Penang to gazette 2030 structure plan with PTMP, three-islands project

Penang executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo at the state assembly today. (Screengrab from state assembly video)

GEORGE TOWN: The 2030 Penang Structure Plan (PSP), which includes the three-islands project and the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), is being gazetted, the state assembly heard today.

State executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo (DAP-Dato Keramat) said all considerations have been taken into account before deciding to ratify the PSP so as not to negatively impact Penangites.

He said the integration of the three islands-project into the PSP has gone through many layers of discussions, including a town hall, giving all stakeholders a chance to speak their minds.

“The PSP will be the main terms of reference for all planning and development for Penang until 2030.

“This includes a specific policy on development on reclaimed land, especially the PSR (Penang South Reclamation project),” he said during his winding-up speech today.

The PSR project plans are on a second round of public display for a month since April 29 at select locations in the state, as part of its application for a favourable environmental impact assessment (EIA) report.

The PTMP is a RM46 billion plan to build highways, rail lines and other modes of public transport over the next 20 to 30 years.

It will be financed by auctioning the 4,500 acres (1,821ha) on the yet-to-be-reclaimed three islands. The first island will take eight to 10 years to be ready, with the rest ready in 20 years.

The PSP is being undertaken because federal law requires all states to come up with a structure plan, which would essentially lay out its spatial plans.

It outlines the development plans for the state for the next 10 years and will determine where homes can be built and more. The plan is renewable every five years. The last gazetted PSP was in 2007 and is still in use today.

There were plans to introduce a 2020 PSP, but it never took off.

Jagdeep: Penang should charge more for plastic bags

On a different note, Jagdeep said Penang should not encourage single-use plastic bag use by charging 20 sen for it but consider banning it altogether.

He said if a ban was not possible, the 20 sen charge should be increased significantly to deter people from buying them.

Jagdeep said to date, the local governments had collected RM8.9 million from the 20 sen charge.

“Can you calculate how many plastics were sold from such a number?”

State opposition leader Muhamad Yusoff Mohd Nor (BN-Sungai Dua) interjected, calculating that this meant nearly 45 million bags were sold.

Yusoff said he was in full support of a plastic bag ban.

One-way street plan for Batu Ferringhi

Meanwhile, Jagdeep said the famed one-street tourist town of Batu Ferringhi would be turned into a one-way road in the near future in view of the danger it poses to pedestrians and road users alike.

He said as a resident of Batu Ferringhi himself, he faced trouble navigating the narrow single-carriageway with his young son in tow, worrying about being hit by a car.

Jagdeep said the one-way road plan was possible with the upcoming North Coast Paired Road project, as part of the Penang Undersea Tunnel and three-roads project.

“Road safety in Batu Ferringhi is of great concern. We must take action. We will one day turn it into a one-way road,” he said.