Batu Maung Residents Protest Irregularities In Workers Hostel Project




A group of residents protested the development of the third block of workers’ hostel in the Batu Maung industrial area in the southern part of Penang island
Approved in April 2016, the project reportedly involves hostels for 8,568 foreign workers, who will be ferried to work by 108 buses on two shifts daily
It will take about 3.5 hours to clear the congestion, the group protested, as the existing roads in the area are too small to accommodate all the buses at the same time
Residents carried banners in front of the project site today, demanding that the state government and the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) resolve the problems which will be brought about by the construction of the two-block hostels

Led by activist Ravinder Singh, the group highlighted several irregularities in the project, and the impact it would have on the residents' lives
Ravinder, who is a resident in the area, clarified that the group is not against the project, state government or developer
"We just want to ensure all irregularities related to the dormitories and its impact to the neighbourhood are addressed," Ravinder told reporters today
"We highlighted the issue to the Penang exco member and Batu Maung assemblyperson Abdul Halim Hussein, and he is here with us now," Ravinder said
"However, all our emails to other state government leaders, including Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, state exco on housing Jagdeep Singh Deo, and MBPP mayor Yew Tung Seang, have been ignored," Ravinder lamented
Halim vowed to raise the group’s concerns to the state government and MBPP
He also disagreed with the building of a third block in the area due to overcrowding and traffic congestion
"The present buildings already cover an area as large as four football fields. It will be too congested to add another block," Halim said
"Just imagine yourself in this situation, in such congestion, how would it be
"On Nov 22, 2018, the developer requested to build a third block, which I do not agree with. We hope MBPP would review this request
"The ball is now in the local council’s court,” Halim said
Activist Zikrullah Ismail asked if a social impact assessment had been conducted for the project, saying that such a massive undertaking would definitely have a negative impact on residents in the area
Resident CM Tan urged the authorities to consider safety measures of the project as he claimed that buses ferrying the workers to their respective factories would be parking at the "Bomba (fire engine) lane”
"The ‘Bomba lane’ will be used for bus parking. Is this not a violation of the council's regulations?" Tan asked
Those who protested the project are Southbay residential homes, AIMS Motion Technology Sdn Bhd, Desa Batu Maung Residents, Hot Temp (M) Sdn Bhd, Sunway Mutiara Residents, TBS Precision Engineering Sdn Bhd, Prestige V Residents, Sin Yen Technologies Sdn Bhd, Sunway Tunas Jaya Residents, Syspex Industries Sdn Bhd, Desa Jelita Residents, Massive Success (OEM) Sdn Bhd, Sunway Cassia Residents, Pre-Tech Solutions Sdn Bhd, SK Permatang Damar Laut, Brisdac Technology Sdn Bhd, SK Batu Maung and the Consumer Association of Penang


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