News: Civil Servants To Be Monitored In Allocation Of Affordable Homes Or Stern Action Will Be Taken

Jul 17, 2018

With the discovery of a housing scam involving affordable homes, the state government of Johor has been urged to closely monitor civil servants involved in allocating affordable homes, with stern action taken against those found guilty of abusing their positions.

“Stern action should include legal action against them, instead of just transferring them from the State Secretary Housing Office to other departments or agencies,” said Md Salleh Sadijo, chairman of the Johor Consumers Movement Association.

“This is not a new issue as it has been going on for many years but has not been effectively addressed.”

Johor Indian Business Association president P. Sivakumar noted that the state should ramp up efforts to eliminate any form of corruption in the allocation of affordable homes, reported The Star.

Applications should be scrutinised to ensure only those without homes and the needy would obtain units.

“If it involves limited units, then there should be open and transparent balloting…Also, a quota for affordable houses for various ethnic groups should be made available to ensure fair play,” said Sivakumar.

Meanwhile, the housing quota for political parties should be scrapped as the practice deny many eligible recipients the chances of securing an affordable home, said Salleh.

He noted that the allocation of Johor Affordable Homes (RMMJ) should not be dependent on whether a person supported the incumbent state government, given that it is the duty of the state to provide houses to the middle- and lower-income groups.

The state’s Housing Unit has discovered that a housing scam syndicate has been asking a booking fee of RM5,000 from members of the public for the purchase of RMMJ unit. Those who paid the booking fee were issued fake letters with the letterhead of the Johor government.

Offering affordable houses at Setia Business Park II near Bandar Dato Onn, the syndicate has managed to scam at least nine people.

The scam was discovered when one of the victims enquired about her booking at the state’s Housing Unit.
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“The person came to us after receiving the letter as she wanted to know how would the state government allocate the units,” said Johor Housing and Rural Development Committee chairman Dzulkefly Ahmad.

“When we checked the letter she presented, we found that it was not the one state government had given out to qualified RMMJ buyers.”

He explained that unlike the victims, which received only fake letters, qualified RMMJ buyers were issued certificates by the state.

“A closer check on the fake letter also showed that the format is different from ours while the reference numbers are also wrong…The lot claimed to have been booked had already been awarded to someone else, too.”

He also underscored that the state does not “ask for booking fee for affordable housing and I hope the rakyat, especially those who have applied for RMMJ, not to be fooled by such tactic”.

He added that all the requirements pertaining to RMMJ can be found on the official website of the state government. The state has not also appointed any representative to act as agent for its housing programme, said Dzulkefly.

He revealed that the internal investigation conducted by the state regarding the matter showed that no civil servant was involved in the scam.

Image sourced from Skudai Malaysia

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Eva Tan Yee Hwa
Senior Property Consultant
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