GEORGE TOWN: The previous Barisan Nasional government built less than 2,500 affordable housing units for Bumiputeras, compared with nearly 10,000 units during the opposition’s management of the state government, it was claimed today.
State Housing Committee Chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the current Penang government had offered 9,921 units of affordable homes, as compared with 2,423 units offered by previous BN state government.
“We have built five times more Bumi units than the previous administration. Claims by Penang Umno chief Zainal Abidin Osman that we do not care about housing for the Bumiputeras is inaccurate. In fact, the opposite is true,” he said at a press conference at the Penang Development Corporation headquarters here.
Jagdeep also debunked claims by Zainal that affordable public housing was lacking. He said 24,227 such units had been built between 2008 and 2017.
He said the units were offered according to a quota system put in place in the State Structure Plan by the previous BN government.
Under this system, 50% of low-cost units costing RM42,000 are offered to Bumiputeras, 35% to the Chinese and the rest to the Indians.
The low-medium cost units, costing RM72,500, are offered according to this formula: 55% to the Chinese, 30% to Bumiputeras and 15% to Indians.
Zainal had raised the issue of Bumiputera housing yesterday, accusing the Penang government of not building homes for the Bumiputeras, despite having a trust fund of over RM100 million which, he said, could be used to build homes for them.
At the same press conference, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said some RM60 million had been spent to purchase Bumiputera units and develop them.
Lim said as of today, RM59.8 million had been spent on buying units for the Bumiputeras and also developing two housing projects on the mainland.
He said RM44 million was spent on purchasing 320 units of low-medium cost homes at Jalan S P Chelliah in George Town.
On the mainland, RM7.9 million was used to develop a project in Kg Permatang Tok Subuh, Bukit Mertajam, and another project at Kg Kepala Gajah, Sg Bakap, also worth RM7.9 million. Both of the projects are low-cost units costing RM42,000.
Lim said there was RM40.2 million left in the State Bumiputera Housing Trust Fund. Last year, he said, there was RM100 million left in the fund.
Yesterday, Zainal had said the Auditor-General’s Report 2016 had highlighted an increase in the amount in the trust fund for Bumiputeras, which rose to RM110.93 million at the end of 2016.
The report showed the increase was due to increased contributions by developers in lieu of Bumiputera quota exemptions.