GEORGE TOWN, June 3 — Batu Kawan is set to be a catalyst of growth for Seberang Perai as the state government focuses more on the mainland portion of the state, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said at the legislative assembly today.
He said the future of Penang is in Seberang Perai, which was why the state has prioritised development in the region since 2018.
The Padang Kota assemblyman said the state’s development arm, Penang Development Corporation (PDC), is the main agency to implement development projects in the state.
“The PDC strategic plan is to focus on new area of growth that is based on green and smart city and Batu Kawan was identified as one of the growth areas in Seberang Perai,” he said in his winding-up speech at the legislative assembly today.
He said PDC is rapidly developing Batu Kawan to turn it into a main industrial zone.
Among the projects implemented in the area included the Batu Kawan Industrial Park, the Batu Kawan East and Penang Science Park South.
“The Bandar Cassia Development Master Plan in Batu Kawan included a combination of mixed development involving residential, commercial, education, medical and industrial components,” he said.
He said there are development plans for Bandar Cassia Technology Park (BCTP) and Batu Kawan Industrial Park 3 (BKIP 3) to ensure there are sufficient industrial lands especially for promoted industries such as the electrical and electronics (E&E), electronics manufacturing services (EMS), light emitting diodes (LED), medical devices, aerospace, semiconductor, automotive and other related industries.
“PDC is also undertaking a study on developing Penang Science Park South (PSPS) as a general industry and halal hub zone while a logistic hub will involve BKIP 3 and PSPS,” he said.
Chow said emphasis will be given to Environmental Social Governance (ESG) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) during the planning stage on the use of lands in the identified development zone.
Chow admitted that due to the rapid development in Seberang Perai, the area also faces issues such as traffic congestion, waste management, river pollution and water supply issue.
He termed these issues as “growing pains” and said the state will work hard to ensure Seberang Perai continues to see growth in years to come.
“However, Penang still needs more allocation to improve its facilities and infrastructure,” he said.
On the water supply woes afflicting South Seberang Perai, he said water consumption has increased by 10.4 per cent in the last three years despite the lockdowns due to the pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
He said the Penang Water Supply Corporation has come up with holistic measures to resolve the issue.
As for criticisms by Dr Afif Bahardin (PPBM-Seberang Jaya) that the state was misleading the people by claiming it had fulfilled 90 per cent of the 68 pledges in its 2018 manifesto, Chow insisted the state had fulfilled 54 out of the 68 pledges while six are in the midst of implementation.
He said two pledges could not be implemented as the federal government already has similar programmes.
“So, if we add the six in the midst of implementation with the 54, we get 60 out of 66, isn’t that 90 per cent?” he asked Dr Afif after the latter interrupted to insist that the state only fulfilled about 60 per cent of its pledges.
Dr Afif insisted that projects that are under planning or being implemented should not be considered as completed.
“I am raising this issue because I don’t want the people to be misled by this,” he said.
Chow said the state will strive to fulfil the remaining 10 per cent of its pledges in its manifesto in the one year remaining for this term.
“We will focus on speeding up on realising Penang2030 and reviving the economy post pandemic,” he said.
The state legislative assembly was then adjourned.