Latest News

State govt files judicial review to challenge revocation of EIA approval for Penang South Reclamation project

State govt files judicial review to challenge revocation of EIA approval for Penang South Reclamation project

Published by The Star• 04/01/2022

KUALA LUMPUR: The Penang government has filed a judicial review at the High Court here to challenge the revocation of its previous Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) approval for its Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project.


In seeking leave to commence a judicial review, the state government wants the court to quash the decision by the Environment Department (DOE) appeal board to revoke approval for the project on Sept 8, 2021.


According to a news portal, the Penang government has named the DOE, the Federal Government and fisherman Zakaria Ismail as respondents in the legal challenge.


The tribunal had earlier ruled in favour of Zakaria and fellow fishermen to revoke approval for the project which was supposed to be carried out in the southern part of Penang island.


To this, the Penang government claimed the tribunal’s decision was made on an “incorrect basis of facts”.


In its affidavit, former state deputy state secretary Azhar Arshad was quoted by the portal as saying that the tribunal had failed to summon the state government, which was an aggrieved party, before the proceedings.


“The tribunal’s decision to set aside the PSR project had also contravened the Environmental Quality Act’s principles,” Azhar said in his affidavit as reported by the portal.


The portal was also made to understand that the court documents had been served on the Attorney General’s Chambers, representing the DOE and the Federal Government.


High Court judge Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh will hear the bid to start the legal challenge on Jan 24.


It was earlier reported that the Penang government would need to resecure the DOE nod for the project’s EIA report.


The earlier approval in 2019 was revoked in September last year by the DOE’s Appeal Board over technical issues.


Penang Infrastructure Corporation chief executive officer Datuk Seri Farizan Darus, who is overseeing PSR’s implementation, had earlier said that the state was still pursuing the PSR plan, adding that a judicial review of the Appeal Board’s decision would be filed by Dec 7 then.


He also said the state government and project delivery partner SRS Consortium were working on resubmitting the project’s EIA Report. The report is now being updated and expected to be submitted to the DOE in the first quarter of 2022.


He added that the report would be on public display and scrutinised by the DOE’s technical review committee.


Going by the department’s SOP, he said the state government was expecting a decision in the third quarter of 2022.


PSR is the state government’s funding model for the Penang Transport Master Plan, which includes the state’s first light rail transit (LRT) line from Komtar to the Penang International Airport.


The 930-hectare Island A – the first to be reclaimed – will house an industrial park for high-tech industries of the future. Island B (567ha) and Island C (323ha) will house business hubs and a resort island with world-class tourism attractions.


The magnitude of the reclamation has worried NGOs and environmental activists, who decry the project’s impact on the marine environment and fishermen, despite the state government’s explanations and assurances.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.