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Time to re-define development

September 8, 2012

Development is reaching saturation level in many parts of the country, says PKR MP Yusmadi Yusoff.

BALIK PULAU: There is a need to re-define what development means to the average Malaysians given the rapid pace of modernisation, a PKR parliamentarian said.

Balik Pulau MP Yusmadi Yusoff said development has reached saturation level in many parts of the country and hence, there is a need to re-define development.

He said this is necessary in view of the rapid growth of infrastructure, industries, roadworks, housing and social amenities over the last 50 years.

Citing Penang, Yusmadi said there is now a widespread sense of unhappiness over the level of development taking place here.

Penang is said to be over-devloped to the extent that even hillslopes are not spared in the hectic race to modernisation.

This has caused some adverse effects: environmental degradation, traffic congestion and the emergence of slums in midst of luxurious condominiums and landed bungalows.

Pockets of squatters are also facing eviction as developers scurry around to ensure their projects get underway before the effects of global recession set in.

Yusmadi said the country can no longer deal with development through half-baked solutions and an unholistic approach.

The time has come to re-visit development in the proper context.

Don’t give in to greed

“What does development mean to Malaysians? Is more wealth generated from it? Have we progressed in our own age of industralisation, or are we slowly but surely becoming the urban poor?” Yusmadi asked.

“Do Malaysians want to see their green lungs disappear or do they want to salvage them?”

He said he would raise this matter in Parlaiment when it convenes this month.

He added that he would invite Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional MPs to combine their resources to relook at the developments taking place in the rural areas.

They must also find ways to protect the rural areas from being swamped with excess development, he said.

Yusmadi also said that MPs and NGOs including the civil society should discard any bias or political affiliation in the interest of re-looking at development.

“We must also do away with a narrow-minded approach to developments as they affect both the poor and the rich.”

He said there is also a need to resist giving in to greed when it comes to developing the rural constituencies.

“I do not blindly opposed development but it must be done in a better way, and not at the expense of the poor or rich, for that matter.”

Yusmadi also hopes that his fellow MPs would join hands to prevent excessive development from destroying the rich culture, heritage and traditions of the people in Penang.

This melting pot must be preserved, he said.


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