Rally-goers welcome to protest Penang reclamation project but don't stir up racial sentiments, says state exco member

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 07 Sep 2019

StarPicby:LIM BENG TATT/The Star/ 12 July 2019.

GEORGE TOWN: State PKR leader Dr Afif Bahardin (pic) has warned participants of the scheduled rally against the Penang South Reclamation project (PSR) and the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) Sunday (Sept 8) not to stir up racial sentiments during the rally.

He said he welcomed the scheduled rally as it was the right of the Opposition and civil society to voice out their dissatisfaction as long as it does not cross the line.

"We may have different opinions, but I pray that the rally can be held in a peaceful, calm and organised manner.

"In the spirit of Malaysia Baharu, I believe that everyone should be given space and the right to speak out," he said in a statement Saturday (Sept 7).

He said he has high hopes that the organisers of the rally would avoid playing up racial issues.

Afif, who is also a Penang state executive councillor, assured that, as a member of the Pakatan Harapan government in Penang, he was committed to ensuring that the Malay and non-Malay communities in the affected areas were not sidelined as a result of the mega-projects.

He also urged rally participants to use public transportation by commuting to the protest site by public bus, as the focus of the event was on environmental issues

He said by doing that, the participants could reduce their carbon footprints by car-pooling and reducing traffic congestion.

On Sept 8, Penang Gerakan Pembela Ummah (Ummah) will organise a rally to protest the PSR and PTMP.

Ummah consists of about 40 NGOs in Penang and organisers are expecting about 6,000 to 9,000 protesters to attend the rally at Permatang Damar Laut.

The PSR project near Teluk Kumbar is a massive plan to reclaim three islands measuring 1,800ha or the size of 3,600 football fields to fund the RM46bil PTMP.

It has sparked fears that it could irreversibly ruin the marine ecosystem beyond the proposed impact zone.

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