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MALACCA: The 336 buyers of apartments at the public housing programme in Sungai Putat, Batu Berendam, here got a welcome surprise from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday.
"The actual price of an apartment unit is RM148,000, but the government hereby wishes to announce that the units will be sold at RM35,000 each," Najib said to the applause of those present at a ceremony to hand over offer letters to the would-be-occupants.
"The difference will be subsidised by the government."
The six blocks of three-bedroom apartment units are located on a 10.64-ha land. The project is about 90 per cent complete and owners are expected to move into their new homes in June.
In his speech, Najib said the government aspired to develop more housing projects, such as the one in Sungai Putat.
He said the government had completed 65,246 houses nationwide to meet the needs of the people, especially the low-income earners, as of Dec 31.
Najib also said the government would continue to have a finger on the pulse of the people in implementing its policies, programmes and development projects.
He said as a responsible government, it planned programmes for the interest of the future generations and not merely for political mileage or for facing the general election.
"We carry out complete and comprehensive changes through huge transformations for the benefit of the nation and public."
Najib said the huge transformations were implemented through thorough planning with accurate information based on detailed studies.
He said the opposition, on the other hand, only sold promises to the people.
He drew attention to the fact that the government was not indebted to the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund in giving aid to the people such as the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) initiative.
"We, on the other hand, use the internal strength of our economy to help the people," said Najib, who also referred to the recognition by IMF of the management of the national economy, recently.
Among those who received their offer letters yesterday included Norafandy Jaya, 29. He said he had applied to buy a house before but had problems securing a bank loan as he only took home just over RM1,000 working as a warehouse officer.
"When I heard about the offer for the public housing project, I put in my application.
"I was elated when I was successful in getting the apartment. When the prime minister announced the enormous discount, I was just speechless."
Norafandy, who is renting a house in Krubong here for RM300, said he would be paying only about half the amount for his own home.
Printing supervisor K. Nanthini, 35, said she and her welder husband P. Subramaniam, 41, had been looking high and low to buy a house they could afford.
"I was informed by the local MIC leader about this project and my husband and I put in our application.
"We are very happy to have received the offer letter. I brought my family here and there were tears of joy when the prime minister announced that the apartment could be purchased for only RM35,000."
Gilbert Tan, 42, a lorry driver who has been renting a house in Ujong Pasir for RM250 a month, said he had never expected the prime minister to announce such a huge subsidy for the units.
"The prime minister indeed walks the talk in placing the interest of the people first. I hope more such projects will be implemented, especially for those in the low-and-medium-income bracket like me."