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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Jagdeep: We did better with housing, yet the auditor-general gripes?

    The Penang government has fulfilled 20,887 units of low- or medium-cost homes between 2008 until 2016, far more than the than when the state was under BN rule, said Penang executive council member Jagdeep Singh Deo.
    He said that between 2000 and 2007, the Penang government under BN had built 5,124 units of similar accommodations.
    Jagdeep had revealed this data to dispute the first series of the 2016 Auditor-General Report which said that Penang's distribution of affordable housing units was "unsatisfactory".
    The report said there were 3,747 applications for public housing in Penang are still on the waiting list, while 436 units were vacant.
    The report also pointed out that that 490 applicants for low-cost housing and 666 applicants for public housing had not received their keys despite submitting their applications up to 15 years ago.
    Not a single Pr1ma project
    Jagdeep explained there were incidents where applicants do not accept what the state offered.
    "I cannot force the applicants to accept the units, sometimes they reject them due to location and a mismatch of expectations.
    "Ask BN leaders, do they want the units? today itself I would let them move in, but they may not find them suitable, can I force them?" he asked.
    He said that of the four public housing projects, comprising 2,370 units of which 320 were vacant, were mostly occupied, save for Desa Wawasan, which has 912 units of which 251 were vacant.

    Jagdeep urged the auditor-general to focus her attention on the Local Government and Housing Ministry efforts to provide public or affordable housing units in Penang, or lack of.
    "Don't just audit the Penang government and pluck figures out of the air. I am not afraid of anyone, and I will not hesitate to challenge the auditor-general to audit the federal government. They are auditing the wrong people
    "Penang has 17 affordable housing projects which will see 27,230 units from RM42,000 to RM300,000 built for Penangites. Contrasts this with Putrajaya's failure to build even one unit of Pr1ma housing in Penang," he said. - Mkini

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