Source: The Star (View expressed here is solely the opinion of the source)
KUCHING: The next 1Malaysia township comprising mixed de-velopment zones planned with more government programmes in mind could be located in the state capital.
Housing Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said the township would be located within the city limits, but that a specific site had not been found.
“It will have 1Malaysia shops, 1Malaysia Clinic and so on. The first one must be in an urban area. The idea is to build something for the middle income segment; for those with a household monthly income of under RM7,500.”
Johari said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak last week indicated to him about the Federal Government’s willingness to fund the township.
The country’s first 1Malaysia township is at the old Sungai Besi airport near Kuala Lumpur, and will mostly comprise apartment units. Johari said state planners would build landed properties at Kuching’s 1Malaysia site.
On a related matter, Johari revealed that the state’s first PR1MA project, which comprised about 100 units, already had 500 applicants. PR1MA is a government subsidised housing programme.
Sarawak’s PR1MA is at Demak Laut and it caters to the middle-income segment. The residential units are terraced double-storey houses with modern designs.
They are fully undertaken by the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) under the Housing Ministry.
“The cost of the houses are all about RM300,000, but we are selling it at about 10% less, around RM270,000 (per unit). There’s an element of subsidy there.”
Looking ahead, the minister said projects would be modelled after not just Demak Laut’s PR1MA, but also Sibu Jaya, a new township about 20km from Sibu town.
Sibu Jaya was initially a failed project but has been turned around by the state government.
It now boosts commercial and residential units, with government agencies nearby.
Johari said that he was especially proud that Sibu Jaya was well-connected, technologically-wise, including Wi-Fi.
The next major public housing project, he added, would be in Miri, where squatters numbered at least 4,000 presently.
“We have to mitigate the problem in Miri.
“Following that, more projects will come up in Mukah and Bintulu, including lost-cost units for workers,” Johari said.