• Minister Nga Kor Ming: This is very important because we want the PPRs, as well as our markets, to have their own architectural identity.

BUKIT MERTAJAM (Jan 5): The Housing and Local Government Ministry may introduce a new architectural design competition for future people’s housing projects (PPR).

Minister Nga Kor Ming (pictured) said this after witnessing the success of the Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM)-Seberang Prai City Council (MBSP) architectural design ideas competition pilot project for the Bukit Mertajam market, reported the New Straits Times (NST).

"Following the success of the pilot project, we may adopt the same approach for all future PPRs. We want all future PPRs to be built with beautiful designs, environmental-friendly, liveable and with more humanity values.

"This is very important because we want the PPRs, as well as our markets, to have their own architectural identity," NST reported him telling the media after presenting prizes to winners of the PAM-MBSP architectural design ideas competition for the Bukit Mertajam market at the MBSP building yesterday.

“We are giving the stage to the architects in our country to showcase their talents,” he said.

Nga added that he would discuss with the top management in the ministry before making a final decision this year on such a competition.

Meanwhile, Nga said his ministry has allocated a RM110 million special fund to upgrade all markets in the country through the open architectural design competition concept.

The Malay Mail reporting him saying that all city councils can now apply to the ministry for the funding to upgrade their markets and that priority will be given to markets that are over 50 years old or in poor condition.

As for the Bukit Mertajam Market redevelopment project, Nga said that MBSP will ensure that the RM24 million project is completed in two years.

“I envision the iconic Bukit Mertajam Market evolving into the latest tourist spot on Penang mainland by the time it is completed in 2026.

“By 2026, the completion is also timely with the Visit Malaysia Year, which is expected to attract an influx of tourists to the country. The refurbished market can be one of the attractions for tourists once the refurbishment is finalised,” Buletin Mutiara reported Nga saying.

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