GEORGE TOWN: The Penang state government has yet to grant approval for the “luxury hotel” on Lebuhraya Peel as claimed by Penang Gerakan, said Pulau Tikus state assemblyman Yap Soo Huey.
Yap said that while she welcomed the proposal of the hotel by Island Hospital warmly, Penang Gerakan should not be speculating matters and mislead people with inaccurate information.
She also said she had personally met residents from the nearby area.
Asked whether there are any objections to the project, Yap said that everyone has got their concerns such as air pollution with the ongoing construction and so forth.
Yesterday Penang Gerakan questioned the Penang state government’s approval through the Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI) to build a 40-storey hotel on a piece of land along Lebuhraya Peel without the open tender process.
It was reported that the land, which was owned by the state government, was sold by CMI to Island Hospital Sdn Bhd in December on a 99-years-lease at RM156 million without an open tender.
The hospital allegedly plans to build a new medical city, with 300 beds and and a hotel at the site.
The project is said to cost RM2 billion with an economic value of RM7 billion.
Yap however admitted that Island Hospital, considered to be a high-end hospital popular among patients from neighbouring countries, never informed her or residents in the surrounding area that the hotel would be a “luxury” one.
“I asked Island Hospital to provide clarification whether the hotel would be a luxury one.
“The hotel should be affordable and suited to the needs of patients going to their hospital,” she said, adding that data from the Health Ministry showed that patients coming to hospitals in Penang did not only include residents from the state as well as foreigners but also those from Kedah, Perlis and Perak.
Yap also clarified that the proposed hotel is 33-storeys high consisting of 440 rooms which includes a six-storey car park and not 40 stories as claimed.
“The hotel is to help address accommodation needs of medical tourists and I further urge Island Hospital to make it affordable for Malaysian and foreign patients going to Island Hospital and even nearby hospitals,” she told a press conference at the Penang Eurasian Association today to announce the Penang Eurasian Fest which will take place in Jalan Kelawei this weekend. – MO