ISKANDAR PUTERI, 13 Sept 2020:
A total of 5,648 housing units of various types in Johor have remained unsold. State Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Ayub Jamil said the unsold properties include low cost flats and luxury condominiums.
“Throughout Johor, there are 5,648 ‘overhang’ properties with the largest number in Johor Bahru involving 4,765 units.
“It also involves 290 property units in Batu Pahat, 270 (Kluang), 147 (Kulai) and 86 (Pontian),” he said in response to a supplementary question from Dzulkefly Ahmad (PH-Kota Iskandar) at the State Legislative Assembly in Kota Iskandar here, today.
Dzulkefly has asked about property overhang in Johor and the state government’s plans to ensure unsold Bumiputera units were not released to other buyers.
Ayub said the state government was finalising a ‘rent to own’ scheme to facilitate the property purchase process in Johor.
He said the scheme involved properties priced between RM300,000 and RM1.25 million.
“This is being done because the main problem in buying such properties is the difficulty in getting financing from the bank.
“It is different from the regular scheme. Buyers only need to provide RM3,000 compared to at least RM30,000 for upfront (advance payment); so this will help buyers because they do not have to set aside a large initial commitment.”
Separately, the Singapore government has shown interest in extending the proposed covered walkway on its side of the Causeway to reduce congestion and improve public safety.
Johor Public Works, Infrastructure and Transport Committee chairman Mohd Solihan Badri said the request was conveyed to him by Singapore’s Consulate-General in Johor Bahru, two months ago.
“First, we (the state government) submitted the proposal to build the 350-metre long walkway to the Federal government to get an allocation. The construction will involve the Home Ministry and Works Ministry as the Johor Causeway is maintained by the Malaysian Highway Authority.
“Secondly, Singapore Consulate officials in Johor Bahru who met me expressed interest in the project. They asked for the design of the walkway so that they can submit a proposal to their government to extend the walkway,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Johor state assembly proceedings at the Sultan Ismail Building here, today.
Mohd Solihan said Singapore’s intention showed the republic is also concerned about pedestrians who had to walk across the Causeway – which was estimated to be used by hundreds of people every day before the Movement Control Order was enforced in March to curb the spread of Covid-19.
He said at the initial stage, the Johor government applied for an allocation of RM15 million for the walkway, however, it was increased to RM30 million earlier this year after it was redesigned with the addition of escalators and was covered as well as equipped with air conditioning.
“The distance of 350m ends at the border with Singapore, however, for Singapore, I’m not sure how long the distance is going to be. For our part of the route, the construction cost is via the Finance Ministry and its implementation is by the Works Ministry.”
Mohd Solihan also noted pedestrians were actually prohibited on the Johor Causeway but no action has been taken by the authorities so far.