JOHOR BARU: State Housing and Rural Development Committee chairman Dzulkefly Ahmad said his preliminary findings showed that some well-off individuals owned houses meant for the poor and middle-income group.
He said 16,010 homes under the Johor Affordable Housing Scheme (RMMJ) were built and distributed over the last three years, but questioned the actual number of deserving people who got the houses under the scheme.
“My initial findings show that some of these individuals do not qualify for RMMJ because they are either rich or the RMMJ is not their first house,” he told The Star.
He did not rule out the possibility that some of the current recipients of the RMMJ may have their houses returned to the state or be forced to pay a much higher amount for the house.
The scheme has three tiers – RM40,000, RM80,000 and RM150,000.
Dzulkefly also said that at least 50% of those homes for the low- and middle-income group were distributed via a political party quota system under the previous Barisan Nasional state government.
“These homes are meant for a vulnerable group who can’t afford market-priced houses.
“They should be given purely to applicants who are eligible, and not through any sort of quota system,” said Dzulkefly, who is also Johor Parti Amanah Negara deputy chairman.
“I plan to abolish this quota system at this Wednesday’s exco meeting. We need a reliable and transparent system.
“If the present RMMJ system is not good enough, we will not hesitate to scrap it completely and come up with a new system that is fair and transparent to reduce the risk of corruption and abuse of power.”
He will also request the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate some of the dubious RMMJ recipients for elements of corruption.
Dzulkefly said the new state government hopes to strictly enforce the state policy that all developers must allocate a minimum of 40% of their homes for affordable housing.
He, however, assured developers that the state government understands their need to make profit from their investments.
“There are many ways they can profit while still meeting the state’s requirements to build affordable homes.
“We can allow them to increase the height of their high-rise to add more units for sale, or reduce or remove the land conversion premiums.
“All this can help Johor achieve 100,000 RMMJ houses in the next five years,” he said.