20-Jun-2002HARI : Khamis


Yang Berusaha Pengerusi Majlis,

Dato'-Dato'/Tuan-Tuan dan Puan-Puan yang dihormati

Terlebih dahulu saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kepada pihak penganjur yang
sudi mengundang saya untuk menyampaikan sepatah dua kata dan selanjutnya
menutup seminar pada petang ini. Ucapan setinggi-tinggi penghargaan juga
ditujukan kepada penganjur yang telah dapat mengatur seminar ini dengan jayanya.
Saya ingin mengucapkan tahniah kepada Suruhanjaya Perumahan dan Pembangunan
Sarawak yang merayakan ulangtahun ke 30 tahun ini. Kepada peserta pula, saya
mengucapkan terima kasih kerana memberi respons yang baik terhadap seminar ini
dan diharapkan dapat dimanfaatkan untuk faedah kita bersama.

Ladies & Gentlemen,

I would like to thank the organiser of this seminar for inviting me this afternoon. I
congratulate them for successfully organizing this seminar which will bring benefit to
all those concerned in housing and property development. I wish to congratulate the
Sarawak Housing and Development Commission on its 30th anniversary this year.

I am glad to note that foreign participants from Brunei, Philippines, Thailand, China
(Hong Kong) and Singapore are taking part in this seminar and when you return
home, you would have fond memory of Sarawak. I do hope that with the exchange
of ideas and experiences over the last 3 days, all participants have benefited fully in
understanding the constraints and problems of affordable housing delivery process.
Among others, all participants have also been given insights into the use of appropriate
technology, quality in construction, implementation of affordable housing in
various countries, community participation in housing development, good urban
governance practices and various guidelines in affordable housing development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you all are aware, housing development in the country is geared towards
providing an integrated living environment for everyone where all facilities should be
complete and all communities are living together in harmony. We have learnt from
past experiences ego the recent case of Kampung Medan in our capital city Kuala
Lumpur where people living in unhealthy, crowded and squalid conditions vented
their anger by attacking other communities. If conditions were allowed to continue,
that would have led to racial riots and the government does not want that to happen.
Social problems such as these should be resolved at once, otherwise it will degenerate
into more social problems. On the 27th February 2002 the Malaysian Cabinet approved
a new policy related to low cost housing. The Public Housing Programme (for sale) would
replace the Public Low Cost Housing Programme which aims at providing affordable
housing for the low income groups. Besides, the existing Public Housing Program (for rental)
which is aimed at resetting squatters will continue to be undertaken towards achieving
the government target of zero squatter by year 2005.

Under the 8th Malaysian Plan, a total of 615,000 units of houses are expected to be built
where 232,000 units or 37.7% are low cost units. The government aspires for everyone
especially the low-income groups to have access to quality houses for ownership or rental.
The government provides shelter for the lower income groups especially squatters by
renting out units of low cost house in cities and bigger towns at affordable rates of RM 124
per month.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Housing and Population Census 2000 showed an increasing urban population
trend, rising from 28.4% in 1970 to 61.8% in 2000. The rising rate of urbanization
has led the authorities concerned to focus on the issue of shelter and on the problem
of balancing physical growth with the resources available, especially land and
building materials. As we know, land is a scarce resource and in bigger towns and
cities, high rise buildings are the solution to sheltering the large number of urban
migrants. Maintenance of high rise buildings is also an issue which needs to be
addressed and I hope that the 3 day seminar will benefit Malaysia where participants
from Hong Kong and Singapore shared their experiences with us on the question of
maintenance of high-rise buildings.

On this note, I officially declare this seminar closed.