GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has approved applications for the construction of two centralised living quarters (CLQs) for foreign and local workers in Teluk Kumbar.
Local government, urban and rural development committee chairman H’ng Mooi Lye told the state assembly today the approval was made by the state planning committee.
He said it is estimated that 32,680 foreign workers will be placed in these hostel complexes.
Chong Company Sdn Bhd will build a 27-storey hostel building at Tingkat Teluk Kumbar, which will have shoplots and a recreational area on the first and second floors.
Meanwhile, Zantalite Enterprise (M) Sdn Bhd will rezone two lots at Mukim 9, Teluk Kumbar from general housing, beach reserve and existing road zones to a general business zone, and increase the height of the hostel building from five to 30 floors.
However, H’ng said only Chong Company has submitted a planning permission application to the Penang Island City Council (MBPP), which is still under consideration.
He was responding to Shukor Zakariah (PN-Pulau Betong), who asked the state government about the status of the construction of hostels for foreign workers in Teluk Kumbar.
During the question-and-answer session, Shukor also asked whether the state government has any plans to change the location of the projects.
Responding to Shukor’s second question, H’ng said any proposal to relocate the project depends on whether the land owners and developers have plots of land in different locations.
The PAS assemblyman then asked whether the state government will consider a proposal made by Pemikir, a local Malay think tank, for the CLQs to be relocated to the Batu Kawan industrial zone.
H’ng said developers may file relocation applications if they have land in other locations.
“But we need to remember that we have an industrial area in Bayan Lepas as well, and it is unnecessary for foreign workers to commute daily via bus from Batu Kawan to Bayan Lepas,” he said.
The state government’s proposal for workers’ hostels to be built in Teluk Kumbar has been a contentious issue, with residents having held several peaceful protests against the proposal in the past few years.
The residents were concerned that the hostels would lead to traffic congestion and an influx of foreigners in Teluk Kumbar, which they feared would lead to public safety concerns.
Bayan Lepas assemblyman Azrul Mahathir Aziz had described the project as a “ticking time bomb” that would create a lot of problems for the local communities.
He said the tens of thousands of migrant workers who would stay in these hostels would cause a “demographic change” in Teluk Kumbar and Sungai Batu, and problems for the local populace.