Seri Tanjung Pinang Phase 2 and tunnel: Why is BN silent now?

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The BN has failed to live up to its role as a watchdog to oversea major developments in the state: its stoic silence on Phase 2 of the detailed EIA is glaring. But why the silence?

One possibility is that a federal GLC, Sime Darby Berhad, has taken a 32 per cent interest in E & O Berhad. So Penang BN is unlikely to want to mess around with a federal GLC’s vested interest. (Who knows what other federal interest there is.)

The other possibility stems from the fact that Phase 2 of Seri Tanjung Pinang is intricately linked to the tunnel project. (E & O is supposed to hand over more than 100 acres of super-prime reclaimed land to the Penang state government, which in turn will hand it over to the tunnel developer, Zenith Consortium BUCG, as “compensation” for financing the feasibility study, design and construction of the tunnel).

Before the general election, Penang Gerakan was highly vocal against the land-for-tunnel swap deal, turning it into a major election issue.

For instance, just before GE13, The Star reported:

Gerakan is questioning the rationale behind the Penang Government move of giving away 44ha of reclaimed land in Tanjung Pinang to a consortium here as payment for the four planned infrastructure projects totalling RM6.3bil.

But post-GE13, it was a different story. Penang Umno raised eyebrows by supporting the tunnel, saying it would actually be an “added attraction” for the state (despite conceding it could lead to to increasing congestion and degradation of the marine ecology).

The Star reported:

State opposition leader Datuk Jahara Hamid (Teluk Air Tawar) said the state Barisan “tidak bantah” (had no objections) to the proposed project

She said it would be an added attraction in the state as it will be the first of its kind in the country.

“However, I urge the state government to implement a comprehensive plan to ease the traffic congestion on the island first before completion of the tunnel,” she said when debating the motion of thanks to the Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas’ opening address at the state assembly yesterday.

Jahara also urged the state to look into the possible impact the project might cause to offshore fishermen in Bagan Ajam.

“The project would affect the marine ecology and thus, the livelihood of the fishermen will also be affected,” she added.

But I don’t see Penang BN taking up the cause of the Tanjung Tokong fisherfolk, when they are so quick to rush forward on other smaller issues.

Since Jahara’s statement, the other component parties of the BN have largely fallen into line. In so doing, they are failing to live up to their role as a credible opposition group (though, needless to say, it was the Penang BN that gave away the reclamation rights for a pittance in the 1990s.)

But that doesn’t mean the detailed EIA should be a mere formality. Neither does it mean the state government should trot out its usual defeatist stance – that it would have to pay compensation if the project does not proceed – when confronted with a controversial gigantic project that could have huge environmental and financial implications. (Think of the dredging cost the Penang state government will have to bear after five years, as stated in the EIA report.)

This is the problem with swap deals of this nature: one project cannot be assessed properly in isolation without thinking of how it will affect the other project. What more when both projects are controvesial.

Meanwhile, Penang civil society activists are scrambling to get hold of a copy of the detailed EIA to come up with a proper response. They have not been helped by the limited time of the public display and the lack of prominent notice and a proper public display venue easily visible to the public.

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Ong Eu Soon

mca and gerakan are left a choice to merge with dap or leave the new coalition

Ong Eu Soon

latest rumor is that DAP is (allegedly) asking for 6 minister posts in the cabinet.

Ong Eu Soon

kee i don’t think you understand dap better especially lim guan eng

kee

Ya, i agree i dont quite understand pakatan but i do understand BN very well. That is why am resolute to kick out BN and willing to give Pakatan every chance. Never, never expect pakatan to be perfect.

I will stand by you…

Ong Eu Soon

Gerakan was told to keep silent. Why? Everyone are waiting for DAP to join 1Malaysia coalition.

kee

Ah Soon kor, i respect you for voicing out to correct the wrong. I was thinking if truly zenith sues u i hope the readers of Anils’s will put aside all our political differences and stand by you. So, now, you understand gerakan better??? As i always say seteruk teruknya Pakatan, it is anytime better than Barang Naik. Look at waythamoorthy, after being used and played out, he is now being dumped… If we vote Pakatan and Anwar we will still have a glimmer of hope, however, if we vote BN, we are (finished). We are voting for a lesser… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon

Our politic has reached a stage that I call a treacherous stage. The Kajang move is not as simple as it seem. PKR claimed that it is a move to prevent an emergency being announced in Selangor like in Kelantan before during the 70s. This will only be feasible if PAS or DAP switch camp to set up a new coalition. It is time for all of you to wake up from partisan politic and reassert your position and roles before it is too late.

Ong Eu Soon

This tunnel issue provided a golden opportunity for Gerakan to fight back. But only god know why Gerakan suddenly chicken off, pretend nothing When you wake up tomorrow morning will you be certain that you know that you are at which side of the political divide. I love to see how your tear flow with the sudden awakening.

Ong Eu Soon

A serious matter like the tunnel feasibility study, no one want to care about. Why complain Gerakan keep silence? What about yourself? Zenith Bucg instead of given a denial about my accusation, it admitted and confirmed that the study has not yet started. The study will be scheduled on March. But it already announced on Jan 23 that the feasibility study report will be unveiled on April, 2014. If Zenith Bucg can complete the study in 1 month period then it has a case against me. Otherwise I have a case against the state government. Bring me to court and… Read more »

kee

Consortium Zenith is seeking legal advice re Ong Eu Soon’s article in malaysiakini
for defaming Zenith and the state of penang…

abb

ong, yang, ellesse

where r U for this? one of the same though name is very different?

Yang

abb, you got it wrong. Ong & ellesse are not the same as me. Like I said before, all BN & PR are sama sama. Zenith is (allegedly) one of BN cronies and have now (allegedly) join (DAP administration) as crony. What can we do when people work for money. Money will swing and sway !!!!! like the many developers. Remember (one developer) before 308. They hang a very big banner and when DAP PR win,immediately the next day the banner was gone. Now they are one of the biggest beneficiary in (a major) development project (in Penang).

henson

Anil : But who really is behind Zenith?

Sooner or later fed-up insiders may reveal the juicy parts like Edward Snowden ghas done to the world ?

grkumar

Bet the Chinese contractors who have (secured) these jobs are not complaining. But the censors who will delete the word Chinese will continue to complain about the project

Andrew I

Just out of curiosity, what’s your take on Abdullah Tee? You sound just like him.

Mirror mirror on the wall…

Desmond Lee Chee Moon

Dear Anl, 1) Under sea Tunnel MOU inked and witness by Pm Najib, Premier Wen Xia Bao between CM YB Lim Guan Eng and China company. This Undersea Tunnel deal was ink during the ex China Communist Premier Wen Xia Bao visited Malaysia and approved and MOU signed and witness by PM Najib and with approval of Federal Government it was in the Star newspaper back then. BN objected because they do not have a share in the deal so they use Sime Darby to buy up E&O shares to participate in this lucrative project. Now that BN is in… Read more »

Ananars

The first work go to Co-operative CIDB and It is expected to start construction of the first local Integrated Construction Workers Complex (ICWC) by the first quarter of 2015, which will accommodate for an estimated 2,000 workers who will be involved in the construction of the 6.5km George Town-Butterworth undersea tunnel project.

rui

Correct if I am wrong but remember during the forum last year, mentioned that the sand comes from Lumut and transported to stp.

henson

Why so much fuss over Taman Manggis & Buah Pala while remain tight lips overs Seri Tanjung Pinang Pahase from BN folks ???

Don’t tell me this s in fact also a hidden share share Satu lagi Project which adheres to the principle of “You Help Me, I Help You” ???

How to masuk akal ???

Yang

Don`t worry, Gerakan & BN is watching very closely. Its still early until the next GE. We are all watching and Penangite is all watching. LGE DAP gimmicks and blame game is over.

kee

Barang Naik belakang mari lor, wait for 5 years to fool the people all over again…

See what had happened to waythamoorthy, after being used, he is as good as sampah…

Yang is happily waiting to be led (down the alley) come ge 14??? Best of luck !

Yang

Malaysia is a multi racial country which is a fact. Waytha wanted to do things only for the Indian when things must be done for all not just one race. On the other hand, PR DAP, PKR & PAS is doing things adhoc for the particular race or case at hand without consideration of wider application which has now cause more tension amongst the various races and religion. Prior to 308, there is very little such issue but after 308 power has gone to these opposition head to create more friction that there are now more polarisation. This raises more… Read more »

Yang

Kee, don`t worry, any which way I will still win because we move forward like the Chinese saying our brain is alive not dead unlike you like a robot

Islandjoe

Great. An opposition who only cares about themselves getting into power. That’s what we need. Politics is only about one party or another getting into power? Its a seriously backward way of thinking and a childish attitude. Watching and hoping for failure and not doing anything about it. Such a 3rd world mindset and if people think this is a credible strategy, then the rest know we’re not talking logic here – just partisan rhetoric that can’t translate into proper constructive criticism. This is so far away from what great leaders have done. Instead of looking at a Mandela, Gandhi,… Read more »