Kedah state govt defer implementation of new housing policy

ALOR SETAR: The Kedah state government has decided to defer the implementation of its new housing policy of having a 50% Bumiputra quota in new housing schemes.

Housing and Local Government, Rural Development and Hardcore Poor Eradication, Works, Water Supply and Resources, and Energy Committee chairman Datuk Phahrolrazi Mohd Nawawi said the decision to defer the implementation of the policy was made after a meeting with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and political parties that represent all races.

"We have to hold the implementation of having a 50% Bumiputra quota because there are some parties who are not happy with the proposed policy. We will find a more amicable solution.

"We do not want the people to be unhappy with a new policy introduced and we do not want people to claim that such a policy is not fair and that favoured only one group," he told reporters at Wisma Darul Aman here.

He added that the government had set such a requirement on Malay Reserve land that had been converted to freehold land, so that all races can buy and stay in such housing schemes to avert racial polarisation as most new housing schemes were are occupied by only certain races.

Phahrolrazi said the quota was also set to enable all Kedahans to purchase affordable houses.

"Most importantly, the government was to ensure that those staying on Malay Reserve land, can have a house when the status of the land is converted but we are going to ensure that such change of status is only done when there is a need," he said.

Earlier Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak had announced that the state government would increase the Bumiputra quota from 30% to 50% effective Sept 1, 2009.

Azizan had said that the decision was made because the Malays comprised 1.5 million of the 1.9 million population in Kedah.

However, the announcement of the new policy came under fire from NGOs, politicians and developers. -- Bernama

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