The present Penang state government has given a commitment that as long as there is no change in government, the Sunway City project in Sungai Ara will not be allowed to proceed.
Credit to the Sungai Ara residents who had done their homework and research; their dogged determination and persistence finally paid off.
Still, they could scarcely believe their ears when Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng told them during a dialogue yesterday that the project would be referred to the State Planning Committee, chaired by him, and it would not be given the green light.
Credit as well to the Chief Minister for heeding the residents’ concerns. He also wants to release the full list of the 31 projects above 250 feet approved during the BN era.
Hopefully, the same concern should be shown for any hill-slope project on steep hill-slopes. In this regard, the list of the 38 hill-slopes projects approved since 2008 should be made public too.
As a side-note, one of the things I find most interesting from this whole saga is that, yes, the State Planning Committee DOES have a lot of power to decide whether property development projects should be allowed to proceed or not.
Guan Eng adds in a statement:
As a people-centric government that listens to the people, we have listened to the people who value the safety to their families by strictly imposing a building line at 250 feet which is half of the 500 feet set by the Federal government. Projects carried out above 250 feet are either approved by MPPP before March 2008 or for those after March 2008 consist of “special projects” approved by the previous state government on 13.9.1996 which MPPP can not reject as long as technical requirements are met.
This is why the Sunway City Sungai Ara project was approved by MPPP when all technical requirements are met, even though it was above 250 feet, as it was already approved as a special project on 13.9.1996. As I told the affected residents at a dialogue yesterday, this project has already been referred to the Special Planning Committee chaired by me. The present state government has also given a commitment that so long as there is no change in government, the project will not be allowed to proceed.