Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow is confident that the state’s RM46 billion transport master plan (PTMP) would be approved by the federal government within the first half of 2019, reported Free Malaysia Today.
The PTMP refers to a series of rail, roads and other modes of transport that would be financed via the creation of three islands set to be auctioned later.
While Chow did not state what part of the transport plan would commence first, it was previously reported that the creation of artificial islands would kick off along with a Light Rail Transit (LRT) project that would run from Komtar to Bayan Lepas.
However, he revealed that construction works for the 5.7km bypass road that would link Air Itam to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway would start on 31 August.
The road forms part of a bigger RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel and three roads project.
Initially separate from PTMP, the project was later included in the plan.
“This will definitely spur the building and construction industry in Penang and will uplift the state’s economy as a whole,” said Chow at yesterday’s Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA) Chinese New Year dinner.
He also addressed claims that the state was working in the pockets of developers.
“In Penang, we are so single-minded in implementing these projects. It’s been said that we have been working too closely with developers. I don’t know why,” said Chow.
“Some say, ‘in the pockets of the developers’, but I think we will not be distracted by insinuation and criticism and will continue to use the mandate people have given us very well.”
Meanwhile, the state plans to extend the period offered to foreign property buyers to avail of a three percent exemption in purchase fee from February to end of June this year, said State Housing Committee Chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo.
Despite the high price caps for residential properties and the imposition of a three percent purchase fee, it was impossible to stop foreign property buyers from purchasing more, noted Jagdeep.
This comes as the weak ringgit has made it attractive for foreigners to acquire properties in Malaysia.
In 2018 alone, foreigners acquired RM663 million worth of properties from the primary market, of which RM19.9 million represented the three percent purchase fee collected by the state.
Image Source from The Edge Property