Thursday, July 22, 2010

PPR low-cost flats: No win-win situation in sight

Source: (22/7/2010)

ONE would assume that the easiest way to resolve the ownership issue of the PPR low-cost flats is for the government to give away for free all the 44,146 units to the residents —provided that they are willing to bear the burden of maintaining the buildings. After all, it would only cost the government RM1.4bil while the government has to fork out a minimum of RM50mil a year to maintain the buildings. And if this doesn’t work, what chances would other alternatives have?

However, it is not as simple as that as shown by views expressed by the following personalities.

Tan Jo Hann — Persatuan Masyara­kat Selangor & Wilayah Perseku­tuan (Permas)

Giving away the units for free to residents is not a solution. It is not easy, and is a big problem to maintain the place. In the case of the hardcore poor, DBKL can come up with an installment plan to recover the rent owed. However, it must be strict in enforcement to recover rent. There must also be political will to see this through. The residents must be educated to respect public properties and education is the only way out.

Iskandar Abdul Samad — Selangor state exco for Housing, Building and Squatters

Giving away houses for free to the residents may work but there will be problems. If they are not able to pay rent, what makes you think they will pay the maintenance fee? It is way too big a responsibility to maintain the entire place. In Selangor, we are facing a similar situation and we are currently trying to recover RM5mil in rent owed. The problem is that there is too much political interference when we try to do so. We need to change the people’s mindset and educate them to be responsible citizens. The government must do what is right and not what is popular.

Lim Lip Eng — Segambut MP

Giving away the PPR flats free to the poor families and letting the owners manage their own buildings in order to lessen the financial burden of City Hall will certainly aggravate the issue faced by both parties. Some, if not most, of the flat owners will eventually stop paying their monthly maintenance fee due to various reasons. City Hall will still be dragged into the picture when a sold PPR flat is in deplorable living conditions.

I suggest we emulate the Singa-pore way. In Singapore, a strict process is adopted to determine who are entitled to purchase government flats. Tariff defaulters face serious consequences.

Before we achieve a high civic conscious society, City Hall as the local government inevitably has to foot the bills for the maintenance of the PPR flats.

No comments: