Seri Tanjung Pinang Phase 2: Who profits, who loses out?


What else can you say? Volume 1 of the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (page 39) for Phase 2 of the Seri Tanjung Pinang project states: “The up-market nature of STP2′s mixed development tends to favour the affluent. In the process, the locals would lose out.”

Economic rational and cost-benefit analysis

A project of such monumental proportion should have clear and strong rationale as to why it is needed. What are the benefits and the costs? Who stands to benefit most? Who ends up bearing the social, economic and environmental costs? What are the net benefits to society?

a) Why is the project needed and who stands to benefit most? The Report says it is needed to relieve growth pressure and scarcity of land (Vol 2, 4-2). In fact, housing construction has been growing at more than twice the rate of population growth with excess in high-end properties. This project will not meet the affordable housing shortage. It is aimed at the top 1-2 per cent of the population, with prices in the millions. (Note, to get a RM1m loan, you must have a minimum RM20,000 monthly income.) “The up-market nature of STP2′s mixed development tends to favour the affluent. In the process, the locals would lose out” (Volume 1, page 39).

b) The cost-benefit analysis (CBA) as presented is inadequate as it is too narrowly focused only on quantifying the costs of loss of mangrove area, of seabed for macro benthos, of mudflats and seabed, and of fishing ground and ignores many other social, economic and environmental costs.

c) The Report underestimates the quantum of financial losses (RM33m-50m over 50 years) of the fisheries due to many questionable assumptions such as the benthic communities will recover in three years after dredging and fuel costs at RM1.42 per litre for the next 50 years. Also the impact on Perak fishing grounds is left out of the analysis.

d) Furthermore, the loss of income affects not only the fishermen but the general public. As fishing grounds are destroyed, the price of seafood hurts ordinary people. We cannot continue to import fish, given global overfishing and depleting fish stock. For food security reasons, the State MUST protect its own fishing grounds wherever possible.

e) Other major costs that are not quantified and for which the public has to bear are:

i) Environmental costs of further siltation. So far, STP1 has not been made to bear the cost of siltation of Gurney Drive even though the DID report identified the siltation as a result of STP1. The Report is unclear where the new siltation will occur though some figures were given with some areas silting up faster than others. No costs are provided for the remedial measures and who should bear the costs.

ii) Another major cost is the post dredging of the flushing channel. The Report expects the Penang state to maintain the post dredging of the channel every five years?! WHY? This is clearly not sustainable development. No estimates are provided. Based on the widely accepted “polluter pays principle”, the party that causes the environmental damage bears the costs. Why should the general public pay for the enjoyment of the few (e.g. estimated costs for dredging Penang Port – RM350m)?

iii) Another cost that the public will bear is the degradation of water quality from sediment dispersal. It cannot be assumed that the mitigation measures such as silt curtains would be effective. There is also no analysis and data on the faecal coliform bacteria that is the most serious known health hazard of bodily contact with the sea.

iv) The Report assumes massive improvements in transport infrastructure are required to accommodate the increased traffic flow. What are the costs and who should shoulder them?

v) The Report recognises the risks of project abandonment and says the developer should take mitigating steps to close down the project. But environmental degradation or destruction would already have occurred. No analysis is presented as to how much this would cost and how the developer would pay to compensate.

f) Finally, what aesthetic and painful losses do ordinary Penangnites have to suffer as our sea shores and views are gradually destroyed, our public access to beaches taken from us, our waters becoming polluted, our tree-lined roads choked and our quality of life steadily diminishing, all in the name of ‘development’.

This is part four of a media statement issued by the Penang Forum Steering Committee on 3 April 2014

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Ong Eu Soon
15 Apr 2014 5.57pm

Force Zenith Bucg to do a proper feasibility study for Penang undersea tunnel project. This will incapacitate the project as well as the STP2. Why waiting when yo have the opportunities to fight back?

13 Apr 2014 5.32pm

Ironically Nestle is advocating JIMAT on its TV ads!

Shrinking purchasing power and dwindling value of our Ringgit with Barang Naik a sure recipe for Perfect Storm now that borrowing rate is going up soon!

Yuk Lo
Yuk Lo
13 Apr 2014 11.22am

Nestle profits, Consumers loses out!

Nestle will increase the price of its products by 10% from May 2014.
Your Milo, Koko Krunch, Milk powder will cost more.
Mamak stalls will increase the beverage price!

Another wave of Barang Naik before GST?

12 Apr 2014 5.51pm

tungland don’t need to use alternative ID as Penang KiamSiapKui as your style of writing is easily recognizable 🙂

I agree with you the banks are cashing in on consumerism. Anil can testify that Public Bank earns nett near a billion every quarter !

13 Apr 2014 3.28pm
Reply to  henson

Cheers Kopi-O kau kau kau to all Penangite Kiam Siap Kuis!
Penang Kopitiam Kopi-O good for concerned Penangites to stay awake on issues of interest to our survival & wellbeing, & not be fooled by smoke screen from 3 morning joss sticks offered daily to Komtar Tower of Cosmopolitan Frenzies.
henson, do you drink Pg kopitiam Kopi-O?

13 Apr 2014 5.48pm
Reply to  tunglang

This morning, I was caught in an ugly jam at Jalan Burmah-Jalan Pangkor-Jalan Kelawei axis. Anything of crowd attracting?
My psychic mind flashed to a future scenario of an undersea tunnel channeling massive traffic gridlock leading to widespread driver rages & curses on the slippery-cleaned roads of the rich & famous.

Penang KiamSiapKui
Penang KiamSiapKui
11 Apr 2014 5.59pm

LGE may be one of the leaders who (allegedly) willingly align to the Cabal, the global progenitor of the new world order of mass slavery through financial indebtedness through uncontrolled spending in an economy of low wages.
Kapitan Lim Kit Siang denied aligning to it himself.
Soon, many will be slaves to the banks, the landlords, the 1% Richie, the ah longs.
Unless many wake up now.

Yuk Lo
Yuk Lo
11 Apr 2014 11.42am

Such city development is inevitable regardless of which party is in power from business consideration in the land scarced Penang. Everyone of us has a choice, in voting for a government or in moving to another place to escape to rural living.

11 Apr 2014 12.34pm
Reply to  Yuk Lo

Yuk Lo : Yes city development is inevitable but there must be sustainable development. The development currently taking place is on an adhoc basis without consideration of wider application for sustainability. Seaside are being simply reclaimed and natural areas being wipe off for development. They should do it like Singapore in the 70s, proper planning of urban renewal instead of clearing natural areas like the sea and forest.

11 Apr 2014 2.59pm
Reply to  Yang

Anil should have no problem moving and operate out of rural base away from concrete island penang ?

anyway, while Anil is still on island i suggest he should go to sPICE today (this weekend) to witness the urban consumerism with Home Furnishing exhibition in progress. The landscape has changed as most young islanders not as “kiam siap” as their seniors to afford such lifestyle concepts at home.

Yuk Lo
Yuk Lo
12 Apr 2014 11.02am
Reply to  Yang

Yes, they should ‘lawat sambil belajar’ in Singapore instead of having golf trip to Dubai?

Yuk Lo
Yuk Lo
13 Apr 2014 11.16am
Reply to  Yang

Malaysia’s GLCs, EPF and Khazanah all have hugh stakes in the top 10 property developers in Malaysia. Why then nobody advocates sustainable development?

11 Apr 2014 1.34am

What else can you say? Volume 1 of the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (page 39) for Phase 2 of the Seri Tanjung Pinang project states: “The up-market nature of STP2′s mixed development tends to favour the affluent. In the process, the locals would lose out.” Exactly. The condo will be based on RM1,200 per sq ft land price when the current land price is only RM100 – 500 per sq ft. That means that a 1440 sq ft condo will cost 1.8 millions. Even compact units of 680 sq ft will cost about 700k. This is the price you will… Read more »

11 Apr 2014 9.35am
Reply to  Yang

Penang Island got many deities, worshipped for good fortunes, well being, protection (of both humans & environment) & safety.
Added one Kapitan deity from the south, we now have environmental disasters unseen pre-308. Time to rethink whether it’s all worth the ‘energies’ worshipping this deity@Komtar Tower of Cosmopolitan Frenzies for the Rich + Famous.

Has anyone bought a paper Merc S300Lansi (from Carnarvon Street) to burn as offering facing Komtar Tower?