So no massive land reclamation in Penang in the offing then?

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The present Penang state government may not have granted any land reclamation rights since 2008, but recently concern has been expressed about possible land reclamation to finance the RM27bn Penang Transport Masterplan (of which RM17bn is for the construction of more roads and highways).

The following is an extract of a descriptive piece written for Malaysiakini by Mariam Mokhtar about a dialogue in London with the Penang Chief Minister.

The question that irked Lim was as innocuous as those that preceded it, but they brought passion to Lim. They were about the sustainability of development in Penang, hillside development and the threat posed to the breeding grounds of fish, by land reclamation.

Lim’s body language betrayed the touching of a raw nerve. He shot forward in his seat like a sprinter from the starting blocks. The pulse on his right temple throbbed. His voice rose and he bellowed, “These are outright lies, and I will sue anyone who says that. I will sue them and I have sued them.” His indignation caused a ripple of laughter.

Lim was riveting. The audience was enraptured although one cannot decide whether it was because Lim lost his calm composure, or whether it was because the audience was moved by his passion for Penang. He is not a native Penangite, but has embraced his adopted state with enthusiasm and energy. Some claim that Lim was in the right place at the right time when he won his seat in Penang.

The animated Lim raised a few eyebrows. He did not mince his words, and warned against making baseless accusations, and the crowd loved it. He added, “I challenge anyone who says that the Penang state government has granted massive land reclamation rights. These are scurrilous attacks. We stand by what we have achieved. We will defend (our achievements) with our lives.”

He advised those who were unhappy, to sue the BN government for contracts made before DAP’s time, like Tanjung Pinang Two. In 1995, BN sold reclaimed land for RM1 per square foot, instead of RM60 per sq ft, which was the prevailing rate at the time.

Lim brushed aside the criticism by saying that it was typical of the NGOs who are aligned to Umno Baru, and that Unesco has awarded Penang heritage status.

He is misinformed. These were questions garnered from ordinary Penangites, and not NGOs which are aligned with the Umno Baru opposition in Penang.

Despite his harsh rebuttal of the allegation of unsustainable development, members of the audience admitted that they would rather have him as leader than a corrupt Umno Baru or BN chief minister; the good he has done outweighs the criticism.

Lim said, “Penang is cleaner and greener now. Please don’t blame us for the wrongs of the previous BN government. We are not perfect, but we have a plan to resolve issues like public transport. You can attack me for anything, but do not attack our integrity.”

What about the land reclaimed by E & O under rights granted by the previous BN administration: 110 acres of this are to be handed over to the state government, which will then hand them over to Zenith, the tunnel developer. Zenith has already entered into a joint venture with Ewein to undertake property development on some of this land. Was that part of the original BN deal – or something more recent?

What is your view? Has development in Penang been sustainable so far?

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lim

I agree with Tee and James though i am for environment.

The young generation cant do without cars it is more of a fact. Therefore, building more highways is inevitable whether we like it or not.

By the way, to the Pg govt, please plant more tress as you have not done enough, you have lots to improve in view of “greener and cleaner”, please live up to your slogan/motto, a greener and a cleaner Penang for all !!!

zorro

Big rip off why only meow and not roar many times over? Gerakan and mca here is your opportunity to strike back. Lester the bankrupt is willing to stand for his right. Here, critics blowing cow and big brother umno just give a damn.

Dom

Gerakan brand name has been hijacked by G18!

iSupercally

One of the four conditions set by the state government to Zenith is that the concession period for the third link will only be for 30 years and the toll charges must be similar to the second Penang bridge.
Tolls charges must be similar to second Penang bridge. So if the toll for the Penang second bridge is increase so will the tunnel tolls. Wow getting free land and also tolls

Yang

Look at how Penangite has been ripped off by the CAT just for his passion. 110 acres @ 1,300 or 6.3 billions contra off to Zenith for the tunnel. The tunnel is not seen yet. It will be ready in 8 years. The land would have cost at least 10 time or 63 billions by then. Meanwhile the developers is already laughing to the bank. Put that in FD and he will have enough to build the tunnel without using much capital but Penang precious land. Not counting another 1000 acres at 63 billions to be contra off in stages.… Read more »

Yang

The land to be contra off is 1100 acres. At 1300 psf it is worth about 63 billions. The tunnel and road project will be ready in 8 years time. Meanwhile we are already giving the land to the developer for the project not seen yet. How much do you think the land 1100 acres which is now worth 63 billions will be worth in 8 years times. Most probably about 10 times the value going by the sharp appreciation recently. That would be about 630 billions….. Even if my valuation is not correct, at least it would appreciated to… Read more »

iSupercally

I remembers its 1000 acres. Ok if I am wrong then the land would still be worth 63 over billions. Ya, on top of that Zenith will be getting a 30 years toll consession. The 30 years consession could bring in an income of 58 billions according to Khoo Kay Peng estimation. Even if it is 110 acres, Penangite will still be on the losing end. Accordingly 110 acres is for the tunnel and does not include the ROAD PROJECTS. “The 110 acres [44.5ha] given to Ze­nith will generate the necessary funds to carry out the projects,” says Zenith Group… Read more »

james k

This is gross exaggeration- the tunnel was priced at 6.3 billion. So this is the figure that should be used for comparison. Yet you miraculously ballooned it to 630 billion without any support of facts/formula/calculation. I’m no mathematician but simple math would tell me that 110 acres = roughly 4.8 million sq feet. Let’s say we use the price of the Bayan Mutiara land deal, which the state gov sold to Ivory for RM240 per sq ft. 4.8million x RM 240 comes up to just over RM 1.1 billion. So Penangites will get a tunnel worth RM 6.3 billion, and… Read more »

tunglang

Just ask one simple question: “Who actually approved the Bukit Relau development which has turned a tranquil hill for natural rain water ‘sponging’, flora & fauna sanctuary & filtering of carbon elements off the air for a cooler Penang? Just pose this simple question to Niao Kong & wait to see what will be its body language. Hungry Ghost Month is just less than one month away. Go see the nightly street Teochew Pan (Chinese opera) to understand the varied body language of angry bellows, swinging of spears or swords, red faces & quickie retorts of operatic arrogance no different… Read more »

Yi

1MDB 2.6 millions or 42 billion is nothing compared to the 27 billions being hijacked that could be worth 10 times more.

Phua Kai Lit

Allow me to quote from an article I recently published in an academic journal: “Global warming has accelerated the melting of glaciers, polar ice caps, and permafrost, thus resulting in sea level rise. SLR is threatening the existence of low-lying islands in places such as the Indian Ocean (Maldives) and the South Pacific (Tuvalu and Kiribati). The inhabitants of the Carteret Islands have become the first of the world’s “climate change refugees” …….. SLR would increase the number of climate change refugees from low-lying delta areas as well, e.g., southern Bangladesh.6 Sea level rise can also be due in part… Read more »

Phua Kai Lit

Land reclamation does not make sense, in the long run, with the
threat of sea level rise (SLR) associated with “global warming”.

We should learn from the Dutch instead for ideas on preparing for the
future.

S Tee

As long as Penangites cannot do without driving cars just like using smartphones, there is always need to accommodate vehicles on road by expanding road and expressways!

Despite we live in humid tropical weather, there is no excuse not to rode bicycles to work if gomen past and present plant more shady trees along bicycle paths all over Penang. Trees can grow well on our climate.