Sabah govt to push for more housing to help hardcore poor, says Hajiji

KOTA KINABALU: The state government will prioritise providing more housing for the hardcore poor, especially in the rural and interior areas.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said this will be under the PPRT (hardcore poor's housing programme) as he notes that the current rate is insufficient.

In a statement, he said that at present, only an average of eight PPRT house units have been approved for construction at each state constituency.

"It certainly warrants improvement," he added.

The statement was issued after Hajiji chaired the State Development Action Council meeting here on Thursday (April 15).

He also noted that under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), RM500mil has been allocated for PPRT houses in Sabah but the state government will seek a bigger allocation.

"This was one of the issues deliberated at length during the meeting," he said.

A request was also submitted to the federal Rural Development Ministry to consider giving F-Class contractors in Sabah the opportunity to participate in the project, he added.

Hajiji also took the opportunity to remind relevant federal and state agencies to ensure project delivery improvement, pointing out that poor workmanship has rendered some buildings unusable upon completion, such as the PPR Salagon in Beaufort district.

Another project, the Sapulut-Kalabakan Road, was found to be below-par, he said.

“I had used this road (Sapulut-Kalabakan) before the last election and I could see damage here and there.

"Incompetent contractors and consultants causing delays in government development projects should no longer be engaged by relevant agencies or ministries," he said.

Hajiji also warned civil service personnel against acting like "little Napoleons" who jeorpardise the Sabah Maju Jaya development plan.

The Chief Minister revealed that as of April 5, Sabah had spent RM148mil or 2.57% of its RM4.99bil allocation under the first rolling plan of the 12MP.

"No more excuses... there is no reason for us to delay. Any policy that hinders development in Sabah must be changed, particularly those involving our jurisdiction and authority in Sabah," he said.

The meeting was also attended by Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan and Datuk Dr Joachim Gunsalam as well as State Secretary Datuk Seri Safar Untong and Federal State Secretary Datuk Dr Zulkapli Mohamed.

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