TRANSFORMATION:Ministry continues to provide allocations despite good development enjoyed over the years
ABOUT 20 per cent of the 607 villages in the country have developed through the years to become proper townships.
Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung said that before the Emergency, the country had recorded about 450 villages, but in 2009, the number had increased to 607 when 157 fishing and integrated villages were added to the list .
He said this move had ensured the villages were given adequate funds for development.
He said the despite good development enjoyed at these villages, the ministry continued to provide annual allocations of between RM80,000 to RM100,000 for infrastructural development.
He said some of these "new" towns were better equipped with well-tarred roads, drainage system, clean and hygienic food courts and recreational centres, as compared to towns which had existed for years.
"When I was appointed the Housing and Local Government Minister after the 2008 general election, I had visited 60 villages in the country to see for myself what is needed to be done to upgrade them," he said after having a dialogue with representatives from about 100 associations, guilds, temples and other groups at the Shan Ghai Tang restaurant in Tangkak, Ledang on Sunday.
On problems plaguing these new villages, Chor said some of them experienced floods and this caused the land to become unsuitable for cultivation.
He said the ministry had revived 186 abandoned housing projects for low-cost houses nationwide, with 100 of them completed and 86 were still in various stages of revival.
Chor said the ministry had also solved 200 "sick" housing projects which could not be completed within the stipulated time-frame.
"These have benefited hundreds of house buyers especially the low-income group earners to own houses."
Chor later visited the hawkers' centre at the Tangkak Bus and Taxi stand and Jalan Panggong Wayang Lama to see for himself requests for a new roofing and an upgrade of its drainage system.
Also present were Tangkak state assemblyman Goh Tee Tee, state Tourism and Domestic Trade committee chairman Datuk Hoo Seong Chang, state MCA Youth chief Haw Chin Teck, MCA and community leaders.