Press Statement by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in Komtar, George Town on 6.11.2012
The Objective Of The Penang State Government’s HAPPY! Programme Is To Make People Happy And Not For Political Gain.
According to news reports yesterday, Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin was quoted as saying that the Penang state government’s Housing Assistance Programme of Penang, Yes! (Happy!) should not be politicised. He also added that the state government should be aware that it is the Federal government which is putting up 70 to 90% of the cost needed to repair and paint the low-cost (LC) and low medium-cost (LMC) flats under the 1Malaysia Maintenance Fund (TP1M).
The Penang state government regrets Raja Nong Chik’s statement as there is no intention whatsoever of politicising the issue. The purpose of the RM50 million HAPPY! programme is to supplement the balance of the cost of upgrading or repairing low-cost housing by the Federal government’s TP1M programme. This is to help the Federal government by ensuring that people living in LC and LMC flats will be able to live in dignity.
Before the introduction of the TP1M programme, a Housing Maintenance Fund was set up under the 10th Malaysia Plan. This fund was based on a matching grant where half of the contribution would come from residents through their joint-management body or management corporation. Unfortunately, this programme received poor response because people simply could not afford to produce the 50% required. Hence, the TP1M programme has been introduced to change the formula to 90-10 for LC housing and 70-30 for LMC housing, in which the Federal government will pay the 90% and 70% while the residents are required to pay for the remainder 10% and 30%.
However, even 10% and 30% is difficult for the residents, which is why the state government has stepped in to bridge the gap by paying for the remainder 10% and 30% through the HAPPY! programme.
At the same time, there is no question of politicising the issue as we have guaranteed the 10% and 30% remainder so long as the Federal government guarantees to provide the 90% and 70%. This is what we call a win-win situation that will bring direct benefits to the residents.
In the recent Penang Budget 2013, RM50 million has been allocated for the HAPPY! programme, and thus far 42 applications have been received.
Without the HAPPY! programme, the RM500 million fund provided by the Federal government will make no one happy because people will not be able to afford the remaining balance needed in order to tap into the fund. However, by topping-up the remaining balance on behalf of the people, the Penang state government’s HAPPY! programme will bring cheer to the people and ensure that they will really be happy.
Lim Guan Eng
—Mandarin Version —-