GEORGE TOWN: Having been sidelined by the previous Federal government since 2015, the current administration has vowed to reserve a “special treatment” to Penang’s applications for housing maintenance projects fundings.
Penang has requested for RM28.76 million from the Housing Maintenance Programme (PPP) fund and RM72.13 million from the Malaysia Home Maintenance Fund (TPPM) fund for next year, through two letters dated August and September respectively.
State Local Government and Housing Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the state Housing Department received a call from a high-ranking official from the Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) on Monday, who wanted to further discuss the state’s applications, on Nov 25.
He said the official had indicated that the order of priority should be given to lift maintenance under the PPP.
The state had requested for RM8.91 million for 33 lift maintenance projects in several public housing schemes under the PPP including the Padang Tembak Flats, which is the earliest low-cost housing project in the state, dating back to the early 1970s, the Kampung Melayu Flats, Gat Lebuh Noordin Flats and Desa Wawasan Flats.
“The ministry deems lift maintenance as highly critical, and as such, priority is given to that.
“This is what I call the fruit of the change in government in Putrajaya. At least things are moving now after Penang had not received any fundings since 2015. We hope to get a favourable response to our requests during the Nov 25 meeting,” he told newsmen at his office in Komtar, here, today.
Jagdeep said while the lifts at the public housing schemes mentioned above were functioning, they needed periodical maintenance, upgrading and replacement.
“Take for example the lifts at the Padang Tembak Flats, which are nearing four decades. While we (the state) have done our part to replace them, they need periodical maintenance.
“So, it will be good for us to receive federal funding for that and we can use our funds for other projects,” he said, adding that the Penang government had spent RM232 million since 2008 until September this year for maintenance projects in all public housing schemes, local government housing schemes as well as eligible private housing schemes.
Meanwhile, Jagdeep expressed hope that the ministry could approve all its applications totalling RM100.89 million for various projects in the state for next year, which are set to benefit the people while promising them a better quality of life in the future.
These included 603 applications totalling RM28.76 million under the PPP and 121 applications totalling RM72.13 million under the TPPM.