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PEMIKIR urges Penang govt to build foreign worker dorm in industrial zone

20/10/2021 06:30 PM

GEORGE TOWN, Oct 20 -- Penang think tank, Pertubuhan Badan Pemikir Melayu Pulau Pinang (PEMIKIR) has urged the state government to relocate the site of a suggested international standard foreign worker dormitory from Teluk Kumbar to the industrial zone in Batu Kawan.

PEMIKIR chairman Datuk Dr Muhamad Farid Saad said the industrial zone in Batu Kawan was more a appropriate site as it was a bigger area and was ready for development compared to the village areas in Teluk Kumbar besides the location is near to the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah bridge (JSAHMS) that connects the two industrial areas.

“Worker bus movements can be minimised, pollution lessened, travel time from living areas (dormitory) to work can be reduced and jams avoided,” he said in a press statement here today.

Muhamad Farid said if the dormitory was built in the industrial zone, the Immigration Department could manage foreign worker issues better, diseases and health-related issues could be managed and monitored properly and the police could concentrate their focus on security issues.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic had caused many locals to be unemployed, and the state government should actually provide job opportunities or industrial training to locals to help them adapt to industry needs.

He said the project’s approval showed that the state government prioritised foreigners and was over-dependent on foreigners where the future of the state’s industry was concerned.

Muhamad Farid also said that the state government’s approval for the dormitory construction entailing three villages was akin to a new form of ‘colonisation’ of traditional village areas that could potentially destroy the peace and harmony of the local communities there.

"Fifty thousand foreign workers who will stay in the village areas that are home to 10,000 locals is a social injustice to Malaysians and locals. There are too many negative lifestyle and social factors that will haunt locals especially in terms of health, safety and traffic,” he said.

Media outlets recently reported that the Penang state government had approved the construction of a worker dormitory that could accommodate 50,000 residents on Lots 1435 and 1437 in Bagan Teluk Kumbar, Lots 1859, 1860 and 1865 in Tingkat Teluk Kumbar as well as Lots 236 dan 284 in Mukim 11 Bukit Belah, Sungai Batu.


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