Penang govt sets aside land for cheap housing

GEORGE TOWN: The state government, stung by criticism over the Taman Manggis issue, has finally allocated a portion of land for a People’s Housing Project (PPR).

“We will be building 1,328 units of affordable housing on a 4.4ha plot of land with work expected to commence next year.

“The Penang Development Corporation (PDC) will implement the project and an open tender will be called soon,” said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng at a press conference yesterday.

Lim hoped that the announcement would put the Taman Manggis issue to rest as the allocated land is much bigger than the 0.4ha site.

He also said 0.8ha (two acres) of the land had been set aside for the Federal Government’s PPR in Jalan S.P. Chelliah since Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung mentioned that PPRs need a minimum of two acres.

The state was criticised by Barisan Nasional over the sale of land in Taman Manggis at the Jalan Zainal Abidin/Lorong Selamat-Jalan Burma junction which was initially slated for a People’s Housing Project (PPR).

It was reported that a 30-storey building was proposed at the site by the Kuala Lumpur International Dental Centre but it was rejected by the Penang Municipal Council as the centre was unable to secure an operating licence from the Health Ministry.

On a separate matter, Lim took a swipe at MCA Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong for condemning the way the state government had transferred its debts to the Federal Government.

Lim said the state government had bargained with the Federal Government over the RM600mil in water supply loans, and this had resulted in a debt reduction from RM630mil in March 2008 to RM30mil in October last year.

Dr Wee had said the state had not earned the money but had pushed the debt over to the Federal Government.

“At least we drove a hard bargain to transfer the debts in the interest of Penangites,” Lim said in response.

Source: The Star

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