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Stalled housing project to be revived

16/06/2003 The Star By Tunku Shahariah

THE low-cost housing project in Merbau Kudong, Tasek Glugor, which was stalled for four years will now be revived. 

Tasek Glugor MP Datuk Seri Mohd Shariff Omar said the housing project, comprising 200 units of low-cost houses, 133 units of low medium cost houses and 10 units of single-storey shops, would be revived before the end of this year. 

He said the 37 families, who would have to make way for the project, would be offered an option of either accepting RM300 per family as rental for 18 months or more depending on the completion date of the project, or to be relocated to a high rise apartment block in Teluk Air Tawar in Butterworth for the same duration. 

He said upon completion of the project, the families would be given first priority to purchase the landed low-cost and low medium-cost houses in Merbau Kudong.  

He said the housing project, which was launched during the 1999 general election when Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon performed the ground-breaking ceremony, was later shelved by the state due to several reasons. 

“I was the Deputy Chief Minister when the project was launched.  

“Somehow, the project did not take off ground as promised as the state government had cited it as unviable and that cost of land in Penang was escalating. 

“This housing project must be implemented as it will fulfil the state's social obligation to the lower income community in Merbau Kudong.  

“After pursuing the state government and with the help of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, we (Umno) will see to it that the project takes off before the next general election,” he said during a meeting with the 37 affected families at Dewan Besar Sungai Dua on Thursday. 

Mohd Shariff said the affected families were those who had filled in the survey forms in 1999 and who were already compensated between RM20,000 and RM100,000 depending on the value of their property and land during that year. 

“Those extended families, who had moved in with their relatives after that period will not be compensated,” he said, adding that the surplus low-cost units would be tendered to those registered with the State Housing Division first. 

Mohd Shariff said the project would be developed by JKP Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned company under the Ministry of Finance Inc. 

JKP chief executive officer and general manager Adzmi Ariffin said letters to inform the 37 affected families of the project would be sent out to them in July when they would be given a month to vacate their premises. 

“We need to have the land vacant by August so as not to delay the project which will take at least 18 months to complete,” he said. 

He also said the three bedroom low-cost and low medium-cost houses would have a built-up area of 700 sq ft and 800 sq ft and cost RM38,000 and RM80,000 respectively while shoplots would cost RM90,000 per unit.  

Affected resident Goh Kee Long, 44 who is also Merbau Kudong MCA secretary who represented the residents, said the residents were happy as their four-year wait was finally coming to a fruitful ending.  

Also present was Sungai Dua assemblyman Jasmin Moha-mad. 


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