After 13-year battle, residents in Penang heritage kampung to get free homes

Predeep Nambiar -November 27, 2019 12:18 AM401Shares

The villagers of Kampung Mutiara, Penang, fighting to save their homes during a protest on July 31, 2017.

GEORGE TOWN: Some 400 villagers in one of the last remaining heritage Malay kampungs in Penang can breathe easy as they will be given homes at an apartment project to be built in the next four years.

For more than a decade, the residents at Kampung Mutiara in Batu Ferringhi had battled eviction through the intervention of politicians from both sides of the divide, as the village sits on private land.

The landowner did not offer to build homes for them.

Today, UDA Holdings chief executive officer Mohd Salem Kailany said Putrajaya will help by giving the kampung folk free homes within four years under a “new Kampung Mutiara plan”.

He said the Prime Minister’s Department had invited UDA – a company under the entrepreneur development ministry – to submit a proposal to develop a 2ha site adjacent to the current kampung.

The project would be funded by the federal government through a soft loan to UDA, and the remainder would come from UDA’s own funding, Salem said.

A total of 1,068 housing units would be built, including 400 units of low-cost houses, 166 units of affordable housing and 502 condominium units.

The 400 units of low-cost houses would be given to the Kampung Mutiara villagers, including residents of Kampung Che Ahmad, Kampung Din Bamboo and Kampung Kubur, for free.

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