I WOULD like to respond to the statements from PAS and Penang Sustainable Natural Heritage Association (Lekas), regarding the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project.
These two groups have raised the same empty objections against PSR in the past, which is actually expected as Lekas’s chairman Zikrullah Ismail is a PAS youth leader in Penang.
It is clear that PAS is going all out to stop sustainable development in Penang, desiring the state to suffer economic deterioration.
When Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor from PAS threatened to cut off water from flowing into Penang, these PAS leaders in Penang kept quiet.
When Sanusi unveiled the RM40 billion sea reclamation megaproject in Langkawi, these same PAS leaders in Penang went silent.
Yet, when the Penang government wanted to proceed with the PSR as part of the state’s efforts to pursue sustainable development, these PAS leaders suddenly became eco-warriors and went all out to criticise the project.
Obviously, these PAS leaders are spinning issues for political mileage at the expanse of the overall economic well-being of Penang and the future of the state.
Penang should not be turned into a backwater state. Penang is different from PAS-led states such as Terengganu, Kedah, and Kelantan.
The 2019 GDP per capita of these three states was RM28,890 (Terengganu), RM21,488 (Kedah), and RM13,464 (Kelantan), while Penang’s was RM53,342.
The highest among the PAS-led states is Terengganu, where the mining, burning, and refining of fossil fuel forms a large part of the state’s economy.
PAS leaders wholeheartedly embrace Terengganu’s carbon-intensive economy but fervently preach about environmentalism in Penang. Hypocritical political antic?
Penang is pursuing sustainable development through the PSR project that upholds the environmental, social, and governance standards.
Sea reclamation is reported as a “mature and effective technology and can provide predictable levels of safety” by the United Nations intergovernmental panel on climate change, the world’s authority on climate matters (The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate: A Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2019).
PSR will help to secure Penang’s economy and future, while PAS continues to spin tales leading to the state’s economic deterioration. – April 13, 2021.
* Joshua Woo reads The Malaysian Insight.
* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.