GEORGE TOWN: A local pressure group has questioned the inclusion of what has been dubbed a “fourth island” in the 2030 Penang Structure Plan (RSN), saying authorities must explain how it was drawn in without public consultation.
The Socialist Progressive Front told FMT that the island, located next to the second Penang bridge off the waters of Batu Maung, appeared to have been “sneaked” into the RSN.
Its spokesman Teh Yee Cheu said NGOs had spent a lot of time poring over the draft plan.
“I remember clearly that the draft copy of the RSN showed to us did not have this fourth island.
“In fact, we cross-checked with the earlier plan given to us, and there was no such island. The state must explain how it cropped up without us being consulted beforehand,” he added.
Penang authorities had said that the island was meant for the construction of a new airport which was unlikely to take off.
However, Teh said the state government should reveal if a private developer was initially roped in for the project and what its proposal entailed.
He also voiced concern over another stretch marked for reclamation in the same channel, north of the Penang bridge.
He said the area, known as the Middle Bank, was a seagrass bed and a haven for marine life, adding that it should be off limits to development.
“Despite saying no development is going to take place there, it is still marked as reclaimable under the RSN. Why is this so?”