The Penang state government is said to be discussing legal options on appropriate measures to be taken against those who abuse the affordable housing system following recent accusations of foul play.
According to a Bernama report, Penang Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo (inset) said state authorities have been strict in their selection process for affordable houses.
He said applicants must be first-time homebuyers who have not previously owned a property. There is also a moratorium for the subsequent sale of the home, which means an owner can only sell these units after 10 years of ownership. This is to ensure that speculators do not take advantage of the system.
“In regard to the abuse of the system, I have requested the state legal advisor’s office to furnish me with a legal opinion as to our legal rights and powers,” he told the press earlier this week.
He was responding to a claim by Parti Cinta Malaysia (PCM) vice-president Datuk Huan Cheng Guan that there were low- and medium-cost house owners under the state-run scheme were renting out their units. Huan pointed out that some units were even advertised in online portals for rent which is not allowed.
Additionally, the PCM vice-president noted that many residents didn’t seem like eligible individuals because they owned luxury cars.
Jagdeep said his office has made attempts to contact the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry on the issue but has yet to receive a response.
Meanwhile, he urged members of the public who are aware of such abuses to contact the local authorities.
Reacting to the issue, Penang Umno chief Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman said the Penang government should review its procedure and system of selecting affordable home buyers. He said the state government and state housing exco should move quickly to conduct an investigation into the allegations and take