Will Taman Tun Dr Awang residents be ‘HAPPY!’?

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The Penang state government has come up with a new RM50m financing scheme to spruce up low and low-medium cost flats in the state by topping up the balance of federal financing for such projects. Will it help to brighten up the lives of Taman Tun Dr Awang residents in Butterworth?

Taman Tun Dr Awang: Cleaner, greener Penang should start here – Photograph: Anil

According to the state government, the federal government had earlier allocated a RM500m allocation to clean up and maintain low and low-medium cost flats in the country. Under the federal scheme, the residents would have to pay 10 per cent (in the case of low-cost flats) or 30 per cent (low-medium cost flats) for the maintenance work while the government would finance the remainder. The state government’s oddly named ‘Housing Assisted Programme of Penang, YES! (HAPPY!)’ scheme would now step in to finance the residents’ portion of the cost.

But now Housing and Local Government Minister Chor Chee Heung says the Cabinet has decided that the authorities will carry out painting and other upgrading work of low-cost flats under a ‘My Good Neighbourhood’ campaign. See this report in The Star. (Would there be open tenders for the upgrading work?)

It is amazing what a looming general election can dredge up, don’t you think!

But the real measure of success of these federal and state initiatives would be if places like Taman Tun Dr Awang are actually spruced up. You know, it is depressing how many visitors from abroad have told me: “Please tell your government to do something to improve the condition of these (Taman Tun Dr Awang) flats.” (It takes a foreign visitor to tell us as locals are probably so desensitised and accustomed to this sight they barely give it a second glance.) I brought this up a couple of times with senior state government senior officials and I was told the state would only be able to finance 80 per cent of the cost.

Many of these residents can barely afford to keep up with the rising cost of living; so they have little left over to contribute for upgrading. (As an indicator, a visual survey shows more than half the households in these flats do not have satellite television dishes.) And yet, the morale and self-esteem of residents in places like this could be drastically improved if their neighbourhood was to be spruced up.

Incidentally, more than 30 years ago, the area was once a sandy fishing village with mangrove trees on the beach. But now, erosion of the beach, pollution and the construction and extension of the North Butterworth Container Terminal have led to dwindling marine life, and only a small band of fisherfolk remain. MRCB is now undertaking a major project at the beach to check the erosion and build a fisher folks’ jetty. I wonder how many million ringgit this will cost. There is money for this but no money to upgrade the flats nearby – until now.

So let’s see who will be the first to give Taman Tun Dr Awang a much needed makeover: the federal government or the state government – or will they work together? The proof of the dodol is in the eating.

Excerpt from Guan Eng’s statement:

Dividen anti-rasuah yang membolehkan Program Bantuan Perumahan Pulau Pinang atau Housing Assisted Programme of Penang, YES! (HAPPY!) sebanyak RM 50 juta untuk memperbaiki, menaiktaraf dan memulihkan rumah pangsa kos rendah dan sederhana rendah pasti akan memastikan suatu perubahan besar dalam kualiti hidup rakyat. Ini adalah kali pertama mana-mana kerajaan negeri di Malaysia menjalankan suatu program sistematik untuk rumah pangsa kos rendah(di bawah RM42,00) dan sederhana rendah(di bawah RM72,500).

RM 50 juta yang diperuntukkan untuk HAPPY! adalah berdasarkan keyakinan bahawa kerajaan negeri akan memperolehi lebihan sekurang-kurangnya RM 50 juta pada 2011 hasil usaha anti-rasuah dan menjalankan pentadbiran bersih berdasarkan CAT atau Cekap, Akauntabel dan Telus. Kerajaan negeri mencatatkan lebihan sebanyak RM88 juta untuk 2008, RM77 juta untuk 2009 dan RM33 juta untuk 2010.

HAPPY! RM50 juta memperlihatkan komitmen kerajaan negeri untuk membawa perubahan besar kepada lebih 600 skim perumahan kos rendah dan sederhana rendah dan membabitkan puluhan ribu unit di Pulau Pinang. Kerajaan persekutuan telah menubuhkan tabung penyelenggaraan RM500 juta untuk semua skim perumahan kos rendah dan sederhana rendah dengan menawarkan pembiayaan kos 90% oleh kerajaan pusat dan 10% oleh penduduk untuk semua projek pembaikan atau penaiktarafan untuk rumah pangsa kos rendah manakala untuk rumah pangsa kos sederhana rendah adalah 70% oleh kerajaan pusat dan 30% oleh penduduk.

Usaha sedemikian gagal kerana kebanyakan penduduk rumah pangsa kos rendah dan sederhana rendah tidak mampu menanggung kos 10% dan 30% masing-masing. Kerajaan persekutan hanya akan keluar kos penyelenggaraan 90% dan 70% untuk rumah kos rendah dan sederhana rendah bila ada komitmen atau jaminan 10% dan 30% masing-masing. Demi menjayakan program penyelenggaraan ini, kerajaan negeri akan menanggung kos 10% dan 30% ini bagi pihak penduduk rumah kos rendah dan sederhana rendah. Kerajaan negeri akan tanggung setakat RM50 juta memperbaiki, menaiktaraf dan memulihkan rumah pangsa kos rendah dan sederhana rendah dan semua persatuan penduduk diminta buat permohonan dengan kerajaan persekutuan dengan segera.

Adalah diharapkan pengumuman HAPPY! RM50 juta disamping menceriakan sambutan Hari Raya Aidilfitri juga akan merancakkan pembangunan ekonomi setempat. Kerajaan negeri mendesak agar tender terbuka diadakan hanya untuk kontraktor tempatan supaya ia memanfaatkan warga Pulau Pinang secara adil.

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Well, the NS state gov recently repaint the low cost flats in Lobak, Seremban. These flats have not be repaint for over 10years and recent frequent visits of Najib to NS seems to be have a bit of good side effect for these low cost flats.

I do support the clean up & repaint of these low cost flats, but i hope there is open tender for these jobs.

ong eu soon

The amenities for low cost flat such as lifts, cleanliness, street light, painting, waste disposal should be classified as public amenities and the cost of maintenance should be borne by the local council. Do not expect the poor to pay service fee for all those amenities. All low housing scheme should be part of mixed development, so that it become a sore thumb to the neighborhood, when the local council fails to maintain it.

tunglang

There are some who doesn’t like it when you speak for the poor or for low cost housing. They much prefer that every inch of Penang Island be turned into Cosmopolitan island for the rich & famous & upwardly mobile. Such anti-socialist persona deserves the ills of cosmo-city to come. Bet on my words.

tunglang

Urban renewal of low & low-med cost flats for the poor means making their place of stay better & sustaining them in situ. Some or many still need to work in the city & this govt effort helps a lot in terms of maintenance which cost considerably for these folks to bear alone. Make their place more old folks friendly – easy & safe walkways, wheel chair friendly, better lighting & more benches. Have convenient stores & mini food courts nearby. Mini gardens for the healthy-conscious to do tai chi or line dance (old folks will love it). What about… Read more »

Yang

Only an idiot would not understand the viability of urban renewal project

Jong

Yang,

He understands I’m sure, he’s quite a smart ass. Just that he’s paid to irritate, that’s his job what! We may even miss him if he goes away. 😀

Andrew I

And I would be without a whipping boy.

Jong

Wasted, don’t you agree? Wonder if his conscience ever prick him, …hmmm if he has any?

caravanserai

The flats of old The unsightly facades The bad attitude It isn’t about money The clogged drains The poor maintenance The people who lived there They should play a part Maybe they don’t realize Each one plays a part in a high rise building Make it like a home But I have seen they just don’t bother It is best to pull it down Redesign and build a new one The tens of millions don’t have to waste On old high rise buildings Maybe they should screen About how Singapore maintains The cleanliness in their buildings Every one must play… Read more »

fong

local councils even maintain the lifts of HDB flats BUT Spore residents pay pay pay hefty monthly maintenance fee to subsidise the lifts, the landscape gardens, paintings etc.

nothing is free in this world. it’s like left hand to right hnd and vice versa.

anyway, Penang got to larn from Spore HDB about proper maintenance and efficient culture.

Kevin

The fees are not hefty at all. In fact they are dirt cheap for them compared to maintenance charges here. You must take into consideration that the average income of a Singaporean is at least 4 times that of a Malaysian. The maintenance charges for the HDB flats on the other hand are not 4 times ours. Point is, Singaporeans can afford to pay the charges but until the time comes when we are a high income nation, let’s be mindful that the majority of people cannot afford to pay substantial maintenance fees. That does not mean they are all… Read more »

Yang

For me it should be more appropriate why I should not vote MCA & BN AMMO instead of hating. Click and read read

Title :Why I hate the MCA.

http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=38397:why-i-hate-the-mca?&Itemid=2

Gerakan K

So sad. Anil blog has turned into hate incitement arena ~

Andrew I

Your porn star has achieved that all by himself.

Yang

Anil, I believed the LGE state govt have repainted some of the low cost unit such as Kg Melayu and have borne the 80% expenditure. Since there are still many other areas that need repainting and the federal govt is also willing to paying the 80%, its good that the state govt use the 80% money to pay off all for the resident further lessening their burden. If in any case that the Federal govt has stop the allocation, then the LGE PR govt can always revert back to pay 80% for the upgrading. That is why we must never… Read more »

moo_t

I keep finger crossed. Becuase in Bolehland (TM), ANY “federal government allocation/grants” number that breach Boleh$ 100,000 marks, will automatically dwindle to 10 to 50% Aiyoyo LUBRICATING fees. At the end, whether 5 mils or 500mils Boleh$, outcome giving 10% value, will become “something to be grateful”. hick!! That’s the answer to Anil question of ” wonder how many million ringgit this will cost. There is money for this but no money to upgrade the flats nearby – until now.” In Bolehland(TM), there is always overspending of “assessment” cost, and the reports is always in question. I always ask my… Read more »

moo_t

Thanks Anil. And see what caught me, Bolehland$ 500mils caught my eye. How much “shares” is left (and we haven’t talk about the real valuation ) when everything clear?

Will Tamn Tun Dr Awang much “happy’ when their flag get painted? Or reduce all the car park that only bring too many crowd and noise to the “food court” and convert to city park for each block, better rubbish collection,etc policies ? Well…..

Jong

“spruce up”? Sounds vague. Don’t you think it will be more economically viable in the long run to knock down all those unsightly rats-infested low and medium cost flats with clogged drains and choked water pipes? Have a better, modern ones with much improved facilities constructed, to uplift lives of the residents. Pay a little more and get it speed up with minimum inconveniences to the residents. Have an open tender and get it done in speed time! To the Federal and State governments, please do not play politics with people’s lives anymore. Give and take a little, meet and… Read more »

Yang

Jong, That is what the LGE PR going will be doing. The first urban renewal project will start in the Taman Free School areas where most of the 5 & 11 storey bldgs will be demolished and rebuilt with proper playground and greenery. The project would be manage by OHM. See the OHM website This is what we want for a govt that know how to manage instead of going over stale issue like the hill slope when in fact its the Gerakan that started hill slope project in the Paya Terubong areas since the 80s. Don`t listen to the… Read more »

Kevin

Is this true? I didn’t hear anything online or in the media. If so it is a move in the right direction. Time to get rid of lousy, sub-standard and unhygienic homes for all Penangites. In the case of taman free school, the grounds and compound should be reserved for recreational use and not be used as a market for people to sell goods. Quality of life and cleanliness has to be maintained, even for the poor.

Gerakan K

“Don’t you think it will be more economically viable in the long run to knock down all those unsightly rats-infested low and medium cost flats with clogged drains and choked water pipes? ”

Are you contracted pakatan rhetoric syndrome ???

Who pay the cost ??? You sounded like ALONG style of operations. Lawlessness and syiok sendirism !!!

Andrew I

Who’s paying for MAS losses, PKFZ losses and fat cows?

Yang

Urban Renewal Projects and this is what Singapore is doing. With better plan, facilities and more units it is definitely economically viable.

Jong

Lawlessness derived from your boss Cicak Ah Koon otherwise no Penangites would not want to kick him out. It’s 18 years of bad track record but he like you, …syiok sendiri!

As for payment, get that Fat-butt to return that blue diamond ring lah, RM25 million should be of great help.

Gerakan K

See, you can’t answer me ‘who will pay the cost’ just like Anwar can’t answer ‘how to get those billions in order to implement buku jingga promises’

No prejudice against pakatan ideas. I also want free highway, free internet, free degree, free astro. But seriously, any rational thinking citizen will question it.

Yang

You always speak like a moron and … a liar. We have 80 billions from Petronas dude

Kevin

I am sure that if both the fed and state govts spend wisely and minimise corruption, there will be more than enough money to spend on maintaining affordable housing. In fact, if corruption is eliminated, they may end up having too much money not knowing what to spend them on. Pls remember, Malaysia isn’t poor. It is one of the richest countries in the world. The problem is that there are people amongst us who are making this country poorer day by day.

Jong

GK,

It’s not ‘cannot answer you’, but just tired and ‘don’t want to answer you’. Admire your resilience to irritate and entertain on this blog.

Every Malaysian knows Umno/BN are bankrupt of ideas, one flip-flop after another, one silly decision after another eg Amendment to 114A of Evidence Act 1950. The Act should be repealed!

That’s why they say “don’t just criticise, give solutions” Hahaha!! Why? …want to prick PR’s brains?

Ahmad Sobri

The State Government official who said that the State can only afford 80% should be given the sack outright for not being hardworking enough or NOT being concern enough of the plight of the residents, nor does he or she bother about the unsightly surroundings and conditions of the flats in Taman Tun Dr. Awang. If they can afford 80% what is the other 20%? How much is the 80% and what is the 20%? He/she has got to specific. Efforts, gotong royong, muhibbahs functions can be carried out to raise funds to meet the 20%, if the State Government… Read more »

Kevin

Ahmad, either you read the article wrongly or u did not read the article at all. In this case, the federal govt is the one who is offering to pay 90% of repainting and refurbishment of low cost flats. Not the state govt. The state govt never said it would pay 80%. Your anger and frustrations should therefore be directed at the correct party. As to why the federal govt wants to only pay 90% and not 100% when they can very well afford it, I really have no idea. You must ask the housing minister. The state govt came… Read more »

Kevin

I must apologise then. Didn’t know about such a scheme previously. What I said was based on this article. And to me this, if really implemented, is a very fair deal.

Azeera

Ahmad Sobri
80-20% ruling so that the rakyat don’t have 100% Dependency (waiting for tongkat) and learn to be more productive not lepak waiting for aids here and there !