Friday, June 3, 2011

Anwar : SPNB is now Umno's cash cow

KUALA LUMPUR - Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has charged that funds from government-owned housing development company Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad were now channeled to UMNO.

Anwar said SPNB, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Minister of Finance Incorporated which was established to undertake construction of affordable housing, had now become irrelevant and was acting like private developers.

“The political interference in the management of the company has turned SPNB into a centre to enrich UMNO leaders," he was quoted as saying by Suara Keadilan.

On the ‘My First Home’ scheme lanched by prime minister Najib Razak recently, Anwar said the project only eased the younger generation to apply for loans.

“But it fails to tackle the real problem, which is lack of affordable houses in the market,” he said.

Anwar, who is Selangor state government's economic advisor, said the government must play an active role to balance the housing market currently monopolised by private developers.

He reminded that Pakatan Rakyat in its Orange Book suggested a National Housing committee to build houses and control house prices in order to make them affordable to people.

Anwar, whose tenure as the Finance minister saw the launching of SPNB, said the PR-led state government in Selangor had revived housing projects which had been abandoned by Barisan Nasional administration, including the RM79 million project in Bukit Bota and RM120 million in Alam Perdana.

“The residents in Bukit Bota were given a choice to buy the house rebuilt at a discount, RM99,000 compared to the original price of RM170,000.

To solve the problem of spiralling house prices, Anwar said Selangor recently launched its ‘Affordable Housing’ project, with plans to construct 2,000 houses across the state.

“It is based on the concept, affordable and comfortable, conducive design with 750 to 850 square feet offered at a maximum cost of RM100,000.

"Selangor Economic Development Body (PKNS) and few other private developers have been tasked for the project with the emphasis that it will be sold to buyers aged 35 and below,” he added.

Meanwhile, the state government yesterday launched the Private Home Ownership Scheme to help Selangorians own homes with flexible payments on premiums.

According to Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, the scheme would help people who could not pay entirely the land premium, to be the official owners by just paying RM1,000.

“They will only need to settle the entire premium according to current market price, if the property is sold or there is change of ownership,” he said.

Written by Malaysia Chronicle

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