Where are the low-cost houses, asks Penang MCA

Property News/ 11 December 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: Penang MCA has slammed the state government for concentrating too much on mega-projects and losing sight of the need for affordable homes on the island state.

Penang MCA secretary Lau Chiek Tuan said that the construction of low-cost housing had ceased since DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng took over as Chief Minister.

He said Lim’s development direction in building “huge highways” and the Penang-Butterworth undersea tunnel would only jack up property prices in the state and leave low-income earners in the lurch.

Lau did not discount the benefits of traffic management through the construction of such mega-projects, but pointed out that motorists would end up paying expensive toll rates and also face soaring housing prices.

He dismissed Lim’s claim that better connectivity would allow islanders to migrate to the mainland, countering that property value in the project’s surrounding areas would skyrocket beyond the affordableprice range.

“Why did the Penang state government take great pains for this project instead of building low-cost housing for the people? After all, the land in Penang is more valuable than money.

“The Penang government has said the main objective of the mega-projects is to solve traffic woes. However, its good is countered by the rising house prices which will result in Penangites being unable to afford homes.

“The state government’s plan to ease traffic woes on the island is merely a ploy to gain votes as they want to tout their so-called ‘achievements’ by announcing large-scale projects. This will make the people feel that the Pakatan Rakyat government is doing something good,” Lau said.

Last month, Lim announced plans to build the 6.5km undersea tunnel to serve as the island’s third link to the mainland.

The Federal Government is currently building the second Penang bridge.

SOURCE: The Star