CM explains need for Workers Village

Face-to-face: Maverick DAP rep Teh (left) having a word with his party boss Lim during a short break at the state assembly sitting.

GEORGE TOWN: The proposed Workers Village project in Juru is not a “detention camp” for foreign workers but will have infrastructure of international standard, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

“The proposal was made to address accommodation issues faced by workers and also to curb social problems, especially among foreign workers.

“Now, most of the local and foreign workers are staying in the low and low medium-cost flats which are meant for low-income families,” he said.

Lim said Singapore and other countries had provided modern dormitory with good infrastructure for their workers.

He said this in reply to the oral question from Cheah Kah Peng (PKR-Kebun Bunga) about the proposal by Magnificent Emblem director Phang Lee Koon to build Workers Village on two plots of land owned by Penang Development Corporation (PDC).

“They (Magnificent Emblem) failed to get the tender and the project was awarded to Westlite Dormitory (Penang-Juru) Sdn Bhd which had offered the highest price,” he said.

In a press conference during tea break at the state assembly, Lim said the size of the Workers Village in Juru had been reduced to half following feedback and objections from the public and residents nearby.

He said the other half of the land would be used for public housing.

“We’ve asked PDC to draft plans for the proposed public housing for the low and low medium-income households under a separate project,” he said.

The state government had initially planned a 12,000-bed dormitory for foreign workers on a 5.1ha land in Juru.

About 300 residents staying nearby then held a peaceful demonstration against the project recently, claiming that they are worried about social problems with the influx of foreign workers.

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