Penang Forum has issued a second statement on land reclamation:
In Penang Forum’s statement (27 November 2015) on the Umno land reclamation motion, we reiterated that the public has every right to know, and the State has every obligation to provide accurate and full information on major issues like massive land reclamation.
The Penang chief minister in numerous press releases has argued against the Umno motion for three main reasons:
First, he says the motion is superfluous as the present rules require environmental and social impact assessment (EIA) to be carried out and approved by the Department of Environment before a reclamation project is approved.
Second, he claims that if the State postpones approved reclamation projects, it would have to compensate RM1bn to the developers. (Note the Umno motion talks of new, not existing projects.) We will deal with this aspect in our next media statement.
Third, he says it is hypocritical for Umno to raise this as it approved 3,241 acres for land reclamation while the present State approved only 60 acres for reclamation. In our earlier statement, we agreed with his third reason.
Now, let’s look at his first reason. In our earlier statement, we stated that the motion calling for public hearings goes beyond the limited scope of public feedback in the usual EIA process and hence is worthy of support.
Full statement on the Penang Forum website.