GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has been told to make public the feasibility study and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the proposed construction of the three paired roads project in the state.

Acting state Gerakan Youth chief Jason Loo said the people of Penang had the right to know the impact of the project on the environment as well as technical and financial implications.

Loo said from what he was told, the project would partly affect two forest reserves -- the Bukit Kerajaan Forest Reserve and Teluk Bahang Forest Reserve -- and the Gambir Hill.

"Is it true that a total of 3.3ha of the forest reserves will be encroached into? Is it also true that 238 plots of land will be affected, involving the acquisition of hundreds of houses?

"Why is the state government keeping mum on this important issues? We demand answers and the truth," he told newsmen here today.

Loo said the Penang government should provide answers as they had given two pieces of state land, worth RM208 million, to the contractor which conducted the studies.

"That is not the Penang government's land. And that is certainly not (Chief Minister) Lim (Guan Eng)'s land.

"That land belongs to the people of Penang so they should be made aware of the implications," he added.

Meanwhile, Loo also slammed Lim for being selective in declassifying agreement documents related to the project.

He said last June he applied for the documents on the project under the state's Freedom of Information Enactment, but failed in his attempt.

"But the chief minister recently showed the first and last pages of the document to the media. What is his motive?

"If he is really transparent, he should declassify and make public the whole agreement documents and not only certain pages.

"This clearly shows that he is afraid of the developers, and he is not afraid of the people," he said.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar recently said that the Department of Environment (DOE) received an EIA report on April 21 last year for the proposed construction of the 10.53km north coastal paired roads from Tanjung Bunga to Teluk Bahang, the 5.7km paired road from Air Itam to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway by-pass and 4.075km paired road from Gurney Drive to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway by-pass.

He had said that the DOE approved the EIA report on Nov 7 last year.

The paired roads project is one of two components under the proposed RM6.3 billion Penang undersea tunnel project.

The tunnel project had raised numerous controversies in recent months, especially on the high cost of the RM305 million feasibility studies as well as the 21-month delay in completing it.

The controversial project is now a subject of investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

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Acting state Gerakan Youth chief Jason Loo said the people of Penang had the right to know the impact of the project on the environment as well as technical and financial implications. Pix by Danial Saad