by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, March 29, 1992:
DAP calls for the set-up of a Cabinet Committee on Low-Cost Housing to resolve the SLCHP Crisis to ensure that the SLCHP does not fail a third time.
DAP calls for the establishment of a Cabinet Committee on Low-Cost Housing projects to ensure that the Federal Government’s Special Low-Cost Housing Programme (SLCHP) does not fail a third time, after being extended from a three year crash programme into a nine-year programme till the end of the Sixth Malaysia Plan in 1995.
The Minister for Housing and Local Government, Dr. Ting Chew Peh, had admitted that out of the
three-year SLCHP to build 328,391 low-cost units by 1989, the Government had been able to complete only 34 per cent or 112,679 units by this year after the programme was extended for another three years.
Although the SLCHP has been extended for a further three years till 1995 for the remaining 1989 SLCHP backlog of 215,712 units, Dr. Ting had not dared to state whether he could achieve 50 per cent performance of this nine-year backlog of low-cost houses by 1995.
I had publicly expressed my belief that the SLCHP would fail a third time, especially as 32 per cent of
the SLCHP or 106,339 low-cost units had not gone beyond the drawing board!
My belief that the SLCHP would fall a third time is reinforced by recent developments, particularly with, news reports that housing developers are reconsidering their commitment to build low-cost houses because of the problems faced by buyers in obtaining bank loans to buy them.
The Housing Developers Association (HDA) executive direc¬tor, Yin Ee Kok said in Friday’s newspapers that housing developers had complained that banks were rejecting applications for loans to buy houses costing less than $100,000.
The DAP calls on the Cabinet to take a very serious view of this crisis of the SLCHP.
Having failed to ensure the success of the three-year SLCHP despite its extension by three years, there
is no confidence that Dr. Ting Chew Peh is capable of ensuring its success despite another three-year extension.
DAP calls for the establishment of a high-powered Cabinet Committee to deal with the crisis of the SLCHP to ensure that it will not fail a third time at the end of the Sixth Malaysia Plan, as well as to ensure that the housing developers have no excuse to back out of their commitment to build low-cost, houses because of loan difficulties from the banks.
As bank loans and financing are crucial to the success of the SLCHP, the Finance Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, would be the most appropriate Chairman for the Cabinet Committee on SLCHP.
Although this would, mean certain loss of face for Dr. Ting Chew Peh, the Housing Minister should be prepared to make this propos¬al for a Cabinet Committee in next Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting in order to ensure that the SLCHP would not fail a third time, after it had been extended from a three-year crash programme into a nine-year programme.
One of the priorities, of the Cabinet Committee on the SLCHP will be to remind all the banks of their corporate responsibilities and to get them to play their part to ensure that the SLCHP would not fail a third time.