Ong: Problems in ridding KL of squatters

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 28 Sep 2003

KUALA LUMPUR: The move to eradicate squatters in the city by 2005 has hit a minor snag as some land sites are unsuitable for development, said Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting. 

He explained that the National Housing Board was supposed to build 35,000 units of affordable homes by 2005 under the National Economic Action Council low-cost housing project.  

“If the squatters are squatting on government land, we will try to build the low-cost houses on the land itself. Once completed, the squatters need to pay a monthly rental of RM124. 

“But sometimes, we discover that the land is not suitable for development and a lot of money has to be injected into the project just to lay the foundation. This will make the cost of the houses very high, so we have to find other sites,” he said after a ceremony to hand over keys at the Vista Millennium condominiums in Puchong Perdana near here yesterday.  

Ong said another reason for the delay was the refusal by some squatters to move out from the site.  

However, he said that these were “minor technical problems” and most of the projects would be completed by the end of 2004 or 2005. 

He also allayed fears that the ceiling for low-cost housing would be revised, saying that the maximum price for low-cost homes would be set at RM25,000, RM35,000 and RM42,000 in rural areas, towns and cities respectively.  

He added that the local authorities were responsible for allocating low-cost houses. 

On the announcement during the Budget by Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad that developers were not liable to build low-cost houses but had to contribute to a common fund, Ong said the mode of contribution had yet to be worked out.  

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