THE Penang government today signed an agreement with OSK Property to allocate 353 units for free to house interested squatters currently living in Ujong Batu, Bagan Dalam in Butterworth.
The proposed location for the new project will be on the mainland.
Bagan Dalam assemblyman Satees Muniandy said after raising the residents’ plight during the previous State Legislative Assembly sitting, he was glad that the state government has taken the right decision to build and provide free low medium-cost units for the squatters in Ujong Batu.
“About 50 residents have approached us and said they are interested to move in to the new units once the project is completed.
“For those who wish to continue staying in the village (Ujong Batu), they can do so as they are not compelled to move out. However, they are definitely encouraged to shift to the new place.
“Piling works have begun, and the project is expected to be completed by 2026, with an estimated cost of RM23 million.
“The cost will be borne by the state government.
“I would like to thank the state government for this project as it is a much-needed one considering the many complaints I have been receiving from the people there.
“The more common ones involved social and road issues.
“This development will transform Ujong Batu into a modern enclave, offering a conducive environment and a sustainable vibrant community,” Satees said in his speech during the agreement signing ceremony in Komtar today.
It was learnt that the entire project would consist of 439 units, with each unit measuring 633sq ft.
State Housing, Local Government, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo, who was present to witness the ceremony, said the state’s target to achieve 220,000 units of various affordable housing was making a good progress.
“So far, 136,333 units are in different stages, namely 38,190 units had already been built, 19,640 units are being built and 78,503 units are in various stages of being planned.
“I would like to thank my staff at the Penang Housing Board for working really hard towards our target by 2030.
“As for today, I am glad to note that in three to four years’ time, squatters in Ujong Batu can finally have their own homes.
“This is the commitment the state government has been practising all this while. We will continue to give the best for the people, especially if it concerns the basic human need of having a roof over our heads,” Jagdeep said.
Also present during the ceremony were Penang Housing Board chief operational officer Mohd Fauzy Mohd Yusoff, chief business officer Fakhurrazi Ibnu Omar, OSK Property chief executive officer Ong Ghee Bin and its chief operating officer Seth Lim Sow Wu.
Story by Kevin Vimal
Pix by Law Suun Ting