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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kedah defers 50% bumi quota

ALOR SETAR: The Kedah government has deferred the implementation of the 50% bumiputra quota policy for new housing schemes.

The decision was made because some parties are not happy with the proposed policy.

Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Phah rolrazi Zawawi said the state government did not want people to be unhappy with any of its policies.

“We do not want people to claim that a policy is unfair and only favours one group. We will find a more amicable solution,” he told reporters at Wisma Darul Aman here yesterday.

The policy was supposed to have been in place by Sept 1.

Phahrolrazi explained that the requirement was meant for Malay reserve land that had been converted to freehold status so all races could buy and stay in such housing schemes to avoid racial polarisation.

He said this was because most new housing schemes tended to be occupied exclusively by certain races.

Phahrolrazi said the quota was also set to enable all Kedahans to buy affordable homes.

“Most importantly, the state government wants to ensure that those staying on Malay reserve land can have their own houses when the status of the land is converted.

“But we are going to make sure that any such conversion is only carried out when necessary,” he said.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak, who announced the policy some time back, had said then the policy was made because Malays made up 1.5 million of the state’s 1.9 million population.

The announcement of the new policy came under fire from NGOs, politicians and developers, with Pakatan Rakyat coalition partner DAP being the most vociferous in its protests.

In Alor Setar, the Kedah Gerakan Youth lauded the state government for putting the policy on hold.

Its chief Tan Keng Liang said in a statement yesterday that although it took more than a year for the PAS-led government to realise the irrationality of the policy, any further delay in cancelling the policy would cause further damage to the local housing industry.

By Bernama

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