National Planning Council only advises not approves, says Penang CM

GEORGE TOWN: The National Physical Planning Council (MPFN) only advises federal or state government on development projects under the Town and Country Planning Act, says Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

He said once the conditions set by the council had been adhered to, projects could go ahead.

"I did not say 'approved' by MPFN but rather (that MPFN) 'agreed to' the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project with 18 points of advice," said Chow when commenting on Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad's statement that the council had not given approval for PSR.

Chow said getting the project off the ground involved a lengthy process, including getting an environmental impact assessment report (EIA) and a traffic impact assessment report.

"When we fulfill the points of advice, don't you think we can go ahead with PSR?" asked Chow during a press conference in Komtar where he outlined the 18 points listed by MPFN.

The Chief Minister had on Thursday (April 18) said that MPFN had agreed to the implementation of PSR.

The project which is aimed at reclaiming land on the south of the Penang island by creating three islands which would generate enough revenue to fund the RM46bil Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).

Last week, Chow announced that the Department of Environment (DoE) had given the EIA approval for the controversial Penang Island Link 1 (PIL 1), a component of the PTMP, with 56 conditions.

The RM7.5bil and 19.5km-long highway will connect Gurney Drive to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu expressway near Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone.

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Chow Kon Yeow Penang , MPFN