PETALING JAYA: The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) has urged Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and the unity government to cancel the Penang South Islands (PSI) reclamation project, claiming that it will cause “permanent destruction” to the state.
CAP president Mohideen Abdul Kader said the state government should focus on attracting investment instead, citing the availability of more than 1,215ha in Batu Kawan and 12,000ha in Seberang Perai that can be developed.
Mohideen said implementing the project would require reclaiming 1,820ha from the sea, an important carbon sink, to be covered with sand and soil.
He said it will also produce 3.2 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year, in violation of Malaysia’s commitment under the Paris Agreement.
“We stress that the project will result in the destruction of an important fishery source in Penang, which provides income for over 3,000 people and their families, and food – fish, prawns, crabs and other marine life – for the consumers,” he said at a press conference today.
“This project will also bring demographic change, with the local fishing community and those in the B40 segment being displaced to seek shelter in other places.”
Mohideen said that in a 2019 letter, the environment director-general had warned that there would be a permanent effect on mudflat ecosystems, fishing grounds, turtle landing areas, and other natural habitats. Yet, he said, the project’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) had now been approved.
He said the estimated RM16 billion reclamation cost could be better used to improve the living standards of the poor and marginalised, provide better healthcare and education, and improve traffic mobility.
Also at the press conference was Penang Forum’s Khoo Salma Nasution.
The PSI 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.
The project will cover a total of 1,620ha off the southern coast, between Permatang Damar Laut and Gertak Sanggul.
The sale of reclaimed land and property will help finance the RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan, under which new highways and a transit system would be built.