Pakatan government has not built a single low or low-medium cost house since assuming power in 2008, claims Gerakan.
Teh Leong Meng, Gerakan’s state local government bureau chairman, said low cost houses in the past three and half years were all started by the previous Barisan Nasional state government.
He challenged Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to reveal statistics on low-cost and low-medium cost housing schemes embarked by his own administration.
“Lim should not claim credit for the previous administration’s efforts. Where are the houses for the lower income group, poor and hardcore poor by the Pakatan Rakyat state government?
“Has Lim’s administration built any on its own initiative? The answer is a big zero,” said Teh at a press conferencen attended by bureau vice-chairmen, Mohan Apparoo and Teoh Hang Chong
Penang’s lower income group is largely dominated by ethnic Malays and Indians.
Recently, the plight of 70-year-old former council worker MD Manogaran, whose family have been living in a shack for past 10 months, was highlighted by the Malaysia Hindu Sangam.
Only after it was exposed by the press, did Lim’s government take the initiative to provide a room in a public low-cost flat for RM66 monthly rental, said Teh.
Since Lim had claimed that his state government had eradicated hardcore poor in the state, Teh called on Lim to reveal his government’s data on poor and hardcore poor.
“Manogaran’s case proved that Lim’s claim was untrue… it’s a failure. There are many Manogarans out there needing shelter and money,” said Teh.
He said that the previous state government managed to reduce hardcore poor to 2.6% from among 1.6 million Penangites.
Lim had been attacked in mainstream media and cyberspace for allegedly being close to certain top businessmen, especially Penang Chinese Chambers of Commerce president Tan Kok Ping.
Facing severe criticisms on the issue, Lim was quick to point out that his government had built about 3,000 houses for the lower income group.
However, Teh chided Lim for his manipulative politicking, and said the houses readied recently were all initiated by the previous BN government.
He said former Chief Minister Koh Tsu Koon had built low cost houses for the poor and hardcore poor all over Penang, including in Sungai Pinang, George Town and, Mak Mandin, Bukit Mertajam, Bagan Ajam and Batu Kawan on the mainland.
Teh accused Lim of selling of valuable public land to private developers merely to enrich the state coffers, citing the sale of a 102-acre of Bayan Mutiara land for RM1 billion.
“Why sell the valuable land when the state government could build low and low-medium cost houses for the poor?” asked Teh.