GEORGE TOWN: Forty-five non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have come together to bring the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project to the attention of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
The group led by Persatuan Melayu Pulau Pinang (Pemenang) president Mohd Yussof Abdul Latiff, said: “We will send it soon to the prime minister, deputy prime minister and Penang Chief Minister (Chow Kon Yeow).
“The PSR is putting the livelihoods of the fishermen of Penang and northern Perak at risk, potentially affecting some 10,000 of them.
“The water quality and marine resources will also be severely affected by this project.
“We hope that when we submit this memorandum to the prime minister, the government will review and call off the project.”
He said this after a meeting with the NGOs here today.
The NGOs included in the discussion to scrap the PSR are Yayasan Bina Ilmu, Persatuan Jawi Peranakan Pulau Penang and Suara Balik Pulau.
The PSR project comprises reclaimed islands, with a total land area of 1,800ha, which will be used to fund the state government’s ambitious RM4.6 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).
The project delivery partner is SRS Consortium, whose largest shareholder is Gamuda Bhd.
The PTMP project, which was announced in 2015, consists of a light-rail transit (LRT) system, an undersea tunnel and three paired highways.
Environmentalists are opposed to the PSR, saying it would adversely impact fishermen’s livelihoods and the marine ecosystem in the southern part of the island.
Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) vice-president Mohideen Abdul Kader said the state government should come back to the root problems in the state — traffic congestion.
“What we proposed before is to improve public transport. This is much cheaper and affordable for all.
“However the state government refused to listen to this idea and had gone ahead with this mega project despite our objections,” he said.
Pertubuhan Warisan Tanah dan Teroka Bandar (Teroka) chairman Zikrullah Ismail questioned the timing of the state government carrying out the public exhibition of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the proposed PSR.
He said the current one, which was the second exhibition, was done during the month of Ramadhan and the first one was done close to the Chinese New Year period.
“How are they expecting the people to digest 700 pages of the report during this busy period?
“It is as if they are trying to manipulate it in order to push for approval,” he claimed.