KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 — New Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said she plans to improve the condition of People’s Housing Projects (PPRs) to encourage more Malaysians to stay there.
In an interview with Malaysiakini, the Ampang MP admitted that the condition of some of the PPRs in the city had deteriorated over the years.
This has led to the PPRs becoming home to foreigners instead.
“There has to be some cleaning up, so that real Malaysians are staying there,” she said.
PPR was a government initiative for squatter resettlement that simultaneously met the financial needs of low-income earners.
The government also introduced a rent-to-own scheme for some PPR units, which allowed the tenants to convert the rental into down payments for the home.
Zuraida said to avoid the PPR units from being rented out to foreigners, the PPR owners may be required to seek approval from local authorities first.
This, she added, would also allow the ministry to keep tabs on the foreigners residing in PPRs.
“The legal foreigners can stay, but we want to see if the owners make enough effort to allow Malaysians to rent the houses,” she was quoted as saying.
“We wish the foreigners who stay there to follow our culture and we want to make sure they know how to maintain levels of cleanliness, environment and safety.”
Zuraida also said there are plans to increase the number of PPRs as part of Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto promise to build one million affordable homes over the course of 10 years.
Since taking over the portfolio, Zuraida said one of her priorities is to push for community empowerment in public housing, private housing or even commercial areas nationwide.
The idea is for communities to work together as a Residents’ Association (RA) to improve their physical environment and the safety of their surroundings.
She said the RAs will be taught the proper ways to handle various issues and they will be able to decide what type of environment, services and security they want.