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GEORGE TOWN, April 21 — Penang wants Putrajaya-owned PR1MA Corporation Malaysia (PR1MA) to reduce the prices of its proposed housing projects to below RM300,000 and review a mammoth project planned for Balik Pulau.
The Pakatan Harapan state’s housing development committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said PR1MA had submitted planning approval applications for four projects in Penang but added that the state selection committee found some needed revisions.
"They fixed the pricing at RM400,000 so we have asked them to reduce it to the affordable housing ceiling price of RM300,000," he said of a PR1MA submission to build 1,520 units in Batu Ferringhi.
PR1MA also submitted applications for projects in Tasek Gelugor (2,387 units), Bukit Gelugor (1,124 units) and Balik Pulau (9,904 units).
Jagdeep said the applications for Tasek Gelugor and Bukit Gelugor have yet to be handed over to the housing department so he does not know the details of it.
"We received the Balik Pulau project application last Friday and we have also asked them to review the height of the project and the prices of the units," he said.
He reminded PR1MA that Balik Pulau has a 16-storey limit for high rise buildings and yet PR1MA had submitted applications for 29 blocks of between 23 and 27 storeys of high rise buildings.
"The units are priced up to RM510,000 and for a condo in Balik Pulau, a rural area, the price is too steep for this rural and green place," he said.
He refuted PR1MA's repeated statements that it only buit affordable housing that are sold at 20 per cent below market value.
He said used the Balik Pulau project as an example where it is priced above market value.
"The price of a landed property in Balik Pulau costs around RM500,000 so it does not make sense for PR1MA to price its affordable housing units at the same price," he said.
He accused PR1MA of failing to conduct proper research into the locations of its projects because the massive high rise project planned for Balik Pulau is not suited for the rural area.
"Even the Barisan Nasional assemblyman agrees with me so maybe they should also reconcile with Umno on the house pricing and apartment heights," he said.
On Tuesday, Pulau Betong state assemblyman Muhamad Farid Saad urged PR1MA to scale down the project, reduce its density and its pricing for the proposed project in Balik Pulau.
He also said the prices were too high for the rural people to purchase and that such a high rise project is not suitable for the village.