Media Statement by Johor DAP Publicity Secretary and Senai State Assemblyman Wong Shu Qi on 9thSeptember 2017 (Saturday):
Party Quota System in affordable housing scheme must go!
It is almost an open secret that applicants of Johor state affordable housing schemes are forced to pay bribe in order to get a unit of their dream home.
Applicants have to go through middlemen who have close connection to Barisan Nasional (BN).
No matter how the Johor BN government euphemise or whitewash the whole setup, for example by calling it Kuota Menegak Kerajaan (KMK), it is ultimately abuse of power.
Early this year, a woman had lodged police report against an agent who allegedly collected money for “assisting” in application of Johor affordable housing. The agent, Umi Khalsom, later admitted in her Statutory Declaration that she has good connection with UMNO politicians. It is clearly a case of corruption and abuse of power. Unfortunately, police only investigated the case from the angle of cheating only.
Johor Pakatan Harapan leaders had submitted related documents to MACC in August 2017. Yet, all the UMNO leaders implicated in the case are still in denial. They pretend that nothing has happened and go about business as usual.
If the KMK system is indeed open and transparent, the state EXCO should answer in the state legislative assembly on the criteria of successful application of the Johor affordable housing. However, the EXCO refused to give an answer when State Assemblymen for Yong Peng and Penggaram both asked such question two years ago in the assembly. Why is it so difficult to answer such simple and straightforward question pertaining to this important issue? Or is the state government hiding something from the people and in this case the systemic abuse of power which has developed into an industry for rent-seeking middlemen to profit from poor applicants of state housing projects?
According to official statistics, since 2013, there are 119,696 applicants of affordable housing in Johor recorded. Out of these, only 9,773 applicants were successful in getting their dream home. In other words, approval rate is only 8%.
On the other hand, I was informed that 4,988 units of houses were distributed through the KMK system. In short, more than half the affordable housing applicants had to go through the party quota system to get their unit!
According to Umi Khalsom’s Statutory Declaration, she collected RM6,000 for every application. If this is the rate for all the applicants, we can conclude that the business is definitely a lucrative one amounting to about RM30 million for all the applications so far.
Khairil Malik, the Political Secretary to the Menteri Besar of Johor, who was among those named in Umi Khalsom’s Statutory Declaration, denied any involvement. MACC and the police cannot view this case lightly as it involved a very important sector, housing for the people and UMNO leaders of high office were implicated. The public deserve an answer.
But whatever it is, the KMK system must go. Government resources and public monies are not goodies to be distributed by political parties to gain votes, much less to make a profit. It should be abolished and Johor Pakatan Harapan will abolish this black box operation to make affordable housing application process an open and transparent system.
Wong Shu Qi