Malaysia’s local government development minister Nga Kor Ming has defended the Malaysian government’s move to consult Singapore on issues related to public housing.
“We believe that as long as it benefits the people and the country, the Unity government will humbly learn, no matter where or from whom,” Nga was quoted by The New Straits Times as saying, in response to a query during a parliamentary session on Feb. 23.
He had been asked by an opposition Member of Parliament why the government had brought in housing experts from Singapore when there were urban planning experts in Malaysia that could’ve been consulted.
According to Malaysia Now, Nga cited the issue of the quality of construction as the main problem plaguing his country’s public housing system.
He added that public housing developers in Malaysia tended to overlook sustainability and community well-being.
The Malaysian government would continue their engagement sessions with Singapore’s Housing Development Board on these issues, a relationship Nga pointed out had been established since 2018 under the previous government.
The minister also gave the example of a public housing project in Kuala Lumpur’s Desa Park City as a good model of facilities offered at an affordable price, reported Malaysia Now.
“This is the model that we will build on, including positive features from Singapore,” he said.
“Provocation with seditious elements”
This latest incident is not the first time that Nga has had to defend the government’s consultation with Singapore on public housing.
In January this year, Nga denounced accusations that he was trying to emulate the HDB system as a way of oppressing the Malay-Muslim community, reported Malaysiakini.
He also denied that consulting with HDB was an underhanded way to replace civil servants that had underperformed.
“Claims by certain parties with political interests that seeking insight from Singaporean housing experts was done to compensate for the weakness of Malaysian civil servants are untrue and have ill intentions,” he said, adding that the accusations were an “act of provocation with seditious elements”.
Top image via Nga Kor Ming’s Facebook and John T via Unsplash
If you like what you read, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Telegram to get the latest updates.