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Group find proposal "preposterous, incredible"
NST 13/04/2004

KUALA LUMPUR, Mod. - "Preposterous", "incredible" and "neo-feudalistic" were some of the reactions to the Selangor Government's proposal to allow the rich to buy low-cost houses and rent them to the poor.

Trade unions, consumers associations and political parties contacted today recommended instead that the authorities buy such units and lease them to low-income earners.

They also proposed that if deserving individuals could not afford to buy the houses now they should be given a chance to do so later.

The Malaysian Trades Union Congress said low-cost houses and apartments sold to the rich may not be affordable as rents would be subject to market forces.

Its president Zainal Rampak said the goal of building low-cost houses and apartments was to provide shelter to low-income groups.
"The provision of affordable and decent housing is a key component in the improvement of the quality of life.

It is preposterous to expect the rich to rent the houses or apartments to the poor at reasonable rates," he said. Federation of Malaysian Consumers' Associations president Datuk Dr Hamdan Adnan said it was incredible that Selangor faced a glut of low-cost homes.

"I know of many people, some of whom have waited almost 10 years to own a house, who have still not been given one. It is amazing how the State Government can make such a claim," he said.

Consumers' Association of Penang said the State Government should abort the 'buy and rent' proposal, which bordered on "neo-feudalism".

"Instead, it should seek ways to make these houses more accessible to the masses, either by further price reductions or easier financing."

National House Buyers Association secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said the term "low-cost" housing meant houses for those in the low-income bracket. He said the association was against the idea because the poor would become "slaves" to their rich landlords.


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