Penang Local Plan poser


Why is the Penang state government silent on the fate of the Penang Island Local Plan? This is a letter from activist Tan Seng Hai.

The draft Penang Local Plan was approved by the MPPP in 2008. The Local Plan was however held back by the Penang state government with the reason given that it has to wait for the Special Area Plan (SAP) for the Georgetown UNESCO Heritage Zone. This is despite the Town and Country Planning Act clearly stating that a Local Plan has a higher hierachy than a SAP and has to be gazetted first.

It has been nearly five years now and the Penang Local Plan is still on indefinite hold by the state authorities. Penangites and members of civil societies have been raising this issue and asking for the local plan in many public forums, dialogues and public consultation sessions. However, the state authorities continue to remain silent and non-commital on it. It seems that the Penang state government has no urgency to want to have a local plan.

In the meantime, in the absence of a Penang Local Plan, developers and builders are having a free-for-all building anything and anywhere they want on the island. There are no controls on density, height and land use.

MPPP continues to approve these development plans because “tiada rancangan tempatan”. We see 30 storey condominiums built right next to low rise established residential areas. We see established residential areas rezoned to commercial use. Mega commercial and residential projects are sprouting up all over the island with no planned transport and transit linkages.

This has caused traffic problems in these newly developed areas. Several experts and distinguished visiting professors have pointed out that Penang severely lacks any urban planning. Current development on the island is uncontrolled and unplanned and this has resulted in the traffic mess we see today.

So the question that begs to be answered by the Penang state authorities is “what happened to the Penang Local Plan since 2008?”

Tan Seng Hai

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Angry Tokong
Angry Tokong
10 Oct 2013 4.24pm

Penang Local Plan got include Sea Tunnel ah?
How much development ala rich men’s playground included in Local Plan eh?
Don’t tell us we don’t have to ask, just let it happen like Relau Hill.
Let’s see whom is more angry by asking questions.
Penang is not Melaka.

11 Oct 2013 1.44pm
Reply to  Angry Tokong

If you are not happy you can always migrate to Kedah where you can worship Mukhriz.

zam zam
zam zam
11 Oct 2013 3.31pm
Reply to  owc

angry tokong jangan mudah lupa bila bantuan RM100 diterima. Tidak suka boleh hijrah ke Kedah sembah apanama moga moga dapat diskaun dari minuman st.miguel

SH Tan
SH Tan
10 Oct 2013 2.30pm

Hi En Sobri. I think you have totally missed my point. I was never against development. I am against uncontrolled and unplanned development. There is a subtle difference. As for my objection to sPICE, let me refresh your memory. My objections centre on 2 points, lopsided concession to the developer and the project’s long term sustainability. Lopsided concession to the developer: Article 4 of the Agreement states that MPPP unconditionally and irrevocably grant the developer additional density of any development over and above the maximum permissible density. This is not to exceed additional 1500 residential units. If we use a… Read more »

Batu Ferringhian
Batu Ferringhian
10 Oct 2013 1.04pm

it’s not opposing for the sake of opposing. the state government needs to be transparent about the Penang Local Plan. Development is good, even if it’s bad, it’s almost always uninevitable. the point it, there needs to be more transparency . penang has been a developer’s playground lately, with more super luxurious housing developments and malls. we need to focus on what works best for the people. building more malls and more hotels isn’t good for the economy. we need to think about how to help existing businesses..the livelihood of your average penangite is at stake. i honestly think that… Read more »

Ravi Vijaya
10 Oct 2013 12.23pm

I don’t see any element of opposition to the state government in SH Tan’s letter. One of the things that can be detrimental in the long run, to any government worth its salt is when citizens ignore lack of transparency or accountability. Condoning such behavior by keeping compliantly silent will only lead to the eventual rise of another autocratic administration. We were promised change, not reruns. I wish more people were as vocal as SH Tan in exercising their rights as citizens.

Ahmad Sobri
Ahmad Sobri
10 Oct 2013 5.45am

Just be patient, Tan Seng Hai. I remember you are the Tan Seng Hai who were up in arms against the upgrading of PISA. I was with you then, but, as I drove past PISA lately, I must say, it is so much better than previously. So very well organized. There were computer fairs, furniture fairs, food fairs etc, but, everything was good. So, now I put my trust on the State Government than Tan Seng Hai. If we are against development everytime, in time to come, those in the opposition will say, there is no development under Pakatan Rakyat.… Read more »

Gopala Eli Rai Ananda Kimivelo Anendi Nathan Kumar
Gopala Eli Rai Ananda Kimivelo Anendi Nathan Kumar
10 Oct 2013 12.54pm
Reply to  Ahmad Sobri

What a shameless spin !!! State vs Federal huh ???

Do Penangites need to scarify themselves just for the purpose of State vs Federal, huh ???

Ahmad Sobri
Ahmad Sobri
10 Oct 2013 4.01pm

Wow! So fierce! Hey by the way, why are you so quiet about what Ahmad Zahid said? You all are only good at making noises, and when it comes to the crunch, you all are as usual, like tikus.

I don’t wish to debate with you, but, what the Home Minister said against your kind is very sad indeed, is it not?

Gopala Eli Rai Ananda Kimivelo Anendi Nathan Kumar
Gopala Eli Rai Ananda Kimivelo Anendi Nathan Kumar
10 Oct 2013 1.00pm
Reply to  Ahmad Sobri

How do you know that is honest government ??? I read news that even their own part election result was not recognized by RoS and some party members and thus the reelection.

If that is honest government, then why not show us the complete minutes related to Kg Buah Pala demolition, then this local plan, detail plan for tunnels and highways ???

10 Oct 2013 1.16pm
Reply to  Ahmad Sobri

Ahmad Sobri, Thomas Jefferson said “Dissent is the hihgest form of patriotism”. Critisizing does not mean opposing the government of the day. It is the duty of citizens to provide constructive feedback and speak out in order to improve the government. In any case, our loyalty should be to the state & country and not some politicians or political party. Blind partisanship will only encourage hubris and mismanagement.