Local government development minister announces RM40m allocation for Penang
GEORGE TOWN, Feb 6 — Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming announced a total allocation of RM40 million for Penang in his first work visit here today.
Out of the RM40 million, a total RM24 million is for the redevelopment of the Bukit Mertajam market while the remaining RM16 million is for the maintenance fund of stratified public housing in Penang.
Labelling it as a “big angpao” for Penang, he said the RM16 million was an increase of 70 per cent in the federal government’s allocation last year for the maintenance of public housing in Penang.
“Last year, a total RM9 million was allocated to Penang for the maintenance fund of public housing here so this year, we have decided to increase it by 70 per cent to RM16 million,” he said in a press conference at the official launch of a back lane upgrading project in Armenian Street here.
He said the funds could be used for the maintenance and repairs of high-rise public housing in the state such as repairing the elevators, replacing the water tanks, rewiring of the electric cables and repairing the fence, gates and public toilets.
This morning, in his visit to the Bukit Mertajam market site, Nga had already announced the allocation of RM24 million for the redevelopment of the market.
He elaborated that the market redevelopment will feature a creative centre and that it will be held in collaboration with the Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM).
“PAM will hold a design competition to build the best market in the country,” he said.
He said the historical market, which was damaged in a fire in 2014, will feature five main components in the redevelopment.
“It will have a market component, multi-storey carpark, a creative centre, a heritage gallery and it will also feature upgraded back lanes like the back lane here in Armenian Street,” he said.
The expected completion of the redevelopment project will be on 2026, he added.
Earlier today, Nga also launched the free internet programme for the Program Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) Taman Bagan Jaya in Butterworth.
Nga said a total 1,488 residents in the PPR will get free internet access with a capacity of 30Mbps for nine months.
He said the free internet access programme is part of the Jendela@PPR initiative which will involve 30 pilot projects involving 13,218 PPR units nationwide to benefit 53,000 households.
He said the B40 households will benefit from free internet access for nine months and after that, they will have the option to continue at various affordable packages.
Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming (centre) and Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow visit the Armenian Street back lane after the official launch of the project February 6, 2023. Next to them is state exco Jagdeep Singh Deo (right). — Picture by Opalyn Mok
Meanwhile, on the launch of the Armenian Street back lane upgrading project, Nga said the project has transformed previously dirty and unsafe spaces into safe, green and clean spaces.
The Armenian Street back lane is one of the 24 back lanes, covering a total 7km, that were upgraded by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) at a cost of RM2.589 million.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, in thanking the minister for the allocations, said this is a good start for close state-federal collaboration.
He said the state will use the opportunity of being in the same coalition as the federal government to engage with the various ministries.
“We will take proactive active to engage with the ministries and work closely with them,” he said.