GEORGE TOWN: The Local Government Development Ministry (KPKT) has approved a budget of RM211,405,000 for 41 projects in Penang.
Announcing the good news, its minister Nga Kor Ming said the single largest allocation was for the construction of two People's Housing Projects (PPR) projects, one each on the island and on the mainland.
He said another RM9.62 million was for 29 maintenance projects under the Housing Maintenance Fund (TPPM) and Housing Maintenance Programme (PPP), RM1 million for the refurbishment of the Astaka Tun Sardon (food court) and RM785,000 for nine small-scale projects, which will see 45 new Mykiosk for hawkers and petty traders.
"All these projects, when completed, will benefit the rakyat, especially those in the lower income group.
"This goes to show that the Madani government do not discriminate against any states. We treat everyone equally and fairly.
"In fact, we help every state for the benefit of the people, whether from Kelantan, Terengganu or Kedah," he told newsmen after the "Sentuhan Kasih Sayang" programme at the Dewan Bandaraya here today.
Nga also dismissed the notion that the huge allocation was part of an "election budget".
Penang, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu will be going to the state elections soon.
Penang is set to dissolve its state assembly on June 28.
"In fact, this (allocation) has been set aside all along. This (state election) is merely a coincidence.
"If you checked, I was here in February (which was not even the elections season) where I also announced a RM40 million allocation for some projects.
"We (the government) are here to serve the people at all times, whether rain or shine, elections or otherwise," he added.
Asked on the PPR projects for Penang, Nga said it would involve 1,000 units, priced at RM45,000 each.
"Even then, the government is giving a huge 'angpow' to the people. The cost for each unit is RM250,000 but we are only selling it for RM45,000. This is an 'angpow' of RM205,000.
"We will do away with the PPR projects of yesteryears. These two projects, although PPR, would have facilities similar to a condominium.
"We will begin with the technical discussions, and if all goes well, we hope to begin work by early next year," he said.
Nga also praised the Penang government for allocating five pieces of land, in each of the district, for the development of PPR projects.
On the RM9.62 million for the 29 maintenance projects under the TPPM and PPP, Nga said the allocation had been deposited into the state's account last month.
"They can begin works by tomorrow even," he said.
Meanwhile, Nga said he believed the people of Penang would continue to vote in the present government to be in sync with Putrajaya.