KUALA LUMPUR: The government should keep the special allocation of affordable housing for civil servants as most of them could not afford to own a house, says Cuepacs president Datuk Azih Muda (pic).
He said the government’s decision to do away with the scheme and let civil servants apply for such housing was problematic as they would be forced to compete with homebuyers with higher salaries.
“History has proven that many civil servants could not afford to own a home with the salaries they are getting.
“Taking away such a scheme will leave many with no means to buy a house, not to mention the RM300,000 price tag for affordable housing that is still too high for civil servants.
“We hope the government will review the decision and retain the special allocation of affordable housing for civil servants,’’ he said in a press conference here yesterday.
Earlier, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin announced the new policy of not setting aside affordable housing for civil servants, but to have a mix of residents from society to encourage “social interaction” between civil servants and the public.
She said the new policy takes effect immediately.
Azih said the ministry should not have made the abrupt decision, especially without having any discussion with the relevant stakeholders.
“Ever since the new government was elected, we have met with the Prime Minister, the government’s Chief Secretary and several state chiefs.
“However, it is saddening that Cuepacs was never called in or invited to any meeting by the Housing Ministry with regards to the drafting of any housing policy concerning the entire civil workforce.
‘’We hope to meet up with the minister soon for more engagement and to discuss housing issues concerning our one million over members nationwide,’’ he said.
Azih lauded the Selangor, Penang and Perak state governments for announcing a special Hari Raya aid of between half a month to a month of salaries to its civil workforce.
He hoped such aid would also be given at the federal level in view of the upcoming festive season and rising cost of living.
Meanwhile, Azih expressed concern over Penang’s decision to downsize its workforce by 5% over the next three years, saying the service delivery and quality would be jeopardised in view of the expected increase in population.
“We expect the population to increase 3% in three years. A person will have many dealings with the civil servants. I don’t think the civil service will can effectively deliver with a smaller size of personnel in the future,” he said.