Saturday, October 27, 2012

Donald Lim Talks Rubbish on Selangor Affordable Housing


On Tuesday 23 October 2012, Datuk Donald Lim claimed in parliament that the Selangor state government has not built a single unit of low-cost or medium cost housing during its four years of administration.

He said "Di Selangor sudah lebih empat tahun, sebiji rumah pun tidak dibina untuk rakyat Selangor sama ada kos rendah atau sederhana. Memang ini... " (Hansard 23/10/12)

After being "corrected" in Parliament, Datuk Donald Lim attempted to change his allegations in Parliament with a press conference yesterday.

This time, he alleged that of the 23,637 units of affordable homes planned for Selangor, only 287 have been built. He said that is barely 1% of the total number and hence it is as good as zero built.  He stated that this information is disclosed in the reply by the Selangor State Executive Council to the state assembly sitting in April this year.

We have checked the official response by the State Exco. It is true that "only" 287 units of low-cost units have been completed while 826 are under construction.

However, Datuk Donald Lim appears to have conveniently read only half the response by the state government.  The same reply to the Dewan also stated that 5,526 units of low-medium and medium cost housing have been completed!  The Minister had claimed that there were none built at all!

So out of the total of 23,637 low and medium cost homes planned by the state government, 5,813 has already been completed. This is a commendable 25% completion within a few years of administration. As a civil engineer himself, sure Datuk Lim would know that planning, approving and constructing houses isn't like ordering a plate of char koay teow, where you will be served in 10 minutes.

The 25% is a far cry from the 1% alleged by the Deputy Finance Minister and definitely not "zero" as misled by him in Parliament.

Today, we have made a site visit to Seksyen 3, Bandar Baru Bangi within the Serdang constituency with Bangi ADUN Shafie bin Abu Bakar on one of the soon-to-be-completed 124 units of affordable homes (picture attached). We have made an open invitation to the Selangor MCA Chief to visit the site or any other sites in Selangor since he claimed that he is completely clueless about low-cost and affordable housing projects in Selangor.

The Selangor Government is also building 135 units of affordable homes at Sungai Long (within Serdang constituency) to be completed before the end of the year. Other affordable projects in the state include one in Seksyen U10, Shah Alam, where 536 units will be built.  As an initial step, the state has set the price for affordable houses (800-1,000 sq feet) for middle-income earners at between RM85,000 and RM120,000.  Selangor residents with households between RM2,500 and RM5,000 can apply for it.  Those interested may purchase the application form at Level 5 of SUK Building, Shah Alam at the price of RM5.

We would also like to remind the Minister of 2 further issues. Firstly, the statistics above only covers projects directly under the state government and the subsidiaries it own.  It does not include the thousands of units built by the private sector as mandated by the state government.

Secondly, we would like to emphasize in no uncertain terms that the responsibility to build affordable housing is that of the Federal Government under the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, headed by Datuk Lim's colleague, Datuk Wira Chor Chee Heung.  It is because the Federal Government has failed to fulfil its obligations that the state governments of Selangor and Penang are forced to step in to build affordable homes to ease the burden of the rakyat.

Datuk Donald Lim should hence get his own house in order first before attempting to discredit the Selangor Government under Pakatan Rakyat. He should also stop digging a deeper hole for himself by conceding that he has made a blunder in Parliament and withdraw his irresponsible remark that the Selangor government has not built a single unit of low or medium cost housing in the state.
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