Penang signs deal with developer to build RM250m hostel for foreign workers

PDC general manager Datuk Mohd Bazid Abdul Kahar (second left), Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (centre) and shareholder of Biopolis Resources Sdn Bhd Tan Sri H’ng Bok San (second right) at Komtar January 20, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
PDC general manager Datuk Mohd Bazid Abdul Kahar (second left), Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (centre) and shareholder of Biopolis Resources Sdn Bhd Tan Sri H’ng Bok San (second right) at Komtar January 20, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Jan 20 — The Penang Development Corporation (PDC) today signed an agreement with Biopolis Resources Sdn Bhd to build a RM250 million hostel in Batu Kawan to house migrant workers.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who made the announcement at his office, said Biopolis was awarded the project after a Request for Proposal (RFP) was called.

“The hostel will be built on 4.97 acres of land in North Penang Science Park and construction work will take about four years to complete,” he said.

He said construction will start once Biopolis gets the requisite work approval.

He added the hostel will resolve issues such as a shortage of housing for foreign workers and an increase in rental rates for residential flats.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow during the agreement exchange between Penang Development Corporation and Biopolis Resources Sdn Bhd at Komtar January 20, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow during the agreement exchange between Penang Development Corporation and Biopolis Resources Sdn Bhd at Komtar January 20, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

Chow said it will also provide a safe and comfortable space for foreign workers and stem the recent drop in housing prices due to a large number of housing units being rented to foreign workers.

The five-phase project will involve the construction of 684 units of hostel to accommodate a total of 12,313 workers, eight commercial units, space for public transportation, a surau and also non-Islamic places of worship.

It will be built under the silver standard of the Green Building Index system.

According to Biopolis director Datuk Jong East Full, there will be a total of five blocks which will be built within a timeframe of four to five years.

The land will be on a 99-year lease to Biopolis and after completion, the company will surrender 43 units to PDC.

Biopolis will also be managing the hostel.

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