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DPM: Affordable quality housing programme now for whole country

GEORGE TOWN: The affordable quality housing programme launched under a public-private partnership initiative for urban centres, particularly the Klang Valley, is to be extended to the whole country, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said on Sunday, May 29.

He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had agreed to extend the programme, aimed at enabling the younger generation to own a house, provided there were suitable sites.

The programme, under the My First Home Scheme, would involve provision of sites by the government and construction of the houses priced at RM220,000 and below by the private sector based on the industrial building system.

Muhyiddin said the government was identifying suitable sites for this social development programme of the federal government.

"For example, in Penang, it is seen that the state government does not have any project to ease the housing problem of the people. The federal government is prepared to build the affordable quality houses if there are suitable sites," he told reporters after opening the Bayan Baru Umno divisional delegates meeting, here.

Under the My First Home Scheme launched by the prime minister on March 8, those aged 35 and below with a monthly salary of less than RM3,000, are eligible to buy a house, priced at RM220,000 and below, with 100% financing.

Najib had said the initiative was devised following comments conveyed through his Facebook page, and in newspapers, about the difficulties faced by the younger generation in owning a house within that price range, especially in the Klang Valley.

Muhyiddin said the affordable houses were for people in the middle-income group who did not own a house.

He also said that the government would set up a special fund for the management of flats because many flats in the country were not managed properly.

"Facilities such as lifts were not properly taken care of because of problems associated with management corporations and lack of cooperation from the occupants," he said.

He said the assistance was a federal government effort to help the people although in some states like Penang the Barisan Nasional was in the opposition.

On government scholarships for students who excelled in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination last year, Muhyiddin said there was confusion because of insufficient explanation.

"Last year, we gave scholarships to students who scored straight As, but did not promise that they will all go for studies overseas. We also want to encourage excellent students to study in the country, including taking up medicine," he said.

He said the courses offered by local universities, including in medicine, were comparable to those at foreign universities. Furthermore, he added, the institutions were on par with foreign universities and it would be more economical if the students studied locally, besides retaining local talent.

He said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz had been instructed to resolve the scholarship issue.

A meeting on the matter is scheduled for Tuesday. — Bernama

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