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Penang Structure Plan review: Yes to more public participation

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I attended the 8 December briefing on the review of the Penang Structure Plan at Komtar, and it was immediately apparent that there are serious questions that need to be answered.

Those of you in Penang, please try and take an interest and participate to prevent any unsustainable development.

As the deadline for public feedback is end-January, Penang Forum has come up with the following statement requesting an extension. Most people are not even aware this review is taking place, that is if they even know that the Penang Structure Plan exists.

Faiz Subri clinches Fifa’s Puskas award for goal of the year

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Mohd Faiz Subri from Penang has clinched the Puskas award for best goal of the year last night. The swerving wonder goal was scored at a time when Malaysians were enthused with the Ola Bola movie.

Unfortunately, our national team’s world ranking is almost at basement level.

This was the original post from 17 February 2016:

80% of Independent readers feel Faiz Subri should be given Fifa award now

Something to lift our spirits during these depressing times. As Malaysians flock in droves to Ola Bola, Penang’s Faiz Subri has scored a wonder goal, which is already a contender for goal of the season. He curled a magical shot home during a Malaysia Super League game in which Penang trounced Pahang 4-1.

Anwar receives rousing Reformasi reception outside court in Penang

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Hundreds gatherered outside the High Court in Penang on Monday morning to give Anwar a Reformai welcome in Penang. As you can see, Anwar still has considerable support from a significant number of Malaysians. Look at the number of guards as well.

Why Penang is no. 2 in CNN’s best places to visit in 2017

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A delectable plate of char koay teow at Kimberly Street - Mouth-watering, ya?

Penang was chosen for its sumptuous street food and nostalgic heritage setting and easy walkability in the city.

Not for its skywalk or theme parks or 40-storey (and 60-storey) towers or Botak Hill or planned artificial islands or six-lane highways or golf courses or polluted sea water. You get the drift.

Unfortunately, if we don’t protect our prized assets, the way we are going, we are rapidly losing whatever charm we have left. We are even allowing rows of pre-war buildings in the broader heritage setting to be sold to developers who want to build more towers. That’s so short-sighted.

In uncharted waters, 1MDB’s fourth auditor faces formidable task

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Parker who? That was a common reaction on 5 January 2017, when 1MDB revealed its latest auditor – a little known firm – after three Big Four auditors had fallen by the wayside for one reason or another.

Parker Randall was reported to be an “international auditing firm” with its website revealing “independent member firms” in 50 countries around the world.

One of them is a Malaysian firm by the name of Afrizan Tarmili Khairul Azhar, also known as aftaas with its head office in Rampai Business Park in Setapak and offices in Shah Alam, Ipoh, Kuantan, Johor Bahru and Kota Bharu.

Saifuddin Nasution faces tricky balancing act as Penang CM’s adviser

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PKR secretary general Saifuddin Nasution’s appointment as the Penang chief minister’s strategic adviser has raised eyebrows among certain quarters.

Penang government must provide itemised breakdown of land sales, profits since 2008

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The Bayan Mutiara project - Graphic: Kwong Wah

So we now know that the Penang Development Corporation, a state government agency, sold land parcels for proceeds totalling RM1.9bn from 2008 to 2015.

But PDC recorded a “net profit” of only RM147m after deducting RM1.8bn for “land acquisition, development costs over the land in providing infrastructure and holding costs” (see below).

As questions have been raised over land sales, the state government must provide an itemised listing of the PDC land sales totalling RM1.9bn: date sold, selling price per square foot, size/area, location, buyers, the market prices at the time, and payment terms.

[The state government should provide a separate listing of its own land sales totalling RM1.1bn – or is it RM658m (see figures in press statement below dated 4 January 2017)? So are we talking about RM2.5bn-3bn in land sales in total by both the state government and PDC?]

Rafizi’s Invoke to hold fundraising dinner in Penang on 15 January

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Dinner invitation cards are available from Dr Toh Kin Woon 019-4144392. Donations for tables going for RM1,000, RM3,000 and RM5,000. Single loose seats going for RM100 per person at the RM1,000 tables.

8pm, 15 January at Penang Chinese Town Hall.

Funds can be transferred to INVOKE Solutions’ bank account:

INVOKE Solutions Sdn Bhd
Maybank account number: 5622 0964 0698

Rafizi’s message below:

An unusual Christmas homily for our time

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(The singer above is Majida El Roumi Baradhy, a Lebanese soprano and UN Goodwill Ambassador.)

A good friend of mine shared with me his Christmas homily. I thought it was too good to keep to myself; so I am sharing it with you – though he prefers to remain anonymous. The homily touches on how the “religious observance” vs commercialisation of Christmas contestation has masked the radical message of Christianity against the “domination systems” of our world.

Dr Lim Mah Hui’s resignation speech to Penang Island City Council

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Dr Lim Mah Hui has stepped down as MBPP councillor representing the civil society coalition Penang Forum after serving six years. Penang Forum has nominated another individual to represent civil society in Penang for the coming year. This is Mah Hui’s resignation speech:

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