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Speech by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng

During The Official Launch of The Registration Of Affordable Housing

In Komtar,  George Town On 7 February 2013

 

Doing More For Penang By Undertaking The Largest Effort By Any State Government In History By Building 19,172 Affordable Housing Units.

First and foremost, I would like to welcome all of you to this simple but meaningful occasion to launch the registration of interest for 1,840 affordable homes in 2 locations namely Jalan SP Chelliah(1,320 units) on the island and Bandar Cassia, Batu Kawan(520 units) on the mainland. Today’s launching is the initialization or commencement of the ambitious RM500 million Affordable Housing programme undertaken by the Penang state government through Penang Development Corporation(PDC) to build 19,172 units throughout Penang, including on the island.

This RM 500 million was made available following the sale of government land by open tender. We want to do more for Penang by undertaking the largest effort by any state government in history by building 19,172 affordable housing units. The state government wishes to stress that this first batch of 1,840 units of affordable homes is additional to the other low cost and low-medium cost houses that will be built by private developers and PDC, which will be calculated separately.  

The state government does not build any housing but builds them through PDC following the same model as the Federal government in not building housing directly but through their agency, Syarikat Perumahan Awam Negara(SPAN). This dispels baseless attacks by certain irresponsible parties that the state government does not build a single low cost house.          

This morning, I am pleased to inform that a total of 1,320 units of low medium cost flats and affordable housing apartments will be made available in Jalan SP Chelliah alone. This comprise  770 units of 700 sq ft low medium cost apartments of RM72,500 each, 303 units of 800 sq ft apartments  of RM200,000 , 165 units of  900 sq ft apartments of RM300,000 and only 82 units of 1000 sq ft apartments of RM400,000. I would like to emphasise that the apartments costing RM 400,000 comprise only 6.2% of the total 1,320 units in Jalan S.P. Chelliah.

PDC has set this bottom line in terms of number, size and price of units as minimum requirements in our Request for Proposals(RFP) by open competitive tender to develop the Jalan SP Chelliah affordable housing project following feedback from some developers. In other words, this open competitive tender system practised by the Penang State Government has allowed PDC to give more back to the people of Penang based on this ‘Reserved Price’ concept. So far 17 companies have sent in bids.

As the Affordable Housing programme is undertaken by PDC, I have instructed Dato Rosli Jafar to comply with the pricing range and guidelines set by the Federal government. Dato Rosli has followed the ceiling price set by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in last September’s 2013 Budget of RM72,500 to RM400,000 in the urban areas and RM 72,500 to RM220,000 in the rural areas.

Naturally the price ceiling of RM 400,000 was set for an urban area like George Town and the price ceiling RM 220,000 for a rural area like Batu Kawan. I regret that the state government and a professional architect like Dato Rosli have been unfairly attacked by lies through the BN-controlled media that only RM 400,000 apartments are built. Those who are not even professionals want to talk like architects. Let professional architects do their work.

Clearly, it is okay for the Prime Minister to do so but not ok for the state government to follow what the Prime Minister has done. Today the people of Penang can see through their lies because most of the houses are between the RM72,500 to RM220,000 range. Further it is also untrue that PDC will profit from this programme as this is part of PDC’s corporate social responsibility.

As for Bandar Cassia, Batu Kawan, the entire project will see more than 11,800 units of  affordable housing being built over a 10-15 year period. Currently, for Phase 1 Bandar Cassia, Batu Kawan, there will be 149 units of 800 sq ft low medium cost apartments of RM72,500 each. There will be 98 units  900 sq ft of RM168,000 and 273 units  1,000 sq ft of RM220,000 for registration.

However, for the next phase and depending on market demand, PDC is planning to gradually increase the number of affordable priced at RM168,000 more than 60%. What is more important is the determination of PDC to build the best quality affordable homes in Malaysia.

The Batu Kawan project will be designed by Surbana International Consultants, who was responsible for the world-famous Singapore HDB homes. What we see as the public housing in Singapore will hopefully be available in a few years in Batu Kawan in terms of quality, design and concept.

I welcome the public to take the opportunity to register for the affordable homes at Komtar Concourse, MPSP Office at Bandar Perda and PDC Office, Bayan Baru from today till 7th March 2013, from 9am- 5pm every day, including public holidays during this Chinese New Year period.

Anyone with a monthly basic household income not exceeding RM3,500 is eligible to apply for the low medium cost units, while those with monthly basic household income exceeding RM3,501 are eligible to apply for the affordable apartments. I am pleased to now launch the registration of affordable homes in Jalan SP Chelliah and Bandar Cassia, Batu Kawan.

Thank you.