‘Dream house’ comes true

The hous­ing scheme, if suc­cess­ful, will force house prices down

New Straits Times - - News -

HIS High­ness, the Sul­tan of Jo­hor, will re­alise his “dream house” for his sub­jects who can­not af­ford their own homes and do not stand to in­herit one ei­ther. This is the hous­ing project he is launch­ing to­day as part of the celebrations mark­ing his 59th birth­day. The first phase, to be­gin in Au­gust, set on a 24ha site, will house some 600 homes with a built-up area of 1,100 sq ft each. The lo­ca­tion is prime, just a 20minute drive from the Jo­hor Baru city cen­tre with­out traf­fic con­ges­tion. Cost­ing less than RM100,000, th­ese houses will ei­ther be bun­ga­lows or semi-de­tached, built with­out fences to de­velop a com­mu­nity spirit, ex­pressed by His High­ness as silatur­rahim (kin­ship). The houses will be made avail­able to all qual­i­fied Bangsa Jo­hor with­out re­gard for race or re­li­gion. He will not only bear the cost, but also the losses in the event they are in­curred. The plan, how­ever, gives him cause for op­ti­mism.

Based on the ra­tio­nale that the “af­ford­able homes” are still un­af­ford­able to many of the most needy, the project, when suc­cess­ful will, ac­cord­ing to Sul­tan Ibrahim Sul­tan Iskandar, force house prices down. Af­ter all, even the cur­rent rapid de­vel­op­ment that is oc­cur­ring in Jo­hor and across the Cause­way is al­ready see­ing a slow but grad­ual drop in house prices. The qual­ity landed prop­erty, but well af­ford­able ones that he plans to build for his sub­jects, will put fur­ther pres­sure on the hous­ing market.

Fur­ther­more, should his plan to build th­ese dream houses na­tion­wide come to pass, this down­ward pres­sure on house prices will be ef­fected through­out the coun­try.

Ob­vi­ously, for Sul­tan Ibrahim, the obli­ga­tions of the ruler is not mere rhetoric, for, this hous­ing project is a gift to Jo­hore­ans and a dream come true for those yearn­ing for a house to call their own. “I want Bangsa Jo­hor to be a home-own­ing so­ci­ety.” An em­phatic state­ment to show that he wants only the best for his peo­ple. This per­haps ex­plains his ir­ri­ta­tion when out­siders in­ter­fere with his plans for his rakyat.

“The best busi­ness you can have to­day is to mind your own busi­ness,” he had re­port­edly told off his crit­ics; un­der­stand­able un­der the cir­cum­stances. And, if only his ef­forts were du­pli­cated by oth­ers in a po­si­tion to do the same that would be the more de­sir­able way for­ward. For, it must be ac­knowl­edged that his noble in­ten­tions are not only to give his peo­ple a leg up, but also to cor­rect the hous­ing market, some­thing longed for by all Malaysians. Sul­tan Ibrahim’s hous­ing scheme will cer­tainly help boost the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s ini­tia­tive to build af­ford­able homes un­der the 1Malaysia Peo­ple’s Hous­ing Project (PR1MA) project. Un­der the Na­tional Hous­ing Agenda, PR1MA has been tasked with de­vel­op­ing 500,000 units of af­ford­able houses na­tion­wide by 2020. Re­port­edly, it has set a tar­get of 240,000 units for board ap­proval, of which 232,807 units (97 per cent) have been ap­proved.

The houses will be made avail­able to all qual­i­fied Bangsa Jo­hor with­out re­gard for race or re­li­gion.

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