THE Penang government has invited the Federal Government to consider adopting the state’s approach when addressing issues pertaining to affordable housing schemes for civil servants.
Penang Local Government, Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said civil servants in Penang were not given the privilege to enjoy affordable housing projects under the 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing Project (PPA1M) in the past.
“We never had such privilege. There was also no 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme (PR1MA) in Penang.
“However, the state government acknowledged the need to assist civil servants in Penang to own homes. Many are unable to own homes with the salaries they are getting.
“The Penang government had set up a selection committee called the Selection Process Enhancement Committee (SPEC) in 2013 to screen low-cost, low medium-cost and affordable housing applications.
“SPEC will screen the applications and give priority to those who are disabled, single parents, civil servants and those who received notice of eviction due to development projects,” Jagdeep told a press conference in Batu Lanchang today.
Jagdeep was commenting on the Federal Government’s decision to do away with the special allocation of affordable housing for civil servants.
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin was reported saying that the new policy of not setting aside affordable housing for civil servants, was to encourage ‘social interaction between civil servants and the public.
Jagdeep said SPEC has screened the applications and given priority to 4,483 eligible applicants since 2013.
“A total of 1,845 applicants were civil servants, single parents (1,586 applicants), 945 applicants received notice of eviction due to development projects and 107 applicants who were disabled,” Jagdeep said.
Also present was Batu Lancang assemblyman Ong Ah Teong.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Law Suun Ting