Backbenchers' leader: It's a solution that suits everyone

View of three-storey semi-detached houses at Jalan Mohd Amin 1, located in the Straits View area in Johor Baru, Malaysia.

NUSAJAYA - Amendments to the proposed Johor Housing and Real Property Board Enactment 2014 have gone down well with several state assemblymen.

Johor Backbenchers Club chairman Datuk Samsol Bari Jamali said the amendments were welcomed and commended Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin for handling the issue well - his "biggest test" since assuming the Mentri Besar a year ago.

"It is good that he came up with a solution that suits everyone - the state, people, Johor Ruler and Federal Government," he said, adding that Khaled had given a clearer picture of the entire situation.

"It's time for everyone to put aside their sentiments," he said.

Kempas assemblyman Datuk Tengku Putra Haron Aminurrashid Tengku Hamid Jumat said he was happy with the amendment.

"The people of Johor love the Sultan and he should not be subject to public criticism. With the amendment, we can go on with our agenda for the benefit of the people while preserving the sanctity of the constitutional monarchy," he said.

Former state executive councillor and Gambir assemblyman M. Asojan said the Bill was good as Johor needed a housing board to help reduce red tape and stabilise the prices of its homes which had been on the increase in recent years.

"I am glad that the tabling of the Bill will proceed smoothly as the powers of the Johor Rulers are enshrined in the state constitution. Maybe the choice of words in the Bill have caused some confusion," he pointed out.

State Opposition leader Dr Boo Cheng Hau said while Pakatan Rakyat had in spirit and principle agreed to the suggestion for a Johor Housing and Real Property Board Enactment 2014, it wanted the Bill to be postponed.

"We propose for a committee to be selected to study the Bill in detail. We believe that there are many clauses in the Bill that need to be refined and if the details are not implemented properly, it can bring about more harm than benefit," he told reporters here yesterday.

Among the clauses that were of concern, he said, were Clause 24 which stated that the board might accept any gift and Clause 39 on land acquisition.

The Bill, which will be tabled today, is expected to be debated by at least eight assemblymen - five from Barisan Nasional and three from Pakatan - before this is put to the vote.

The Bill can be passed with a simple majority involving the show of hands from 29 assemblymen. Two other Bills expected to be tabled include the Supplementary Supply Enactment 2014 and Water Enactment (Amendment) 2014.