GEORGE TOWN: It makes economic sense to have the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project on the island rather than on the mainland as the former has become an important economic centre, Gamuda’s deputy group managing director Rashdan Yusof said.
He said the island may be congested but most people still want to live here rather than on the mainland.
“We have to accept the fact that the island’s economic growth is far greater than that in Seberang Prai,” Rashdan said when answering a question from the floor on why the state is not developing three man-made islands on the mainland instead since it has more land.
He was speaking on the topic “State of Economy, Penang 2030 – Towards a Green and Smart State” during the Penang International Business and Investment Summit here yesterday.
Under the PSR, the state has proposed to reclaim land on the southern part of the Penang island to build three man-made islands to finance the RM46bil Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).
Rashdan said the state leaders realised that Penang is running out of land and it will lose out if it does not act to improve the infrastructure of the island.
He said the PSR, which is part of the PTMP, is to reclaim or retain Penang as the No. 1 state in the country.
“Every developer that comes to the state would defy nature by clearing the hills for development because there is greater prosperity for all.
“Not acting will see Penang slowly regressing into a backwater,” he said.
Non-governmental organisations and civil society groups are up in arms over the PTMP, citing the potential destruction of rich marine life and the coastal areas.