By Lim Kit Siang, DAP M.P. Kota Melaka and DAP Secretary-General
DAP would move a motion of no confidence in next Malacca State Assembly against the Chief Minister if Malacca State Government pursues its get-rich-quick housing policy for a handful associated with SEDC housing projects in utter disregard of the housing needs of the poor of all races in Malacca
The DAP would move a motion od no confidence on the Malacca Chief Minister, Tuan Haji Abdul Ghani, if he continues to pursue a get-rich-quick housing policy to benefit private individuals associated with the SEDC housing projects in utter disregard of the pressing and crying needs of the poor of all races in Malacca to own their own homes.
The recent State Government decision to freeze sub-division of some 100 arces of housing lots in and around the Malacca town area is the latest of State Government measures to force intending home-buyers in Malacca to buy inferior-quality houses built by SEDC in joint venture with private developers by stopping all private individuals openly and others not so openly associated with the SEDC housing projects, without benefitting the poor in Malacca to own houses as the SEDC houses are too expensive for the poor.
The prices charged for the SEDC houses are not very different from the houses built by private developers, but definitely inferior in quality.
The Malacca Chief Minister, Tuan Haji Abdul Ghani Ali, has so far failed to give a good reason for the freeze. In his New Year Message press conference, he said that the freeze is aimed to preventing property prices from rising too high beyond the means of the ordinary people to buy them. This is a most ridiculous argument when SEDC houses themselves are too expensive for the ordinary people to buy. Will the chief Minister new order the SEDC to reduce the prices of its houses in Peringgit Jaya, Batu Berendam and Air Keroh by 50 percent to bring them within the reach of the poor people?
The Chief Minister is acting as if there is an over-supply of houses in Malacca, when in fact, there is an acute shortage of houses for these demanding them, especially really low0cost houses.
This can be seen by the fact that over 6,500 people in the Melaka Tengah area alone took out application forms for the 114 terrace houses in Bandar Hilir last year, when those houses at over $11,000 are not qualified to be classified as ‘ low-cost’ either. Despite this, over 2,700 applicants turned up for interviews for the houses.
The State government’s record in building low-cost houses for the poor homeless is a dismal and disgraceful one.
In 1973, the Malacca State Government built 28 units low-cost housing. In 1974, it built 142 units. In 1975, the 114 units in Bandar Hilir had not been completed:
Instead of working out a master-plan to fight poverty through the building of low-cost housing for the poor, the State Government is interested in building middle-class homes in Peringgit Jaya, Batu Berendam and Air Keroh in Association with few favoured private individuals and then force private developers to stop their housing estate development by the misuse of government powers through the unjustified freeze of in sub-divisies of housing lots!
The State Government used its powers to compulsorily acquire private and, for instance in Taman Peringgit Jaya, at 10 cents a aqua ,and sold it at $2 a square feet, to great enrichments of the private individuals associated with the SEDC project.
The State Government should change its housing policy altogether which is to make rich quick far a few individuals assured with the SEDC housing projects, and concentrate solely and building homes for the poor in the range of $5,000 to$6,000 per unit.
The Kuala Lumpur Bandaraya plans to build about 10,000 units the range of $5,000 to $6,000 per unit the year. If this is do them for the first time, government housing projects would be able benefit the low-income groups.
This is what the Malacca State government should do, and not tompets with private developers, and when loss out in the campanion despite all the governments facilities and virtually free land, an private housing development when the housing shortage in Malacca so acute.
We do not lightly move a motion of no confidence.In my six years as Member of Parliament, I have not yet moved a motion of no confidence. This is because we realise that this is a serious matter should only be done when there are grave and power reasons for it.
I hope it would not be necessary for the DAP to move a motion of no confidence in the next Malacca State Assembly, for not only with this be the first time in any State Assembly in Malaysia after 1974 elections that such a motion would moved, but we would fully substantiate to the hilt our charge at Government in Malacca is pursuing a get-rich-quick housing policy for a handful associated with ESDC housing projects while pletely ignoring the housing needs of the poor- in fact, is dirty contributing to the aggravation of housing shortage and high housing prices in Malacca.