Show us the affordable houses

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has been challenged to show the statistics and pinpoint the locations where the state government has built thousands of affordable units.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said Lim had been “bragging” that they had built the affordable units, yet nobody seemed to know where they were located.

“This is especially so when 100,000 families in Penang earning below RM7,000 a month have yet to own homes, as house prices are beyond their means,” he said.

Chua said this following Lim’s claim that 12,000 affordable homes had been built by the state and the private sector since they came to power in 2008.

Lim had also announced recently that the state and the private sector planned to build 38,000 more affordable units.

“It is all hot air. Show us the statistics to prove us wrong,” said Dr Chua.

He also slammed the Pakatan Rakyat state government for tendering land at a high price and increasing the conversion premium, thus pushing house prices up.

“With the conversion premium in Penang being the highest in the country, I guess the Penang government does not want to build low-cost houses,” he said.

Chua also took a swipe at the state government for allowing construction of housing units above the permissible density.

The permissible density is 60 units per acre.

“When the density is doubled, it creates a host of other problems, including traffic congestion, drainage woes, and other environmental problems,” he said.

He also said that Penang risked facing flash floods, erosion and landslides in view of hill-cutting activities for development.

“At this rate, Penang will be a botak (bald) island and an island for the rich,” he said. - By SIRA HABIBU (The Star)

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