PENANG: Penang Regional Development Authority (Perda) chairman Datuk Azhar Ibrahim said there was no truth in what was claimed by the Penang government on a proposed development plan in Balik Pulau.
Azhar when contacted by Bernama, said the state government's claim that Perda was only interested in building houses priced at RM300,000 to RM1 million, as a blatant excuse to prevent development in the Malay-majority area.
He said Perda had proposed to develop two parcels of land in Teluk Bahang and Sungai Batu and the proposal was submitted last year while an amended plan was also submitted later, but has yet to be approved.
“We have had several meetings with the state government and also submitted amendments to the proposed plans as requested by them, but until today we have not received any response," he said.
Azhar said Perda had plans to develop 10ha in Sungai Batu comprising low-cost houses, medium-cost homes, one and a half storey terraced, 2-storey terraced houses and bungalows.
In the proposed project, there were only three bungalows priced at RM800,000, while low-cost houses were priced at RM42,000; medium cost at RM75,000; and
terraced houses ranged from RM150,000 to RM300,000 a unit.
"We had cancelled the bungalows upon the request of the state government and increased the number of medium-cost apartments from 81 units to 210 as requested but still there was no approval.
"We had conducted a survey and found that the prices were acceptable and Malays in the area could afford to buy them because part of our objective is also to elevate the status of the people living there.
“As such the statement by deputy chief minister 1 Mansor Othman who claimed that Perda were asked to make amendments to the plans but have not responded, was not true," he said.Mansor in reaction to Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop who expressed disappointment over the state government's refusal to cooperate with federal government agencies, particularly over land development was quoted as saying that people in Balik Pulau could not afford to buy houses priced at RM300,000 or bungalows priced at RM1 million. -- Bernama
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