More dorm beds for staff

PENANG has received new applications to construct 40,700 additional beds in dormitories to house foreign workers.

Penang housing, local government, town and country planning committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the state had received three new applications on top of those already built and in the process of construction.

“At present, we have completed a dormitory with 3,321 beds in Bukit Minyak on the mainland and another with 2,900 beds in Batu Maung on the island.

“Besides the total of 6,221 already built, there are five more projects that have been approved with about 27,658 beds in the process of being built.

“Besides those, we have received three more new applications on the island which will see 40,700 beds that will be made available for workers including foreign staff, ” he told reporters at Komtar yesterday.

Two of the projects are in the southwest district while another is in the northeast district of Penang.

Jagdeep said such construction of dormitories for foreign workers was to ensure the workers were taken out from housing schemes.

This had been a concern of the people as many cases involved workplace clusters in industries.

He added that to avoid the risk of infection between foreign workers and the community,

the state had decided to allow temporary housing of factory workers in suitable empty sites within factory premises or in commercial schemes far away from local housing scheme.

“So far, we have received seven applications comprising one on the island and seven on the mainland to house workers in commercial schemes and within factory premises, ” he said.

It was reported that Penang’s guidelines allow only 12 workers in a 700 sq ft dormitory.

Out of 12 active clusters in Penang, 10 of them are from factories while one is linked to a detention depot and another in the education sector.

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