Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow confirmed that the move was meant to turn the reclaimed site into an international resort with hotels, commercial areas and serviced apartments.
“We may call for a Request for Proposal (RFP) if we think it is a feasible and viable project.
“We have asked various agencies to look at the proposal.
“But we have not come to a decision yet. The state can decide to turn down the proposal.
“If the state is interested, we can call for an RFP to invite more proposals.
“We can open to other companies to improve on the idea, concept, components of development and financial returns of the project.
“RFP allows interested parties to give their best value proposal for a particular development,” he said on the sidelines of the Penang State Assembly meeting at Dewan Sri Pinang in George Town on Monday.
Last week, the state published an RFP in local newspapers to build a coastal resort and spa in Batu Ferringhi, but on a separate piece of seaside land in the area which the state owns.
This 16,997sq m site fronting the sea is near the Moonlight Bay project and Miami Beach.
Earlier, Citizen Awareness Chant Group (Chant) legal adviser Yan Lee said he was tipped off by “a highly placed source” that a project would involve the creation of an island off the coast of Batu Ferringhi.
He claimed that they were told at least 121ha would be reclaimed from this area and result in “world-class luxury hotels and resorts, wellness centre, private institution, apartments, and floating villas”.
Chow said throughout the years, the state government had received all kinds of proposals from the private sectors, public institutions, universities and professional bodies.
“Not all proposals can go through the process.
“Under the 4Ps Partnership of Public, Private, People and Professionals, if the state government is given a proposal, we can pass it on to the various departments for them to evaluate whether it is something we want to embark on.
“For us to take the proposal to the next stage, the state government needs to give them a letter of intent.
“The private company has a lot of compliance to go through, such as getting approval for the Environmental Impact Assessment and approval from the National Physical Planning Council,” he said.
Chow said the Town and Planning Department had given its views under the Penang Structure Plan 2030.
“There are clauses in the structure plan that can allow us to do something that is not in the structure plan.
“The Town and Planning Department will be looking into all this.
“The private company will have to go through the tedious and long process, just like what SRS Consortium is going through right now for its Penang South Reclamation (PSR) near Teluk Kumbar.
On a report that a piece of hilltop land in Jalan Bukit Gambir is to be sold in a public auction, Chow said it was up to the parties involved to come to any agreement since it is a private land.
“For the state government, we have control only over the land use and development components.
“Such controls are included in the various laws, Structure Plan and development guidelines.
“Further conditions can be imposed by the state and local councils on the development when there is an application,” he said.
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