CAP joins chorus calling for scrapping of Penang reclamation project

GEORGE TOWN: The Consumers' Association of Penang (CAP) has joined Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) and Penang Fishermen's Association (Pen Mutiara) in calling on the Penang government to scrap the controversial Penang South Islands (PSI) project.

CAP president Mohideen Abdul Kader said the state government should not go ahead with the reclamation off Penang island's south coast.

"Please listen to the voices of civil society organisations and the informed public. Do not yield to the pressure from developers and contractors," he said today.

Mohideen said naming one island, Silicon Island, and holding the carrot of attracting tourists, could not be the answer to the concerns raised by the association.

"What is the need for reclamation with its attendant negative ecological and social impacts"?

He said even Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had called for a review of the reclamation project.

"The primary consideration of the review will be whether the project is needed and beneficial to the people.

"Get on with the review process, which should be undertaken by independent experts and with input from CSOs.

"In the meantime, don't commit the state and federal governments to any financial liability," he added.

The federal government, Mohideen said, had agreed to provide funds to improve the transport infrastructure in Penang to overcome traffic congestion.

He said there was also enough land in Penang state – around 30,000 acres in the mainland and 1,300 acres on the island – for economic development.

"So why the need for extensive reclamation?"

Yesterday, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said Penang would scale down the project by 49 per cent by doing away with two of three islands initially planed.

The Silicon Island measures about 920ha and islands B and C would be about 560ha and 320ha respectively.

During a visit to Penang, Anwar had announced that the federal government would allocate more funds for the George Town - Bayan Lepas light rail transit (LRT) project.

Anwar had also asked the state government to scale down the PSI project.

Following Chow's announcement, SAM president Meenakshi Raman and Pen Mutiara chairman Ibrahim Che Ros asked the state government to scrap the project.

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