SIBU (Jan 14): The provision of affordable housing is an important component in ensuring the growth of both local and state economy, says Deputy Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government II Michael Tiang.
Moreover, he highlights ‘Economic Prosperity’ as among the three key pillars under Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS 2030) which is.
“It is a dream of the Sarawak government to see every Sarawakian able to afford their own house.
“It is my dream as well; in fact, it’s one of the items that I included in my manifesto for the state election in 2021.
“You see, for most people, the biggest expense and the most important monthly payment is their house rent or housing loan. The bigger the spending for the house, the less they could spend for other things, and this is not good for the economy,” he said in his opening remarks for the Sibu Property Roadshow 2023 at Star Mega Mall here yesterday, hosted by the Sibu branch of Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Sheda).
Adding on, Tiang said the Sarawak government had come up with plans to assist the B40 and M40 groups in the state in owning houses.
“The plans include the Housing Deposit Assistance Scheme and People’s Housing Programme.
“I hope that there would be more initiatives and plans from the state government,” said the Pelawan assemblyman.
Tiang also said he had identified lands that could boost housing projects in his constituency, adding that he said he would make the announcement soon after planning had been done.
On another angle of the matter, he acknowledged that affordable housing could be a challenge for developers and a burden for the state government, especially in Sibu due to its geographical feature.
“Most areas across the Sibu Division are covered with peat swamps; thus, the construction can be costly.
“I’m indeed glad that in his first official visit to Sibu, our Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof had said that he would find ways to seek federal agencies’ assistance to provide affordable housing in Sarawak,” said Tiang, assuring all that his ministry would address some of the issues faced by the developers and contractors such as shortage of raw materials like cements, and also shortage of labourers.