9 March, SEBERANG PERAI – The People’s Housing Project (PPR) in Taman Manggis is a transit house and is not meant for permanent occupation, says Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
Chow said this category of PPR is for transit while tenants waited for their houses to be completed. Taman Manggis PPR is only for temporary occupation, and those evicted have been staying for 11 years. There are weaknesses in terms of management and the state housing office is now in the process of updating the information for all projects, he told reporters after opening an Affordable Housing Expo here today.
He added that even though the PPR unit was offered as a compensation, the eligibility and conditions for PPR have been established from the start.
Chow was commenting on the allegation of one of the evicted Taman Manggis tenants who said his unit was obtained as a compensation after his house in Sungai Pinang was demolished for development.
He hoped Taman Manggis PPR tenants who have been ordered to vacate their units would accept the fact they have lost their eligibility to stay in the units but they are still eligible to apply for other housing projects offered by the state government.
We are open to negotiations with the residents and several state Exco members had given offer to all including those who camped at Komtar lobby but they rejected the offer, he said.
He said they should be prepared to cooperate with the state government so that their problem could be amicably resolved.
Meanwhile, State Housing, Local Government and Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said Taman Manggis tenants who lost their eligibility would be given priority for other state government projects.
They can apply for low-cost project, medium-cost project or other affordable projects and we will give priority to them, he said.
He added that priority was only for those who agreed to cooperate with the state government and did not own other houses.
On allegations the eviction of Taman Manggis PPR was carried out not according to law, Jagdeep said the state government is waiting for further action by the residents lawyer.
On Wednesday, 22 Taman Manggis tenants were ordered to vacate their units after they lost their eligibility.
Nonetheless, lawyer Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz representing seven families of tenants claimed the action was against Section 7 (2) of the Specific Relief Act 1950.