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Opposition ‘blind’ to benefits of Penang transport, reclamation plans, say reps

Opposition ‘blind’ to benefits of Penang transport, reclamation plans, say reps

Published by Free Malaysia Today• 27/05/2021• 02:47 pm

An artist impression of the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project.

GEORGE TOWN: DAP backbenchers today accused opposition parties of being “blind” to the benefits of the RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) and the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project.


They said the parties, including Gerakan and PAS, have been using “oft-repeated” narratives that have been “countered many times”.


In a statement, the group, led by the chief minister’s political secretary Teh Lai Heng, said the parties had “blindly” protested against the plans, and could not see the “economic fortune” the state could reap from the projects.


The statement follows criticisms against the projects, including privatisation of part of the “three islands” reclamation programme and how it would impact marine life and the livelihood of fishermen.


The DAP assemblymen said the project would propel Penang into a world-class sustainable state with low unemployment, high income and high liveability.


They likened the PTMP and the PSR projects to the industrial development push led by former chief minister Dr Lim Chong Eu, which transformed Bayan Lepas into an economic powerhouse.


“Without the earlier development, Penang would still be a low-income backward state with high unemployment, lacking opportunities and possibilities for Penangites to thrive,” they said.


“State opposition parties like Gerakan and PAS, in blindly protesting against the PTMP and PSR, have demonstrated their lack of vision and direction to drive and sustain Penang’s socio-economic growth for now and in the future.


“The recent objections raised by them are recycled criticisms that have been answered numerous times.”


The backbenchers said the two projects were all the more important during the Covid-19 pandemic, serving as recovery drivers for the state by injecting investment into the economy, generating job opportunities and catalysing future growth and investment inflow.


They also said Penang’s fishermen would benefit from the reclamation project as they would be given funding for new fishing boats and engines, and the use of dredged navigation channels and new “floating jetties”.


They accused the opposition and activist group Penang Forum of “rehashing the projects’ negative impacts” although they had not been able to provide any viable alternative solution.

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