42,000 1Malaysia homes to be built in 20 areas

By Sean Augustin, NST

PUTRAJAYA: Phase one of the 1Malaysia Housing Programme (PRIMA), which features, among others, stamp duty exemption to provide affordable homes for middle-income earners, was launched yesterday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said 42,000 houses would be built in 20 strategic areas that had been identified in the Klang Valley and Seremban.

PRIMA is specifically for Malaysians earning not more than RM6,000 monthly, be they in the government or private sector or self-employed.

Najib said the loans were up to 105 per cent and house buyers could apply from a selected list of financial institutions. The additional five per cent, he added would be for the insurance and legal fees.

The three-room and two bathroom homes under this programme cost between RM150,000 and RM300,000, depending on the location and size.

The homes will be built in Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, Ara Damansara (Petaling), Bandar Tun Razak (Cheras), Putra Heights (Subang Jaya), Bandar Bukit Raja (Klang), Kota Elmina (Sg Buloh), Sg Besi (Kuala Lumpur), Elmina East and Elmina West in Shah Alam, Lagong Mas (Rawang) , Bandar Ainsdale (Seremban) and Seremban Sentral.

Najib said there was a significant gap in the construction of medium-cost houses in cities like Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru as developers were more interested in medium-high cost and high-cost projects due to the lucrative returns.

“We are aware of the problems faced by middle-income earners who can’t afford expensive homes, but at the same time are not eligible for low-cost housing programmes.

“But no groups would be left out. This programme is part of the government’s agenda to increase the quality of life of Malaysians and is in line with the 1Malaysia concept.
“We do not want to burden the rakyat. We are helping to ease their current financial strains.”

Najib also said a special corporation, the 1Malaysia Housing Programme Corporation, would be set up to plan and coordinate the projects under the programme.

He said laws to govern the corporation were being formulated and would be tabled in the next Parliament sitting in October.

He added that buyers could only sell their units after 10 years to avoid speculation.

Later at a press conference, Economic Planning Unit director-general Datuk Noriyah Ahmad explained that the housing corporation would be modelled after Singapore’s Housing and Development Board that plans and develops public housing towns to provide Singaporeans with quality homes.

Present were Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop.