KUALA LUMPUR: The Housing and Local Government Ministry intends to hold local government elections in three years time.
However, the Minister, Zuraida Kamaruddin, said such elections can only be done after "the nation's finances and economy stabilises".
Several laws also need to be amended, including reintroducing of the Local Government Election Act 1960, if local councillors are to be elected, she added.
Zuraida was replying to a question raised by Wong Hon Wai (PH-Bukit Bendera) in Parliament today (July 31).
She said that time was also needed to allow laws such the Election Act 1958 to be amended for the purpose.
In the meantime, she said the respective local councils will continue with the current system of appointing 24 local councillors from among community leaders.
On a separate matter, Zuraida said the Goverment plans to introduce a new policy for the construction of affordable low-cost homes measuring 900 square feet.
"At present low-cost homes are between 650 and 700 square feet in size and they are usually home to large families.
"We want homes measuring 900 square feet to ensure some comfort for the families," she said when replying to a question raised by Nurul Izzah Anwar (PH-Permatang Pauh).
She said a study is being done on the cost implications to the government.
She noted the cost for construction of a low-cost home was RM195,000 per unit, whereas private developers can offer better homes for the same cost.
"That is why we are looking at how to prevent leakages and overspending with regard to the construction of the (low-cost) homes," she added.
Zuraida said a new policy will also be introduced requiring state governments to provide adequate land with surrounding infrastructure for building low-cost homes.