September 12, 2016
KUCHING: The government should stick to its current practices of controlling prices of houses which are meant to the poor and middle income group.
This was the opinion of the State assistant minister of Housing Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah when asked to comment by a local English daily on the disclosure that the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry would review the National Housing Policy, which will end next year.
“Personally, I think the government should just control prices of houses that are meant for sale to the poor and middle income group and don’t let speculators and developers determine the prices.
“This way, the low and middle income category can have the opportunity to own houses.
If we were to let developers, speculators and market forces to determine the prices, we can come to a situation where unscrupulous speculators will ‘control’ the housing market and its prices," said Abdul Karim.
The Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar, reportedly said he had asked his ministry to look into ways that would enable the government to control the prices of homes to be included in the policy so that people from the low and middle-income bracket could own property.
Abdul Karim also expressed his perplexity on the statement because as it is, the government was already ‘controlling’ the prices of affordable housing built by government agencies or the private sector.
“I am unsure what the Federal Housing Minister meant by ‘allowing the government to control the price of houses’.
“I am sure he cannot control the price of all houses and must let market forces determine the price… but for some categories of houses meant for the poor and low income, certain control by the government on prices must be in place,” he pointed out. -@ybkarimsays