Youths will punish BN over unaffordable housing, says PPBM

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PETALING JAYA: PPBM Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman is convinced that the federal government’s failure to provide affordable housing for youths will see it punished in the next general election (GE14).

To back his point, Syed Saddiq cited Kinabatangan MP Bung Mokhtar Radin’s statement in the Dewan Rakyat last month on the 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme (PR1MA) houses being advertised as “affordable” but were still too expensive.

“An Umno MP said in the Dewan Rakyat recently that the affordable housing programme under PR1MA is actually unaffordable.

“This is an indication that the government has focused wrongly, building more unaffordable houses instead of affordable ones.

“There are PR1MA houses priced above RM250,000. As a result, the government has sidelined the interest of young people,” Syed Saddiq said.

He admitted that property prices are increasing in other parts of the world as well, but wages in those countries have also increased.

In Malaysia however, the wages received by fresh graduates and youths in general have remained stagnant, while others have seen an increase of only 17% in the last few years, according to Syed.

“About 50% of graduates are earning less than RM2,000. That is not enough to cope with the rising cost of living.

“At the same time, the rate of youth employment is four times the national unemployment average.”

He said when it comes to housing, the federal government should follow Penang and Selangor’s models that are more sustainable.

“Rumah Selangorku involved state-owned land which means the government has the power to compel property developers into building houses that are actually affordable.

“With PR1MA, the government has to buy the land and often at a price that is higher than the market price.”

He alleged that some of these housing projects were also tainted with corruption, saying it may have also contributed to the high price of the “affordable” houses.

“If you look at Pakatan Harapan’s alternative budget, once we weed out corruption, the money we save will be channelled into building affordable houses,” Syed said.

“The government has the money to provide affordable housing for more youths to have their own home.”

FMT reported last month property expert Ernest Cheong saying that the youth’s inability to afford their own home meant their best option is to keep living with their parents.