High Court turns down bid by fishermen, NGOs for judicial review of Penang reclamation project approval

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang South Island (PSI) project was given a boost with the High Court declaring that there was no illegality, impropriety or irrationality in the state's approval of the project.

In dismissing the judicial review brought by seven fishermen, non-governmental organisations Sahabat Alam Malaysia, Jaringan Ekologi and Iklim, Judge Quay Chew Soon said the case was being thrown out partly due to being out of time, as it should have been filed at least a month earlier by Dec 1, 2023, instead of Dec 29.

The fishermen and the NGOs challenged the planning permission granted for the PSI project, arguing that the approval process breached multiple provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 and Environmental Quality Act 1974.

They sought to invalidate the said permission and claimed among others there was a failure to comply with town planning laws, errors in project referrals and the absence of environmental assessments.

It named the state town and country planning department director, Penang state planning committee, the Penang government and SRS Consortium Sdn Bhd as repondents.

Lawyers Theiva Lingam, Jessica Ram Binwani and A. Lalith Kumar appeared for the fishermen and the NGOs, while federal counsel Nordiyanasari Omar, Charanjit Singh, Yeoh Cho Keong and Chai Chin Wuen appeared for the respondents.

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