GEORGE TOWN: Caretaker Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has announced that the federal government will build 9,999 low-medium cost and affordable houses in three areas to ensure that the people of Penang have better living standards. He said the federal government through 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) had signed an agreement to purchase land to build 2,222 low-medium cost houses and 1,111 affordable houses in Air Putih, Air Itam and Paya Terubong, complete with various recreational facilities. “During my visit to Penang recently, I agreed to provide 20,000 units of affordable houses for the people in the state. Now we are going to build about 10,000 units of affordable houses at strategic locations in Penang,” Najib said.He was speaking to 50,000 Penang residents during a ‘Prime Minister with the People’ session at the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) field, here on Tuesday night. Also present were his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Penang BN chairman Teng Chang Yeow. Najib said residents living in 962 one-room houses in Kampung Melayu will be provided with three-room affordable houses in Air Itam.In Padang Tembak, he said, land belonging to the FRU will be developed together with flats at the current Padang Tembak location for 4,800 medium cost houses. “Those living in 300-sq ft units will be offered 700-sq ft units while those staying in 400-sq ft units will receive 800-sq ft units. This is BN’s commitment through 1MDB for the people of Penang,” Najib said.He said people cannot afford to buy houses in Penang because most of them are in the region of RM700,000 or above.Unfortunately, Pakatan Rakyat said 1MDB will be closed if the opposition coalition comes into power, Najib said.“That is why in the BN Akujanji... we (BN) have promised to build one million houses throughout the country in the next five years while Pakatan has pledged to build 150,000,” he said.Najib said if the people of Penang want transformation, they should support BN because the coalition is capable of changing the landscape of the island through development.“Give BN the mandate because we have capable leaders to bring about changes to safeguard the welfare of the people. We are not making empty promises unlike Pakatan. When we promise we fulfill,” he said.
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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on May 2, 2013.