GEORGE TOWN: Plans are in the pipeline to build a rainforest research centre on Penang Hill.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state would conduct a request for proposal to invite offers from companies interested in and qualified for the job.
He also said state-owned bungalows on the hill might be used for educational purposes.
Lim, who was speaking at a press conference in Komtar yesterday, did not elaborate on both plans.
On efforts to have Penang Hill declared a Unesco Biosphere Reserve, he said the Penang Hill Corporation (PHC) had approached Creative Quest Sdn Bhd (CQSB) to bring in internationally recognised experts to provide consultation for the purpose.
He expressed dismay that Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) representatives were not present at the press conference despite collaborating with the state government on the biosphere research.
“The budget allocated for the university is some RM260,000 but it is still at the stage of negotiation,” Lim said.
It was reported on Thursday that a major collaborative effort is underway to have Penang Hill declared a Unesco Biosphere Reserve.
This is being spearheaded by PHC and undertaken by The Habitat Penang Hill, USM, the Penang Forestry Department, and the Wildlife and National Parks Department.
USM School of Biological Sciences dean Dr Amirul Al-Ashraf Abdullah had said that a comprehensive biodiversity assessment of Penang Hill and its canopies would be conducted before the proposal is submitted.
The Habitat, which is managed by CQSB, is an eco-tourism attraction located within the hill’s natural rainforest.
Lim explained yesterday that The Habitat project was a public-private partnership concept whereby the state government provided the land and expertise while the development is funded by the private sector.
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