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RM2.1 Million To Improve The State Stadium In Batu Kawan

The Penang government has set aside RM2.1 million to improve the State Stadium in Batu Kawan, which will serve as the primary training facility for the state’s track and field athletes.

Soon Lip Chee, chairman of the State Youth and Sports Committee, said the stadium was temporarily closed because of an upgrade project that began on October 11 and was anticipated to be completed by December 19.

Penang hosted the 8th Sukma in 2000, and the stadium, which can hold 40,000 people, was inaugurated (Malaysian Games).

Soon expressed the hope that after the track is completed, the 60 primary and secondary schools in the Seberang Perai district’s south will be able to use it for games and training.

17 schools are in Bukit Tambun, 17 in Jawi, 15 in Sungai Bakap, and 11 in Sungai Aceh, out of a total of 60. At least half of them do not have adequate sports facilities at their schools.

According to Chai, there are now 158 track and field athletes practising in Penang at various locations. They comprise ten athletes who have previously trained at the State Stadium.

 

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THE Penang government has allocated about RM2.1 million to upgrade the State Stadium in Batu Kawan for its track and field athletes to use as their main training venue.

State Youth and Sports Committee chairman Soon Lip Chee said the stadium has been temporarily closed as the upgrading project had begun on Oct 11 and was expected to be completed by Dec 19.

The stadium, which can accommodate 40,000 people, was opened in 2000 when Penang hosted the 8th Sukma (Malaysian Games).

“It has been 21 years and it is necessary to upgrade it to meet future needs.

“After the completion of the project, Penang athletes, neighbouring schools, and the public will be able to use a track that meets the specifications of the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF).

“I am also confident that the state’s track and field athletes will make good use of the track to bring more honour to Penang,” Soon said after inspecting the site yesterday, together with Penang State Sports Council director Harry Chai, Bukit Tambun assemblyman Goh Choon Aik and a contractor’s representative.

Soon expressed hopes that when the track is ready for use, the 60 primary and secondary schools in the south Seberang Perai district could utilise the facility to host games and training there.

Of the 60 schools, 17 are in Bukit Tambun, 17 in Jawi, 15 in Sungai Bakap and 11 in Sungai Aceh. At least half of them do not have proper school grounds for sports activities.

Chai said there are currently 158 track and field athletes in Penang receiving training at various grounds. They include 10 athletes who previously used the State Stadium for training.

“The Batu Kawan stadium has the most complete track and field equipment in the state. We encourage schools from the south Seberang Perai district  to make good use of this venue to develop outstanding athletes,” Chai said.

 

Source: Buletin Mutiara

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RM520m Expansion In Penang For 3 LLC’s

Three large local companies (LLCs) in the equipment manufacturing supply chain are increasing their footprints in the Batu Kawan Industrial Park, with a combined investment of RM520 million.

The three companies – Greatech Technology Bhd (Greatech), Pentamaster Corporation Bhd (Pentamaster), and UWC Bhd (UWC) – are taking up a total of 14 hectares, according to Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, and all three projects are expected to start in the first quarter of next year.

The three companies’ decision to invest in Penang, he added, reflected their sustained faith in the state’s healthy economic ecosystem, and the project is expected to produce up to 1,300 opportunities for locals once completed and fully operating.

According to Chow, Penang’s domestic direct investment (DDI) hit a decade high of RM3.6 billion in 2020, accounting for 25% of the state’s total direct investment, while local companies contributed RM700 million in direct investments in the first half of 2021, accounting for 54% of total direct investments in Penang.

The three LLCs have grown substantially in the last five years in terms of revenue, clients, and product portfolios to include higher value-added and upstream activities, with a combined market capitalization of approximately RM20 billion.

 

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GEORGE TOWN (Nov 5): Three large local companies (LLCs) in the equipment manufacturing supply chain are expanding their respective footprints in the Batu Kawan Industrial Park, with total investments of RM520 million for their expansion projects.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the three – Greatech Technology Bhd (Greatech), Pentamaster Corporation Bhd (Pentamaster) and UWC Bhd (UWC) – are collectively taking up 14 hectares and all three projects are slated to commence in the first quarter of next year

He said the decision by the three companies to reinvest in Penang demonstrated their continued confidence in the state’s robust industrial ecosystem and is expected to create up to 1,300 jobs for local talents when completed and fully operational.

“I am glad that today, Penang not only has a solid reputation as a preferred location for MNCs, but also known as an entrepreneurial state that provides a conducive environment for homegrown companies to scale and thrive.

“In fact, Penang is home to the majority of the LLCs in the electrical and electronics (E&E) and machinery and equipment (M&E) sectors. Over the past five years, we have witnessed tremendous growth of these LLCs, serving global players across various industries,” he said after announcing the expansion plan of the three companies here today.

Also present were special investment adviser to the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Lee Kah Choon, Penang Development Corporation chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Mohd Bazid Abd Kahar, InvestPenang CEO Datuk Loo Lee Lian, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) Penang director Muhd Ghaddaffi Sardar, Greatech board chair Ooi Hooi Kiang, Pentamaster executive chairman Chuah Choon Bin, and UWC executive director and group CEO Datuk Ng Chai Eng.

Chow said Penang’s domestic direct investment (DDI) climbed to a decade high of RM3.6 billion in 2020, representing 25 per cent of the state’s total direct investment, while in the first half of 2021, local companies contributed RM700 million of direct investments, equivalent to 54 per cent of the total direct investments in Penang.

“The LLCs and SMEs, in particular, have been critical in promoting the growth of the M&E sector in the state. Penang now has a comprehensive supply chain in the M&E and automation domains, which is led by local companies with diverse range of core competencies, such as Greatech, Pentamaster and UWC.

“I am hopeful that the continuous growth of the LLCs will translate into more business opportunities and cultivate knowledge transfer to the local SME, allowing them to be nurtured and more LLCs to be established in Penang,” he added.

With a combined market capitalisation of almost RM20 billion, the three LLCs have grown tremendously in the last five years in terms of revenue, clientele, as well as their respective product portfolios to include higher value-added and upstream activities.

Meanwhile, Ooi said with a total built-up area of 24,619.31 square metre, the new facility, Batu Kawan IV, would house high-value designing and assembly activities for new products that cater for the emerging industries, namely life science and semiconductor.

“We target to complete the construction by the third quarter of next year. The new facility will create 500 jobs, of which, 300 will be engineers and the remaining 200 will be assembly workers and machinists,” she said, adding that once the new facility come on stream, Greatech would have 1,200 employees in total.

Chuah, on the other hand, said that the new facility would be Pentamaster’s third in the state and the expansion would involve RM120 million investment to set up the 46,451.52 square metre state-of-the-art facility, which would be supported by 300 new engineers.

As for UWC, Ng said the company would be investing RM200 million into this expansion project over a period of three years, complementing its long-term plan to transform into a vertically integrated player.

“I am delighted that this project will create 300 engineering positions and 200 technician vacancies for the local talent, further boosting Penang’s position as a talent magnet in the northern region,” he added.

 

Source: Edge Prop

Kevin Hans Jun Wei Samuel No Comments

Bukit Kukus Highway To Open By Year End

By the end of the year, Penang’s Bukit Kukus paired road, which is billed as the country’s highest elevated highway, will be largely available to traffic.

The route connects Bandar Baru Air Itam and Relau and skirts the slopes on the southern portions of the Penang Hill range, rising to a height of 59.4m from the pile caps. The Paya Terubong Paired Road stretches across 5.5 kilometres, with the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) constructing a 3.3-kilometer section.

PLB Land Sdn Bhd and Geo Valley Sdn Bhd are building the final 1.4km and 800m segments, respectively.

Zairil Khir Johari, head of the state infrastructure and transport committee, said the city council’s 3.3-kilometer section was 96 percent complete, awaiting completion of a 1.6-kilometer length on the main highway and a 500-meter flyover connecting Jalan Tun Sardon and Balik Pulau.

The road was intended to be finished last year, but it was delayed by a movement control order (MCO), five extensions of time (EOTs) owing to land acquisition concerns, slope stabilisation work, utility line relocation, and landslide and blasting licences, according to Zairil.

The main contractor, Syarikat Yuta Maju Sdn Bhd, began construction on the road on January 14, 2016. Following a landslide that killed nine workers on October 19, 2018, the project was placed on hold until January 28 of the following year.

The road would cost RM545 million to build, with the municipal council contributing RM275 million. According to a state assembly reply, PLB Land would spend RM150 million on its stretch while Geo Valley will spend RM120 million.

Despite the delays, Zairil said the cost of the municipal council’s portion of the road remained at RM275 million.

PLB’s road-building progress is currently at 15%, while Geo Valley’s is at 12%, according to Zairil. He explained that Geo Valley’s portion of the project was halted owing to an objection hearing, but that PLB Land, as a white knight contractor, would build according to its cash flow.

 

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GEORGE TOWN: Penang’s Bukit Kukus paired road, touted to be the highest elevated route in the country, will be partially open to traffic by year’s end.

The road, which rises to its highest point of 59.4m from the pile caps, links Bandar Baru Air Itam and Relau and hugs the slopes on the southern reaches of the Penang Hill range.

Officially called the Paya Terubong Paired Road, it spans 5.5km, with the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) building a 3.3km stretch.

The remaining 1.4km and 800m stretches are being built by developer PLB Land Sdn Bhd and Geo Valley Sdn Bhd, respectively.

State infrastructure and transport committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said the city council’s 3.3km stretch was 96% complete, pending final work on a 1.6km stretch on the main route and a 500m flyover linking Jalan Tun Sardon and Balik Pulau.

Zairil said the road was supposed to be completed last year, but work was delayed due to the movement control order (MCO), five extensions of time (EOTs) due to land acquisition issues, slope stabilisation work, the relocation of utility lines as well as landslide and blasting permits.

Construction work on the road began on Jan 14, 2016, by main contractor Syarikat Yuta Maju Sdn Bhd. The project was put on hold on Oct 19, 2018, following a landslide that killed nine workers, and resumed on Jan 28 the following year.

The cost of the road is RM545 million, with the city council forking out RM275 million. PLB Land will spend RM150 million for its stretch and Geo Valley will spend RM120 million, a state assembly reply showed.

Zairil said despite the delays, the city council’s cost to build its portion of the road remained at RM275 million.

Zairil added that as of now, PLB’s road-building progress was at 15% and Geo Valley, at 12%. He said Geo Valley’s portion was stalled due to an objection hearing, while PLB Land, as a white knight contractor, would build according to its cash flow.

 

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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Greatech’s New Batu Kawan Factory Expected to be operational By 2Q22

The Batu Kawan III (BK III), Greatech’s new 265,000-square-foot modern production and office complex, has officially begun construction. Greatech Technology Berhad and its subsidiary firm held a virtual groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction on the new RM51 million structure.

The project is expected to be completed by the second quarter of next year, according to Greatech Technology Berhad Board of Directors chairman Ooi Hooi Kiang (2Q22).

It will be a few blocks from Greatech’s two new manufacturing facilities in Batu Kawan, as well as the company’s headquarters in Bayan Lepas. Greatech’s new plant is critical to addressing the company’s ever-increasing demand. It will expand our current production capacity by another 50%.

Ooi boasted that 99 percent of the company’s employees were hired locally.

Greatech Integration’s chief executive officer, Datuk Tan Eng Kee, was reported as claiming that the company was not only staying and growing in Penang. The Penang government was praised for its unwavering support, which is important in helping the organisation achieve its goals.

Greatech’s prominence in the technology sphere has expanded throughout the years, according to Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, since the company’s inception in 1997.

The Penang Future Foundation (PFF) scholarship programme for excellent students was one of the steps adopted. This is the seventh year of the programme. Our sponsored scholars are currently working in Penang after graduation, thanks to support from all segments of society. One of our PFF scholars is now a mechanical design engineer in Greatech, according to Chow.

 

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THE construction of Greatech’s new 265,000sq ft modern production and office building, called the Batu Kawan III (BK III), has formally started.

Greatech Technology Berhad together with its subsidiary company hosted a virtual groundbreaking ceremony for the commencement of construction for the new RM51 million building today.

Greatech Technology Berhad Board of Directors chairman Ooi Hooi Kiang said the project is scheduled to be ready by the second quarter of next year (2Q22).

“It will be located blocks away from the Greatech’s two new manufacturing facilities in Batu Kawan and is near the Group’s corporate headquarters in Bayan Lepas.

“The new plant is of strategic importance to Greatech in meeting the ever-growing demands. It will increase our existing production capacity by another 50%.

“The new facility is expected to house 500 staff, in addition to our existing 770 staff strength. Hence, by 2Q22, we will have a total of 1.1 million sq ft of built-up capacity with 1,200 staff,” she said in her speech.

Ooi said the company was proud that 99% of its staff were local hired.

“Fifty percent of the staff are engineers from diverse backgrounds such as mechanical design, mechatronics, software and electrical design,” she added.

She quoted Greatech Integration chief executive officer Datuk Tan Eng Kee as saying that Greatech was not only staying and growing in Penang as its base.

“We also envisioned to build Penang into a world-class automation hub, and we become the global Top-10 factory automation solution provider in the next five years.

“In order to realise our ambition, we continue to invest in three key strategic pillars, which are, expand our production capabilities, attract and retain key talents, and build an enduring culture that encourages open communication and innovation,” she said.

She thanked the Penang government for its continuous support which is critical in contributing towards realising its vision.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said that Greatech’s presence in the technology arena has grown over the years since the company first started in 1997.

“Today’s groundbreaking ceremony is a testament to the company’s continuous growth.

“I commend Greatech’s efforts in shaping the local talents for our future. I understand that Greatech has partnered with several local universities and provided training to hundreds of fresh graduates.

“This is an important move as Penang’s industrial ecosystem stands not only on technological advancements but also on talent pool.

“The Penang government has always been committed to attracting and retaining talents in our effort to ensure that the state will remain as an advanced manufacturing hub.

“Among the initiatives taken was the Penang Future Foundation (PFF) scholarship programme for outstanding students. The programme is now in its seventh year.

“Thanks to the contributions from the various segments of the society, our sponsored scholars are now working in Penang upon graduating. I was told that one of our PFF scholars is now a mechanical design engineer in Greatech,” Chow said.

He also congratulated Greatech for achieving its significant milestone.

Malaysian International Trade and Industry (Miti) deputy minister Senator Datuk Lim Ban Hong complimented Greatech for its success.

“It has become a formidable and leading automation solutions provider, serving markets worldwide.

“It is definitely a role model for other local manufacturers in the machinery and equipment sectors,” he said.

After the groundbreaking ceremony, Greatech launched its new corporate slogan ‘Accelerate the Future’.

Tan said that the new slogan represented the company’s commitment to keep abreast of technology in the industry it serves and signified a mutual desire to take on the challenges of achieving future growth.

Greatech also presented RM300,000 to Penang Tech Centre Berhad and RM200,000 to Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman in a virtual mock cheque presentation ceremony.

 

Source: Buletin Mutiara

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It All Comes Down To The Feasibility Report For Zairil

According to state public works, utilities, and flood mitigation committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari, any decision to replace the RM6.3bil undersea tunnel with an elevated bridge will be made only when the feasibility report for the tunnel is released.

According to Zairil, a third link for the state is still on the table to assist alleviate traffic congestion.

He also stated that the other roadway projects that are part of the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMPundersea )’s tunnel project will go ahead as planned.

Package Two entails the construction of a 5.7-kilometer bypass connecting Ayer Itam and the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway. The roadway will have a 70 percent elevated stretch, known as a flyover, and the rest will be at grade level.

The 4.2-kilometer Gurney Drive-Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu bypass and the 12-kilometer Tanjung Bungah-Teluk Bahang paired road are the other two highway projects.

However, Meenakshi Raman, president of Sahabat Alam Malaysia, believes the state does not require another bridge because it already has two. During the epidemic, Meenakshi believes that building a tunnel or another bridge would be uneconomical.

 

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GEORGE TOWN: Any decision to replace the RM6.3bil undersea tunnel with an elevated bridge will only be made after the release of the feasibility report for the tunnel, says state public works, utilities and flood mitigation committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari.

“A bridge as the third link is a possibility, but nothing has been finalised yet.

“Wait for the feasibility study for the tunnel that is due to be presented to the exco (executive council) in the near future,” he said yesterday.

Zairil said a third link for the state remains on the agenda to help ease traffic congestion.

He added that the other highway projects that are part of the undersea tunnel project under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) will proceed as planned.

“For Package One, the state government is studying alternative alignment options to avoid sensitive areas, while Package Two has commenced,” he said.

Package Two is to build a 5.7km bypass from Ayer Itam to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway. The highway will consist of a 70% elevated section or flyover while the remaining highway will be at grade level.

The other two highway projects are the 4.2km Gurney Drive-Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu bypass and the 12km Tanjung Bungah-Teluk Bahang paired road.

However, Sahabat Alam Malaysia president Meenakshi Raman said she does not see why the state needs another bridge since it already has two bridges.

“This is what we have been saying all this time, for them to upgrade the ferry service to make it more attractive. The ferry service is also more environmental-friendly,” she said.

Meenakshi said building a tunnel or another bridge would not make good economic sense during the pandemic.

 

Source: The Star Online

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Another Choice In Consideration For Undersea Tunnel Project

The controversial undersea tunnel project proposed by the Penang government is likely to be cancelled in favour of an elevated bridge, which would be significantly less expensive in terms of both money and environmental impact.

The mammoth project has been dogged by controversy since it was first announced by then-chief minister Lim Guan Eng in 2011, with locals concerned about the impact on fishermen’s livelihoods and possibly coastline erosion.

Now, a decade later, the 6.5-kilometer undersea tunnel project is unlikely to succeed, as the tunnel consortium has proposed replacing it with a 5-kilometer elevated bridge.

Consortium Zenith Construction, the special purpose vehicle in charge of the underwater tunnel project, has acquired a controlling ownership in the company.

The bridge option is expected to cost around RM3 billion, which is half the price of the RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel.

The newly proposed elevated bridge will connect Gurney Drive and Jalan Teluk Ayer Tawar, connecting the bridge to the projected Northern Corridor Highways (NCH) under Malaysia’s 12th Plan (12MP).

 

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GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government’s controversial undersea tunnel project looks likely to be scrapped for an elevated bridge that would be much less costly in terms of both money and environmental impact.

The mega project has been mired in controversy from the day then chief minister Lim Guan Eng first announced it in 2011, with the local community complaining about the impact on the livelihood of fishermen and possible erosion of the coastline.

And now, a decade later, the 6.5km undersea tunnel project is unlikely to take off as the consortium for the tunnel project has proposed replacing it with a 5km elevated bridge.

“According to our consultant, it is more viable to build a bridge because it is more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than the undersea tunnel.

“Based on preliminary discussions, it is most probably going to be the bridge, but it is still up to the Penang government,” said Tan Sri Dr Khor Eng Chuen, ECK Development group managing director.

The group recently acquired a majority stake in Consortium Zenith Construction, the special purpose vehicle that was to undertake the undersea tunnel project.

It is understood that the bridge alternative would cost about RM3bil, half the cost of the RM6.3bil undersea tunnel.

“An undersea tunnel would have to be buried deep beneath the sea. If not, it would hinder the passage of vessels entering the port,” said a source familiar with the project.

“Currently, the navigational channel depth at the Penang Port is about 11m, and it has to be deepened to 15m before big vessels can enter.

“Under the 10th Malaysia Plan (2011-2015), there was a RM350mil allocation to execute dredging of the sea channel, but that project failed to take off,” added the source.

The newly proposed elevated bridge will connect Gurney Drive and Jalan Teluk Ayer Tawar, linking the bridge to the proposed Northern Corridor Highways (NCH) that comes under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is expected to table the 12MP in Parliament on Monday.

NCH comprises the 77km Sungai Petani-Serdang route, the 25.5km Bandar Baru-Batu Kawan route, and 37km Bandar Baharu-Changkat Jering route.

Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Penang) chairman Tan Hun Beng said: “It is a good idea to put in place a bridge as a third link.

“A bridge will cost less to build, requiring a shorter period to complete. Both a bridge and an undersea tunnel serve the same purpose.

“So, why not opt for a cheaper alternative, especially in times when building material prices have skyrocketed – the price of steel and cement increased recently by 30% to 40%.”

The Penang undersea tunnel is one of the four infrastructure projects under the Penang Transport Master Plan to ease the chronic traffic congestion.

The other highway projects are the 4.2km Gurney Drive-Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Bypass, the 4.6km Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu-Bandar Baru Air Itam Bypass and the 12km Tanjung Bungah-Teluk Bahang paired road.

 

Source: The Star Online

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In Penang, Kpkt Is Planning Two PPR’s.

According to its minister, Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, the Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) wants to implement two People’s Housing Projects (PPR) in Penang under the 12th Malaysia Plan.

In comparison to other states, he added, the number of PPR houses in Penang was still low, with the ministry’s most recent PPR project in Penang being the Tok Suboh PPR in Bukit Minyak, Simpang Ampat.

According to him, the state government has recommended five locations.

He informed reporters after visiting the Seberang Perai City Council that one would be erected on the mainland and the other on the island (MBSP).

Jagdeep Singh Deo, head of the State Housing, Local Government, and Town and Country Planning Committee, MBSP Mayor Datuk Rozali Mohamud, and MBPP Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang were also present.

Likewise, Reezal stated that the ministry would consider Jagdeep’s recommendation regarding the development of new townships to help the state flourish.

New guidelines would be developed, he said, and the ministry would consult with all parties.

 

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BUKIT MERTAJAM,  Sept 25 — The Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) plans to implement two People’s Housing Projects (PPR) in Penang  under the 12th Malaysia Plan, said its minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican.

He said compared with others states, the number of PPR houses in Penang was still very low, with the  last PPR project by the ministry in Penang was the Tok Suboh PPR in Bukit Minyak, Simpang Ampat.

The state government, he said, has submitted five proposed locations.

One will be built on the mainland and the other on the island, he told reporters after visiting the Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP) today.

Also present were State Housing, Local Government and Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo, MBSP Mayor Datuk Rozali Mohamud and MBPP Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang.

Meanwhile, Reezal said the ministry would take note of a suggestion raised by Jagdeep on the issue of developing new townships to spur the state’s growth.

He said new guidelines would be formulated and the ministry would discuss with all stakeholders on the matter.

Source: Bernama News

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The Penang Housing Board Is Preparing To Begin Construction On Its First Affordable Housing Project In Bayan Baru

The Penang Housing Board is ready to launch its first affordable housing plan in Bukit Gedung, Bayan Baru, after launching full operations in January this year.

The project’s groundbreaking ceremony is planned to take place by the end of this year, according to State Local Government, Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee Chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo.

“Prior to this, my goal was to have a few projects under the auspices of this state’s Housing Board. In any case, it’s a promising start for us.

“This affordable housing project is made up of two 18-story buildings with 801 affordable units and 15 commercial spaces.

“This project will have a variety of amenities, including a swimming pool, gym, basketball court, meditation deck, communal space, and other basic amenities.

“This demonstrates that we are competitive with other initiatives, as we will set a benchmark to compete with private developers.

After touring the site in Bayan Baru, Jagdeep informed reporters, “Our goal is to give quality homes to Penangites.”

He went on to say that the state has set a goal of creating 220,000 low-cost, low-medium-cost, and affordable homes by 2030, with 120,000 units completed so far (already built, being built and approved to be built).

Furthermore, Jagdeep stated that he has requested help from the Federal Government with Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican.

“We have asked that the ministry provide additional cheap housing programmes and affordable unit upkeep assistance.

 

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THE Penang Housing Board, which came into full operations in January this year, is set to kick start its first affordable housing scheme in Bukit Gedung, Bayan Baru.

State Local Government, Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the project is expected to have its groundbreaking ceremony by the end of this year.

“My earlier target prior to this was to have a few projects under this state’s Housing Board. Anyway, it’s a good beginning for us.

“This affordable housing project consists of two 18-storey blocks with 801 units of affordable units and 15 commercial lots.

“There will be a range of facilities available in this project, which includes a swimming pool, gym, basketball court, meditation deck, community area and other basic amenities.

“This shows that we are on par with other developments as we are going to set a benchmark as well to compete with the private developers.

“Our aim is to deliver quality homes to Penangites,” Jagdeep told reporters after visiting the site in Bayan Baru today.

He added that the state has set a target of building 220,000 units of low-cost, low medium-cost and affordable homes by 2030 and has thus far reached 120,000 units (already built, being built and approved to be built).

Separately, Jagdeep said he had liaised with the Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican over assistance from the Federal Government.

“We have requested the ministry to supply more affordable housing schemes and maintenance assistance for affordable units.

“We hope to hear good news from the minister himself when he is in the Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP) headquarters in Bandar Perda, Bukit Mertajam tomorrow,” he said.

Also present was Penang Housing Board general manager Ainul Fadhilah Samsudi.

 

Source: Buletin Mutiara

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Bi-Weekly Covid-19 Testing For Construction Workers From October Onwards

According to Datuk Yew Tung Seang, the mayor of Penang Island City Council, construction workers would be required to undergo Covid-19 testing at least once every two weeks.

Building businesses would be forced to provide the test results of their personnel from each construction site every two weeks beginning in October, he said.

“The rule will be implemented, and safety officers at each construction site must verify that RTK testing and existing Covid-19 standard operating procedures are followed,” he said.

After releasing the council’s 2022 budget on Thursday, Yew continued, “This is the way forward with our 3T strategy to managing Covid-19 – testing, tracing, and treatment”.

Yew announced an RM24.89 million deficit budget, with expected revenue of RM358.91 million and expenditure of RM383.8 million.

Since of the pandemic, he added, the council had a surplus of RM1.57 million last year because several infrastructure projects did not commence or were put on hold.

The council has come up with a reasonable budget for next year, according to Yew, with only urgent projects being implemented and current ones being continued.

 

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GEORGE TOWN: Construction workers will have to undergo Covid-19 testing at least once every two weeks following a new rule enforced by the Penang Island City Council, says its mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang.

He said beginning from October, construction companies will be required to submit the test results of their workers from each construction site every two weeks.

“The rule will be enforced and safety officers at each construction site must ensure RTK testing is complied with, as well as existing Covid-19 standard operating procedures,” he said

“This is the way forward with our 3T approach to manage Covid-19 – testing, tracing and treatment,” added Yew after announcing the council’s 2022 budget on Thursday (Sept 23).

Yew announced a deficit budget of RM24.89mil with estimated revenue of RM358.91mil and estimated expenditure of RM383.8mil.

He said the council recorded a surplus of RM1.57mil last year as some infrastructure projects either did not start or were put on hold because of the pandemic.

For next year, Yew said the council had come up with a realistic budget to only implement urgent projects and continue with existing ones.

 

Source: The Star Online

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Penang Hill Cable Car Project Still In Consideration

According to state Local Government, Housing, Town and Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo, the proposed Penang Hill cable car project has no impact on the Unesco certification of the Penang Hill Biosphere Reserve.

He claims that numerous sites throughout the world that have been designated as Unesco biosphere reserves have cable car projects, some of which are ten times larger than the one proposed for Penang.

“The proposed Penang Hill cable car project is permitted because it is located in the transition zone of the Penang Hill Biosphere Reserve.

Jagdeep also congratulated Penang Hill Corporation general manager Datuk Cheok Lay Leng and other stakeholders on the Penang Hill Biosphere Reserve’s Unesco listing.

The Federal Administration announced a RM100 million initial grant for the cable car project under Pakatan Harapan, however the incoming Pakatan Nasional government reversed the decision in April 2020 after Pakatan Harapan’s defeat.

The Penang government then chose to fund the cable car project via a public-private partnership arrangement.

 

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THE Penang government, through the Penang Hill Corporation, will issue a Request For Proposal (RFP) likely next month for its proposed Penang Hill cable car project.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (PH – Padang Kota) told the State Legislative Assembly in Dewan Sri Pinang today that project would be implemented with the cooperation of the private sector through a Public Private Partnership (PPP).

“This cable car project is expected to take three to four years to complete and ready for operation,” Chow said when replying to an oral question by Lim Guan Eng (PH – Air Putih) who wanted to know the status of the project.

“The project was approved by the Federal Government under the 2020 Budget in October 2019.

“However, the Ministry of Finance through a letter dated April 3, 2020 stated that the application was not considered by the ministry and cannot be continued.

“On behalf of the Penang government, I had submitted an appeal on June 10 this year to the ministry to review and reconsider the allocation application for the proposed Penang Hill cable car project.

“But until today, we have not received any response from the ministry.”

Penang was initially given an allocation of RM100 million by the Federal Government to build the Penang Hill cable car project under 2020 Budget on Oct 11 when Lim was then the Finance Minister.

This was, however, withdrawn following a change of the Federal Government with Perikatan Nasional taking over Putrajaya from Pakatan Harapan in February.

Chow said under the 11th Malaysia Plan, the total number of Federal Government projects approved for Penang under 2020 Budget until Aug 2 is 167 projects with a total cost of RM14.9 billion.

“These projects consist of 126 new projects with a cost of RM10.52 billion and 41 extension projects with a cost of RM4.38 billion. Out of the 167 projects, 148 are physical and 19 non-physical.”

The breakdown of the 167 Federal Government approved projects is as follows: planning (13), according to schedule (122), completed (25), behind schedule (6) and ‘ill’ (1).

Lim, in a supplementary question, also wanted to know whether there was any reason given by the Federal Government for the cancellation of the Penang Hill cable car project.

In addition to that, he said the previous Pakatan Harapan Federal Government had guaranteed a RM10 billion loan for the Penang Transport Master Plan to help reduce traffic congestion in the state.

He asked whether its cancellation has anything to do with ‘revenge’ by the current PN Federal Government.

Chow said until now there was no good news from the Federal Government for Penang and the state had already followed up with an appeal to the ministry and prime minister.

The appeal is also to obtain the loan or bond guarantee from the Federal Government so that the state could carry out the public transportation project.

He also said the state would want that the projects to be included under the 12th Malaysia Plan.

“The 12th Malaysia Plan is not finalised yet; it’s only in January 2021. We still hope that because of the importance of the projects, the Federal Government will consider them.

“With the situation now, Penang cannot just sit and wait. We need a final decision so that we can take alternative action,” Chow said.

Asked by M. Satees (PH – Bagan Dalam) why Penang was punished by the Federal Government when allocations to other states, like Kelantan and Terengganu, were not withdrawn, Chow said he had no answer except that it must have ‘political elements’.

 

Source: Buletin Mutiara