KUALA LUMPUR: MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong has criticised the delays in payments made to contractors by Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB).
The Ayer Hitam lawmaker asked why contractors involved in the Rumah Mesra Rakyat 1Malaysia (RMR1M) projects had not yet been paid.
He said he had asked Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin during the Special Chambers in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (Oct 10) and was informed that some 920 contractors were yet to be paid.
"I thought it would be 10 or 100, (but) turns out it is 920 contractors who have yet to receive their payments from SPNB for the RMR1M projects nationwide.
"This is involving RM52.7mil. Pity the contractors. Also pity the rakyat who want to own their home.
"How can homes be built and be ready to be occupied if contractors are not paid and work is not complete?" he asked in a Facebook post on Thursday.
Earlier, Zuraida said that a total of 46,301 units of RMR1M had been completed as of August this year.
The minister said based on the application statistics between 2002 until Aug 31 this year, a total of 93,693 applications had been received and reviewed across the country for the affordable homes.
She said of the figure 50,299, a total of 46,301 units have been completed, 2,630 units were in the process of being built, while 1,368 were in the process of its agreement documents being completed," she said in reply to Dr Wee during the Special Chambers in the Dewan Rakyat.
Wee had asked the ministry to state the action taken to ensure that the project would not be abandoned by contractors.
He also asked why SPNB had delayed the payment to the contractors and when the government would pay them.
Zuraida said in the initiative under SPNB, the government would subsidise RM20,000 while the building cost would be between RM45,000 and RM60,000 via a loan from SPNB.
Zuraida said the cost of building a unit of RMR1M worth RM60,000 would be borne through a RM20,000 subsidy allocation by the government per unit and the balance payment would be via a bank loan by SPNB which will be channelled stage by stage based on the demands.
"SPNB has fulfilled the conditions by the banks. At this moment, there is a slight delay in channelling the balance payment by the banks, which is causing a delay in payment to the contractors.
"SPNB has not delayed the payment, and the payment is being done stage by stage although there is a slight delay involving 920 contractors," she said.
On the claims made by contractors over RMR1M projects, she revealed that a total of RM793.8mil payment had been made across the country since 2015.
"From the total, only 6.6% or RM52.7mil, has yet to be paid to contractors," she said.
She said that the ministry would also impose a minimum fine of RM50 per day to errant contractors.
"This is a charge to contractors who failed to complete within the timeframe," she said.
"This is because any delays would cause SPNB to fork out additional operational cost for monitoring and document preparation for each of the delayed units," she added.
However, she said contractors could appeal over the fines with supportive documents.