KOTA KINABALU: The rebranded Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry will work closely with the state governments to bring more affordable homes to the people.
“Our concern is to see these housing projects take off and completed without any hitches,” said newly appointed minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahalan, who is placing this as one of his priorities.
The ministry, under the new Cabinet of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, is a merger of two previous ministries – Housing and Local Government Ministry and the Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Ministry (FT).
The FT Ministry is now an entity of its own in Najib’s post-GE13 administration.
Abdul Rahman, who is Kota Belud MP and Sabah Barisan Nasional secretary, said another of his concerns was improving solid waste management nationwide.
“We need to look into this and work it out with the various states as well as the stakeholders,” said Abdul Rahman, adding that he needs to convince certain states of the necessity to collaborate with the Federal Government on this issue.
He said his ministry will also be looking into issues of poverty and will be working with related ministries in tackling the problem.
Meanwhile, a re-look at long-term planning for the provision of water and electricity is in the cards under newly appointed Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili.
He, too, will be seeking the cooperation of various agencies and groups towards this end.
“We will do whatever is necessary to address this matter,” Dr Maximus, who is Kota Marudu MP, told reporters after returning home to Sabah after taking over the portfolio.
Conceding that sufficient water supply was among the key concerns in Sabah, he said his ministry would find ways to work closely with the state government on the matter.
He added that his ministry would also work on long term solutions for Sabah’s power supply.
“This will have to involve the government, private sector and various groups,” Dr Maximus said, adding that state officials would brief him about Sabah’s power supply next week.
Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said he was fully prepared to carry out duties assigned to him by the Prime Minister.
For the time being, however, the Pensiangan MP said he was drawing up immediate, medium and long-term plans for his remote constituency of less than 100,000 people.
“We are looking at a plan of action for the next 100 days and over the long-term,” he said.
He also added that the Pensiangan folk want more infrastructure such as roads, clinics and schools.