Scrap 3 islands project, seek other ways to fund PTMP, say 15 NGOs

The three-islands reclamation project (bottom left) is to raise money to finance the Penang Transport Master Plan. (Facebook pic.)

GEORGE TOWN: Fifteen non-governmental organisations (NGOs) want the Penang government to continue exploring other ways to fund the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) rather than to embark on the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project.

Led by the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP), the NGOs claimed that the PSR project would only bring environmental and social impact that would affect the future generation.

“The state government should put its money on a good, efficient, affordable and extensive public transport system rather than just increasing its land bank,” CAP vice-president Mohideen Abdul Kader told a press conference here today.

Another NGO, Penang Forum, said a petition it launched earlier this month to oppose the reclamation project has garnered 13,500 signatures and would continue until July.

Penang Forum committee member Khoo Salma Nasution said the petition is also intended to raise awareness about the risks, costs and negative impacts of the project as the state government has been promoting its benefits without fully explaining the impact.
The PSR involves development projects on 1,700ha of three man-made islands which are expected to compete with Marina Bay in Singapore.

The project is expected to bring in more than RM70 billion for the state, of which RM46 billion will be used to fund PTMP.

In Kepala Batas, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state government is prepared to accept any feedback and suggestion from any party, including NGOs, protesting against the PSR project.

He said the state government and the PSR project developer will discuss all suggestions and protests sent to it before taking mitigating measures on the issues raised.

“All this while, the state government has been receiving feedback and suggestions on the project. We will take appropriate action to resolve them,” Chow said after attending a Hari Raya Aidilfitri hamper presentation event.

“Once the project is approved, I can expect more issues to be brought up. We will listen to the problems of the local community, such as disturbances from the PSR project,” he said.