Rifle Range comes under the spotlight

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The benefits of a two-coalition system can be seen as rival politicians try to do something for the long-neglected low-income residents of Rifle Range.

The Penang state government has completed a RM400000 refurbishment of 170 homes in the 16-storey Blocks E and J in Rifle Range. It is then subsidising the rental to the low-income group. Instead of the usual RM250-300 rental, the residents need pay only RM90. These homes were once used as army quarters until the personnel moved out in the late 1990s.

The state government has also spent another RM200000 in refurbishing another six blocks in Rifle Range. The state is being assisted by the Master Builders Association, under its CSR project, in these efforts. It costs RM10000 to repair each home.

After years of neglect, BN politicians have responded by dangling a carrot to the residents of Rifle Range:

One of the big problems in managing high-rise low-income flats is the lack of maintenance. This was one of the key points raised in the eight-point Plan of Action put forward at Penang Forum 5.

Responding to this, the Penang state government held its usual Local Government Consultative Forum last Monday, which focused on precisely this issue: maintenance of high-rise dwellings. At this forum, participants learned that poor maintenance was indeed a huge problem in some places.

To compound matters, the local councils face severe constraints in overseeing the situation. For instance, the Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) has only eight staff, one officer and a director to monitor 948 high-rise schemes on mainland Penang!

The forum, chaired by Chow Kon Yeow, felt that the office of the Commissioner of Buildings, presently held by the Council YDPs, needed to be considerably strenghtened if this problem is to be tackled effectively. Also, there are funds available at the federal and state levels, but to take advantage of these, effective mechanisms need to be introduced. Meanwhile, people are waiting to see what the Strata Management Act will hold.

One of the main problems is that in quite a few low-income flats, many residents are in arrears with their maintenance fees. One participant made a pertinent observation: the problem, he said, was one of poverty and this needs to be addressed. After all, he noted, high-rise dwellings occupied by those who are better off generally do not have the same problem of collection of maintenance fees.

Another area that has to be tackled is housing for migrant workers in the state. Are their employers so interested in maximising profits that they are willing to cram their migrant workers into houses and flats that are clearly not designed for that many occupants?

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Fauzi

Gerakan is already a spent force.
Thsi is just a cheap publicity.
Residents of Rifle Range should know that the previous Gerakan could not implement this all the while.
How do you expect them to deliver this promise.

Yang

Wow wow wow would you believe. Teng Chang Yeow as reported in the chinese paper, he would give exchange the unit of Rifle Range flat which is 400 sq ft to a new one of 800 sq ft.

Wowo wow wowo how generous. If indeed it is true what about Kg Melayu, Noordin Street and all govt flat….

Penang Voter

Give first then ask for the votes. Don;t trust Gerakan or BN anymore.

Kevin

If it is true MPSP only has 8 staff, one officer and one director to run such a vital department then it is high time they employ more people. As far as I know there are many ppl vying for jobs with the local councils. It shouldn’t be hard to look for ppl. They can be given training to do their duty well. Besides MPSP boasts of a surplus budget since 2008. Perhaps the extra cash could be used to employ more staff and maintain these buildings. I find that this govt is very good at proposing new ideas or… Read more »

kantaoi

Gerakan = pathetic bunch of politicians.

Rifle Man

Gerakan Penang yesterday dangled carrots in front of Rifle Range residents promising them bigger residential units at cheap prices.

The question is why during the 90s Chief By Scout Koh did not offer such sweeteners ? This goes to show that H=Gerakan can only become effective and beneficial to rakyat when they become opposition party; and let us ensure so forever !

tuakee

YES 2-pary system in Malaysia can only benefit the rakyat as both will toe the line and dare not over indulging in money politics ! Now rifle range has got the attention, and soon the rakyat will demand quality work for public amenities like proper drainage, excellent pedestrian walks and recreational parks and facilities and the list goes on … we definitely do not want ali-baba sub sub sub culture depleting resources for public benefits ! btw, i came to Penang last weekend and observe quality refurbishment for PISA with garden feel even for outside pedestrian walks .. well done… Read more »

foo kok fai

Gerakan had plenty of mandate for donkey years and nothing happened at Rifle Range. Today you are asking for the people’s mandate to do things. Sigh ….. Malaysian politicians are mostly cartoon characters . Walt Disney should set up a production unit here.

Xiaowei

no mandate can’t implement , is he telling Penangites that all tis while when having the mandate they are sleeping . Since giving and now talking , I don’t trust Gerakan who does not know how to Gerak all this while.

Kevin

You are right. They are talking a lot now. But they didn’t do anything when they had the power to do so for over 18 years. Talking is easy and anyone can do it. And that is why no Penangite with a brain will ever listen to him. At that time they even had access to federal funding which the current govt is finding difficulty obtaining.

Yang

Kevin,
Not 18 but 40 years since the time of LCE in 1970 when they join the National Front.

Kevin

Well you can’t really blame LCE. When he was CM he had to place Pg on the world map as a manufacturing and industrial hub. He had to get jobs in for the ppl. Without him pg would be nothing close to what it is today. Funds had to be poured into these sectors which include the PDC. He built rifle range and other such areas to fulfill the very basic needs of a roof over everyone’s head with access to water, electricity and food. To his credit he succeeded in doing all that and more. He had a vision… Read more »