The federal government should approve the Penang Transport Master Plan so that the state government cannot use it as a "political gimmick" to raise public outcry, says Penang state exco Chow Kon Yeow (pictured).
He was responding to Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Hilmi Yahaya’s dismissal of the Penang Transport Master Plan as a mere gimmick to raise public outrage when it was rejected by the federal government.
In a media statement today, Chow said the accusation was laughable as the Penang Transport Master Plan was a commitment to improve the public transport and road network to bring about sustainable development.
"In fact, it was Barisan Nasional who treated the LRT as an election gimmick, not once but thrice, and even though they were returned to federal power, they did not make good their electoral promises," he said.
He said if Hilmi were afraid that the Penang Transport Master Plan was a political tool, the best thing he could do was to get the federal government to approve it so that the Penang government would not be able to use its rejection to raise public outrage.
Hilmi, who is also Balik Pulau MP, had said that the master plan had been drawn up so that when "the federal government rejects this proposal, they (state government) will say, we had our development plans but the federal government opposed them... and this will later be a political issue and lead to public outcry in the state”.
Meanwhile, Chow said the state also noted LKIM chairman Datuk Irmohizam Ibrahim’s observation that the land reclamation projects proposed in the master plan were not beneficial to fishermen.
"We want to assure LKIM and all affected fishermen that SRS Consortium would make all effort to minimise the impact of the land reclamation.
"The state will work together with LKIM to improve the livelihoods of fishermen when reclamation is carried out in the south of Penang Island. The state will work with LKIM to ensure that better facilities be provided and the fishing grounds are not affected.
"Penang has seen many areas being reclaimed and LKIM has cooperated with the state in the relocation of fisherman affected by the reclamation. We hope LKIM will do likewise if the plan is approved for reclamation to be carried out in the south of Penang Island," said Chow. - The Malaysian Insider