Why no more affordable homes set aside just for civil servants? Zuraida explains

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin says civil servants will have to apply for affordable homes just like the rest of the public. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin says civil servants will have to apply for affordable homes just like the rest of the public. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 ― Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin has explained why civil servants will no longer have a special allocation of affordable homes built under government initiatives, but will have to apply for such housing just like the rest of the public.

Zuraida, who is housing and local government minister, said this new policy follows the combining of all separate agencies tasked with providing affordable homes into one single body.

“The implementation of this new policy follows the setting up of a new sole entity that makes Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia, Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB), Uda Holdings Berhad, Housing Programme for the Hardcore Poor (PPRT) and 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing (PPA1M) to be uniform under one roof in strengthening the will of the Pakatan Harapan government,” she was quoted saying by local daily Berita Harian (BH).

Zuraida said this new policy takes effect immediately.

Zuraida said her ministry currently has 13 affordable housing projects, with 38,000 units from three projects already completed and another 122,000 units in 10 projects still undergoing construction.

“If we look at the overall total, I have already achieved the target of 160,000 units to be built this year,” she also said.

Out of the 38,000 units, about 10 per cent would be given to the Fire and Rescue Department personnel, 9,000 units to civil servants and the remaining to the public, especially the low-income B40 group, BH reported.

Zuraida reportedly said civil servants who had yet to apply could do so to buy the desired unit.

In explaining the new policy of not setting aside affordable housing for civil servants but to have a mix of residents from society, Zuraida reportedly said it was to encourage “social interaction” between civil servants and the public to share their views, experience and knowledge to enhance a sustainable community.

Civil servants union Cuepacs president Datuk Azih Muda however said Zuraida's ministry should not have made the sudden announcement, arguing that each policy should involve consultations with stakeholders for fairness and in a transparent new Malaysia.

“The minister should discuss with Cuepacs to find the best mechanism in resolving the method of home ownership among civil servants. Not make decisions using the minister's powers alone,” he was quoted saying when contacted by Berita Harian.

He said the new system announced by Zuraida would allegedly cause civil servants to be sidelined, adding that the government should think of the best solution to facilitate civil servants who faced difficulties in owning homes.