This is the concluding part of a media statement issued by the Penang Forum Steering Committee on 3 April 2014.
– The (Detailed EIA) Report under-estimates the financial costs of loss of fisheries.
– It also neglects to examine and quantify financial losses associated with other social, economic and environmental costs identified above.
– It illogically assumes the public will bear the burden of these costs. It is the duty of a government to ensure that negative externalities and costs generated in a project are borne by the responsible party and not passed on to the public, i.e., “the polluter pays principle” should apply.
– It is incumbent for the project proponent to properly quantify these costs and set up an adequate fund to meet these costs, failing which the project should be scaled down to an acceptable level or the “no build option” identified in the report (Vol 2, 6.3) should be considered.
– It is unacceptable that the cumulative costs that the public has to bear are so disproportionate to the private benefit enjoyed by a few. (The gross development value of the project has been estimated at RM25bn.)
The Penang Forum requests:
- An urgent independent review of STP1;
- An open public forum to debate/clarify/review the DEIA.
- Additional separate EIAs as required by DOE headquarters to be submitted before approval of this DEIA;
- The entire Traffic Impact Assessment to be re-done; and
- An ad hoc independent review panel to be called to assess the DEIA.