A meeting with the E&O management

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Three persons from the Penang Forum, including me, were invited to a meeting with the E&O Group’s management, including its CEO.

The meeting, held last Friday (10 June), was to clarify questions raised on this blog about further land reclamation (720 acres) under Phase 2 of the Seri Tanjung Pinang project, which was approved in principle by the Penang state government.

We had a useful meeting arising from the developer’s professed desire to be transparent.

E&O had secured the reclamation rights after it paid more than RM60m in taking over a stake originally held by United Engineers. It also took over outstanding loans.

We expressed concern about congestion arising from increasing development along the north coast – of which the land reclamation development and consequent commercial and residential development in Tanjung Tokong is one component. Already, the traffic jams and bottle necks are serious and will become more so. The construction of more residences, commercial buildings and hotels will further burden the carrying capacity of existing roads in the north.

To this, the E&O management responded that theirs is actually a low-rise low density project (whereas the original plans, before E&O took over, were for a much higher density development). (Within the 240-acre Phase 1, a strip of land, originally meant for a section of the (aborted) Penang Outer Ring Road, was surrendered to the state.)

The other concern is that existing reclamation may be responsible for the sedimentation in the port and Gurney Drive, which has become a mud flat instead of the sandy beaches of the past. More land reclamation may increase the likelihood of further sedimentation as the reclaimed land may change current sea patterns and affect the coast line. (Coastal land reclamation often results in sedimentation in one part and coastal erosion in another.) Such large-scale land reclamation will have an impact along the north coast, and the extent of the impact will have to be assessed in a hydraulic study.

READ MORE:  Fisherfolk's protest against land reclamation in Penang (video)

The developer assured us that expert consultants have been hired by them to prepare the EIA.

One of us suggested it would be good if the EIA report could be reviewed by independent land reclamation experts who are internationally recognised.

The developer expressed interest in the idea. The firm also plans to invite the public to a forum for input before the Phase 2 reclamation and development proceeds.

It is a positive move for the developer to subject its EIA to public viewing and input. Similarly, we request the state to require all developers to submit their impact studies for public viewing, comment and objections.

The plans also envisage a widening of Gurney Drive (to three lanes each way, if I remember correctly), along which the developer will reclaim land along the sea-front for a 60-acre linear public park, to be surrendered to the state. At one end of the Gurney Drive linear park, nearest to Tanjung Tokong, a mangrove swamp will be cultivated.

All these plans are subject to approval by the relevant authorities.

Finally, we also raised the concern that the sea-fronts must be accessible to the public as required under the law.

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66 COMMENTS

  1. Bru Give us back our fish,

    don’t get too … off.

    let there be light and we can rejoice.

    stay cool to cast your sacred vote and the fish may return for future generations.

  2. Sammo, precisely the point. Once destroyed it is gone forever — Jabatan Perikanan? What, more EIA? More clever research … so the developers can get away with destruction of a key Penang food resource?

    Fish along the coast of Penang belong to the people of Penang.

    (Certain) developers … destroyed and are being allowed to continue to destroy the breeding grounds and hence a natural protein source for our future generations — not just us.

    Export of our fish? Soon, there won’t be much to export.

    Anyone can do the calculations here? Loss of income from our coastal fish –$$$$ — who pay? xx generations more gone …

    … your children and grandchildren will be deprived of the only natural source of animal protein left on earth.

    Don’t you think (those responsible) should pay for it?

    Don’t you think the Penang Government if not the developers (responsible) should be held accountable for this loss?

  3. Dear Anil
    Next time when you meet up with E&O folks, do inform them that E&O nice buffet lunch/dinner can attract more locals if they are priced somewhat cheaper.

    May be 30% cheaper for locals ?

    If they do the math they surely know they can make higher profit with such deal.

    Imagine the locals taking the efficient RapidPenang (with monthly pass) to E&O Hotel to enjoy the buffets !

    tunglang, wanna join me ?

    • If it heavenly comes true, I will take the RapidPenang with you and Anil to E&O.
      And I will write uncontrollably all the heavenly glow of [email protected]&O in my 60’s style of salivating TCK.
      Where’s my newly purchased “Good Morning” mini China towel?

      • it’s ON if and only if Anil and gang can be creatively think out of the box to bring matter of this nature to Penang Forum !

  4. more reasons for average folks like us to move to mainland penang – where fish are abundant and not at throat cutting prices.

    ijm, e&o, ivory, mah sing are turning penang island ‘ala’ hong kong.

    if u can’t stand it, better get cheaper property elsewhere. or if you are smart wait still as your island property may go higher in value.

    ever hear of the term “en-block’ sale ?

    very soon (some of) these developers (might) come knocking at your door asking u and yr neighbours to sell your old houses together at a price. they then redevelop your land into high rise condo for a profit.

    don’t panic or get angry. this is a fact of life.

    • RE : ijm, e&o, ivory, mah sing are turning penang island ‘ala’ hong kong.

      Not bad if Penang island can be ‘ala’ Hong Kong if and only if we can earn as much like HongKongers, so that we can import fishes like Koay Kow from Indonesia or Vietnam with stronger ringgit exchange.

      However, this could be wishful thinking as we may face the burden of unemployed graduates (see Anil’s latest article) that can drag our econmy to south pole !

  5. Food security is paramount at this point in time.

    Seafood is the only natural protein source left.

    Of course the CM may not eat Penang fish — he may prefer the hormone pumped protein or imported Japanese fish.

    Penang people wake up! It’s our food — our fish breeding grounds they are destroying for goodness sake!

    • the spawns of penang fishes need to be breed in tanks (jabatan ikan) and release into rivers then sea.

      however, penang rivers still at indecent category in ratings and jabatan ikan would say these spawns can never survive the toxic level upon release.

      catch 22 ???

      so more people go easy way to invest in properties (b4 get burnt) because $ may be earned faster to bring fishes to the dining tables.

      Make sense ????

      • The worst off are those poor who cannot even afford an Oolamak fish, the cheaper fish than Koay Kau. Oolamak makes good salt fish, a staple diet for the average and poor families.
        Now even the Oolamak fish is getting less and smaller in size. In the 70’s I could land a biggie 9 inch long Oolamak at the beaches behind Paramount Hotel or Chinese Swimming Club.
        Sigh! It’s high time to head for Kelantan, my ideal heritage ambience kampong beside Nik Aziz home with no Barang Naik syndromes, a disease which makes life a big headache in perpetual money-madness.

  6. Why E & O never talk about the coastal fish breeding grounds they have destroyed and continue to destroy. Fishermen livelihoods included. Plant mangroves indeed — child’s play ah?

    When coastlines are destroyed our aquatic life forms along with their breeding ground also vanished — not unlike the landscape of forests being bulldozed and plundered — only thing this is underwater and the stupid (!) people of Penang cannot see. Sea food is already dwindling and so pricey. Soon Penang will have to import more and more. No more sea food to eat in Penang very very soon — thanks to the socially responsible E&O nice people.

    Penangites lose your protein source — no sweat what– in exchange for what six lanes and “parks”? BTW everytime developers talk about parks and playgrounds for your children, I feel utterly disgusted … one big joke and Penangites continue to get taken for more rides… maybe Penangites are hypocrites — as long as they can line their pockets through these developers ok la…

    Probably this issue may not even surface in the EIA — or is it that hush, hush… Penang people bodoh wan — they don’t even know what’s an EIA … just give them a few mangrove trees to pacify those little voices.

    Lim Guan Eng, the coastal fish and other aquatic resources belong to the people of Penang — and they are our last resource on planet! Lim Guan Eng, how can you allow this!

    Penang people, stupid or what? Niamah!

    • Seafood is so rich-men pricey, the cost has more than double the last 5 years. Still many can ‘afford’ to frequent those famed seafood outlets like the one in Paya Terubong (every night is almost full house, Sat & Sun spill out to the street with waiting list). Father’s day and Mother’s Day are extra ‘laku’, you can eat standing if cannot wait for tables.
      I don’t eat out (avoid like the flee cos it sucks your hard earned money) at these seafood outlets unless invited, cos it is ah-soh expensive. So, tunglang has no favorable food comment on them unlike the affordable hawker stalls.

      The BIG “Excuse Me” question is: Do we need to build more luxury homes/bungalows in order to attract rich foreign investors (of pricey properties) for their own private, selfish consumption of rich & famous lifestyle? Which have no positive economic effect for the average people except the greedy developers, covetous speculators and rich-not-enough housing agents and no-heart or numb-feeling banks.
      What obvious benefits do these kind of Barang Naik syndromes will have on the state of the economy? Will it benefit the average Penangites like you and me? Will it help maintain our coastal fish supply?
      Nope.
      BTW, just try fishing for ‘Koay Kau’ behind Paramount Hotel (near Citibank). You will be fish-lucky to get one.
      Oh yeah, my 6th sense instinct tells me of another 2nd Tsunami coming, a big one indeed!

      • Even if anyone can catch ‘Koay Kau’ behind Paramount Hotel, you don’t see them on offer in the wet market.

        WHY?

        Because restaurant owners will snap them up by offering you irrestible prices. And your Penang ‘Koay Kau’ may end up being airship to Hong Kong or by lorry to Singapore.

        Another fact of life.

        Don’t get angry… Do something in next GE so that Ringgit can be on par with our richer regional neighbors so that we don;t just lose our local talented brains but also our depleting fishes like ‘Koay Kow’.

  7. I just wonder why in a high end development area must be a requirement to include affordable i.e. low cost housing as well. This do not make sense. The people given these low cost housing will find the cost of living in this higher. It will make life more difficult for them. It would be better to charge the developer higher premium and use this money to subsidise the lower income group in somewhere else where they can find a lower cost of living.

    • You mean like separate areas for the rich and the poor? Sounds a bit like South Africa in the old days…

      • But Anil. If you put the poor in rich man area. The poor becomes poorer. It is not fair to these poor people.

      • We should ask why the 50-year old BN policy is widening the income gap of the rich and the poor?

        Only in Malaysia those people with no skills/competency can get rich simply by having political connection/patronage to land the lucrative contracts and operate Ali-baba fashion.
        That’s why we need meritocracy, else lazy bums can also get rewarded.

      • I tend to agree NOT mixing expensive and low cost residents. There is market concern and also better urban administration.

        First, the low density resident properties assessment just TOO CHEAP. When you look into the low utilisation road,etc.
        Secondly, rich don’t use public transport. Mixing it will leverage public transport efficiency, by travel to low density residents.
        Thirdly, it is easier to calculate the low density resident piping cost and charge higher on electricity tariff, water tariff, if Malaysia are not practice the stupendous flat utilities tariff.

  8. Hi everyone,

    It’s good and positive that E & O Management invited 3 persons from Penang Forum for a ‘dialogue/discussion’ for the 3 representatives to raise certain concerns of the public.

    Let’s not prejudge E & O, and we hope that they’ll be transparent and be a very socially responsible corporate body.

    Wait for the EIA report, with expectations that it would be open to independent scrutiny, and if E & O is transparent, it would enhance their credibility in the eyes of the public and their potential clients.

    Meanwhile we can trust Anil and his Pg Forum colleagues to be ever vigilant! Thanks, Anil.

  9. Dear Anil

    A couple of comments:

    1. With rising sea levels because of global warming, I am wondering why land reclaimation projects are still going on
    in both Malaysia and Singapore

    2. Read an article that increasing jelly fish populations could be
    related to global warming. Jelly fish could be an increasing threat to welfare of tourists who swim in the sea off Penang Island

  10. The State Government should start imposing a toll to enter the Island and stop widening and building more roads which will lead to the degradation of the communities and nature. Tourism of Penang only needs its natural developments of culture, arts and well protected nature zones. Further touristic developments will put a strain on the pollution index of every kind. More could be done instead to rid the Island of traffic congestion, dirty smelly drains, ugly old buildings, rude taxi drivers, nuisance and dangers at the beaches by beach-boys and uncontrolled hawkers.

    • Traffic congestion problem will not be solved until an electronic road pricing is implemented in Penang, forcing people to utilize RapidPenang buses. Tell this to Penang Forum.

      • Get the special monthly Rapid Penang passes : 2 adults & 2 children total RM188 for unlimited ride in Penang !

        RM188 can buy how many litres of RON95 and then can run for how far ????

        Do the math and know the savings, and saving the earth as well !!!!!

      • I think Rapid should quickly come up with an affordable monthly season pass for individuals, i.e. not more than RM50/month. This will encourage regular commuters to switch to buses.

      • I would put it at RM30/month season pass. At least I can still enjoy some more Kopi-O kau kau which cost extra 10 cents now, sincerely no thanks for a thousand years to Barang Naik Gila Gila.

      • Rapid Penang,
        Do the math.
        RM30/mth for let’s say additional 100K new converts (majority should be from Bayan Lepas FTZ working folks)) you get monthly RM3M revenue to improve your ROI significantly !

        Now start to have special buses ferrying FTZ staffs from various regions in Penang island, you can surely improve road congestion issue during office peak hours.

        I think a RapidPenang spokeperson ghas responded in this blog before, what say you doing true national service unprecedented in Malaysia history ?

        p.s. RM30 monthly pass may irritate many apanama car salesmen, but who cares ?

      • Apanama is irrelevant in these days of Barang Naik Siok Siok. The Rakyat suffers, but Apanama can relax in the serene ambience of Langkawi shooting eagles and marbles. Solutions must be found regardless of whether Apanama car salesmen can survive or die.
        At the end of the day, we must have decency of living an acceptable lifestyle, not played, played by these Apanama goons.

  11. If any delightful-to-developer $$$development goes for the rich and famous, please do consider carefully the impact on road traffic volumes, air quality, sea pollution, Barang Naik syndrome, impact on general home prices (of average standard for average Penangites) and creative land use.
    No point the Gomen keep on AOK-ing land development for the rich and famous who of course invest in Penang but only for their private holiday lifestyles to enjoy Penang’s tourism best unlike those investments that create massive employments for the masses plus inject technology transfer.
    There should be a proper check and balance for all things land development and not for development statistics sake. At the end of the day, it’s the heart and soul of the people that make for the unique character and culture of the land. Not solely being hyper rich and famous in the style of Ginza’s of cyber-hyped Anime zombies imitation in a land famous for its centuries old heritage.
    Money alone doesn’t make the world go round, nor does it make the world any more humane than the simple village in Hunzaland.

    • tunglang
      After reading anil’s blog for past 3 mths, i finally made the decision to move out of Penang island once my Sungai Bakap’s OC is ready by next year. My 2 daughters (in ealy 20’s) do not mind.

      Thks Anil for making my decision easier.

      Tired of congestion, air quality, escalating food prices (including street food) in Penang.

      • All the best, Retiree. Please share your experiences of living in Sungai Bakap and how it compares with Penang Island.

        One of the readers here pointed me to a website, which you might find interesting

        http://www.rubanisation.org

      • A Retiree, congratulations! You have chosen a food haven on the mainland. Chai Koay is one of its famed Ori-Maestro food besides its Roast Duck and Tim Sum. I am salivating despite after dinner time.
        Before you relocate, do arm yourself with the “Good Morning” mini China towel for your daily food binge and salivating. Towel only available in Penang Island, I guess.

  12. Again without PORR why they still widening Gurney Drive? Imagine 3 lanes of traffic going into Gottlieb road or Kalawei Road? What is the logic?

  13. I believe the Seri Tanjung Pinang Development being master planned is providing the type of infrastructure that has never been provided by other developers in Penang. From what I can see the density is much lower than what is coming up in Batu Ferringi and Tanjung Bunga. even other major master planned developments like the Light and Southbay appear to be of higher density. if the EIA requirements are met, then it is a good thing, as it will hopefully reduce the pressure from other sensitive areas like hill slope developments and high rise condos in the established housing areas which incidentally get away without providing low-cost and low medium cost housing.

    If Penang is to attract investors and high skilled workers, than it needs to have residential areas that are of international standards. We can certainly take a leaf from Singapore’s experience.

    At the end of the day, what is important is that the government of the day must be transparent, fair and equitable in planning and land matters.

  14. 6 lanes road!? I say, WTH.

    There is no changes of dateline when Malaysia become net oil importer country in year 2015, that’s means oil price will spike and kill all your motorist driving appetite. After widening the road to 6 lanes, the maintenance is not going cheap. So who is going to pay for the maintenance? Malaysia car drivers loves to complain insufficient road, because they never face the real cost of road building/maintenance.

    Instead of expanding to 6 lanes road, I suggest Penang government retain the current road status and consider Singapore experience on traffic control. Make the car drivers pay for the road usage.
    (Did anyone notice US congress start suggest tax car according to the mileage?)

  15. If the story is read carefully, nothing is promised by E&O.

    Looks like the Penang Forum is satisfied with just getting an audience.

    Nothing has changed!

    • The meeting was initiated by E&O to respond to questions raised in this blog.

      We used the occasion to register our concerns directly to the management.

  16. What is Penang Forum? Who are the members of this Penang Forum?
    How and when was this Penang Forum formed? What are the main objectives of this Penang Forum? In what manner can this Penang Forum improve the existing infrastructure of the Penang State and contribute towards its future development?
    Please enlighten the simple Penangites like us about your good-selves. We are expecting a comprehensive and enlightening information regarding the Penang Forum and its good members.

  17. Once the traffic congestion problem there is fixed, property prices there will jump again. This will further invite more development and the vicious cycle continues. Anil should fight to deny them from widening gurney drive instead.

  18. It is such good initiative that E&O is seeking public forum!! Consider a Theme Park, not necessary water theme park! This will promote Penang tourism. Maintain the park with high standard to attract tourist with spending power!! A play ground or ordinary park would attract locals who will dirty the park with food and rubbish!!

  19. 720 acres … 5 units per acre = 3500+ units, rich homes got 3 cars … that would be about 10,000 cars. Yeah sure its so low in density. ROFL! Any affordable homes? None la … LGE will scream at BN for affordable home etc but never when it comes to his own approved projects. How nice ya?

      • That 1malaysia round table forum is open to BN cronies only. Look at the invitees you will know that it is going to be another syiok sendiri sembang session to waste rakyat fund.

  20. The public is keen to know which housing/commercial projects were approved under BN/Gerakan era and present Pakatan/DAP.
    Can Anil provide such info ?

    • There are many housing/commercial projects with work in progress right now and may not be necessarily being approved by present government.

      Ong Eu Soon (who may be the priviledged person to know more than the skin deep) previously has a long list of new housing/commercial properties now in progress (also some pending). So instead of “barking” at wrong trees like Bkt Bendera stray dogs it is wise if the public get to know which and where and how and why these projects being approved then only we talk otherwie waste of time and energy.

      The ? now is do the public have such a luxury as there may be unofficial OSA (official secret act) that prevent us to know nothing but the truth ????

      • One blogger gave some so called info:

        LGE=280 projects approved
        LCE+KTK lose to him

        This is NOT verified yet. Someone should check it out. :0)

      • Speak Up pls provide link to which blogger says so otherwise we consider it as fabricated & unsubstantiated figures which hold no ground.

        ok ?

  21. Corporate social responsibility must be transparent to general public.
    We appreciate your presence in the meeting to stress that.

    After E&O, probably Ivory Properties, IJM & Mah Sing will follow to invite prominent bloggers and public to provide viewpoints ???

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