“Beriok” is a no no housing policy for Haji Hadi Pas. Perhaps he prefers bungalows.

Haji Hadi in his campaign trails said that he would disapprove the proposed 8 storey flats on Pulau Perhentian Kecil should PAS win the by-election on 24 July 2013.

This is the first time I heard of PAS’s housing policy from the mouth of the PAS President himself. He said this in response to inquiries from reporters when told that BN would replace the old housing with a strata building which is under construction on Pulau Perhentian Kecil at a cost RM28 million.

The inhabitants of the Island now live in a sporadic settlement within an old residential scheme in Kampung Pasir Hantu. Located on the Pulau Perhentian Kecil, the settlement has about 200 houses, shops and a Police Station and other amenities.

While it is an acceptable living style and building structure flat or high-rise apartment is not in the plan for PAS housing policy. It is a “beriok” type of housing policy, which literally means for overcrowding. But the way he has said it as if the 1,000 or so inhabitants of the Island will live in a home just like pigeons, fall short of saying BN will cater them in a zoo or a refugee camp.

He didn’t say what sort of housing unit that will replace the existing rundown units in the village. Perhaps he will prefer a bungalow as the one Endot is living in.

The best example of PAS housing policy is perhaps to refer to the housing policy practice in Kelantan, that is, so far I have seen, a no housing policy. By objecting an acceptable standard of housing but without letting us know the alternative to the proposed units is a kind of bad taste, or perhaps a bad politicking.

Pulau Perhentian is a modest 1,392 square hectares, of which about 530 square hectares is the area for Pulau Perhentian Kecil which most inhabitants, the fishermen of the old days, live. With a new economic development towards tourism industry, most of these fishermen have been transformed to bring the advantage of the industry as taxi operators, resort operators and other tourism related activities. This is the only example I have seen of the transformation which PM Najib has called for involving the poor, which unfortunately was the policy made by earlier leaders.

The Islands are hilly in nature, and only a small fraction of the land is useable for residential use. Unless a proper drainage and road system is constructed the Islands is practically inhabitable. Probably Haji Hadi has some guests from Iran who could loan some money to develop a high-class residential area on top of the hills.

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