SEBERANG PERAI, June 16 — The Penang government will focus on improving infrastructure in Seberang Perai to bring it in line with the rapid development on the mainland in recent years, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
The Penang lawmaker admitted that infrastructure in Seberang Perai has not kept up with the region’s fast growth.
"I have termed this as the growing pains of Seberang Perai. Many existing pain points still need to be addressed by the state and related government agencies especially PDC which is tasked with developing both the island and the mainland," he said in his speech at the launch of the redevelopment project of Seberang Jaya Market and Hawker Complex.
He reiterated that the future of Penang is in Seberang Perai and the state will continue to improve infrastructure there, such as the redevelopment of the 30-year-old Seberang Jaya market and hawker complex.
The state government will be redeveloping the market and hawker complex on a five-hectare plot belonging to the state and Penang Development Corporation (PDC).
"The redevelopment project will cost about RM19.5 million and will be fully funded by the developer through cross subsidisation from the revenue generated through the commercial and residential component," he said in his speech.
Chow said the overall project involved four plots of land where the market and hawker complex will take up 1.65 hectares, the mixed development project will take up 1.6 hectares, the commercial project will take up 0.4 hectare and car park will take up 1.3 hectares.
"Initial works on the project have already started and the project is expected to complete by March 2023," he said.
Once completed, the market and hawker complex, which will be named Pasar Rakyat Seberang Jaya, will be surrendered to the Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP) to manage, he added.
The project is built on the same site as the old market complex which was demolished in 2019.
Chow said the existing traders and hawkers from the market complex were relocated to a temporary site so they were not affected by the project.
"Once the new complex is completed, there will be an additional 220 stalls at the street mall component and street hawkers around Seberang Jaya will be given the opportunity to apply for the stalls," he said.
According to PDC chief executive officer Aziz Bakar, there will be 220 stalls at the street mall and another 250 stalls inside the market complex.
There were 255 licenced market traders from the previous market complex but there were many other unlicensed traders around the market complex previously.
Chow said the unlicenced traders will also be given the opportunity to apply for a stall along the street mall.