GEORGE TOWN: A Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) councillor has claimed that most of the residents in Bayan Baru support the controversial subterranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition Centre (sPICE) project.
Councillor Mohd Rashid Hasnon said sPICE could help revive the Penang International Sports Arena (PISA), which is now suffering from a negative public image because infrastructure such as its indoor swimming pool could not be used.
“The sPICE project includes repairing and upgrading PISA. If the upgrading is to be halted, it would hinder the development of Penang. With a facility like sPICE, activities can be held to lure more investors,” he told a press conference yesterday.
Mohd Rashid, who is also the Bayan Baru PKR division deputy head, said this in response to four ratepayers here who filed a class suit against the state government in a High Court here on Monday.
The four are challenging the validity of the sPICE and whether there was an abuse of power.
Mohd Rashid claimed that MPPP had undertaken the proper procedures in handling the project although his view contradicted the stand of fellow party member and councillor Lim Boo Chang who opposed the approval process of sPICE last month as the deal was allegedly bulldozed through the full council meeting.
“The project was announced by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in January. Later, there was a public viewing of the plans for two weeks. There was also a public dialogue here with Lim in February,” Mohd Rashid said.
Another councillor Felix Ooi Keat Hin was also on hand to pledge support to the pro-ject.