The DAP today came out with documents refuting allegations of wrongdoing with the Taman Manggis land issue, citing documents noting the decision by the former Gerakan led state government had in fact stopped the empty plot from being developed.
Thus now, the onus goes back to the Penang Barisan Nasional coalition to answer why this land for public housing was undone thus leading up to the sale of the plot to KLIDC.
It is an extremely tangled web right now.
Why was the land for cheap affordable housing undone?
If the Barisan Nasional coalition had any clue to this being the case and failed to inform their Strategic Communications Director Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, then somebody’s about to experience one hell of a private lecture which one can only hope will be laced with profanity.
But more than this, the issue still stands in which affordable housing needs to be redefined by all – from federal and state level politicians to the developers involved and the people who buy these properties.
With a median salary not even breaching RM2,000, how can a home be considered affordable at RM400,000 as a ceiling price if it means paying a bank RM1,000 plus a month to service a loan?
At the same time, Malaysians need to have a serious think as to what a home consists of and whether or not fiscal responsibility dictates reproductive responsibility as well.
We are no longer a society in the 1940s or even 1960s where we can have dozens children and still afford a balanced life and offer the next generation all the opportunities they are entitled to.
And there are facets of society who still do not understand this.
Just yesterday, Sinar Harian placed an article of a former religious teacher with nine children begging for donations for his eldest child who is in Egypt completing his/her studies in medicine.
A few months back, The Malaysian Insider also carried yet another piece on how a family with a baker’s dozen of kids was struggling to cope in Kuala Lumpur even while earning tens of thousands of ringgit and living in an affordable housing project.
If we truly want to have a proper discussion about housing, we must first talk about responsibilities.
Sure, the government has a responsibility based on Maslow’s pyramid of needs. In such a way, the federal government and all states have kept their end of the bargain.
But when it comes to affordability, there is a proper need to look back at the figures and statistics involved – median wages, family sizes, cost of living even – before determining the size, design and even location of affordable housing.
These factors are all seriously lacking in all government initiatives on both state and federal levels.
Congratulations to the DAP led state government for putting it back to the BN. But now, can both state and federal government get back together to discuss the main issue that triggered this uproar?
It is the fact that housing is a problem that needs political intervention on both sides to make it work. At the same time, there is a need to educate families to consider costs and realities.
Enough of the politics.