Penang CM says time now to focus on plans for state’s man-made islands, not public debate about land reclamation
GEORGE TOWN, April 30 — There is no need for a public debate on the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project as the time for it has passed, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said today.
Responding to an open challenge by Gerakan president Datuk Dominic Lau Hoe Chai for a public debate on the massive reclamation project, Chow said the project had gone through a long seven to eight years process.
“The time for disputes over the project is over, we have held engagement sessions and public display sessions, if he didn't take part in the process, it was already over and there is no need for a debate about it,” he told reporters in a press conference after officiating the Penang Wesak Celebration Day here.
He said the controversial project went through the necessary process to finally obtain an approval for its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report.
“We believe the time for dispute is already over and the Department of Environment has set conditions for us to comply with,” he said.
He said if the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) is approved, it would mean that the state has complied with the 71 conditions set by the DoE.
“It would have undergone close scrutiny by various agencies before it was approved,” he said.
Chow said the state and the project delivery partner, SRS Consortium, will now focus on Penang South Islands (PSI) and the creation of the islands.
“In this coming week, we will announce our plans for PSI and what we plan to do on the first island, Island A,” he said.
The PSI consists of three islands, measuring a total 4,500 acres (1,821 hectares), off the southern coast of Penang island.
Island A will measure 2,300 acres (930 hectares), Island B will measure 1,400 acres (566 hectares)and Island C will measure 800 acres (323 hectares).
Chow had earlier revealed that Island A will also feature a 700 acres (283 hectares) Greentech Park.
Reclamation works on Island A is expected to start in the third quarter of this year once approval is obtained for its EMP.