Ting Chew Peh is trying to claim the great failure of the SLCHP as a success

by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 7th March 1992:

Ting Chew Peh is trying to claim the great failure of the SLCHP as a success.

My attention has just been drawn to the reply by the Minister for Housing and Local Government, Dr. Ting Chew Peh, to my statements about the failure of the Federal Government’s Special Low Cost Housing Programme (SLCHP).

I am shocked that Dr. Ting Chew Peh has the temerity to claim that the great allure of the SLCHP as a success. It is no wonder that MCA Ministerscontinue to lose credibility and legitimacy not only among the Chinese in Malaysia, but among Malaysians of all races.

Dr. Ting Chew Peh accused me of not understanding the facts and criticising for the sake of criticising.

I challenge Dr. Ling Chew Peh to give one instance in my statements on the SLCHP which is incorrect and not based on facts or could he deny the following statements which I had made.

Firstly, that the SLCHP was to be a three-year ‘urgent special exercise’ of the Barisan Nasional Government to build 240,000 low-cost houses from June 1986-1989;

Secondly, that the then Housing Minister, the late Datuk Chan Siang Sun, announced on 20th June 1988 that the SLCHP target had been raised from 240,000 units to 288,000 units and which continued to be raised to 328,391 units;

Thirdly, that the SLCHP failed miserably at the end of the three-year period in June 1989, and it had
to be extended for another three years till June 1992;

Fourthly, the SLCHP failed a second time as the Minis¬try of Housing could not deliver the low-cost houses in June 1992, and it has to be extended another time till the end of Sixth Malaysia Plan 1995; and

Fifthly, this means that a crash programme to build 300,000 low-cost units in three years became a
slow- motion programme to be completed in nine year’s.

Dr. Ting Chew Peh cannot dispute the above five facts. The question, is how he could claim that such repeated failures of the SLCHP is a success?

Dr. Ting Chew Peh does not believe in ‘achievement-oriented culture’ but very proud of ‘under-achievement’

Dr. Ting says that he is happy that 563,395 people have benefited under the SLCHP following the completion of 112,679 units, and that 109,373 units were now under various stages of construction while another 106,339 units were being planned.

It is clear that as Housing Minister, Dr. Ting does not believe in an ‘achievement-oriented culture’ but is very proud in ‘under-achievement’ as otherwise, he can never be happy or satisfied with a colossal failure like the SLCHP.

I find Dr. Ting’s ‘happiness’ most shocking for the follow¬ing reasons:

1.The completion of 112,679 units out of a total target of 328,391 units represents a paltry 34 per-cent.
How could any self-respecting Minister feel proud of such performance especially as this was the
result after six years when the whole SLCHP was targeted to be completed in three years?

2.What is even more shocking is the unintended revela¬tion by Dr.Ting Chew Peh that 106,339 units or
32 percent of the SLCHP were being planned. This means that construction work on these 106,339 have not started and their planning have not gone beyond the drawing board six years after the SLCHP programme when they should all have been completed three years ago.

I will not be surprised if at the end of the Sixth Malaysia Plan in 1995, a high percentage of these
106,339 SLCHP units are never built at all.

3.Ting Chew Peh said he is happy that 563,395 people had benefitted under the SLCHP. What he did
not mention was that under the SLCHP, 1.65 million people were to be provided low-cost housing by June 1989. Today, only 563,395 had been provided low-cost housing and there is no certainty that the
1.1 million people who were promised low-cost housing by June 1989 could benefit even by the end of 1995.

4.Another reason why I am shocked is that Dr. Ting is only at this late stage trying to find out the reasons for the SLCHP short-fall. Dr. Ting Chew Peh really qualifies to be described as a Housing Minister who is ‘last to know, last to be conscious’, and even ‘unknow¬ing and unconscious’ about the the great problems in the housing sector, especially for the low-income groups.

Dr. Ting Chew Peh suggests that I did not understand the SLCHP and that I was criticising for the sake of criticizing. If there is one thing Dr. Ting and the other MCA Ministers should learn, it is that DAP leaders are different from MCA leader’s in that DAP do not make statements on a subject until they have studied the issue thoroughly.

This is why Dr. Ting and MCA Ministers dare not take up an challenge of the DAP for an open debate
or argument. Even in the case of SLCHP, Dr. Ting will not dare to have an open public debate with the DAP.

Dr. Ting Chew Peh is struggling to meet the housing targets of 1986 while ignoring the new low-cost housing needs that have arisen since 1990.

Any independent minded person would regard the SLCHP as a great failure. Only those who are intellectually dishonest can claim otherwise.

If Dr.Ting does not have the intellectual courage and integrity to admit that the SLCHP is a great failure, then he would have no sense of urgency to overcome all obstacles to ensure that the the rest of the 66 percent of unfulfilled SLCHP targets are met in the next three years.

It is sad that Dr. Ting Chew Peh is struggling to fulfil the targets set in 1986, completely ignoring the
new needs for low-cost housing among the low-income Malaysians which have arisen since 1990.

This confirms my judgment that the Ministry of Housing and Local Government is probably the most incompetent and inefficient Federal Ministry in Malaysia!