SEBERANG PERAI, June 7 — Bukit Tengah assemblyman Gooi Hsiao Leung has proposed that the Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP) develops a master improvement plan for kampungs in the whole of Seberang Perai.
The PKR assemblyman said the plan should include upgrading works to the physical conditions of the kampungs in Seberang Perai especially to improve the poor drainage and sewerage systems in the villages.
He said there is a start contract on how civic infrastructure and assets are distributed between residential housing estates and kampungs where the latter have less access to such infrastructure.
“This imbalance of access to civic assets is serious considering there are over 288 kampungs in Seberang Perai, of which the residents in total represent a sizable percentage of Seberang Perai’s population,” he said in a statement today.
He said MBSP should come up with a plan for kampungs other than adding infrastructure improvements in kampungs into its draft local plan.
He said the kampung residents often do not have access to public amenities and services such as landscaping and door-to-door refuse collection services, adequate street lighting and maintenance of roads.
The Penang state government recently extended the deadline for public feedback on the Seberang Perai draft local plan to July 9 due to the total lockdown.
Gooi said the Seberang Perai draft local plan covers 73,841 hectares of land mass, which is 2.5 times larger than the entire size of Penang island.
The local plan will be the master document used as a framework for Seberang Perai’s development plan for the next 10 years.
He said the local plan should not neglect the needs of the under-served population living in disadvantaged and marginalised neighbourhoods.
“I urge MBSP to pay special attention, in its local plan, to prioritise, improve and upgrade civic infrastructure and assets that serve communities in existing neighbourhoods beyond the centres of development corridors highlighted in the local plan,” he said.
He said investments in civic assets such as open spaces, playgrounds, parks, jogging tracks, basketball and sepak takraw courts, community centres and multipurpose halls are most needed to benefit the community.
“As it stands, civic assets in many of our neighbourhoods are in a state of neglect, disrepair and require long term upgrading and maintenance,” he said.
He said there is also a serious shortage of public facilities such as community centres and multipurpose halls to cater for the population size of Seberang Perai Tengah.
He said the local plan should not only focus on high impact development projects to spur economic growth but also look into improving infrastructure for Seberang Perai as a whole and also individual neighbourhoods and kampungs.