GEORGE TOWN: Penang Federal Action Council (FAC) has alleged the state administration is fast-tracking planning approval for certain private development projects but not for federal affordable housing projects.
FAC chairman Zainal Abidin Osman said it appeared that some private developers could take the fast lane for quick approval while federal project developers had to take the slow lane.
“Our meetings with the Penang government have been postponed 28 times, that’s how severe it is.
“It is worse than just being sidelined. We are being tortured. We have been waiting very patiently for a long time.
“I hope the Penang authorities can cut the bureaucracy and relax the rules for those who want to build affordable homes.”
Zainal, who is also Penang Umno chief, said only 4,000 of at least 10,000 federal-sanctioned affordable homes had received planning approval, and even that took a long time.
He said the application for planning approval for the 10,000 homes were submitted “three to four years ago”.
“We have at least 6,000 more homes awaiting planning approval from the local authorities.”
The Penang government has approved about 5,000 units of 1Malaysia Peoples’ Homes (PR1MA), said Zainal.
He said 2,387 of these units were in Tasek Gelugor, Butterworth, 1,450 in Batu Ferringhi and 905 in Bukit Gelugor.
Zainal said between 2008 and 2016, the federal government built 5,950 affordable homes in Penang.
He said 39 new projects, with a total of 46,602 homes, were in the planning stage.
As for 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing units, Zainal said five projects were being planned to offer a total of 13,455 units in Kepala Batas, Bukit Mertajam and Bayan Lepas.
Penang housing Exco chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo has been contacted for comment. -FMT