A DAP rep also breaks ranks. The motion calls upon the state government to conduct public hearings for feedback, opinions and recommendations before proceeding with reclamation projects.
It also urges the state government to carry out a comprehensive study, especially on the environmental and social impact caused by already-completed reclamation projects, and to stop all imminent reclamation project plans until such a study is completed.
For – 10 (Umno 9, DAP 1 – Teh Yee Cheu)
Against – 23 (DAP 18, PKR 4, Pas 1)
Abstentions – 5 (PKR – Ong Chin Wen, Bukit Tengah; Cheah Kah Peng, Kebun Bunga; Lee Khai Loon, Machang Bubuk; Dr T Jayabalan, Batu Uban; Dr Norlela Ariffin, Penanti)
Absent – 1 (Umno)
Unable to vote – 1 (Speaker Law)
Total – 40
At the 2013 general election for the Penang state assembly:
DAP – 19
PKR – 10
Umno – 10
Pas – 1
Total – 40
Out of PKR’s 10 Aduns:
Abstained – 5
For – 4
Unable to vote – 1 (Speaker)
Total – 10
Personally, I would support the motion on a matter of principle.
It is nonsense to now hear talk about having to pay huge compensation if the land reclamation or other pet projects are not approved (the usual story to silence critics).
First of all, were the fishing communities and other residents in southern Penang Island ever consulted over massive land reclamation? If not, whose fault is that? Why enter into deals with massive implications for residents without so little consultation and participatory decision-making?
Why enter into ill-conceived reclaimed land-for-infrastructure swap deals with companies, which then tie the hands of the (willing?) state government?
Are the EIAs and other approvals just a foregone conclusion, a mere irritating formality?
Perhaps any compensation due should come out of the pockets of those responsible for this?