Blog visitors Kevin and Island Joe consider the possibility of a large public park on the mainland.
First, we have Kevin:
PDCs job is first and foremost to protect the interest of Penangites. If it has 470 acres of land, it should develop it into a park for all to relax and exercise in. It can be like a Central Park for Batu Kawan. By the way, the Central Park in land-scarce New York City is over 1000 acres smack in the city.
Instead of building golf courses which cannot provide employment, does not have a multiplier effect on the economy and does nothing to enhance the quality of life of Penangites, especially in the mainland, they should built a park which can achieve all that. 470 acres is about five times the size of the Botanic Garden. Imagine having a park that big.
Remember, the state govt is trying to promote brain gain and attract talent, local as well as foreign. Talent will flock to areas where there are opportunities, where there is quality of life and where the environment is good. Not forgetting, where the currency is very strong and the pay is high.
The state cannot improve our currency or our salaries but it can provide opportunity, a clean environment and quality of life. When you attract talent, your economy will grow, your average income will grow, buying power will increase, tax revenue to the state and federal govts increase. Now that is a multiplier effect. A golf course will not achieve any of that.
Island Joe adds:
I think we should look at ourselves and what we do with our leisure time. We are all caught up in hyper consumerism so much so we are looking at theme parks and shopping centres to provide us entertainment. If we’re doing that often, then of course we’re at the mercy of the cost. No one even in developed countries can go to a theme park more than a couple of times a year at the most.
For me, Penang has a lot there for us to enjoy practically for free. Quite a few people are waking up as we now see a lot of joggers and cyclists all over the island and in some areas on the mainland on weekends. Many more than years ago.
Why not take your family out for a hike, or a picnic to the beach, or just a bike ride around the heritage enclaves? It is free and it is healthy living. Plus you spend quality time with your family.
A theme park may have its economic benefit, but for us locals, wouldn’t we prefer to live next to a green lung like a big park? Not with the man-made plastic slides and stupid exercise equipment (like how they ruined the Lake Gardens in KL).
But a big park like Hyde Park or Central Park? We in Penang still have the chance to shape who we are and how we want to live. Just look at Malacca and KL to see what can happen when people with zero vision get their way. Both places have lost their soul.
Unfortunately, I fear even this state government has one eye on revenue from state land rather than looking after our welfare as there is no money to be made from anyone if they gazette parkland.
What do you all think?