15,000 squatters living on govt land in JB, says MB

Johor Menteri Besar Osman Sapian says the state government will look at ways to build more affordable homes. (File pic)

JOHOR BAHRU: There are about 15,000 squatters in Johor Bahru who are occupying government lands illegally, especially from the low-income (B40) group and foreigners, Johor Menteri Besar Osman Sapian said.

He said their presence should not be ignored as they were the “pulse” of the city.

He said with some of them having little income, they could not afford to even rent a house.

“I’m looking into lands owned by the government or government link companies to set up more People’s Housing Programmes (PPR) as the demand is very high,” he said after attending the Johor Bahru District Action Committee Meeting at the district office today.

Osman, who is also Kempas assemblyman, said the state government was also looking into the Johor Housing Policy including using the new tagline of “Rumah Mampu Biaya” (Affordable Home) which will be announced later.

In another development, Osman said the state government was discussing with Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) to build a tram system in the city within the next three years.

However, the project that was planned to serve commuters around the city, Medini City, Pasir Gudang and part of Kulai was still under deliberation, especially in terms of its cost.

“It not only should reduce traffic congestion and air pollution but also attract tourists to the state,” Osman said.