GEORGE TOWN, May 20 – A Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) state assemblyman has questioned the DAP-led Penang Government on the proposed foreign workers hostel project. Ong Chin Wen (PKR-Bukit Tengah) raised the question at the State Legislative Assembly sitting here Thursday, as he claimed the state government’s preliminary study on the project did not reflect the real situation in the Juru and Bukit Minyak areas.
He said the location of the proposed project was not suitable as it would increase the number of foreign workers in the areas, as well as cause traffic congestion. He said he object to the location of the project and would like to make an application to the state government to submit a copy of the preliminary study conducted. He said this during the question-and-answer session.
The objection was echoed by Cheah Kah Peng (PKR-Kebun Bunga) who questioned the sincerity of the state government in building the hostel in Juru and Bukit Minyak. He also questioned how the people of Penang, especially those living in the area would benefit from the project.
Deputy Chief Minister (II) Prof P. Ramasamy, in replying to the question, said the purpose of hostels in Juru and Bukit Minyak was to curb social problems between foreign workers and local workers. He said this project will provide a place for the foreign workers to stay with all its facilities, thus reducing social problems and other issues, should they rent houses at residential areas with predominantly locals.
He said an initial study of the project revealed that nearly 19,000 foreign workers inhabited the Juru area, close to factories where they worked. Ramasamy said the proposed location was near industrial areas and would be equipped with high security system, pending approval from the Seberang Perai Municipal Council. He added that the study was conducted by the Penang Development Corporation and detailed information on the project will be made available to the Bukit Tengah state assemblyman.