Despite civil society objections, Penang government endorses massive Seri Tanjung Pinang land reclamation project

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Despite a host of concerns and objections raised by civil society groups and fisherfolk in the state, the Penang State Planning Committee has “endorsed” E & O’s controversial masterplan for Phase 2 of the Seri Tanjung Pinang land reclamation project covering 891-acres.

E & O was notified about the endorsement on 10 June.

The masterplan was prepared by Tanjung Pinang Development Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Eastern & Oriental Berhad.

The state government is in an awkward position in endorsing the masterplan as it holds a 21.2 per cent stake in Tanjung Pinang Development. The state government is also in favour of a cross-channel tunnel and highways on the island and had promised the tunnel developer a chunk of the reclaimed land from Phase 2 of Seri Tanjung Pinang as compensation – which means it needs the reclaimed land from Phase 2.

Phase 2 involves the creation of an artificial island 300 metres off-shore from Tanjung Tokong, the shoreline for which had already been reclaimed for Phase 1. More expensive houses and high-rise condos for the affluent would be constructed on the artificial island, which would be split by a canal running through it. Related to Phase 2 are plans to build an expressway, a linear park and a promenade along nearby Gurney Drive. Land reclamation for Phase 2 would all but wipe out the fisheries sector in the area.

The Penang government’s endorsement comes a couple of weeks after a 28 May announcement that Morning Crest Sdn Bhd, a firm substantially owned by E & O Managing Director Terry Tham, would be buying a 10 per cent stake at RM2.90 per share from Sime Darby, which would reduce the GLC’s stake to 22 per cent. Sime Darby is cutting back its stake only a few years after buying it at a premium. See Sime Darby’s strange purchase and sale of E & O.

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Earlier, on 10 April, the federal Department of the Environment had speedily approved the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment report despite Penang Forum, a grouping of a dozen civil society groups, submitting a 21-page report outlining its concerns and objections. No response was received to these concerns. The DOE approval for this massive project came just a few weeks after the public display of the draft Detailed Environment Impact Assessment report had concluded.

E & O’s share price rose after the DOE’s approval and the State Planning Committee’s latest endorsement (although there are other EIA reports related to the project that have to be undertaken). The decisions leave E & O poised to reap super-profits from the project’s gross development value of RM25bn on the back of land reclamation rights acquired very cheaply.

Not everyone is celebrating though: activists reacted with shock at the DOE’s and the State Planning Committee’s endorsements.

The almost nominal value of land reclamation rights awarded in the past represents a huge opportunity cost incurred by the Penang public, which will now bear the environmental cost (loss of marine biodiversity and expected traffic congestion) of the project. Meanwhile, the stupendous profits from the physical development of the area have been largely privatised.

The State Planning Committee’s endorsement comes on the heels of serious concerns expressed by the Penang Inland Fishermen’s Welfare Association about the impact of land reclamation and pollution of coastal waters in the state. (Ironically, the state government has just launched the Penang Green Council office, “the first pilot project in Malaysia GBI (NRNC) Office Interior Tool Provisional Certified” … a case of not seeing the wood for the trees?)

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What’s more, the cost of future dredging of the sea bed (due to the impact of the Phase 2 land reclamation), would run into millions of ringgit; this cost to be borne by the state government, and by extension, the Penang public.

A classic case of privatisation of profits, socialisation of costs/losses?

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OWC

Same thing is happening down south. Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong has written to his Malaysian counterpart Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak about the ambitious project which will see massive land reclamation work near the Johor Second Link has raised eyebrows across the Causeway. The project called Forest City, which is said to involve several connected islands with a total land size of about 2,000ha – bigger than Pangkor island – could have potential transboundary effects and Singapore is concerned. http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/06/21/Spore-concern-over-Johor-project-Land-reclamation-work-near-Second-Link-may-have-potential-transboun/ Forest City is where the Tengku Mahkota of Johor (JDT President) has planned to build a new football stadium… Read more »

Don Anamalai

The Department of Environment has issued a temporary stop-work order against all coastal land reclamation works for the development of the massive Forest City off Tanjung Kupang here pending a detailed study.
http://www.nst.com.my/node/5883

Why DOE did not ussue stop-work order for Seri Tanjung Pinang land reclamation project?
Is it because CAT principles are in place for Seri Tanjung Penang project?

kleesant

Another gomen with high ideals bites the dust. “Development”, growth and capitalism will finish us off soon. Humanity may only have 10 – 20 years left.

Tigerz

I guess another thing you can do is create awareness for the buyers. Most of whom are probably rich millionaire foreign buyers. Hit E&O where it hurts the most – their wallets. Most of these guys want to invest in something safe as well. If the environmental impacts are true, I am not sure people will invest millions in a house facing a stinky water front.

tunglang

Substantial numbers of potential foreign property investors may come from China, HK, SingLand & Taiwan. Create awareness of environmental degradation in Penang is one good strategy to keep these recalcitrant developers on their creeping toes. Communicate in the Chinese language would go long way to comprehensively present the ugly truth.

How about anilnetto.com plug in with Chinese translation?

Cheers Kopi-O kau kau to Tigerz. (No Tiger Beer please).

Sergas

Tom the Cat sings ‘Move Like Jagger’, specially dedicated to tunglang:

Don Anamalai

Penang now has a CAT café at Muntri Street.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4teXIwpqI0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKmz1oNA-kg

tunglang
Have you tried the coffee there?

tunglang

Any business with a CAT ‘chop’ is most likely an euphoria.
Any brand differentiation that will create desires in prospective consumers?
Some may be as fleeting as Cosmopolitan Frenzies that may not be hot & last as long as El Nino.
Note: too much of a thing dilutes its intrinsic value as something genuine & creative. Look at all jump-on-the-bandwagons me-too enterprises.

Danny Kua

8TV news reported ~80 new themed kopi-tiam in Hertiatge Penang now ! Mostly run by young entrepreneurs.
Too bad tunglang hot many ideas but cannot turn them into profitable business to sustain the cosmopolitam lifestyles.
Not sure if any themed kopitiam got Penang Street food memorabilia as decor, but i noticed a Camera Museum cum cafe has opened off Chualia Street – even got the praises of CAT chief LGE !

Atila

Anil, no one bothers this STP2 and its impact
We are the little one against it. These STP2 is not even wide spoken in newspapers. Majority Penangites don’t know. What choice do we have?

tunglang

If something is soooooo good for Penang island, ‘they’ should trumpet it.
Instead of silently ‘just do it’.
Tiam-tiam cho, u bok-tek. an-ne niau kong. (quietly do it, like old-cat with ulterior motive)

Lapala

tiam tiam chai han chen (diammdiam tahu market situation) go buy land at Bagan Ajam then build own house go to work via tunnel have best of both worlds.
time to move out of paya terubong bli tanaj kat Bagan pandu 4DW masuk terowong cari makan di pulau rihat di seberang ! cukup baloi !

Don Anamalai

If it is not reported in the newspapers, chances are the project is BN of its cronies involved, right?

Yang

To the NGO DAP and LGE will said I wholly support for all your reasoning and objection.
After he met the developers he will said I will surely support all your development

Don`t you all understand, I must make believe into all of you from both divide.

Now I have a new motto and policy ““`I am for it but then I am against it“““

Kelty

I think the recent case of ‘invasion of body snatcher’ in Penang is worthy of discussion in this blog.

Good to learn from NTV7 news today that LGE’s government is providing financial aid to the deceased’s mother.

cwf

Tunglang’s level is par with macc investigating teoh’ s few ks.

tunglang

Such ‘intelligence’ spouting foolish comments not worth Cosmopolitan Penang class of bing chui? More like a Scout boy antics. Grow up, cwt. Btw, what the ‘f’ stands for. Must ask a boy scout.

OWC

Some seven months after more cooling measures were introduced, home prices continue to inch up as Malaysian developers prefer to offer rebates than price their products lower.

Many appear to be not abiding by guidelines on “freebies”. Some banks are also still basing their financing on the sales-and-purchase agreement (SPA) price rather than net selling price, a survey by the national House Buyers Association (HBA) has found.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/premium/top-stories/malaysian-housing-developers-ignoring-freebie-guidelines-20140613

tunglang

I heard a developer in Bukit Gambir can give 100K discount for million Ringgit homes!
Did I missed a pre-mark up in sales tactic? Legit?
Only surreal prices can ‘accommodate’ such offer. Doesn’t it looks & smells the same for a MercS300Lansi sold with accountant’s discount?
CAP should check on these recalcitrants of commerce as CAT has no mission to do likewise.

bowen

Stupid if got discount but not taking?

As many readers have pointed out, houses at Sungai Petani can be affordable for many. Or maybe Kulim where Mukhriz is building an international airport?

tunglang

Greed breeds stupidity, like toilet bowl breeds germs!!!
Can’t blame those who think MercS300Lansi is so goody honest an offer!
Go learn price marketing tactics from marketing gurus.

cwf

Tunglang expects prices of cars to go up and houses to go down even renting. Maybe he is a good landlord, the rent of his properties to go down not to talk of selling used property.

Yang

Stupid if got discount but not taking? I could say this is even more stupid.

If I am not mistaken there is one project … selling for up to RM1,300 psf. It means that a 1330 sq ft unit would cost more than RM1.7 millions. What is a 100k discount when formerly such unit would cost only about 600k.

tunglang

Stupid breeds more stupid head which breeds more stupid comments.
Maybe this is a sign of desperation to get a single sale. I went to observe this said developer’s office offering 100K discount but only see ghosts loitering around amidst blaring music at the entrance which sounded more like weeping!!!
Why should I then weep for developers who create surreal pricing the stupid cannot read but think stupid & act stupid.

Tapir 4 Panda

This is E&O project signed deal since early 2000s.
E&O, SP Setia, Sime Darby eg have been merged in Bolehland to rival Spore’s CapitalLand.

OWC

If the deal was signed in early 2000s, nothing much CAT could do, right?

henson

so many readers are barking at wrong tree ?

by the way, CAT gomen now calling for RFP in August for Penang Transport Master Plan strategy. This is a chance for those critics to form a consortium to bid for better less coast-mud-pollutant island !

Yang

We have seen enough of CAT. As I mingled and talk with many of the people (not ten but many) of Penang from Balik Pulau to Georgetown to Batu Feringghi and on to the mainland, I notice that dissatisfaction among the people is gaining momentum. It look like that the people may change the CAT & DAP and opt back to BN Gerakan. Hopefully in another 3 years, the young will not be swayed by rhetoric emotion of the opposition leaders again. Let us not be confused by these leader especially on hudud. I am for it but then I… Read more »

cwf

This is what pr stands for. Democracy for rakyat to change government not like bn spending to keep themselves to be in power. Rakyat in TI had vote for Mah as promised to be minister by umno. Whole malaysia know except yang.

cwf

What is people centric? Building a city dam, waste treatment plant, busway, there are different interest group opposing it like yang and tunglang. In Queensland, people oppose the busway to encourage public transport.They do not know Singapore and east Asia governments would not reveal much about sea reclamation on even a larger scale. Why tunglang and y
ang did not blame Francis light to blow coins into the island to cLear the land?

Yang

cwf ; Talking without using brain

tunglang

Arrogance of the 1st Class Honour of CAT Degree offered from Komtar Tower.
“You voted me, I slap you in the face” kucing kurap motto learnt from the 3 Stooges Classics.
The one to laugh first & also to laugh last to the banks are the developers while the jokes of slappings go on for another full term.
Swap, Slap. Swap, Slap. Swap, Slap. Until botak.
Fyi, 2 of the Stooges have botak heads.

catwoman

Could you please be specific how you were ‘clawed’ by the CAT?

tunglang

Read anilnetto.com since 2008 till now, & see the change of people’s perception (including mine) due to many reasons, one of which is unaffordable housing. Not to forget the degradation of environment, the questionable swap deals & approvals even before independent environmental assessments are concluded as final. This doesn’t mean CAT is Evil, rather it has gone wayward in its original mission & vision to be people-centric rather than developer-friendly. Too bad a cat with cat’s eye can only see what she wants to see, given Nature’s gift of eyesight to also see the evil around us. If you can… Read more »

Don Anamalai

Perhaps the cute Hello Kitty from McDonald’s Circus of Life can make tunglang less averse to CAT?

cwf

Tunglang is saying the best and profitable job is to be a developer even in a small town like in ipoh. Big dollars can be easily made.

Atila

Anil, we worry so much but Tg toking Malays majority know nothing on this. How?