Dorms coming up for foreign workers

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 08 Apr 2017

Closed down: The hotel turned hostel has 30 days to revert to its original use.

GEORGE TOWN: The conversion of a hotel in a suburb near here into a hostel for foreign workers was not done in compliance with the state’s guidelines, said Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon.

He said the hotel was also not among the list of places which had been approved to house foreign workers.

“I was told that a few floors have been converted without approval,” he said at a press conference in Komtar yesterday.

It was reported yesterday that the Penang Island City Council had given the hotel 30 days to revert to its original use after it was illegally converted into a foreign workers’ hostel at the end of last month.

A former employee of the hotel, who declined to be named, said it closed down late last year following a decline in occupancy.

Penang Housing Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the state had approved five applications to build foreign workers’ dormitories in Juru, Bukit Minyak, Permatang Tinggi, Kawasan Perin-dustrian Valdor and Permatang Damar Laut in Batu Maung.

He said the dormitories at these five places would be able to accommodate more than 25,000 workers.

“Penang has around 200,000 foreign workers. We are looking at catering to 10% of the number,” he said, adding that the dormitories were requried to have facilities such as a multipurpose hall, canteen and sick bays.

Jagdeep said the purpose was to absorb workers currently staying at places such as flats.

He said there had been numerous complaints from the public of the big numbers of foreign workers staying at flats, sometimes occupying over half of such housing schemes.

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