Latest News

Academics and varsity students gain valuable insights into PSI project

Academics and varsity students gain valuable insights into PSI project

Published by Buletin Mutiara • 16/6/2023

UiTM students hear for themselves directly from the project implementers.


The proposed Penang South Island (PSI) project has recently garnered attention from academics and students across various disciplines.


Two separate groups of students and lecturers from Universiti Teknologi Mara’s (UiTM) Architectural, Planning and Surveying Faculty and Universiti Sains Malaysia’s (USM) Industrial Technology School recently visited the project site.


They were briefed on the PSI Ecology Offset Master Plan (PEOM), Social Impact Management Plan (SIMP) and the community participation programme called PELITAKU, which provides business opportunities for locals, at the Pusat Perkhidmatan Setempat Nelayan in Permatang Damar Laut.

Dr Lilawati led a group of 50 students to the proposed PSI project site for a study.

UiTM lecturer Dr Lilawati Ab Wahab, who brought a group of about 50 students, said the visit would equip her quantity surveying students with valuable knowledge they could use if they work on such projects in their future careers.


She said her students had the opportunity to hear about the project’s feasibility, potential risks and mitigation measures directly from the project implementers.


“We came to learn more about the PSI’s Silicon Island reclamation, especially from the economic and ESG (environment, social and governance) aspects.


“The students had the chance to learn about the economic gains a project like this will generate from start to finish. Indirectly, they also learned about potential issues the reclamation could cause and how the project proponent will address them.


“They heard for themselves how the project impacted the local community and the measures that are being taken to address the conflict,” she said.

Muhamad Hafith says all projects have their impact, but it is important to minimise risks and embrace the positive aspects.

Quantity surveying undergraduate Muhamad Hafith Nasir said in their courses, they learned how to assess projects from various aspects to determine whether they were feasible and viable.


“To me, PSI will bring many economic and social benefits, attracting investors and creating job opportunities while the SIMP scheme helps the local fishermen improve their standard of living and livelihood.


“While all projects have their impact, it is important to minimise risks and embrace the positive aspects.”


Another student from the UiTM’s Seri Iskandar branch campus, Noor Yusra Md Nasir said their studies also touched on reclamation projects, how they were built and associated issues.


“From the briefing, we now better understand the impacts of the project and what are the mitigation measures that will be in place to minimise the effects of the reclamation,” he said.


In a separate visit, USM’s environmental technology student Demus Matheus Huang, 22, from Indonesia, said the visit cleared up his past confusion and misunderstandings about the project.


“I gained a lot of insights into the project’s progress, as well as the development’s aim to provide better opportunities to the nearby community while minimising environmental impact,” he said.

Huang says the state’s economy and businesses need land to grow.

Huang said he understood the justification of the project, considering that Penang was pressed for land and the development would benefit the country’s economy.


“When I first heard about PSI, I thought it would be good because of Penang Island’s land scarcity. The economy and businesses need land to grow.


“But the project may also impact the surrounding environment and the local fishing community. So, I can also understand why people have mixed feelings about it.


“But the project is also providing many beneficial programmes for the fishermen through the SIMP, PEOM and PELITAKU. The fishermen are being given training and job, as well as education opportunities for their kids that can improve their lives, which I think is very good,” he added.

USM students being briefed on the proposed PSI project.

His classmate Gao Liqing, 27, said their lecturers often discussed the project in their classes.


“They encouraged us to examine the project from multiple angles, like its feasibility, its economic, social and environmental impact,” said the student from China.


“The project has made many considerations, including making sure that the local community can progress alongside the development.”


The USM group was made up of 20 postgraduate students and lecturers. This was the second visit by the Industrial Technology School.

Dr Widad says site visit would give students first-hand knowledge.

Lecturer and course coordinator Dr Widad Fadhullah said their visit was part of the students’ assignments, which involved evaluating the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the project.


She said before the visit to PPSN, the students only relied on literature and other information they gathered online.


“With their newly-gained understanding of the SIMP and PEOM, the students can better complete their assignment, using the knowledge they have gained first-hand from the site,” she said.


Penang Infrastructure Corporation chief executive officer Datuk Seri Farizan Darus said the state government welcomed the interest of institutions of higher learning in the PSI project.


He emphasised the long-term benefits of the project, including its potential to stimulate and strengthen Penang’s economy, attract investors, create jobs and improve the socioeconomic conditions of the people.


“We are happy to know that students and lecturers are interested in the state government-owned project.


“We welcome schools and universities to visit to learn more about the development. We are glad that PSI can also contribute towards students’ learning experience,” he said.

No Comments

Post A Comment