Penang to declassify reclamation agreements

Concerned citizen: A participant sharing his thoughts during the session on the Penang Transport Master Plan reclamation issue at the town hall in George Town.

The state has no problems making public the concessionaire and land reclamation agreements, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

“A state executive council meeting will be held on Wednesday to declassify the agreements which were made by the previous state government.

“The reclaimed land will be used to fund the RM27bil Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP). We will choose the contractors and suppliers once the PTMP has been evaluated by the Project Delivery Partner, SRS Consortium Sdn Bhd,” he said.

Lim was speaking at a session attended by about 100 people about the proposed implementation of the PTMP at the council’s town hall here yesterday.

SRS Consortium has proposed that a 1,375ha reclamation project take place in the southern coast of Penang island. The plan is to have the land be used as an asset for the state to raise funds to deliver the PTMP in a timely and sustainable manner.

The two man-made islands, located near Permatang Damar Laut, spanning 930ha and 445ha, will be known as the South Reclamation Scheme.

SRS Consortium also proposed that a modern port be built for fishermen who are expected to be affected by the land reclamation.

Penang Citizens Awareness Chant Group (Chant) adviser Yan Lee questioned if areas such as Youth Park and Botanic Gardens would be affected by the PTMP.

SRS Consortium project director Szeto Wai Loong answered that they would opt to build over these green parks rather than across them.

Meanwhile, at a press conference held at a charity food fair in Jalan Utama, Penang Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh assured the people that the reclamation projects would be done according to rules and regulations that have been set.

“The methodology of the reclamation have to be monitored and enforced. I will also personally inspect every detail of the Environmental Impact Assessment report.

“If this is not properly done, even Putrajaya will not approve it,” he said.

Phee also said the reclamation projects could solve the congestion problem and offset the cost of the PTMP.

“We are not taking up a loan for the PTMP as we do not want to burden future generations. This is why the state is asking the private sector to do it.

“The state is committed to solving the congestion problem by bringing out more green fields,” he said, adding that the plan was to have a second tourist belt on the reclamation areas. - By Intan Amalina Mohd Aliandjolynn Francis (The Star)

No comments