MPPP freezes approvals for new high-density projects


The high-density guideline of 87 units per acre, previously approved by the State Planning Committee without any precise reference to transit nodes, has now been put under ‘KIV’.

This was revealed by MPPP President Patahiyah Ismail during a meeting with representatives of Penang Forum on Thursday. The meeting was called by MPPP to discuss the Council’s response to the eight-point Plan of Action put forward at Penang Forum 5 recently.

Patahiyah said the ‘KIV’ is not putting a stop to the guideline but is pending fresh clarification on ‘transit nodes’ especially in the light of the Penang Transport Masterplan, which is still not yet ready. Meanwhile, all new and pending applications for 87 units per acre are being held back (though the status of the respective building plans has to be ascertained). A string of 87 units per acre applications had earlier been approved, sparking an outcry from neighbourhood residents associations and concerned members of the public.

The previous maximum density was 30 units per acre, and the earlier approval by the State Planning Committee was taken to mean that this would now be raised to 87 units per acre. As a result, developers were submitting plans for the maximum 87 units per acre and the MPPP felt it had little choice but to grant them approval. Now, with this latest decision, all applications that have not yet been approved will be held back.

The present high density development policy is being reviewed to streamline it with the Penang Transport Masterplan and the draft Local Plan, which covers medium-and long-term planning, said the MPPP. The draft Local Plan had been made available to the Transport Masterplan consultants. This draft Plan had allowed higher densities but only at transit nodes – but the problem is those transit nodes were based on the assumption of the controversial Penang Outer Ring Road and monorail projects, which thankfully never got off the ground.

The short-term planning will now look at how to coordinate development with the bus service as the main mode of public transport.

In the long-term, a rail system will replace the bus service as the main mode of public transport.

All high-density development planning proposals will then be examined by the MPPP, especially in the light of the Traffic Impact Assessments and the EIAs, and those that don’t comply with these conditions will be rejected.

It makes sense to ensure that high density development is allowed only in areas served by efficient public transport.

In another letter being circulated online, purportedly from the MPPP, it is stated that the development proposals/applications based on the guidelines of a maximum 87 units per acre density or a maximum plot ratio of 2.8 are being held back from consideration by the One Stop Centre Committee (MJOSC) until a final decision is made by the Council.

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My math was never good but could you pls show me how you derived 191 units per acre when you said that there will be 320 units/6.9 acres. One of the figures have to be wrong. First of all, if they had a 6.9 acre piece of land I doubt they would only built 320 units. Even condos have higher density than that.

Ong Eu Soon

typo-error , I missed the 1, it is 1320 units. The development density is 1320 units/6.9 acres= 191 units per acre

Ong Eu Soon

Really? No more high density development? What about the affordable housing at SP Chelliah which suppose to have housing density of 320 units/6.9 acres= 191 units per acre? Is this project still on the card or is it also put under KIV? Stop all this misleading feel good news to make Lim Guan Eng look good just because you want to defeat BN in the coming election!


A little bit disengenous in your comparison. When HDB townships were originally planned, public transport was planned around them, not the other way around. Its why the MRT system isn’t as straightforward as it can be and Woodlands in the boondocks then was a major township. The original idea was to build townships that were self-sufficient in every way. The MRT system was first planned originally to be started much later but accelerated as part of pump priming of the mid-80s economic crises. Only then did ideas of high density around transport node came about. The fact is the success… Read more »


What you say is true. Of course there were existing areas within Sg that had to be linked to the MRT when it was built. The fact is that the MRT was planned and built many many years ago when Pg was still sleeping. Now that the existing townships have been linked, high density development is only permitted around the MRT line. Where the area is too wide, they have an LRT line which branches from the main MRT station to serve nearby areas. They have made that a formula that works. All we have to do is replicate what… Read more »

king kong

Penang is differnt from KL. KL has all UMNO Ministers live there. When Umno ministers did not get water to flush the jamban from Bekalan Air, they get kau kau from those Ministers. Penang is just the second division with sabah, sarawak, kelantan third divison in BN’s eyes. Everything in Kl must be good otherwise how UMNO ministers can live comfotably there.

Tan Kay Hiang

Penang forum has done a great job

Now u all need to push on, I agree with comments on a Public Consultation in your PF email forwarded to me. Fight for that

LGE don’t just say all this because of election don’t let the BN ppl drag u down

Think of your ppl n we shall send u to Putrajaya.

No to 87 we want a public consultation.

Andrew I

Just let me check. Yes, it has a Penang address. Also did a Penang Char Koay Teow Blood test recently. Lots of piggy fat. As a certified Penangite, I am truly impressed by the efforts of the Penang State gomen. I love the restored buildings in Love Lane and the surrounding areas. Penang is truly returning to being the Pearl of the Orient. I see tourist police doing a fine job. Thailand will be worried about us in the near future. What say you, other Penangites? Another 50 years of DAP? Where are you Tunglang? We know you are another… Read more »


I will be a Belum Rainforest resident in 11 months’ time.
Penniless or otherwise, it doesn’t matter as long as I can truly afford a nature lifestyle that promises to fulfill my expectation & aspiration of adventure, pristine environment & of course free nature’s amenities!
Why be stressful (in this short passage of one-chance-earthly-life) for a piece of fleeting Bing Chui & superficial bling-bling?
At my last stage of life, I can / rather stay off the grid of unending manmade dementia & cosmopolitan mirage.
My Obama style political apology to those easily ‘agitated’.


Ok the only problem I seem to have with these density guidelines is that the MPPP doesn’t seem to follow them in the first place. When the guidelines were 30 per acre, there were apartments which far exceeded that. Eg. the apartments in Farlim, Rifle Range, Air Itam. When the guidelines changed to 87 per acre, still I see apartments exceeding that. Even higher end apartments like Bayswater have high density. Apparently the council is at liberty to use its discretion to modify the density requirement on a case by case basis. What is the point then of having density… Read more »


That is why I have partially given up on the ‘master plans’ and ‘special plans’. Nobody really cares and even after it is drafted, nobody seems to acknowledge its existence. As for the Spice project, I am in favour of it simply because the convention centre will be place underground while the roof will be used as a park (somewhat like the marina barrage in Sg) which is open to all. In exchange for that, SP Setia is given the land for a hotel, RM 20 million to renovate the current facilities and the right to operate the convention centre… Read more »


When city growth, the population density will change the landscape and the government mindset. E.g. Old mindset urban management works for 100,000 population, but catastrophic in waiting to handle 2~5 millions population. Malaysian generally not aware of this population change that shift the urban development needs. Nor did the dead wood Najib government want to make any change. The world city development history show all the lesson learn from 1st world country. It took a sewage system engineering to allow metropolitan like London, Paris,New York,etc to become sustainable. Yes, it is NOT the road system, but something underground , the… Read more »


Penang island is showing more business activities that will hopefully create higher income Penangites to cope with higher living cost.

I am retiring and don’t care much about politics of transformation. I shall retreat to the Nature.

btw, tunglang has problem acess to internet at Belum Forest ? MIA lately …. may he wake up with kopi o kau kau 🙂


2.30am You have disturbed my spirit of serenity in Belum Rainforest with its nature’s orchestra of frogs, crickets, owls, Sang Kancil & jungle fowls interrupted by the occasional shrieks of pontianak. My mind is already set in this dimensional realm of affordable existence without the dementia of urban rat race ala SingLand & inflation phobias. Far from being converted by the delusional selling of Cosmopolitan Penang & unaffected by the toxic-materialistic covetousness parlayed by “No Money No Talk” syndrome of status symbolism in the slippery hallways of Gurney Paragon over run by rainy-green-horned wildebeests of Penang Property Stampede. In this… Read more »

casual tony

look around you……can you not hear men at work?


I already passed the rat race fever of 30+ years with some financial savings & debtless comes Oct 2013. I still work but not in your typical version of work for someone’s dream, corporate or political. Tis will be my next stage of lifestyle & no regretting later (at deathbed of “I wish I had done this or that” syndrome of many who live with no real purpose). To fulfill my chosen life purpose – conservation of Malaysian rainforest & to live a chosen nature lifestyle took many years of self reflection, indecision, procrastination & finally the strength to break… Read more »


casual tony,
my 2cents wisdom from Steve Jobs:
“Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” (know the deeper meaning, not read the superficial).
Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address


Hi Itj, when you are in Nature, for that matter in our Malaysian Rainforest, you would not feel a need, an itch or a compulsive addiction for the Internet. Much less if you are sans-politico-sensitive. The environment of beauty, awe, mystery & serenity will wow you over, you will forget about home sweet home. And if you can ‘connect’ or ‘communicate’ (mental online) with the spiritual dimension, your sense of existential being will be sharpened & calmed, your psychic knowledge enlightened & personality humbled in the vast stillness & slowness of time passage in the rainforest (even at night with… Read more »

Gerakan K

When election time is coming, even sleeping LGE administration has wake up and serve the people. Good move even though that was insincere, incompetent, and cosmetic. We need a better management team. 5 years are enough for us to see the ultimate failure by DAP state gomen. Only one achievement is that they able to massively concrete Penang and push the housing price to the extreme only affordable by foreigners. I don’t buy into ‘surplus story’ because it means nothing to me and all other Penangites. 5 years without low cost housing. Sad but true. Penang for Penangites. Check your… Read more »


Thanks for the advise. I just confirmed that I am still a penangite. Also thanks to LGE contribution as you pointed out, I dont need low cost housing. We should do more to help those states under BN rule where low cost housing is desperately needed.


Not every Penangite is richie rich like you.
This implication of low cost housing is more desperately needed in other BN states put us in a bad light of securing state development fund from the Feds.
The Feds will think “so Penang don’t need low cost housing, why LGE should ask for more?”
Think carefully & don’t shoot our state in the foot.
Take care of our own backyard of dire strait housing state of affairs first before we ask of others backyards in Putrajaya.


Off Topic but truly relevant to the way politics (of either divide) & state management is breathing in Malaysia Boleh. “No man can get rich in politics unless he’s a crook!” – President Harry Truman Snippets: You know, a fella could get rich in this job, if he really wanted to. But I found out something a long time ago: that when you play ball with the money boys, you pay! Oh, I’ve done some favours for friends down through the years, just like any other influence peddler in Washington, but I never got anything for myself out of it.… Read more »