Johor Housing Bill Approved


(Bernama) – The Johor Housing and Real Property Board Bill 2014 aimed at creating a board that will undertake and promote the development of real property and housing in Johor was approved by the Johor State Assembly today.

The Bill, which is divided into six sections, 51 clauses and three schedules, was tabled by Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Latiff Bandi.

Eight lawmakers, including three from the opposition, debated on the Bill for three hours before it was approved.

Changes were made to the controversial Bill to limit the powers of the Sultan by making 10 amendments to 10 clauses, including stipulating that the Ruler has to act on the advice of the Menteri Besar.

The amendment involves Clause 4 (3) Composition of the Board, changing members of the board may be paid remuneration and allowances as determined by the Sultan to members of the board may be paid remuneration and allowances as determined by the state authorities.

Under Clause 12 (2) Appointment of Directors, Officers and Civil Servants, the appointment of the directors shall have prior approval of the Sultan on the advise of the Sultan, instead of solely base on the approval of the Sultan.

Under Clause 43 (1) Winding up and Liquidation, the state authority may wind up or dissolve the board by publishing it in the Government Gazette, instead of the Sultan may windup and dissolve by having the order gazetted.

In his winding up speech, Abdul Latiff said the enactment was not meant to burden any quarters, instead it was aimed at strengthening the housing and real estate sector in Johor.

He said the Johor Housing and Real Property Board would be tasked with policymaking, implementation, coordination and planning of the housing and real estate development in the state.

“It will help facilitate people as well as stakeholders such as developers and consultants in housing and real estate affairs in Johor,” he added.

Earlier, Maulizan Bujang (BN-Tiram), when debating the Bill, said from the government perspective, the purpose, goal and function of the enactment was to strengthen real estate development in Johor, particularly for the benefit of the middle and lower income groups.

He said the housing and real estate sector in Johor could be managed more efficiently and effectively with the setting up of the board.

“I hope the board will identify suitable land in the city for the development of affordable housing. This will ensure that there will be houses for people from various backgrounds where development are taking place,” he said.

Wong Shu Qi (DAP-Senai) said although the enactment was timely, several issues needed to be clarified.

All assemblymen have to understand people’s needs, especially that of young couples before formulating policies and laws for the benefit of all groups, he added.