GEORGETOWN – The Penang Regional Development Authority (Perda) and JKP Sdn Bhd (JKP) are being treated like stepchildren with various obstacles imposed on developing housing projects in the state.
Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said the agencies were not given the opportunity and space to assist the state government in providing affordable houses for the people.
“What is wrong with JKP and Perda building houses in Penang? Even though they are federal government agencies, we are not asking for the relaxation of conditions but give the agencies the space and assistance and appropriate approvals for the sake of the people.
“JKP and Perda have said they do no want additional relaxation of conditions or special treatment but just treat them like private housing companies and they will comply with every condition,” he said.
He told reporters after opening a group branch meeting of Tanjung UMNO here today.
Abdul Rahman said in other states, the planning permission is usually under the jurisdiction and approval of the local authority.
However in Penang, every housing project of the federal government must be brought to the level of the state planning committee which is chaired by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and the approval authority rested entirely on him.
“I am disappointed why Guan Eng wants to interfere in the planning permission when it can be managed at the local authority level,” he said.
He said what was important for the state government was to assist federal government agencies when a certain problem cropped up as it would affect the people.
“If there are confrontations and quarrels with the federal government daily, with accusations being hurled, how are we going to cooperate? Give back the approvals to the local authorities,” he said. – BERNAMA