PETALING JAYA (July 19, 2019): As a former resident of a people’s housing project (PPR) with his young family then, Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) Secretary-General Datuk Sri Mohammad Mentek understands the hardships PPR residents go through and hence appreciates any contribution from the private sector to improve the lives of PPR residents.
“I have stayed in PPR Seri Sarawak in Kuala Lumpur before when I first became a civil servant. It was a one-bedroom unit with built-up of around 600 sq ft, together with my wife and two young children aged three and four years old,” he told EdgeProp.my after officiating the ground breaking of EdgeProp.my – Paramount Property Sayangi Rumahku campaign today. “Little did I know I would one day be standing here today officiating this event as the Secretary-General of the ministry,” he said to the audience’s applause.
During that one-and-half years stay in the PPR, Mentek felt there were so many things that could be done to improve the overall environment of public housing.
“It’s a multi-racial community where everyone is looking after each other although the living environment wasn’t that good, for instance, there isn’t a proper place for the children to play or for people to have some sports or recreational activities,” reminisced the 55-year-old who is now one of the key officials in the ministry.
He noted that public housing nowadays has improved with bigger built-up sizes (700 sq ft with three bedrooms, and in future, the built-up size will be increased to 900 sq ft), but the relationship between residents is not as close as 20 years ago.
“Community building and empowerment are important as the residents should take care of their living environment and make it a harmonious and vibrant community,” he said.
With the private sector’s contribution through their corporate social responsibility project and government’s infrastructure building, it could speed up the process of community empowerment, making public housing schemes a more liveable and sustainable places to live.