Zuraida: Large portion of RM60mil new village allocation still unclaimed

KUALA LUMPUR: A large portion of the RM60mil government allocation for Chinese new villages remains unclaimed, says Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin (pic).

"Each new village is allocated RM100,000 but unfortunately in 2020, practically all states have yet to appoint village heads for their respective villages.

"So far, only Perlis, Kuala Lumpur and Kelantan have retained the present village heads till the end of this year," she said when answering a question raised by Cha Kee Chin (PH-Rasah) in Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (Aug 5).

Of the RM60mil, she said RM40mil was for infrastructure development, RM5mil for home repairs and RM15mil for special grants.

She said it was necessary for the respective village heads to apply for the allocation from her ministry, and this included submitting working papers for specific programmes.

"If there are no appointments of village heads or the village development committee, then the allocation cannot be approved," she added.

She cited an example where only six out of 500 applications were approved for special programmes this year.

"The applications for the remaining 494 programmes have been put on hold.

"This is because of the change of government, Covid-19 and non-appointment of new village heads," she added.

Meanwhile, Cha cited Parliament's Hansard, saying the former Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had announced a RM85mil allocation for new villages under Budget 2020 in November last year.

Zuraida maintained that only RM60mil was allocated under Budget 2020 and not RM85mil as noted by Cha.

"The additional RM25mil is by way of personal loans from Bank Simpanan Nasional, which is managed by the Finance Ministry and not under my ministry," she said.

Cha informed Zuraida that Negri Sembilan had also appointed its new village heads on April 1 this year till March 31 next year.

Zuraida assured Cha that her ministry would not sideline any village heads as long as they abide by the regulations when applying for allocation.

There are about 613 new villages scattered throughout the country with many set up during the British era during the Malayan Emergency period.

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