cheng Kiat and the present Dr. Ting Chew Peh. But what is the result of the SLCHP to
build 288,000 low-cost units in three years from 1986-1989?
The verdict came in yesterday when Ting Chew Peh said that the SLCHP will be extended to the end
of the Sixth Malaysia Plan in 1995 – which means an original crash programme to build 300,000
low-cost units in three years had become a slow-motion programme to com¬plete in nine years, i.e. from
1986 – 1995 after the stewardship of the Housing Ministry under four MCA Ministers!
The SLCHP is years behind schedule and with the extension till the end of the Sixth Malaysia Plan, the SLCHP has been converted from a three-year programme into a nine-year programme without any sense of urgency whatsoever.
What is shocking is that Dr. Ting could express satisfaction at the purposes of the SLCHP with 112,679 low-cost units built so far, which is only 39 per cent after five years when compared to the target of 288,000 low-cost housing units to be built in three years as announced by the late Datuk Chan Siang
Sun in June 1986.
Dr. Ting Chew Peh said in Port Dickson that the target for the SLCHP is now 328,391 low-cost units,
and that the State Governments have been asked to investigate the delays in the completion of the
215,712 SLCHP low-cost housing units.
This is a most shocking statement. Is Dr. Ting Chew Peh saying that after all these years, even when
the original three-year deadline for the SLCHP had expired, the ministry of Housing is still ignorant of the reasons for the delays or failures of the SLCHP to meet their original deadline?
If this is the case, and some more studies must be made to enlighten the Housing and Local Government Minister about the causes for the delays in the SLCHP, then the Ministry of Housing and Local Government must be confirmed as the most incompetent Federal Ministry in Malaysia.
Without being in the Ministry, I am prepared to inform Dr¬ Ting Chew Peh the reasons for the failure
of the SLCHP. Why then must Dr. Ting commission more studies by the State Government on this matter?
Dr. Ting is completely unsympathetic and unhelpful to the many problems faced by house-buyers
Dr. Ting has been very good in making a lot of statements about his Ministry, but he has been completely unsympathetic and unhelpful to the many problems faced by ordinary house-buyers.
Otherwise, Dr. Ting will not make the inane statement in Port Dickson that buyers should not worry
over the late delivery of their houses, on the ground that there were provisions for compensa¬tion if the houses were delivered later than the specified period, which is usually 24 months.
It is common knowledge that such a provision does not give house buyers any meaningful protection against housing developers, unless there is a very simplified process where the aggrieved house buyer
can claim compensation from the housing developer.
Dr. Ting should not warn house buyers with action by the local authorities for moving into houses without CFs (Certificate of Fitness)but should be warning the housing developers instead. The
Housing Minister seems to be taking the easy way out to bully the weak and poor house-buyers instead
of taking the rich and powerful housing developers to task!
The proposal by Dr. Ting today that house-buyers should seek their lawyers help over the legal status
of their houses when they are handed keys when the house is completed within the stipulated
time but before issue of CFs is also most unhelpful and irresponsible.
It is the Minister of Housing’s responsibility to ensure that the ordinary house-buyer has the fullest protection and minimal hassle and minimum need to seek lawyers help when they buy a house,
which must be regarded as a necessity. Otherwise, what is the use of having a Ministry of Housing at