KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — The nation’s housing needs will be managed by a single ministry in the future, said Housing and Local Authority Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin.
In her winding-up speech on the Supplementary Supply Bill today, Zuraida engaged in friendly banter with Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Rahman who told her that as housing is parked under multiple agencies, it incurs a lot more in terms of management costs.
“We should place all housing projects and needs under the Housing and Local Government Ministry instead of multiple agencies. This incurs tens of thousands (a month) in management costs.
“You should be the only one managing our (the nation’s) housing needs,” Tajuddin remarked after Zuraida said that rural housing projects do not fall under her ministry’s purview.
“In the long term, we should be moving into that direction,” Zuraida said.
“I am ahead of time,” quipped Tajuddin.
“But you didn’t do it while you were here (in government),” Zuraida replied, triggering a round of laughter in the house.
“That’s all right, we will move together in the same direction,” she said.
Kubang Kerian MP Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (PAS) then asked if the government will also assist the poor who own land in rural areas including Felda settlements to build affordable homes there instead of purchasing affordable homes constructed by developers.
The minister said there was no allocation for such a programme and that Felda land is beyond her ministry’s authority.
However, she promised to speak to the Rural Development Ministry about the PAS lawmaker’s suggestion.
“We need to allow the Housing Ministry to stabilise first before we expand to cover all housing needs in the country so it will be standardised with policy and law.
“When I first entered the ministry, I assumed all housing matters fall under the Housing Ministry but that isn’t the case,” she said.