Going after the undeserving ones

The Penang government may take court action to retrieve low medium-cost (LMC) units which were wrongly alloted to those who did not meet the state housing criteria.

State Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said 402 applicants who exceeded the income requirement and 816 applicants who already owned property were allocated such units in the past.

This was based on the 2010 Auditor-General’s report on Penang.

Only those whose family’s household income is less than RM2,500 monthly are eligible for the low-cost units. For LMC units, their monthly household income must not exceed RM3,500.

“We are considering to file ‘test cases’ in court to take back the units from the owners.

“I believe this action, if it is taken, will be first of its kind in the country,” he said at a press conference in Penang yesterday.

Jagdeep said the newly formed Selection Process Enhancement Committee (SPEC), of which he is the chairman, was looking into the matter.

“We are awaiting legal views before proceeding with the court action. There are some legal issues that we want to consider first,” he said.

Jagdeep Singh said SPEC has decided that the selection of applicants which was previously conducted by three officers in the state Housing Department will now include at least three members of SPEC.

The membership in SPEC comprises eight elected representatives including Jagdeep Singh.

They are Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi, Tanjong MP Ng Wei Aik, Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin, state Exco members Phee Boon Poh, Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim, Dr Afif Bahardin and Bukit Tengah assemblyman Ong Chin Wen. - By The Star

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