Penang CM defends Surbana appointment

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has defended the state’s appointment of Surbana International Consultants, an Singaporean consultancy firm, for the upcoming Bandar Cassia public housing project.

Citing the company’s track record in public housing, Lim urged critics to put the interest of Penangites first.

“Surbana, which is a privatised division of Singapore’s Housing and Development Board, is internationally acknowledged.

“They are the best in the world for building quality, affordable homes,” he said after officiating a Community Development and Security Committees (JKKK) briefing in Komtar.

Lim said appointing Surbana would ensure that Bandar Cassia has quality homes.

“Nowadays, many affordable homes have very poor amenities. Sometimes I feel that they are more like cages than they are homes.

“We want to build quality homes and Surbana has the best track record,” he said.

State Umno chief Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman was reported urging the state to rethink the appointment of Surbana over local consultants.

He said local consultants could understand the needs of locals better and those staying in Penang’s mainland were not “mentally prepared to live in high-rise buildings”.

To this, Lim said there were already high-rise buildings in Butterworth.

“Zainal doesn’t stay in Penang, he stays in Kuala Lumpur.

“Perhaps he should move back to Penang, then he will probably understand that because of land shortage, people have to stay in high-rises,” he said.

Lim also said the Bandar Cassia apartment blocks would be nine to 20 stories high and not 30 to 40 stories as mentioned by Zainal. - By The Star

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