UNIVERSITI Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) is urging the state government to look into developing the areas surrounding its main campus in Pauh to minimise the spillover effect of students and academic staff investing in properties in Changlun, Kedah.
KANGAR: UniMAP's vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Kamarudin Hussin said it was a pity that despite the presence of the university, Pauh had not seen much development.
Instead, students who are not staying on campus and lecturers prefer to rent or buy properties in Changlun, Kedah, resulting in investment flowing into the
neighbouring state instead of in Perlis.
Kamarudin said the scenario would have been different if there was development in Perlis, especially in Pauh, where the university's RM150 million main campus is located. He also said that if housing projects in the state had been developed some years ago, there would have been sufficient accommodation for students and staff.
UniMAP has more than 5,000 undergraduates and 300 academic staff. The student population is expected to treble in three years' time.
During his speech at the UniMAP's soft launch of the Uniciti Campus and briefing on the sale of apartment units in Sungai Chuchuh, near Padang Besar, Kamarudin said basic amenities such as a bus station for in-town bus services, a taxi stand and supermarkets should be built in Pauh to meet the needs of the increasing number of higher learning institutions in the area, including that of Politeknik Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin.
"Since we established our university here some 10 years ago, UniMAP had taken up most of the houses in the state. Now, with the growth of the university in terms of student and academic staff population, we face a major problem where housing is concerned," said Kamarudin.
"Taking this into consideration we have come up with an idea of having a Uniciti Campus at Sungai Chuchuh, with the cooperation of Proven Holdings Sdn Bhd, which has agreed to build 480 units or three-bedroom apartments."
The hostel at the main campus in Pauh could only accommodate 2,000 students.
"The project will also see the building of 83 units of three-storey office and shop lots as well as eight units of four-storey office and shop lots on an eight-hectare land.
"It will change the landscape of Sungai Chuchuh and its surrounding and create a new image for UniMAP," he added.
The total cost of the development is about RM150 million. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
UniMAP is expected to place 2,000 students there upon completion of half of the project, which will be in mid-August. It will take students about 15 minutes to get to the main campus in Pauh. A shuttle bus service will be provided by the university.
Kamarudin said the apartment units, office space and shop lots which used the Industrial Building System (IBS), were open for sale to the public.
The apartment is priced at about RM160,000 while the three- and four-storey office and shoplots, cost up to RM800,000.
Kamarudin said the public could buy the apartments and rent it to UniMAP which will use them to provide accommodation for its students.
"This is one way for the university to help generate income for the people in the state."
Among those who attended the soft launch was the founder and executive chairman of the Proven Group of Companies Datuk Yusof Jusoh, the director of Proven Properties Sdn Bhd Zullfakher Mohd Toon and the managing director of UniCiti Management Sdn Bhd Ahmad Zaini Shamsuddin.