Batu Kawan to rival Bayan Lepas

Batu Kawan, once a rural swampland of oil palm estates, is set to become the next Bayan Lepas, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said.

He said three major investments from Robert Bosch, Boon Siew Honda and VAT Manufacturing Malaysia totalling about RM10bil in Batu Kawan would have spillover effects on different sectors, including thousands of jobs for those living in the area.

“At the same time, Batu Kawan will also have the country’s first integrated, streamlined and symmetrically designed affordable housing scheme.

“We have engaged the world’s best in this field, Surbana International Consultants — the privatised building and development division of Singapore’s Housing and Development Board (HDB),” he said before performing the ground breaking for the RM2.7bil Bandar Cassia Affordable Housing Scheme yesterday.

On the state’s choice of the consultancy firm, Lim said the state’s investment arm Penang Development Corporation (PDC) did not want to copy or model its affordable houses after some of the world’s best designs but to appoint the best in the industry to help with the planning.

Lim reiterated that the housing project, which would be given out to local contractors via an open tender, would be ideal for the middle-income earners.

“We do not want our middle-income earners to live in boxes. That is why proper planning is vital so that they can live with pride and enjoy quality living through this scheme.

“This eco-friendly designed project, on an 80ha plot of land, will have about 12,000 medium-cost housing units, three football fields, a man-made river and recreation parks,” he said.

Lim said the freehold units, ranging from 800sq ft to 1,000sq ft, would be housed in high-rise buildings of between nine and 16 storeys. The units are priced at between RM72,500 and RM220,000 each with a free car parking lot.

He said Surbana was committed to oversee the project’s progress throughout the scheduled 10-year development period over five phases with the Phase 1 expected to be ready by 2014.

“The state government will undertake the maintenance and management of these housing units once completed.”

He said the various projects would ‘create’ a population of about 250,000 residents. - By DERRICK VINESH (The Star)

6 comments

February 17, 2012 at 10:12 AMBrandon Koh

Excellent vision. We need leaders like him.

 
February 17, 2012 at 4:02 PMRoman

What a good move by the CM. Engages the right expertise in planning, gov to undertake the management/maintenance of the property, good vision to explore the batu kawan as Penang's next bayan baru. Yes, not only Penang, but MALAYSIA, needs more leaders like him.

 
February 19, 2012 at 6:43 PMKL

He is a leader with good vision and more importantly, has the gut to realize his vision.

 
February 19, 2012 at 11:36 PMRafael

You can build more and more houses anywhere but the foundation of proper transportation service is not there. The 2nd link is expected to complete by 2013. The free rapid bus also going to Penang FTZ will be discontinued by March 2012.

Why not have a weekly or monthly or yearly subscription of transportation pass which can be used for all below:
1) Pg jetty to Butterworth, new project ferry at Queensbay to Batu Kawan and Butterworth)
2) Pg bridge 1st and 2nd link
3) Rapid pg bus from seberang jaya to pg FTZ vice versa from Penang to Kulim, Seberang Perai.

This is what I will do if I am Penang CM. A 5 year project can be done.

 
February 20, 2012 at 5:26 PMcondomana

Hi Rafael,

I think you have a point. Apart from building better and more affordable homes on mainland, the transportation link between those residential areas and employment/entertainment hot spots cannot be neglected. Those free rapid buses to/fro mainland were proven to be a success (I heard). While the state gov is shifting more high-tech jobs to mainland, improving the quality of public amenities in mainland is also important to make mainland living more desirable. With ample land, maybe a water theme park would make a lot of sense.

 
February 21, 2012 at 12:04 AMRafael

Hi condomana,

I agree with you that we have lack of park/recreation hot spots. Should have one that look like a park and not like botanical garden or taman kebun lama.