KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has rejected a bid by the Penang state government to reinstate its Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project.
Judge Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh dismissed the state government’s leave application to initiate a judicial review after refusing a bid to extend time to allow proceedings to be brought to court.
“In view of the material before me, I am not convinced that the extension of time ought to be allowed.
“Since the extension of time was refused, the court cannot hear the applicant’s (state government) leave application,” he said.
Wan Ahmad Farid pointed out that the application to commence judicial review had been filed out of time as more than three months had elapsed since the decision by the department of environment (DoE) appeal tribunal, which was the subject matter of the challenge.
Under the law, an application to commence judicial review proceedings to challenge an administrative decision must be filed within three months from the date the decision is given.
The Penang government was seeking a court order to quash a decision made by the DoE appeal tribunal to revoke approval for the project made on Sept 8, 2021.
The tribunal had ruled in favour of Zakaria Ismail and his fellow fishermen on the grounds that it would affect their livelihood.
The state government had claimed the tribunal’s decision was bad in law as it had been made on an “incorrect basis of facts”.
The PSR project, covering 17 sq km, was intended to involve the development of three man-made islands in the waters off Permatang Damar Laut, near Bayan Lepas.
It was mooted as a funding module for the RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan.
In March last year, the state government announced that SRS Consortium would reclaim one of the proposed three islands.
The company will pay RM3.8 billion to reclaim half of Island A as part of a 30:70 joint venture with a state-owned company, with the larger portion held by SRS Consortium.
The state government was represented by assistant legal adviser Charanjit Singh while lawyer Meenakshi Raman appeared for Zakaria.