KOTA KINABALU: The Housing and Local Government Ministry has given two months to the developer of the 775-unit Bukit Padang People's Housing Project (PPR), near here, to resume work on the project.

Its deputy minister Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin said if the company failed to do so, the ministry might terminate the contract and appoint a new developer.

"This is a critical project as it has been abandoned for six years. Apart from that, the project will also be used to house Bukit Padang squatters whose areas are involved in the construction of the Health Ministry's nursing hostel," he told reporters after visitng the PPR project site on Feb 3.

Lajim said the construction for the RM46.3 million PPR project started on Nov 14, 2002 and was supposed to be completed in November 2004.

Meanwhile, Lajim expressed dissatisfaction on the progress of the PPR project in Kionsom, Inamam, near here, under its new contractor.

“The progress achieved so far is about 1.2%. We expect the progress to be already more than 6% by now.

"I will personally monitor this project and other PPR projects in Sabah on a monthly basis to ensure they are completed on schedule. This is important because this will be taken into consideration when evaluating the ministry's Key Performance Indicators (KPI)," he said.

Lajim said the new contractor for the 1,000-unit project started the construction on Aug 26 last year at the cost of RM49 million and expected to complete the project on Aug 23 next year.

The original cost for the project was RM57 million but the appointment of a new contractor saw the overall cost, including the cost for reviving the project, rising to RM70 million.

Lajim also said that four PPR projects, each in Kunak, Keningau, Kinarut and Kudat were also behind scheduled due to numerous factors.

He said some 17,200 units of PPR houses had been or would be completed in Sabah, including abandoned projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

He said the original target for the period was to provide 20,000 units of PPR houses.

Lajim also wanted the local authorities to speed up the occupation process of completed PPR projects throughout the state.

"I was told that there are about 2,000 units which are yet to be rented out and I hope that local authorities would give attention to this, with priority given to squatters and those in the low-income group," he said. -- Bernama