GEORGE TOWN: The reclamation of three islands to finance the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) will add value to the state’s investments, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (PH-Padang Kota).
Chow said the three proposed islands, on the south of Penang island, went beyond improving the state’s transport system as it would significantly boost the state’s economy by beefing up its land bank.
“It was initially thought if the Federal Government stepped in to help finance its transportation projects, the three islands need not be reclaimed.
“(But) the three islands were needed so that the existing Penang airport can have its runway expanded, besides offering a larger area for industries to grow and boosting the state’s land bank,” said Chow.
He added that although there is plenty of land on the mainland, most of it is privately owned and the state government cannot afford to buy it over.
“We have asked the Federal Government repeatedly if they can help with our transport projects. If they can help, great, but in reality, we are short of land.
“The Penang South Reclamation (PSR) scheme is good value for our industrial zone expansion. It is for Penang’s future development,” he said in response to Lee Khai Loon’s (PH-Machang Bubok) call to review the project over climate change concerns during the state assembly today (Aug 6).
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 PSR scheme.
The reclaimed islands will have a total land area of 1,800ha.