Build low-cost houses, Chua tells Penang Govt

The Penang Government should build low-cost houses for its people first and worry about land conversion later, said MCA president Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek.

“The Chief Minister said they cannot build low-cost houses because there is no freehold land to build them on.

“If they don't build any (low-cost houses) soon, Penang and Selangor will become states for the rich while the poor and middle class will have to leave,” Dr Chua said after a 1MCA Medical Foundation cheque presentation at the Sunway Putra Hotel here yesterday.

He said this in response to comments by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng that the state government could not build any low-cost units because the state's leasehold land could not be converted to freehold status.

“This is just an excuse because one does not need that requirement (of converting leasehold to freehold status) to build low-cost housing,” said Dr Chua.

He said sand and land conversion prices in Selangor were also the highest in the country.

This is further aggravated by the fact that the state government does not build any low-cost houses, he said.

At the same event, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung urged consulting engineers and architects to ensure that cables and wires used by building developers are up to standard.

Asked if developers found using low-quality cables will be penalised, the minister said: “It is too soon to tell. I will approach the relevant bodies to further investigate the matter.” - By The Star


December 21, 2011 at 11:31 AMcondomana

Low and medium cost housing has to be built to cater to needs. While doing so, proper planning has to be in place. (1) Penang island is a beautiful scenic island for which a big chunk of its income comes from tourism. So low cost flats have to be strategically situated and built to avoid the "slum" look. (2) We have lots of low coat flats being rented out to foreign blue collar workers. Are the people taking advantage of the system to make money, or are there simply too many low cost units out there that the undeserved are allowed to buy (and buy many units at one go). (3) As the average wealth of the Penang people increases, low-med cost flats with better quality have to be built (of course it will be more expensive) to cater to the needs of the times. Recycle the cheapest & oldest flats to the poorest, and allow upgraders (who can afford) from these old flats to migrate to better quality flats.

These are only some of the many things we have to rethink and revamp the public housing policies. This is a NEW Penang now, we have to get innovative. We can't simply keep doing things the old ways, aspirations are different now compared to 30 years ago. We have to progress, and climb out of that cave.

December 21, 2011 at 9:37 PMTiger

Ehh, I thought there are low cost flats being built. One near SP Setia Pearl Island. One at Jalan Bukit Gambir by PDC and another at Tanjung Tokong by E&O. Most of them being built by developers as obligated by law.

Housing and infrastructure needs to go hand in hand. A lot of countries plan this very well. In the US, you can have houses miles away from the city center, but all connected by good free highways. And followed by shopping center and schools.

I can imagine, more affordable houses being built on the mainland but linked to the island by an LRT/MRT. With extensive public transport network, people don't mind living further out. One of the reasons people are cramming onto the island is that they can stand the Penang bridge crawl. If not, then encourage more factories on the mainland.

December 22, 2011 at 1:13 PMcondomana

Hi Tiger,

Lots of low cost flats being built? That's what I thought. But dunno why Porno Chua making a fuss here? People on the ground gave him wrong info?

December 23, 2011 at 5:09 PMsuede

Hi C, here are 3 low cost projects available now:-