‘Da plan! Da plan!’ Penang’s ‘fantasy islands’ plan leaves many bewildered


Images have emerged of the winning “masterplan” for an audacious scheme to build three artificial islands covering 4,500 acres over what are now prime fishing waters off southern Penang Island. And wait for this: the plan for the three islands has been given the corny moniker “BiodiverCity”. See the images here.

This must be a bad greenwash joke. The three islands are to be located smack in the middle of prime fishing waters for Penang, jeopardising the livelihoods of some 3,000 fisherfolk and worrying aquaculture farmers near mainland Penang. The reclamation will require extensive sand mining off the northern coast of Perak, thus affecting the livelihoods of fisherfolk there as well. The construction itself will release tons of carbon emissions.

Source: EIA report on proposed reclamation in southern Penang Island

The funny thing is the winning entry claims it will provide “4.6km of public beach”. But southern Penang Island already has more than 4.6km of pristine NATURAL coastline teeming with marine biodiversity and jungles that make for a lovely NATURAL hiking experience. And we want to damage all that for this “fantasy islands” plan? [Must read: Five things we learned about Penang’s ‘three islands’ mega project]

This is what we stand to lose

Reactions to the plan among concerned Penangites have been swift. Here’s a sampling:

“Fantasy islands indeed! Destroy nature’s bounty and biodiversity and call it biodiverse islands? An insult to our intelligence and a major hypocrisy! I am appalled!”

“The computer-generated design really looks like Atlantis. Dreamland.”

“The whole design look like something out of a Tron movie.”

“Destroy Penang’s natural beaches and mangroves and build MAN-MADE “NATURE”. They think they are God?”

“A lot of people are quick to assume that they know what the fishing community needs…. For a start, [many] don’t even realise that it would take decades before these reclaimed land’s topside development makes it habitable and operational. Until then, what would the fisherfolk do? To begin with, why do we even need this massive land reclamation?”

[More reactions to follow in a new post tomorrow. Stay tuned.]

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The massive private high-rise residential and hotel build-up at Johor’s Forest City reclaimed islands provide a sneak peek or ‘akan datang’ in Penang southern island.

Just check up this vlog by PRC family during their recent scouting trip to Forest City to witness the “development” (targeting overseas buyers?):


Forest City in Johor did not get any opposition or objection for all the known reasons ie. Ownership of project. But in Penang people can protest freely against the state government. Will the likes of CAP or NGOs protecting environment dare to protest in Johor?


Vox video in youtube raised an interesting question on Forest City :

Anyone in Johor can to comment?


ah chans have best of both worlds. can go to singland or eat durian near near less than 1 hour. ah chans no need visa to sing land and changi airport is like going to chinatown


Yes, it’s very crude and destructive. Ever heard of creative destruction? Trying to create something big will destroy a lot in order to get there. Pristine and natural is a luxury in our crude homo sapien world. Greenland Las permanent ice is about to dissappear.

3K fisherman? When China created three gorges dam, livelihoods And homes of tens of millions along with bio diversity and ancient history were all wiped out. And this year, it looks like they may not have done enough.

Yah, its about development and crude needs of people. Who says most Penangnites are not that human?


Artificial islands aside, Anil and Penang Forum must urge Penangites to reduce their carbon footprint to decelerate global warming, else Penang coast lines will be flooded from water of melting ice!


Maldives are fantasy islands for [Mohd] Salman of Saudi?


Some 150 beautiful women, flown in from Brazil, Russia and elsewhere, were ferried to a private island in the Maldives to party with just a “few dozen” men from the Middle East.


why no hohaha over greenland ice melting? It has passed the point of no return. Ice melt more than ice form. Soon there is no Balu Bears as they need ice to migrate


Cycling has become more popular in Singapore amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with sales of personal bicycles going up and bike-sharing companies reporting an increase in ridership.

But in Malaysia car sales is going up instead.


what happen to those cycle lanes? why pg forum do not promote them? petrol chip chip even there is not much work and business are down and pocket no money but the show must go on?


Have they studied the impact on coastal changes including erosion — even on the mainland? Such a massive project requires a massive simulation. Earlier, I mentioned the disaster occurring at Gold Coast (Queensland) because they dredged the estuary of Murray-Darling River in far-away S. Australia. I thought the pandemic was a good wake-up call as to what is critical, esp. food production and climate change. However, the exploitation and domination of people in fishermen, farmers and other “small people” continues. Facism — the collusion of plutocracy and politics — continues. Some choose to believe the MSM propaganda that climate change… Read more »


they dredge darling mouth because the interior is dry without rainfall and farmers are extracting water for their crops. the mouth is closed by sea sand as there is no flushing from the river water.

Medalene Sim

The facts and foresight on the adverse impacts it will have on the marine ecology, sustainable fresh seafood supply to the people of Penang and disruption to the fishermen livelihood which have been giving financial provisions to their families for generations, especially when this kind of massive sea reclaimation project takes 35 years to complete before the realisation of such so called “fantasy” . I hope the people of Penang can think more wisely on a macro view in terms of the massive destructions it cause To the environment and food sustainability Vs the doubtful economic benefits , with the… Read more »


realisation of such so called “fantasy” – classic example in Penang is i Santorini, supposedly romantic living with imaginary Aegean Sea.

More fancy names luxury properties to appear in Penang for people to live their fantasy… as CM Chow welcomes foreign buyers to realise their MM2H fantasy, arriving via “da Plane” at Bayan Lepas PIA.


any study on fishing nets left in the sea and kill marine creatures? In Land of smiles NGOs similar to Pg Forum do and not NATO. They found the fishing nets left in the sea or forshore kill many marine creatures. So they recover and recycle those discarded nets and make them into other uses. Time to peng land lang to live in tree top again. Forget about investing in houses, building factories , malls . Just follow Ipoh and time for youngster ti migrate to PJ and Singland to cari Makan. Return back to Peng land when retire. But… Read more »


So far no issue surrounding the waters of Forest City? No degradation of environment? No fishermen protest loss of livelihood in Johor, Forest City or Pengerang?


you love to eat the fishes close to jalan wong ah fook big longkang? even sing land fishermen will not fish in the strait. johor has many kelongs. they orso rent them out for parties and gatherings. kelong fishermen in johor are innovative and clever and double their income. unlike peng land fisher men. ang mo visitors are ulu to visting and living in kelongs. peng land do not have any icons like hong land trams. they can be peng land latest icons


Gerakan can join force with Penang Forum to capitalise on the unhappily of Penangites on this issue (as claimed by Anil) to regain footing in the next election.

Jason Lu

Dominic now can bring Gerakan to join Bersatu as Muhideen has open to non malays. Otherwise Gerakan will continue to be in Bardo state, half alive half dead, cannot reborn.


Can merge as Geraksatu, multi racial party to rival PKR and DAP. Dominic can be VP to save his political career.


there are no fighters in gilakan. professionals take their way easy out. look at those drs like dr goh and dr tan. they join the party and soon they become ministers as gilakan is part of the gomen.


I rather vote for Perikatan Nasional but minus MCA. Don’t want DAP, Gerakan or MCA. If they appear in my area, either I don’t vote or if forced too, write dirty poetry on my ballot paper.


PAS is in Perikatan Nasional, in case you don’t know.

Maybe you are like PAS don’t know that Christians can drink liquor like wine.