Home Web Specials 2012 Web Specials Najib’s 20000 affordable houses in Penang – Is it for real?

Najib’s 20000 affordable houses in Penang – Is it for real?

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At a time when the poor could afford to buy a RM25000 house 14 years ago, the BN adminstration in Penang built only 2926 such homes, notes Choo Sing Chye.

Pie in the sky: Najib makes big promises
Pie in the sky: Najib makes big promises

Jestering about the return of the free port status in exchange for a Barisan Nasional victory in Penang had made its chief Teng Chang Yeow an undisputed local political clown. I thought this title would be permanently etched in the minds of the people in Penang, but Najib had to butt in and go national.

I genuinely pity Najib; none of his advisors including Teng Chang Yeow had any clue on the Penang housing problem. Promising to build “not less than 20000 units of affordable housing…in Penang,” without knowing the fact that the very same state BN had earlier made a promise under the four Malaysia Plans spanning from 1976 to 1991 to build 39279 houses, but only managed to deliver 5484. And it is even more clownish as this big “promise” comes under the “Promises Fulfilled” banner.

The table below shows low-cost housing units built by the state government under the various Malaysia Plans (Penang Hansard):

homes built
3rd Malaysia Plan
4279 units
2422 units
4th Malaysia Plan
21000 units
2654 units
5th Malaysia Plan
14000 units
140 units
6th Malaysia Plan
1991- to June 1994
No Targets
268 units
39279 units
5484 units


Najib, buoyed by his BN advisors’ flawed perception, shoots out his mouth with a huge dose of pomposity: “Tt is now open for registration online and these housing units will be priced below the market price; so if the market price is RM500000, it will be sold at RM300000”.

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Najib’s advisors should not be in the dark and put their boss in a humiliating position. These highly paid advisors should just leaf through the past records of the BN government; they would immediately know that the state government had another three-year special low-cost housing privatisation programme of its own to build 41080 low-cost housing units.

This programme was launched in 1986 and it was to be completed in 1989. And in it, there were about 40635 eligible applicants registered with the State Housing Department.

Furthermore, this programme was backed by a RM1.4bn special low-cost housing federal fund set up by the federal government to build low-cost homes from which the state government could apply.

Apparently, BN administratio, being an incompetent government as it has always shown to be, managed to build only 2926 units (7 per cent) out of the targeted 41080, thus missing the golden opportunity to provide 41080 low-cost houses for the poor. And shamefully, the 2926 units were built over a period of eight years and not three years as targeted.

Now, the BN clowns have gone on a breast-beating show around Penang but they cannot hide the fact that they have lost the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help the poor.

The BN government sould have fulfilled the targeted 41080 low-cost houses for the poor 14 years ago without much difficulty when the cost of land, labour and material was low.

Furthermore, the majority of the poor in Penang at that time could definitely scrape through by owning a RM25,000 house. But owning a RM300000 house is way beyond their reach.

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Najib, do have some humility for the poor; the RM300000 houses are not for them. Tell me Najib, when the poor could afford to buy a RM25000 house 14 years ago, your BN government screwed up big time in fulfilling this pledge and only built 2926 homes.

Now if we give the same opportunity of low labour land and material cost to Lim Guan Eng – he would definitely solve the housing problem hands down.

After the first three and the half years under Chief Minister Koh Tsu Koon, the state government and its agencies were only able to build and complete 1797 low-cost homes, broken down as follows:

  • 268 units built by the Penang state government
  • 133 units by Penang Development Corporation (PDC)
  • 690 units by Penang Regional Development Authority (Perda)
  • 706 units by Urban Development Authority (Uda).

All the above information is sourced from the Penang Hansard

Choo Sing Chye, a former Perak state assembly member, served as politcal secretary to the late P Patto.

Source: singchyeblog.blogspot.com

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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Ong Eu Soon
28 Jan 2013 12.28am

You can dismiss the announce as unreal, empty promise. Do you realise how it impact the property market? Do you know how it will impact the voting pattern? Thanks to the cocky arrogant tokong’s mishandling of the property sector. The BN has seize the opportunities to fish for votes by offering so called affordable housing. Those who were qualified and selected via the lottery likes balloting will think twice when they want to cast their votes. With their nature of greed, majority of them will choose to vote for BN to protect their special rights to affordable housing. Image if you divide the 20,000 housing for 20 constituencies. Each constituency will have the votes of 1000 household which can range from 1000 to 5000 votes easily. Call it an empty promise, but can you resist it when the property price in the island is sky high beyond the reach of ordinary people. Once again we should thank the cocky arrogant tokong for messing up the property market, so that BN can take advantages on those desperate house buyers with an empty promise that most will find… Read more »

najib manaukau
30 Dec 2012 8.16am

Najib for the sake to be reelected would even promise that a place in heaven just so to remain in Putrajaya. What else he wouldn’t promise ?
Like everything else he says in the lead up to the GE, he has given out millions or even billions of ringgits, which is not his own money or better still shall I say with money Malaysia do not have and even worse than that with borrowed money. Please remember one way or the other these ‘gifts’ of his will have to be returned by the people as soon as the GE is over, they are not going to come from his … bank accounts … I am ashamed to have come from the same school that both he and his cousin, the home minister. But I guess like all things every schools or families have their own black sheep. Therefore it is most unfair to St John to be blamed for the behavior of these …!

tan tanjong bungah
tan tanjong bungah
29 Dec 2012 11.27pm

Hi everyone, In 18 years, the former BN Pg State Govts managed to build only 5484 units of low-cost housing out of a targetted 39279 units, achieving less than 14% of its targets! Mind you from 1976 to 1994, there was then still ample land in Penang, even on the island, with cost of materials, labour and land much lower than now, yet the former BN Pg State Govts failed miserably the poor in Penang!! With their hold on federal govt gravely threatened in the next GE, we have the twin clowns Teng C Y (at state level) and PM Najib (at national level) promising 20000 units of affordable housing in Pg! Malaysians, especially Penangites, are not easily hoodwinked by such jokers! Do read the costing done by Ramakrishnan and the facts put forth by him in Aliran’s website, and you can know that what the PM Najib is proposing, i.e. to build 20000 units of affordable housing in Pg, so laughable!! Anyway, PM Najib as a clown has nonetheless succeeded in making us laugh and laugh!! Kick out the incompetent and corrupt BN and UMNO… Read more »

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