Penang allocates land for temples, churches

By Opalyn Mok
Lim said the state government has identified the piece of land in Ampang Jajar in Bagan for non-Muslims to build places of worship. — Picture by K.E. Ooi

GEORGE TOWN, March 2 — Penang has set aside a 20-acre piece of land in North Seberang Perai for temples and churches.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state government has identified the piece of land in Ampang Jajar in Bagan for non-Muslims to build places of worship.

"We have been receiving letters from non-Muslim religious groups asking for land to build temples and churches over the last nine years and we have been searching for land for this purpose until we finally identified this piece of land," he said in a press conference at his office today.

The 20-acre plot of land, which faces the Prai River, will have 32 lots for non-Muslim religious groups to buy and to build their places of worship.

"It is all located in one area so all will be centred there where they can practise their respective religions," he said.

Lim said non-Muslim religious groups have been facing land shortage issues and had no space to build their temples and churches in the state.

"Now that we have identified this piece of land for them, they can apply to purchase the lots to build their temples and churches," he said.

The land will be sold on a 99-year lease and the land price will be determined by the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH), according to land prices for places of worship.

"They will not be paying commercial prices, it will be special prices for places of worship and the actual price will be evaluated by JPPH," he said.

State executive councillor Lim Hock Seng is in charge of the land, so those interested may apply through him or through Guan Eng himself.

"Applications to buy the plots can be made immediately, just write to me or to Hock Seng," he said.