Eco treasures just as important

Show of respect: Ahmad Fuzi (centre) inspecting the guard of honour during the opening ceremony of the legislative assembly’s second term in George Town, Penang. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: The Light Transit Rail (LRT) project developer has been reminded to prioritise ecosystem preservation and safeguard natural landscapes while constructing the latest modern facilities in the state.

Penang’s Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak said this in his speech at the opening ceremony of the First Meeting of the Second Session of the 15th Penang Legislative Assembly.

“I am confident that the project which will involve MRT Corporation and the state government can be implemented immediately.

“Besides focusing on more strategic alignment of stations and depots, the relevant authorities need to take into account the interests of the state government without ignoring or neglecting environmental sustainability and the small and medium-sized traders in the planned areas,” he said.

On March 29, Transport Minister Anthony Loke announced that the Federal Government officially took over the Penang LRT Mutiara Line project from the state government, with MRT Corporation appointed as the developer and asset owner.

The procurement of the project is divided into three main components – civil construction works for Segment One, which is the alignment of Silicon Island to Komtar; works for civil construction for Segment Two, which is the line from Komtar to Penang Sentral; and a “turnkey contract” for system and carriage (coach) works.

Ahmad Fuzi in his speech expressed his appreciation to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for helping Penang continue developing through the approval of higher development allocations.

He said several allocations for major projects for the state have been announced by Anwar in several of his visits since last year, on top of confirmation that the Perak-to-Penang water supply deal was a go.

Ahmad Fuzi expressed gladness for the allocation of RM11mil for the construction of a Type Two Health Clinic in Bayan Lepas.

“The state government has submitted applications for 93 projects under the Fifth Rolling Plan of 2025, part of the 12th Malaysia Plan for Penang.

“These projects have an estimated total cost of RM17.7bil, with a required allocation of RM2.8bil for 2025.

“I hope the Federal Government will consider all these applications favourably, in line with the state’s excellent record and performance,” he added.

He said he was also delighted with the approval of the Penang International Airport Expansion Project, with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd starting the pre-qualification tender process in March.

Earlier, Ahmad Fuzi and his wife Toh Puan Khadijah Mohd Nor arrived at 9.30am.

He then inspected the 102-member Federal Reserve Unit led by Deputy Supt Mohd Ifazan Ishak and Asst Supt Mohd Hakim Mohd Said, followed by the singing of Negaraku and state anthems.

Meanwhile, 10 Opposition assemblymen from Perikatan Nasional signed testimony letters to pledge their unified stance against supporting the Madani unity government until the end of its term.

Penanti assemblyman Zulkefli Bakar said this move underscores a firm opposition front, potentially shaping the political landscape in the coming months.

“The letters will unite us and prevent any of our assemblymen from supporting the unity government,” he said.

Only Sungai Bakap assemblyman Nor Zamri Latiff was not present; he breathed his last at 1.38pm yesterday in the intensive care unit at Hospital Seberang Jaya.

In the 15th General Election in 2022, Perikatan took 11 out of the 40 state seats in Penang.

PAS emerged as the biggest winner with seven seats in the bag.

Besides Sungai Dua, it won Penaga, Pinang Tunggal, Permatang Berangan, Pulau Betong, Permatang Pasir and Sungai Bakap.

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