Pulling out all the stops on Mindef housing project

KUALA LUMPUR: There will be longer working hours for the “Satu Anggota, Satu Rumah” (Sasar) housing project for Defence Ministry personnel to ensure the delayed project is completed by late next year, says Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

The Defence Minister said that Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has allowed three additional working hours per day until 8pm at the project site located at Sateria Residensi Platinum South Valley, Bandar Tasik Selatan, Sungai Besi.

“Currently the project is 21% finished, but it was supposed to have reached 27% by now.

“The project was started in March 2021, but was delayed due to a lack of workers and building materials during the movement control order,” he told a press conference after visiting the sales gallery for the project in Sungai Besi here yesterday.

The project, consisting of 3,500 housing unit in five blocks, is expected to be completed by late next year, he said.

“The project is one of the ministry’s main thrusts in ensuring that the welfare of all personnel is taken care of.

“It is in line with our plans under the Defence White Paper to provide affordable and comfortable housing for our personnel,” he added.

Despite the delay, Mohamad said he was confident the project would be completed and handed over to the ministry on time.

“Barring any shortage in manpower or building materials, I am confident the project will be completed on schedule,” he added.

Asked whether the project would be disrupted following the government’s cost-saving efforts, Mohamad said the project has nothing to do with government funds.

“The ministry has various plots of land and these are being used for the benefit of ministry personnel, in line with our goals in the Defence White Paper,” he said.

On a separate matter, Mohamad said his ministry has recalibrated its needs ahead of Budget 2023, which will be re-tabled on Feb 24.

“We made our own recalibration based on priorities, whereby some areas require additional funds, such as the operational expenditure (OE) and asset procurement. The ministry’s secretary-general has also outlined our wish list.

“We hope all of our requests will be approved – if not all, we would be grateful for the OE to be approved,” he added.

Under Budget 2023 that was tabled last year, a total of RM17.4bil was sought, but the Budget has to be re-tabled following the change of government.

Meanwhile, Mohamad said his ministry has sufficient assets to monitor the disputed waters around Beting Patinggi Ali (Luconia Shoals) in Sarawak.

He was asked to comment on reports that the Navy patrol ship KD Kelantan was deployed to the waters around Beting Patinggi Ali to monitor the presence of China’s Coast Guard ships.

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