KUALA LUMPUR: The urban poor can look forward to more government help to ease their daily burden.
For a start, all children living in the Projek Perumahan Rakyat or People’s Housing Project (PPR) flats here will be given free bus rides to school, while the Government will also make it easier for low-income earners in this city to own PPR flats.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who announced the two measures, said he wants the Federal Territories Minister and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to implement them no later than next year.
He said the measures were part of the Government’s bid to give more emphasis on helping the urban poor, similar to its focus on assisting the country’s rural poor.
“The Government is sensitive to the plight of not just those in the villages but also the urban poor and we will give our full commitment to help ease the problem of urban poverty, regardless of race or religion,” he said when opening the Lembah Pantai Umno division meeting here yesterday.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said he wanted DBKL to introduce a zero deposit hire-purchase scheme for its PPR units in Kuala Lumpur.
He did not elaborate on whether all PPR flats in Kuala Lumpur that are being rented would be offered for sale with extra financial assistance offered to the buyers, or whether the new scheme would only apply to new projects.
Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said he will meet DBKL today to sort out the details, which he would announce in due course.
The Government’s PPR schemes offer flats or terrace houses at various locations nationwide to those earning less than RM2,500 a month.
Units are offered for rent at a typical monthly rate of RM124 or sold at between RM30,000 and RM35,000 per unit.
To date, 102,076 PPR units have been built, while 14,081 units are under construction. Plans are afoot to build another 16,473 PPR units.
Earlier when opening the Shah Alam Umno division meeting, Dr Ahmad Zahid said that the “hipster” culture popular among youths must be part of the party’s approach when reaching out to people in urban areas.
“The hipster culture is a trend which has become the lifestyle of the middle class in big towns and cities and we cannot overlook this.”
He questioned why and how Umno could have lost the Shah Alam parliamentary seat in the previous general elections despite its 70.46% Malay population.
“This is a Malay-majority area and since Umno still lost, there must be something which is not right in us,” he added.