Currently, Bintulu has been allocated some 2,000 units of PR1MA homes of various types, but searching for affordable lands around town to build them is such a big headache.

“Looking at me, already make BDA General Manager feel dizzy,” Tiong said, albeit jokingly at TN50 forum in Bintulu yesterday – watch video below.

It is a very complicated issues. But, the loopholes in current land and housing laws probably are the main culprits. Unlike in Singapore, where land hoarding is penalized, in Sarawak – land hoarding is allowed.

So, we end up with a situation, where precious available lands in our major towns and cities are hoarded by few taukeys or rich men. Inevitably, created a problem that hindered development of low cost and affordable housing in the state.

Visitor to PR1MA roadshow in Kuching 2016.

Buying back the lands hoarded by these individuals and private companies involved paying an astronomical premiums.

So he begged all the taukey “rich men” in Bintulu to donate some of their lands to enable the Government to help the “rakyat” in Bintulu.

According to Tiong, BDA did offer a plot of land for the project but it is located over 100 km away from Bintulu town, in Suai. “Orang dengar pun sudah pengsan,” Tiong said in a jest.

The 2,000 unit PR1MA homes are to benefit the civil servants althought Tiong said public could still buy ones – if there are any unsold units later.

PR1MA is the brand name for affordable housing developed Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia was established under the PR1MA Act 2012 to plan, develop, construct and maintain high-quality housing with lifestyle concepts for middle-income households in key urban centers.

The homes build by PR1MA are priced between RM100,000 to RM400,000 each. However, were not sure if RM400,000 can be considered affordable.

A completed PR1MA homes in Miri. (Pix. Claeyriew Elivis)