Media Statement by Chiew Chin Sing, State Assemblyman for Kidurong, Sarawak, Sarawak DAP Deputy Chairman and DAP Bintulu Branch Chairman on the 14th of June 2012.
State Assemblyman for Kidurong Chiew Chin Sing urge the government to seriously look into the escalating home prices in the State.
He said that the prices of houses had gone up to such an extent that it is becoming increasingly difficult for the young middle income group, especially the newly married couples, to buy their first home. They just could not afford it.
And as for those in the lower income group it is even more difficult for them.
Chiew pointed out that over the past year, major Sarawak towns are facing the pressure of rising home prices. A double story terrace house costs between RM350,000 to RM400,000, while in Bintulu, it is between RM388,000 and RM400,000. A double story semi detached costs an alarming record price of between RM488,000 and RM730,000 here in Bintulu.
Shelter is a basic human need and providing such need is the duty of a good government.
What happen today is that they are so many of our young people when faced with such high home prices, though difficult to leave behind their loved ones, have no choice but to go to other countries, hoping to find better jobs with higher income, plus the favorable foreign exchange and be able to save some money to come home and buy a house for the family.
What is ironic is that, Sarawak, a state which is so rich in natural resources, with so much land and scarce population, yet her people have to go out of the country to earn foreign exchange to come back to buy a house. Since when have we take up the 'House maid policy' of our neighbouring countries.
We understand that the prices of houses flatuate with the forces of market but that can only happen effectively in a truly free economy. In Sarawak today, so many of our materials are being monopolized by certain groups, especially the major building materials and land as well, are being controlled. Surely this is also a major contributing factor to the rising house prices.
I therefore call on the government to loosen up the monopoly on the market, to allow more space for the market to operate more freely and effectively. I would also like to urge the government to open up more land so as so allow the market to adjust its own prices.
And I also call on the government to effectively run the the property taxes law so as to avoid speculation on the housing market.
Chiew Chin Sing.