KUCHING (Bernama) – Sarawak would face a disastrous situation if its people could not afford to buy houses, state Housing Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said yesterday.
He said the state government was aware of the plight of Sarawakians who could not afford to buy a house due to the high prices of property in the last few years, and intervention measures were being taken to address the issue.
“Otherwise, it will be a disaster for us (if house prices shoot up beyond the reach of most Sarawakians), similar to what happens in some countries,” he said at his ministry’s Integrity Day programme, here.
The programme also involved the Housing Development Commission (HDC) and Daya Builders Sdn Bhd, an agency and subsidiary respectively under the ministry.
Abang Johari said unreasonably high price of houses could drive people to migrate to other countries to seek affordable living conditions.
He said the ministry was drawing up intervention measures aimed at reducing house prices in Sarawak within the next five years.
Apart from amending the Sarawak Housing Ordinance, which was passed by the state assembly last year, he said the measures would include creating a land bank and establishing a credit facility institution.
He said the success of the strategies to achieve this target would depend a lot on the support of all parties involved to prevent any form of leakage.
“This can only be attained if everyone of us who have been entrusted to do our job, would do it with honesty and a high level of integrity,” he added.
Abang Johari then witnessed the signing of an integrity pledge led by the ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Wan Lizozman Wan Omar, HDC chief executive officer Wan Yusop Wan Moss and Daya Builders managing director Sulzari Mohamed.