KOTA BARU: The Housing and Local Government Ministry will assist the developer of the Sireh Residence housing project here for government servants, to attract more purchasers from the civil service.

Its minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said this was because so far, the scheme which offers 2,160 units, had only managed to attract 248 applicants.

A total of 1,080 units are 90% complete, while the remaining units have yet to be constructed under the project which is being undertaken by developer Liziz Standaco Sdn Bhd.

“We do not know why the number of applicants is low, considering the fact that this is an area which is experiencing rapid growth and the cost is below RM300,000,“ she told reporters after visiting the housing project in Lebah Sireh today.

There were two categories of units offered, comprising those under RM290,000 and RM270,000, respectively, Zuraida said, adding that she would be raising the matter with the Kelantan government during a meeting today, with the aim of requesting the government to publicise the homes among state government officers.

Zuraida added that her ministry would give Liziz Standaco the option of continuing with the construction of the remaining units or undertaking changes to convert the units to other types of affordable homes and to offer them for sale to the public.

The minister also commented on the call by a grouping of more than 50 professional bodies and non-government organisations (NGOs) on her ministry, to revoke its recent effort to set up special smoking areas in public spaces, with funding of RM1 million to 155 local authorities across the country.

She said the government needed to consider all parties and “if the move is not implemented, cigarette butts will be thrown away indiscriminately, causing other issues to arise”.

Two days ago, Malaysian Public Health Specialists Association president Datuk Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar had voiced the dissatisfaction of the group of professional bodies and NGOs, at a press conference after they had assembled at the National Cancer Society of Malaysia to protest the issue. – Bernama