Malaysia Property News is a free resource website sharing Daily Property News & information about Property in Malaysia, which related to, Property Market, Property Investment, Commercial Property , Hot Properties Malaysia, Real Estate, Retail Shop, Business Park, Condominium Malaysia, Terraces & Apartment Malaysia, Houses, Residence, Resort and many more.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Need for master planner of affordable housing

The current challenging economic times is a good time for reflection and we should not waste the opportunity to take stock of where we are heading as a people and a nation.

Going by the adage that life begins at 50, Malaysia is still a fairly young nation and adopting more inclusive policies that mobilise the country's rich human and natural resources will be able to cushion the country from any adverse external shocks.

Reading about Bhutan and how its much-beloved king places great value on the wellbeing and happiness of his people by inventing the Gross National Happiness index is very inspiring indeed.

The fact that the people's happiness is listed as the top priority speaks volume of how much they are appreciated as individuals. Other inspiring aspects that we can take a leaf from include the emphasis on preserving the natural environment and promoting simple and non-intrusive way of living. Despite a deliberate policy to limit the number of tourists allowed to visit Bhutan, an increasing number of tourists are finding their way to Bhutan for its natural beauty and simple way of life.

Their simple way of lifestyle means one can get by with less and there is less pressure to chase material wealth.

In its place is the emphasis on personal virtues and wholesome values of integrity, honesty, generosity and empathy for other people.

I believe the promoting of such values will set the foundation for wholesome community and nation building for our country.

The Bhutan story must have prompted many of us to start reflecting on our journey of life, and how we have fared in terms of the happiness index.

Come to think of it, since the world economy is on the verge of a double-dip scenario and there will be very low or no growth in most nations, some tweaking in national policies and priorities may be what Malaysia needs to see our country and the people through the challenging times.

It may be a good idea for us to draw up a Malaysian Happiness Index to measure how our people are faring against the rest of the world.

In the fast changing world we live in today, the elements that contribute to our happiness are constantly changing but there are some evergreen or “true blue” ones that will remain come what may.

The list may include whether the people have a roof over their head; the cost of living and how much does it take for a family to get by on a daily basis; freedom of expression and to pursue one's interest; and ability for the people to keep safe and thrive in their society.

Recent events around the world have shown that social disparity is still a huge problem in both the developed and developing countries, and can become a source of social discord and public unrest.

In the face of the high cost of living and inflated property prices, one of the immediate tasks of the Government is to pay more attention to social or public housing, and ensure that people have a roof over their heads.

Providing the less-endowed populace with some basic necessities such as a home of their own is tantamount to offering them hope for a better tomorrow.

Even China is counting on its massive effort to build low-priced social housing for the low-income group to provide enough demand to sustain its real-estate market from collapsing. It has set a target to build 36 million subsidised housing by 2015.

In Malaysia's case, the need for concerted efforts to build adequate public infrastructure and housing cannot be over-emphasised as the ongoing efforts are still quite fragmented.

Instead of involving so many agencies in the execution process, having a dedicated agency as the master planner to oversee the overall planning and execution of the projects will ensure a higher rate of success to benefit more people.

Providing enough public housing and other social amenities should be accorded one of the top priorities along with the other economic-based initiatives under the government's Economic Transformation Programme.

The sharp increase in prices of goods and services, including that of property, meant people have less disposable income and spending power.

These projects will be able to wipe out the many squatters and slumps, and rejuvenate our cities. Focusing on public housing can also provide a cushion for the property market from stagnating during troubling economic times.

Deputy news editor Angie Ng hopes improving the Malaysian Happiness Index will be the basis for all nation building policies and initiatives going forward.

By The Star (by Angie Ng)

No comments: