Why reclamation okay in other states but not Penang, asks Guan Eng

Looi Sue-Chern

Prime Minister Najib Razak (foreground) and Penang Chief Minister do not see eye to eye about the Penang South Reclamation project. – The Malaysian Insight pic, August 27, 2017.

CHIEF Minister Lim Guan Eng has reminded Prime Minister Najib Razak that the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project that he derided yesterday is the result of his broken promise to build an LRT system in Penang.

“If Najib can remember, he promised to build the LRT for Penang three times in eight years, but nothing was forthcoming.

“So Penang has to come up with its own transport master plan, which is to be funded by the PSR.”

“Don’t make a political decision to victimise the people of Penang, who want this reclamation project that will enable us to fund the light rail transit project,” Lim said. 

The ambitious PSR will fund the multibillion ringgit Penang Transport Master Plan – a comprehensive public rail, land, and water transport plan to tackle the state’s traffic woes.

Lim said if the federal government did not approve of reclamation, why did it allow similar projects in Johor, Malacca and Kedah, which had started work to reclaim the sea without first conducting a detailed environmental impact assessment. 

“Why do you allow reclamation projects in other states? Some states have reclamation projects three or four times larger than what Penang is proposing. 

“Why are those allowed? Some don’t even pay enough compensation to fishermen,” he said in a press conference today. 

At the Balik Pulau Umno division meeting yesterday, Najib had said that the Penang government should not have undertaken the PSR because it was like “throwing sand into the rice bowls” of 1,500 fishermen.

The prime minister stressed that the federal government was not rejecting the PSR because it was the work of the opposition, but because its stand was that “projects cannot be detrimental to the locals.”

Lim today said Penang had never neglected the welfare of the affected fishermen, who were being paid compensation.

He said the state also paid the fishermen affected by its projects the highest rate of compensation in the country, but did not say how much.

“I want to stress that the future of fishermen is also a concern of the state government. That is we give them free nets (pukat pantai) twice a year, every year.

“We have said that the community will receive compensation and we will ensure the impact of the project will be minimal on their way of catching fish. 

“We are not extending the beach in the PSR reclamation, unlike in Johor. We are making man-made islands. The fishermen’s access to the sea is not blocked,” he said. 

Lim said the PSR project should not be condemned for political reasons.

“The PSR project is being studied by the Department of Environmental. The process so far is good. Let the project be determined technically, not politically.

“The (Najib’s) decision is not based on discussions or opinions of environmental and technical experts. It is just a political decision to fulfil the wishes of the Balik Pulau MP Dr Hilmi Yahaya.”

At the Jamuan Rakyat attended by Najib yesterday, Dr Hilmi said 1,500 fishermen, who were also present at the event, opposed the PSR project.

The fishermen received RM4.5 million living allowance in total from the federal government at the event yesterday.  – August 27, 2017.

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  • In malacca and in kuantan ok

    Posted 6 years ago by Leslie Chan · Reply

  • Because like those tourist in Tokyo, they can do all wrong but even if you did not do anything, you are guilty..Count yourself lucky they do accuse you of reclaiming land you are not even planning to..

    Posted 6 years ago by Bigjoe Lam · Reply