MALACCA: The swathes of vacant shop lots in the state is in issue Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron has identified as a key issue to be resolved before the next general election.
Idris attributes the situation to unit owners holding on to their properties and waiting for higher profits, in anticipation of prospective developments in surrounding areas.
Idris said the value of the shop houses would go up once the seaport project becomes a reality in the future.
"These shop lots will surely be utilised by the port operators including on Pulau Melaka," he said at the Budget 2017 explanation programme in Japerun Sungai Udang here, recently.
"I also heard that some owners intentionally left their shop lots vacant because they feel the price of their shop houses could increase with better rentals in future," he added.
Asked why some shop houses were vacant for more than decades, he said property owners, who have holding power, were waiting for the market to pick up.
"They believe the place (where they own a property) will boom. “Those with holding power would rather hold on for better prices as future investment.
"They will then wait for the right time to either sell their unit or lease the property at a high rental price," he added.
Idris said if projects were abandoned, the state would identify and categorise them as such and step in to assist in their revival.
"However, this may take some time as we need to determine if the developers are waiting for financial recovery," he added.
Idris noted that 13 tourism projects were successfully revived under his administration including upgrading of the monorail at Malacca River, Dolphin Park at Pulau Melaka and Extreme Park in Chin Chin, Jasin.
He also said some abandoned housing projects were revived and turned into affordable homes including one in Durian Tunggal.