KUCHING: Residents at the Darul Hana urban redevelopment here who are without land titles would be given preference for housing loans and rental opportunities, says Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
There are more families than there are houses at the 12 villages that make up the redevelopment, which is a mixed-use masterplan that will take 10 to 15 years to complete.
“There are roughly 1,200 families living there without property ownership. Some homes have three to four families, while several others have as many as six,” Taib said at the launch of the masterplan at Sarawak Legislative Assembly Complex, a stone’s throw away from the villages.
“This (situation) makes the development more difficult. However it is in the middle of a thriving city and we cannot let it becoming a slum. So in this urban restructuring exercise, we will provide special loans limited to people already staying here.
“We will not loosen this rule,” he said.
Other safeguards, Taib added, would include granting land titles that could not be transferred outside of the bumiputra community and turning all existing leased-based titles to perpetuity status.
“Nothing we will do would be against the concept of bumiputra (land ownership practices) but business will be open to non-bumiputras.
“If not, then we would end up limiting ourselves to not a lot of customers. This will not bring success.
“We’ll compromise and allow business to lease properties here but (it is) limited to 30 years,” Taib said.
He added that renewal of leases would only be allowed “near the end of the 30 years”.
The Darul Hana project is under the Land Custody and Development Authority.
According to the agency, there are exactly 3,647 families living in 2,389 properties in 12 Malay villages along Sarawak River.
The unveiling of the masterplan yesterday came on the heels of the commencement of the project at the end of last year, starting with a mosque.
It is aimed at transforming the villages into a new and expanded township, which lies between the established commercial centre on the south bank of Sarawak River and the up-and-coming business district, the Isthmus, about 10 minutes away.
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