KUCHING: The Sarawak government will look into the feasibility of reducing the minimum land size for construction of apartments and condominiums from three acres to one acre in the major urban areas of the state.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the matter was requested by the Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda).

“I have to discuss with the planners (State Planning Authority) whether it is feasible to reduce the minimum land size to one acre in certain areas for the construction of apartments and condominiums,” he said during Sheda’s annual dinner and presentation of excellence awards at a hotel here, on Sunday.

The chief minister noted that there was still demand for apartments and condominiums in certain major cities like Kuching, Sibu, Miri and Bintulu.

“The state government is of the opinion that apartments and condominiums can be built but the market is not there in certain areas.

“So, I would like the developers to understand that we cannot develop (the properties) due to market situation and it is best that you go for landed property,” he said.

Abang Johari also mentioned that the state government has allocated RM100 million to Mutiara Mortgage and Credit Sdn Bhd to expand its housing loan for house buyers particularly from the B40 group.

“I will consider the request to extend the loan to even the private sector so that more people can buy houses.

“The objective of Mutiara Mortgage and Credit Sdn Bhd is to provide facility to low income group to acquire loans so that they can purchase any property — not only government-built property but also private-sector property,” he said.

At the event, Tan Sri Datuk Ling Chiong Ho of Shin Yang Construction Sdn Bhd received the coveted Sheda Property Man of the Year 2019.

The inaugural Sheda CSR Leadership Award was won by Green Summit Development Sdn Bhd which was represented by its chief executive officer James Hii Sing Lung.

Abang Johari Tun Openg hands over the Merit Award for Strata Development (High Rise) group managing director of CMS Datuk Isaac Lugun. Looking on (from left) are Ngui, Kueh and Penguang at the Sheda annual dinner. Photos: Ghazali Bujang

Among other awards were Merit Award for Strata Development (High Rise) won by Rivervale Condominium, Kuching developed by CMS Property Development Sdn Bhd; Merit Award for Landed Development won by Vista Ibrahim, Kuching of Petra Jaya Properties Sdn Bhd and Merit Award for Landed Development awarded to Precinct Luxe, La Promenade Kuching by Hock Seng Lee Construction Sdn Bhd.

Hock Seng Lee Construction Sdn Bhd also won the Commendation Award for Commercial as well as Commendation Award for Master Plan for its Vista Industrial Park in Kuching.

Among those present were Local Government and Housing Assistant Minister Datuk Dr Penguang Manggil, the ministry’s permanent secretary Datuk Antonio Kahti Galis, Sheda president Dr Christopher Ngui, deputy president Augustine Wong as well as organising chairpersons Angie Kueh and John Yong.