GEORGE TOWN: Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is questioning why Penang’s reclamation project has not been given the go-ahead yet while approval has been given to other states for their projects.
“Johor, Melaka and Kedah with bigger reclamation projects compared to Penang already have their approval from the Federal Government.”
Expressing his disappointment over Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s statement that he would not support the reclamation plans off the south of Penang island if the local fishermen’s livelihood was affected, Lim said the remark was a political one and not based on sound technical and environmental judgment.
On Saturday, Najib said the project was like putting sand into the rice bowl of the 1,500 fishermen here and if that was the case, the project should not be carried out.
Lim said Penang gave out the most compensation in Malaysia to fishermen affected by reclamation.
“The reclamation will not affect the fishermen greatly.
“They will still have access to sea through the proposed man-made islands,” he told reporters after opening the Japanese Technology Weekend at Tech Dome, Komtar yesterday.
The Penang South Reclamation Scheme is a massive plan to reclaim three islands totalling 1,800ha off the southern coast of Penang.
The success of the Penang Transport Masterplan, which is the state government’s multi-billion ringgit public transport project involving light rail transit, monorail, cable cars and water taxis, depends on funding from property development on the islands.
The environmental impact assessment of SRS was recently completed and is now awaiting federal approval.