Allow Barisan Nasional to help build 2,000 much needed community housing units in Penang for the poor if the state government is unable to do it, Komtar Barisan seat coordinator Loh Chye Teik said.
He said that for example, there was prime land in Jalan S.P. Chelliah which was slated for the construction of community housing units by the previous state government.
“We also had plans for an auto-city. However, after Pakatan Rakyat took over, the land, about 6.8ha of it, was left vacant.
“The land is estimated at about RM300mil now. Instead of leaving it empty, do something about it,” he said while on a site visit there with former Komtar assemblyman Datuk Lim Gim Soon yesterday.
“With 2,000 units, imagine how many people would benefit.
“If there was no change of the Government in 2008, the units would be up by now,” he said.
Loh said that other than affordable housing, the state could also turn the area into a major transport hub that could be the main station for the proposed monorail project.
He also expressed worries that the state would sell the land for commercial use.
He cited the 0.45ha plot located at the junction of Jalan Zainal Abidin and Lorong Selamat-Jalan Burma stretch which was now earmarked for a medical specialist centre.
“That land was also previously slated for a community housing project.”
As for the plot of land in Jalan S.P. Chelliah, he said it had more commercial value with Penang Times Square (shopping area) nearby.
“After all, the Penang Government’s surplus in its budget is from land sales,” he added.
Loh also claimed that Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had not dared to announce the state’s development blueprint.
“If it is announced, he cannot change the status for certain land any more,” he said.
In a related matter, Loh said that the state should clean up the nearby Sungai Pinang which has tourism potential.
In response, state Town and Country Planning, Housing and Arts Committee chairman Wong Hon Wai said that the state had already earmarked 31.16ha of land in all four districts, including in Jalan S.P. Chelliah, for affordable housing projects.
“This was announced on May 3 during the state assembly sitting,” he said.
“As for the project in Jalan S. P. Chelliah, the Penang Development Corporation was assigned to do the planning.” - By Winnie Yeoh (The Star)