Don’t be fooled by unanimous land reclamation motion in Penang

15
1372

Nothing has changed with the passing of the unanimous motion on land reclamation by the Penang state assembly on 20 May 2016.

What did the unanimous land reclamation motion in the Penang state assembly actually say?

The emergency motion, which was tabled under Standing Order Rule 34 (8), was tabled by State Local Government committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow (Padang Kota – Dap).

“The Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) is very important and has to be supported to solve the traffic congestion and upgrade the efficiency of the public transport system.

“This August House voices out its concern over the land reclamation project to create three islands of about 1,619 hectares, which will fund the PTMP project, as raised by assemblymen from both sides of the political divide; the state government and the state opposition.

“We put forward a motion that the house resolves that the state government should not start the land reclamation project until they get Department of Environment’s approval on a Detailed Environment Impact Assessment (DEIA), which will also be monitored and reviewed by the Penang Transport Council as well as find an alternative method of funding the PTMP that is feasible and sustainable including requesting funding from the Federal Government,” he said.

Hold on a second; flash back to 2013-14: This was exactly what the public was told in the wake of severe criticism over Phase 2 of Seri Tanjung Pinang land reclamation – no work would start until the detailed EIA was approved.

And we all know what happened.

READ MORE:  Ecological nightmare haunts Penang

We found out how utterly meaningless the EIA process was and how the public was largely kept in the dark about the EIA study before it was approved.

We found out how the detailed EIA was promptly approved by the federal Department of Environment despite a long litany of concerns by civil society. (Federal government-linked company Sime Darby was a major shareholder in the developer E & O.)

We found out how a long list of concerns raised by Penang Forum and others NGOs were totally ignored. In fact, Penang Forum did not even received a response from the DOE to the lengthy memo it submitted.

We found out how an array of highly paid consultants were hired by the developer itself. So how independent was the detailed EIA study?

Look at the state of Gurney Drive today. What has caused the siltation elsewhere in Penang? What kind of monitoring work was carried out for Phase 1?

What is the impact of Phase 2 including the Gurney Drive reclamation that has just started?

The second part of the unanimous motion says that the land reclamation will be monitored and reviewed by the Penang Transport Council.

Big deal. At one time, the council had representatives from civil society, making it more independent of government.

But today, the council, chaired by Chow Kon Yeow and Lim Hock Seng, comprises mainly politicians and civil servants. Civil society reps have been left out of the council. How critical and independent can the council be? Even if the council members are critical, what weight do their views carry?

READ MORE:  Now wild fish found dead in northern Penang Island

So remember 2014 (when the detailed EIA for STP Phase 2 was approved), and don’t let down your guard with the southern Penang Island reclamation.

If anything, the state government’s support for the land reclamation motion is a sign that it cannot ignore public disquiet and criticism over the land reclamation and transport masterplan.

But, in effect, the motion merely deflects the criticism towards the Department of Environment and the EIA process, which – as we have seen on numerous occasions, notably in Seri Tanjung Pinang Phase 2 – is little more than a formality.

Nothing has really changed.

Please help to support this blog if you can.

Read the commenting guidlelines for this blog.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
15 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
zoro
zoro
24 May 2016 8.42pm

they are v lucky. past sea front view but now no sea front but will not be the first to hit by sea rise as STP has sea fronr view

Phua Kai Lit
Phua Kai Lit
24 May 2016 9.16am

Sea level is rising with “global warming” – does not make sense to spend $$$ reclaiming land from the sea.

Makes more sense to listen to the scientists and identify areas that are being threatened, and take action.

Also, should spend $$$ to do research on new technologies e.g. floating houses ? I’m sure the Dutch are already doing very good work along these lines.

tunglang
tunglang
24 May 2016 1.35am

Go to Gurney Drive & you will be sealed off from the sea. The long stretch of foreboding fencing from one end to the other end just smacks of Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp, where the old world soul of Gurney Drive is held at bay from Penangites until the day the whole stretch of seaside is buried under concrete to seal the Gurney soul till eternity. Don’t be fooled that this Satu Lagi Projek CAT will not see the light of day. No sea tunnel but there will most likely be a 3rd Bridge. My advance condolence to Gurney Drive… Read more »

David Loman
David Loman
24 May 2016 9.04am
Reply to  tunglang

Most bungalow owners along the good old Gurney Drive (starting from Kelawei Road) have (long before CAT days) sold their properties to developers, and have since migrated to Canada or Australia. The living souls along Gurney Drive today are not restless as they are traders in the shopping malls and hotels making money from tourists. This is a reality brought along the sands (no more sandy beachfront) of time… Can only reminiscing the good old days eating Rojak or Pasembur under the sea breeze along the old Gurney Drive in the 70’s.

tunglang
tunglang
24 May 2016 10.57pm
Reply to  David Loman

Pls comprehend what is old world soul of Gurney Drive!!!
Word for word literal interpretation can muddle a plain simple discourse.

zoro
zoro
23 May 2016 10.08pm

if rmno federal DOE approves the EIA, how to stop the project? if so smart go and get court order. how can the forummers tell the consultsnt did not predict his coastal model is correct? what is the point after the struct is built

Swat
Swat
23 May 2016 5.41pm

Somehow, it’s Adun Teh Yee Cheu who is a real, genuine “fighter” and NOT the 5 minute-PKRs !

gk ong
gk ong
23 May 2016 2.14pm

It is a trend to reclaim the sea to build islands as spearheaded by the Forest City (the brand name imprinted on the JDT jerseys) project in Southern Johor.

rajraman666
rajraman666
23 May 2016 12.59pm

There is many ways to lies expecially Political Traders lies will be consider true by their supporters.

rajraman.Wondering how DAp pay over 300 millions to a consultant and Deity say he dared not to apply for third bridge.I thought he apply and UMNo reject it.
I honestly thought Deity a fierce opposition who not scared of UMNo but he told he dared not apply.

Is he digging his own tunnel for himself with this DARED NOT APPLY statement but proceed with sea tunnel and land reclaimation?

Chan chong sun
Chan chong sun
23 May 2016 4.25pm
Reply to  rajraman666

The clause ‘dare not apply’ is not meant to be taken literalily. It should not be taken out of context. The CM used that clause to emphasise the renaging by Najib’s Government of Pak Lah’s pledge to construct a LRT system for Penang. The CM had made a few reminders, including a written one to the Najib’s Government and they did not even have the courtesy to reply. So, that clause, ‘dare not apply’ has nothing to do with whether the CM got the guts to face up with umno or otherwise. The English used is basic and not complex.… Read more »

zoro
zoro
23 May 2016 10.14pm
Reply to  Anil Netto

he wants rakyat to work with him and not for him ONLY during election. plan and talk are cheap。i oso talk a lot because it is cheap.

David Loman
David Loman
24 May 2016 9.28am
Reply to  Anil Netto

You should say it was empty promises from Badawi.

rajraman666
rajraman666
23 May 2016 6.17pm
Reply to  Chan chong sun

Chan chong sun, When Politician talk the voters listen and takes their spoken words not out of context using double meaning in writing. The Penang Government wrote to remind about Badawi promises and as usual UMNo don’t bother to reply but LGE spoke openly he “dare not apply”. rajraman. Common people’s use common English without double meaning. At least LGE should try to apply and exhausted with no reply then he should try his own ways like tunneling his way although some people’s don’t agree with his Barter Trading of Land reclamation . His own spoken words like my Bungalow… Read more »

tunglang
tunglang
23 May 2016 9.59pm
Reply to  rajraman666

“dare not apply” is like implying why should I apply when I know I will (more) definitely not get it.
It’s also another way of justifying “I have to do it my way” which to some is an act of brave defiance against the Feds – an antonym to Boh Hoot of past Gelakan era. In such a circumstance, who (an ardent supporter) would see the rotten woods for the fallen trees?
I dare not say CAT is rotten.