GEORGE TOWN, Nov 7 – Housing issues dominated the Penang state assembly sitting, including 15 housing projects alleged to be profit-oriented instead of meeting the needs of the poor. State Executive Councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo claimed that the proposed 9,444 affordable-unit housing project by Penang Regional Development Authority (Perda) and JKP Sdn Bhin had far less low-cost (LC) and low-medium-cost (LMC) units than premium houses and commercial units.
Of the proposed federal project, 2,447 would be LCs and LMCs, while others were 6,546 medium-cost units, several bungalow houses and the rest commercial. “The federal housing projects were focused on making profits than to build houses for the lower income group,” said Jagdeep during the second 13th Penang State Assembly sitting, which started today.
State Opposition Leader Jahara Hamid of Barisan Nasional had earlier questioned Jagdeep, who is in charge of housing, town and country planning, on how many LCs and LMCs were built in the last six years. Jahara said that Jagdeep, who is also DAP’s Dato Kramat assemblyman, had failed to provide appropriate answers to her question.
Jagdeep earlier responded that state project of LCs and LMCs were still being fine-tuned by the Penang Development Corporation (PDC). Jagdeep then took a swipe at Perda and JKP regarding the housing projects planned. Jahara then accused the state government of failing to provide LCs and LMCs for Penangites. The Teluk Air Tawar representative also urged the state government to practice fairness when it came to applications by federal agencies to build affordable homes.