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Monday, October 11, 2010

Exco Village bungalows for rent

STUMPED for business ideas to maximise the revenue-making potential of the Exco Village in Section 7, Shah Alam, the Selangor government has begun renting out the 10 bungalows for a paltry RM170 each, per day.

State housing, building management and squatters committee chairman Iskandar Abdul Samad said the revenue earned from the rental would be channelled to the state government.

“We have succeeded in cutting the maintenance of the complex from RM170,000 per month to RM70,000,” he said.

Opposition chief Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo lambasted the Pakatan government for not being able to keep their promise to unlock the business potential of the bungalows.

“First they attacked the project and called it a waste. Then they promised the people that it would sell the complex and the money would be used for community-based projects.

“Later in June 2008, state executive councillor Ronnie Liu suggested it be turned into a medical centre while Sekinchan assemblyman Ng Suee Lim called for it to be part of a tour package.

“After 18 months have gone by, we now find each of the six-room bungalows is being rented out at only RM170 per day,” he said.

“It is a resort setting that offers expensive and comfortable facilities and it cannot be rented at such low fee. This is shameful,” he added.

Even Ng feels that RM170 is too low a rental for the bungalow, and plans to table the issue at the coming state assembly sitting.

All bedrooms and the living room are air-conditioned. There is hot shower in each bathroom and guests also have acccess to an outdoor swimming pool with jacuzzi.

Iskandar said the rental sum for each bungalow per day was agreed to by the state and which was based on De Palma Hotel’s rate for a standard room.

We decided to rent the bungalows out and sought the help of De Palma Hotels, a subsidiary of Selangor State Development Corporation, to conduct a study.

“At first the state wanted to appoint De Palma to manage the bungalows but after some consideration, we decided that the State Management Services could do it,” he said.

He said the whole complex was now called Selangor Government’s Rest House.

“We will change the board at the entrance soon.

“Six of the 10 bungalows are surrounded by lush greenery and used for training, meetings and government courses as well as to house state guests.

“Most of the time we have courses for local leaders including village heads, officers in the Mentri Besar’s office and for spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional and social programmes at the rest house,” he added.

Iskandar said four bungalows had been allocated to the state legal adviser, state financial officer, state information director and the Petaling District Council president.

The Exco Village was built at a cost of RM21mil. However, since the Pakatan Rakyat government wrested power from Barisan Nasional in the March 2008 general election, it has been unable to unlock the village’s business potential.

Voices on the ground had begun to rumble over the bungalows and the decision to set such low rent for the luxurious bungalows.

Dr Khir said even if all six bungalows were rented out for a year it would earn about RM370,000 and there would be no profit as the revenue would go to paying for maintenance, management fees as well as the wages of gardeners and security guards.

“It would be better for the state executive councillors to move into the bungalows as that would save the ratepayers’ money,” he said.

By The Star

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