Ministry nod for request to hold Pan-Island Link town hall


GEORGE TOWN: The Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change has responded to the request by Penang Citizen Awareness Chant Group (Chant) for a town hall to be held on the proposed Pan-Island Link (PIL) 1.

In an email from its minister Yeo Bee Yin, the ministry has requested the Department of Environment (DoE) director-general conduct a town hall with the stakeholders on the 19.5km link from Gurney Drive to the Penang International Airport.

“We have also received a similar request for a dialogue and to extend the public feedback period for the PIL from the Consumers Association of Penang,” the email read.

Chant adviser Yan Lee, who showed the email he received on Monday, said the ministry has also requested DoE to allow the extension on the public feedback period.

He said the town hall meeting is important to address all the confusion on what PIL 1 is about, especially after Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow recently told non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in a statement that the use of inaccurate visuals and descriptions by the NGOs had provoked unnecessary negative sentiments among the public.

“We’re looking at a town hall, a form of public consultation held in a big hall where everyone is invited as the event would be advertised in the papers to engage the people affected by the project.

“It is the people’s right if they do not want to come, but we hope that it will be held on a weekend so that more can turn up,” he said at a press conference yesterday.

He said the SRS Consortium consultants and state government representatives need to be involved in the town hall to respond to the public.

He also suggested that Zenith, which will be in charge of the proposed three paired roads, be present as well.

“Consortium Zenith Construction (CZC) is contracted to do the tunnel and three paired roads, and they should show the public how the feeder roads will turn out,” he said.

CZC is the special purpose vehicle of the Penang project comprising three main roads and an undersea tunnel.

The success of the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), which is the state government’s multi-billion ringgit public transport project, involving LRT, monorail, cable cars and water taxis, depends on funding from property development on a proposed trio of man-made islands known as the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) scheme.

The PSR is a massive plan to reclaim the islands totalling 1,800ha off the southern coast of Penang.


   

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