Some trying to hijack Sabah’s poverty housing programme design to make money, says state minister


KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government has detected attempts by certain quarters trying to “hijack” its trademark design for a hardcore poor housing programme for commercial purposes.

State Rural Development Minister Datuk Jahid Jahim said a search on social media found that this was done by “third parties” on the state’s Rumah Mesra Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ), previously known as the Hardcore Poor People’s Housing Project or PPRT.

“We found that there are parties using the designs and colour schemes similar to the Rumah Mesra SMJ programme, which is an initiative of the Sabah government,” he said, in a statement here on Friday (Dec 1).

“The ministry views this matter seriously because it will cause confusion among the public about the programme,” he added.

Jahid said the Rumah SMJ programme was established with the intention and purpose of providing free housing assistance to the poor.

If the matter is ignored, he pointed out, it will then cause many speculations to arise and eventually create a bad image for the government in future.

Hence, he urged the public who had any information about certain parties suspected of deliberately using the programme’s designs to report it to the ministry for further action.

“We hope that the irresponsible parties will stop taking advantage of the design of Rumah Mesra SMJ, moreover with the aim of making a profit," he said.

As of Nov 22 this year, Jahid’s ministry, through the district offices, has so far completed a total of 541 houses under the programme throughout Sabah.

Works are still ongoing in order to meet the target of 1,500 Rumah Mesra SMJ housings in all 73 state constituencies statewide.

Rumah Mesra SMJ, which is a new initiative under the human capital and people's well-being core in the state’s SMJ development plan, was launched by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor on Sept 29 last year.

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