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19 April 2023

Khazanah leads concerted efforts to uplift PPR communities in Malaysia

Stringing together initiatives by Khazanah Research Institute, Yayasan Hasanah and Think City to deliver impactful outcomes for the PPR communities

The People’s Housing Programme or Program Perumahan Rakyat (“PPR”) social housing concept has evolved from the public housing idea introduced in the 1970s by the government, aimed at solving the issue of squatters resulting from increased rural-urban migration.

However, throughout the years, PPRs are seen as ‘poor housing for the poor’ with unsuitable living conditions. To create a liveable PPR community and improve overall wellbeing, Khazanah Nasional (“Khazanah”) is leading concerted actions with its related affiliates, Khazanah Research Institute (“KRI”), Yayasan Hasanah (“Hasanah”) and Think City to address the gaps which are prevalent within social housing in Malaysia through policy recommendations, community empowerment and placemaking solutions.

Khazanah’s Managing Director, Dato’ Amirul Feisal Wan Zahir said, “Our objective at Khazanah is the continuous creation of societal value for the nation, in which plays a key role in our Advancing Malaysia strategy as we forge ahead to deliver a sustainable future. In achieving this, social marginalisation must be addressed for us to enjoy a positive future together, and among those requiring immediate attention are the PPR communities. Together with our affiliates, we are committed in delivering impactful initiatives for the benefit of Malaysians within these communities.”

“We applaud the announcement by the Prime Minister, YAB Dato’ Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim of an additional allocation of RM35 million for community empowerment programmes for public housing communities in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. The allocation will benefit 50,000 residents through the Kita-Untuk-Kita (K2K) programme, spearheaded by Think City.”
The synergies across the Khazanah entities further strengthens its role as a sovereign wealth fund in addressing key issues which impact the rakyat.

Khazanah Research Institute: A Public Policy Study on Program Perumahan Rakyat

KRI conducted a survey from 2016 to 2017 for its report, Decent Shelter For The Urban Poor: A Study of Program Perumahan Rakyat (PPR), published in March 2023, with the participation of 3,878 households from five PPRs in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

The study found that whilst PPR complexes have successfully provided shelter for the urban poor, these complexes are fast becoming urban slums. Furthermore, a significant proportion of households, not just the poor, will require social housing if the general affordability of housing is left unattended.

The study also sets a policy framework for social housing to become a management responsibility for governments, with social improvement objectives that include proper filtering of households and maintenance of social housing units. The report provides policy options to enable households to move from social renting to private renting and eventually achieve home ownership. Under this framework, there is a case to be made for social housing to be classified as transition housing but with an institutionalised pathway for eligible households to ‘graduate’ into the market sector. The full report is available online at

Chairman of Khazanah Research Institute, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said, “Although the provision of PPR social housing is considered a solution to provide the poor with better living conditions compared to squatter settlements, this has created a new problem which is ‘outdated and poor quality housing for the poor’ especially in stratified buildings. This creates a negative impact on the well-being of the population. Hence the policy recommendations include a focus on the quality of social housing, the role of government in maintaining adequate social housing schemes as well as the impact of social housing provision on the private housing market.”

The report also underlines action plans to be taken in addressing shortcomings affecting the PPR program, which include a review of the social housing policy and addressing longstanding defects of the private market where homes have become severely unaffordable for a majority of Malaysians.

Yayasan Hasanah: Community-based approach

In addressing the issue of poverty among PPR communities, Yayasan Hasanah’s community-based approach (“CBA”) seek to address multidimensional issues in low-income communities through the involvement of multiple organisations to create a coordinated, holistic, and sustainable impact.

One such impactful initiatives is the collaboration between Hasanah and 7 social impact partners at PPR Lembah Subang that has resulted in the increase of income for 241 residents, training and mentoring benefiting 381 individuals, nutritional and mental health support for 700 lives, as well as the development of 17 community leaders.

Trustee & Managing Director at Yayasan Hasanah, Dato’ Shahira Ahmed Bazari said, “Core to Yayasan Hasanah’s CBA model is the understanding that poverty is multifaceted and reflects more than a deficiency of income and resources. It encompasses economic, social, cultural, deprivations and is inherently interwoven with poor understanding of fundamental human rights. Sustained efforts towards community development recognises that people experience poverty differently in in their daily lives, and hence, we believe to truly empower communities and enhance their wellbeing through multidimensional interventions directed towards individuals, households as well as the community as whole.”

Hasanah, through its core partner Women of Will’s (WoW), works with community leaders to identify needs, and collaborates with other partners to address them. One such partner is Me.reka, a social enterprise which provides digital skills training and employment for youths.

In another collaborative effort, Khazanah, Hasanah and Think City has initiated a procurement program of products produced by selected PPR communities, allowing these communities to earn additional income for the upcoming Aidilfitri celebration. The products will be distributed to the stakeholders and communities related to the three entities.

The initiatives by Khazanah and its affiliates are set to provide further momentum and support of the Government’s efforts in improving the lives of the PPR communities, through relevant policies and jointly coordinated programmes that provides socioeconomic benefits, improved liveability, inclusivity, community empowerment and enhanced community wellbeing for the rakyat.

Think City: K2K initiative

K2K is a ground-up programme that seeks to improve the lives of public housing communities, where Think City leverages on the collective expertise of its networks and partnerships to design and implement comprehensive programmes in solving social, economic and physical challenges.

Think City has expanded the K2K program across the Klang Valley, with the aim to enhance support to public housing communities and building management in four critical areas;
community empowerment, public housing co-management, improved income generation and policy reform.

Over the last decade, Think City has worked on improving Malaysian cities across diverse areas for all urban residents, especially the most vulnerable members of society. Think City has conducted research and intervention programmes surrounding public housing and residential communities in Malaysia, beginning with community housing at George Town, Penang and has since then evolved to expand to public housing projects in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

Managing Director of Think City, Hamdan Abdul Majeed said, “In line with Malaysia Madani, K2K promotes collective action for a more inclusive, resilient and prosperous public housing communities, and a shared responsibility to achieve more equitable outcomes responsive to the needs and aspirations of the communities. As we work to implement these social resilience initiatives, we hope to shape a democratic and sustainable path based on trust with the public housing communities, our networks, and partnerships to jointly implement comprehensive programmes where it matters most.”

The initiative will also be strengthened by an Intergovernmental Committee that will involve various public and private stakeholders to accelerate coordination and implementation, to benefit public housing communities.


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