That 87 units per acre density


About a year ago, news filtered through that the MPPP was revising the plot ratios for new projects and higher densities of 87 units/acre would be allowed.

See my blog entry dated 5 October 2010.

Now this is much higher density than the maximum previously allowed – almost three times more.  I believe existing densities on Penang Island mostly range from 15-30 units per acre? And now we are going for 87?

The state government/MPPP must clarify the following:

  • Has formal approval been given for this new maximum density of 87 units/acre? If so, who gave the approval and when? The state planning committee? Was the committee briefed by the MPPP about the implications? Was public consultation carried out and feedback obtained?
  • Is the 87 units/acre higher than the maximum density allowed under the Penang Island Local Plan, which was approved in 2008? What are the permissible densities in the Local Plan?
  • Why is the Local Plan being delayed (even though it was approved by the MPPP in 2008)? What is holding back a public display of the Local Plan for feedback?
  • Is it true that higher densities are only allowed in the Local Plan at transit-oriented development nodes i.e. at public transport interchanges? Do we have such nodes? How can we have higher densities without the public transport infrastructure to support them?
  • Who pays for road-widening and new roads? It appears that the public has to bear the cost (via land swap deals, etc) to finance the construction of news roads while private firms reap profits from higher densities.
  • Has any project for 87 units/acre already been approved? How many more are in the pipeline?
  • Is it true that new projects are all trying to go for the maximum 87 units/acre?

Does anyone really know what 87 units per acre looks like? Imagine the congestion on the roads. Is this the type of “international city” we want?

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Though this topic has been a year ago, i see no one up there has realised the benefits of allowing more units of apartment/condo/houses per acre of land. Developers are required to provide/construct Low cost or Low Medium Cost flats for every 150 units of development. Previously, if a developer develops a 2 acres land, he can construct and sell only up to 60 units condo, and no need to provide low cost flat. Now, developer can construct and sell 87 x 2 = 174 units of condo from 2 acres land and he must provide for low cost or… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon

In the case of Bencon Development Sdn Bhd v Penang Municipal Council. The Director of the Department of Town Planning in his affidavit (encl 8) said that the development, due to its high density, will cause severe strain on the existing infrastructure in the area especially the existing bridge, the traffic flow over which is already at its optimum level. This was not contradicted. Whether or not contradicted, it is common knowledge that every household on Penang Island has at least one vehicle, usually more. Therefore, the requirement is most reasonable. Indeed, it would be bad planning if no account… Read more »


B’cos we have … green horns (speculative buyers cum sellers, property gurus and wannabes of rich & famous) to cry out loud in frenzy support but no real money (cash) at all to buy for actual needs. With O-Blady banks at their doorsteps with easy credit cards to easy-pay for first deposits, the surreal 1st step to home ownership or false owner for speculation is done. So frenzy … green horned wildebeests are perpetual, perennial niche markets ever present at Penang Serengeti Property Chase (a ‘waterhole’ filled to the brim with ‘crocodiles’ ready to make the killing).


The. Issue is not about higher densities per se but what is the public gain? High densities work if there are enough public facilities to support such as open spec, playgrounds, schools, public transport. We can see that most medium and LM cost condos and flats do not provide enough carparks and public roads are occupied by cars of residents. Rifle range flats is about 200 units per acre and we can see the problems there, even though the neighboring graveyards also serve as open space for the residents. Private developers are laughing all the way to the bank because… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon

Finally it is proven beyond doubt that my accusation against LGe for fast tracking Penang island into a big ghetto is valid and true. LGe has no transit oriented development plan, his promise of new transport master like the previous master plans still can’t see the light of the day. This pro-DEVELOPMENT, Kai Sue administration is now proven to be more worst than KTK. This Kai Sue administration is now above law quite surprising as it is so afraid to be sued by developers but doesn’t give a damn to the people. Now LGe want is to build more roads,… Read more »


The State Government and MPPP should consider the needs of all groups of Penangites as far as housing projects are concerned. One man in my neighbourhood who is from the lower-middle income group said that he will not vote for DAP in the next election because he is unable to purchase an affordable flat for his family. According to him, the housing needs of the lower income groups are not given enough attention by the present administration. So having more construction projects to boost Penang’s economy is not enough.We need to think of the housing needs of the lower income… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon

The plot ratio revision should not affected the development density, it should only affect the height of the building if the development density remain as before. Is it being used to increase the development density? That should be absurd! Anil, are you sure about this?


Penang state government needs the money lohh….

Serously Penang needs to find other ways of making money….everyone knows that Federal BN is just about cutting off any Federal funds so that PR Penang can choke to death…

Penang PR must come up with better ideas although it looks tough now…….otherwise Penang will have 300 units per acre…and that will turn Penang into a living nightmare as there is no public transport to speak of on the island…


Penang Housing Board (PHB) to create as many affordable homes ?

Must go to Komtar to check that out !


Yes, at Batu Kawan as confirmed in The Edge.

Price of condo in Penang island starts at RM300 per sq ft. (low end), and as high as RM750 per sq ft for those ‘branded’ ones.

So the young generation without capability for high wages should get real and seriously consider Batu Kawan, a new township in the making.


If there are no speculative forces on the rampage, I don’t think the profit-hungry developers would dare to take the plunge and ride with these speculative wildebeests of Penang’s Serengeti Property Chase. Also, building bigger homes (1,000 or more s.f.) affords them the ‘excuse’ to charge disproportionately more at calculated higher margin of profit at a shorter time of build and delivery. What’s more with cheap Indonesian laborers. With so-called added value of personalized I.D., home appliances (esp. the ever expensive kitchen cabinets) and security gadgets (made in China’s cloning industry) acquired at rock bottom suppliers’ cost, the profit margin… Read more »

Gerakan K

Pinang akan jadi macam HK lah dari segi harga rumah dan kepadatan.

Sardin mari !!!

@Yang, kamu memang kuat bodek !!!


GK, If ever I bodek at least I am not a WANNABE … This blog is in English, why keep using Malay.


When land is scare, increasing the density is good as it will be able to provide the people with bigger and cheaper unit if it is properly plan. But that is not the case with the current govt policy. The current LGE policy tend to favour the developers who are able to build more high end and expensive housing bypassing the lower and middle income people.

It look like thatBut it seem that the that LGE govt does take into the account of the middle and income .

and Increasing density in Penang is good be


Refer to the above post it should be “It seem that the that LGE govt does take NOT into the account the middle and LOWER income group.

William Lim

For comparison, Singapore’s Pinnacle’s density is almost 300 units per acre!

Sometimes where land is scarce, increasing density actually provides better building scale at ground level as it allows more land for parks, public spaces. It was enables more affordable housing but the infrastructure must be able to support it.

Jeffrey NG

We do have to give the Penang Govt. the leeway to make their planing work. Going higher up the sky or down underground is possible with the current advancement in builting technology.


The right way is to introduce electroic road pricing to discourage vehicles on the road, then use the revenue to subsidize public transportation.

Leslie Teoh

Most condo nowadays allow only one car-park lot per unit. It has indirectly discouraged multiple car ownership of condo residents. But there are some who choose to park their 2nd or 3rd car outside the condo compound, risking saman or vandalism.