26 Nov ‘Cancelling or postponing reclamation project will have huge impact on Penang’s economy’
Published by New Straits Times• 26/11/2021• 12:43 pm
The PSR, now known as the Penang South Island (PSI) project, covering 17 sq km involves the development of three man-made islands covering an area of 1,800 hectares in the waters off Permatang Damar Laut, near Bayan Lepas. – NSTP/MIKAIL ONG.
GEORGE TOWN: Penang will not face heavy financial implications if the implementation of the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project in the southern tip of the island is cancelled or postponed.
State Infrastructure and Transport Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said the impact of the loss of the project on the Penang economy however would be huge in the long run.
He said, as an industrial state, Penang needed to provide land to attract new foreign investors in the future.
He added that the absence of industrial sites such as the Green Tech Park for future high-tech industrial development meant that Penang would lose the opportunity to attract investments worth tens of billions of ringgit.
“This will affect Penang’s reputation as an investment destination and the state’s economic growth in the future.
“In fact, another implication for Penang is the loss of employment, business and income opportunities to the people and local companies which are awaiting for the opportunity,” he said when responding to a question by Lee Khai Loon (PKR – Machang Bubuk) at the state legislative assembly sitting here today.
Zairil (DAP – Tanjung Bungah) said the absence of the project also meant a loss of opportunities for the southern Penang area to enjoy progress.
“The fishing community is also unable to enjoy the benefits that are being planned and arranged under the Social Impact Management Plan (SIMP) and the community involvement programme branded as Pelitaku,” he added.
Yesterday, the Penang Fishermen’s Association (Pen Mutiara) reaffirmed its earlier decision to reject all reclamation projects in the state.
Two massive reclamation projects currently on the cards are the 1,800ha Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project and the RM2 billion reclamation project in Bagan Ajam, Seberang Prai Utara.
Chairman Penang Fishermen’s Association (Pen Mutiara), Mahadi Md Rodzi. – NSTP/MIKAIL ONG.
Its chairman Mahadi Md Rodzi had said that all delegates present were united in rejecting any reclamation project in the state.
The PSR, now known as the Penang South Island (PSI) project, covering 17 sq km involves the development of three man-made islands covering an area of 1,800 hectares in the waters off Permatang Damar Laut, near Bayan Lepas.
It was introduced as a funding module of the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) worth about RM46 billion.
It was reported that the coastal landscape in north Butterworth, between the North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT) and Jalan Tunku Putra, Teluk Air Tawar, was set to change with the construction of a new waterfront within the next few years.
This followed a supplementary agreement inked between the Penang government and Rayston Consortium (Butterworth) Sdn Bhd to reclaim 650 hectares of the land there.
The signing would push Rayston to start the long-delayed reclamation works since the first agreement was signed back in 1999.
Meanwhile, Zairil said the Penang government had and would continue to adopt an open approach in the implementation of the PSR project, in terms of getting feedback from the various segments of society.
“As of Oct 31, this year, a total of 13,957 people were met through varous engagement programmes. The state government feels that the condition for public engagement has been met.
“And a huge number of those met had voiced their support for the project if it does not have an impact on the environment and the fishing community,” he said, adding that the state government would strive to minimise impacts.