Moving ahead with poise and aplomb


IT has been four years since Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow assumed the role of chief executive and he is expected to unveil his performance report that details his achievements after 44 months in the job.

A slew of mega mobility and infrastructure projects are among the key points in his report card scheduled to be presented during a ceremony at 4pm on Friday.

The projects, amounting to RM31.36bil in total, are Island A of Penang South Reclamation (RM10.1bil), the Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit (RM9.4bil), the Pan Island Link 1 (RM10bil), the Ayer Itam-Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu bypass (1.09bil) and the 12km North Coastal Paired Road between Tanjong Bungah and Teluk Bahang (RM772mil).

Island A, the first of the three man-made islands to be reclaimed in the project known as the Penang South Reclamation (PSR), is meant to inject more investment into the state and create job opportunities for Penangites.

Located off the southern coast of Penang island, Island A will also feature sustainable and low-carbon development, affordable housing, green parks and beaches for the public.

All the components are in line with the Penang2030 vision of ‘A family-focused green and smart state that inspires the nation’.

SRS Consortium will raise the funding needed for the reclamation of Island A and hold 70% of the joint venture, while the state-owned Penang Infrastructure Corp Sdn Bhd holds the other 30%.

As project owner, the state government will give full exclusive development rights of Island A to the joint venture firm.

The entire PSR project consisting of three man-made islands will see a combined acreage of 1,800ha or equal to the size of 3,600 football fields.

The 930-hectare Island A will house an industrial park for high-tech industries of the future. Island B (567ha) and Island C (323ha) will house business hubs and a resort island with world-class tourism attractions.

A fishermen task force committee has also been set up to formulate and implement initiatives that will benefit the fishing community affected by PSR.

As of now, a total of RM55.5mil has been spent on ex-gratia payments and monthly allowances for the fishermen, community empowerment and housing scheme.

At present, the Penang government had filed a judicial review at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur to challenge the revocation of its previous Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) approval for the PSR project.

On the RM9.4bil Bayan Lepas LRT, work is expected to commence this year. Upon completion, it is expected to ease traffic congestion on Penang island.

The RM10bil Pan Island Link 1 (PIL 1), a highway project that connects Gurney Drive to the Penang International Airport, will ease traffic congestion and shorten traveling time for motorists upon completion.

Two other projects in the pipeline are the Ayer Itam-Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu bypass (Package Two) and the 12km North Coastal Paired Road between Tanjung Bungah and Teluk Bahang (Package One).

The two road projects, totalling RM1.862bil, and another one are part of the island traffic dispersal system for the proposed RM6.3bil Penang Undersea Tunnel.

Construction of the Package Two, which is part of the Penang Transport Master Plan project, is ahead of schedule and expected to complete in 2025.

Change is also on the horizon for Penang’s seafront, with several coastal developments in the pipeline.

On the RM200mil Gurney Wharf touted to be the next tourism hub in the state, an open tender for contractors to start work will be called at the end of the year once the tender documents are finalised.

The project along Gurney Drive will offer greenery surrounding through recreation parks upon completion.

In Esplanade, the RM37.53mil North Seafront project is still on- going, as only a few components of the project have been completed.

The masterplan, which starts from Dewan Sri Pinang (to the west) to Fort Cornwallis and the entrance to Swettenham Pier (to the east), includes the upgrading works along the shoreline and restoration works on its cultural and environmental aspects.

As for the proposed East Seafront Project stretching from the old Penang Yacht Club (PYC) to Tanjung City Marina, the project is still under planning without a financing concept.

Another project that is still under planning is the Penang Bay project, where the state government aims to adopt a network city model for the special development of the entire coastal area of Butterworth and George Town.

It will incorporate Gurney Wharf, light rail connectivity, the Jelutong landfill, the George Town north and east seafront projects plus waterfront development in Butterworth.

The project will deliver significant new opportunities for Penangites via publicly accessible waterfront promenades plus retail, education, lifestyle and transport amenities.

The successful execution of all the mega infrastructure projects in Penang will boost connectivity which will in turn be favourable towards the property market.

This will also create socio- economic activities that can help the local industries to flourish, thereby providing new employment opportunities.

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Penang , Chief Minister , Chow Kon Yeow

   

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