Big prospects for Silicon Island

Creating opportunities: Zairil said the rationale for continuing to develop Silicon Island is to fulfil Penang’s need for industrial space.

Exco man: Project expected to create 220,000 new jobs, RM1.1 trillion in GDP

GEORGE TOWN: The man-made Silicon Island project off the Penang island’s southern coast is expected to create 220,000 new job opportunities in the next 30 years, says Zairil Khir Johari.

The Penang infrastructure and transport committee chairman said the project would also generate RM1.1 trillion in gross domestic product (GDP) and attract RM74.7bil in investments.

He said as the project owner, the state would have full authority in deciding the use of the 930ha reclaimed island.

“A total of 360ha would be used for infrastructure and public space, while another 291ha is meant for industrial use.

“The rest would be for housing (157ha), mixed development (66ha) and commercial (56ha).

“A big portion of the sale would go towards supporting the cost of reclamation and infrastructure,” he said during the state assembly sitting here yesterday.

Zairil said following the announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in May last year that the Federal Government would finance the construction of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) system in Penang, the state government had agreed to reduce the scope of developing the project, previously known as Penang South Islands (PSI).

“The reclamation of Island B and Island C from PSI development would not proceed at the time being.

“The rationale for continuing to develop Island A, better known as Silicon Island now, is to fulfil the needs of Penang to address the lack of industrial space, which is directly linked to the existing ecosystem in Bayan Lepas and Penang International Airport, as well as the North-South Expressway.“In the next 40 years, Silicon Island will be developed for industrial, commercial, residential, and tourist attractions to meet Penang’s needs.,” he said.

To a question by A. Kumaresan (PH-Batu Uban), Zairil said that since the Free Industrial Zone (FIZ) in Bayan Lepas has been well established among investors, the development of a Green Tech Park (GTP) on Silicon Island would further complement the FIZ.

“It would fulfil the needs of investors who want to expand their current operations and attract new investors.

“The GTP would be the main development on Silicon Island and play a major role in driving the economy and creating job opportunities in the long term,” he said.

To another question by Goh Choon Aik (PH-Bukit Tambun), who had asked if the state would still reclaim Island B and Island C in the future, Zairil said: “For Island B and Island C, their approvals are still valid but the state has decided not to initiate work for the time being,” he said.

Zairil also explained that any surplus profit from the Silicon Island project would go towards developing state infrastructure, including on the mainland.

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