Penang not shirking responsibility for foreign workers' CLQ in Teluk Kumbar, says Chow


GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has denied neglecting its responsibilities over the proposed construction of centralised living quarters (CLQ) for foreign workers in Teluk Kumbar.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (pic) said the state government had, instead, left objections to the project to be discussed between the Action Committee Protesting the Construction of Foreign Workers' Dormitory and the developer.

"This has been decided after a meeting between the state government and the representatives from the action committee, Bayan Lepas assemblyman Datuk Azrul Mahathir Aziz and Balik Pulau MP Datuk Muhamad Bakhtiar Wan Chik on Friday (Feb 2) morning," he said during a press conference at Komtar.

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He said based on the meeting, the action committee is not against the idea of a foreign workers’ hostel but opposes having it in Teluk Kumbar.

He said among the concerns raised by the action committee were traffic congestion and possible social issues.

He said according to the law , the state government cannot stop the landowners from submitting a planning application for any project, including the dormitory.

When asked if the state planning committee (SPC) has the power to stop the project, Chow said it cannot cancel approval for planning given by local authorities.

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"SPC can only decide on the rezoning of lands for development, where one of the proposed hostels in Teluk Kumbar submitted an application for planning permission and it was approved by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP)," he said.

The proposed hostel was also not in the draft of the local plan.

The local plan primarily delineates the zoning usage for land, designating it as residential, commercial, or industrial.

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The foreign workers' hostel falls under the commercial category, he added.

Previously, more than 1,000 residents in Teluk Kumbar held a peaceful demonstration against the construction of the dormitories, which can house more than 30,000 foreign workers.

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