Remember the Jelutong dump site? At one time, there were plans to create an urban park for the people. But now, PDC is requesting for proposals to redevelop the site, presumably for mixed development.
Similarly, over in Tanjung Bungah, the state government announced in 2010 the soft launch of a coastal park at the site now popularly known as the Sore Thumb, because it juts out into the sea following some (illegal?) development and reclamation work.
But now there are bigger plans – which sound strangely familar because they seem like old, resurrected plans. PDC plans to develop a “marina and supporting coastal and marine tourism facilities” on state land and the adjoining sea area (great, more land reclamation for the well heeled!) in an area measuring 5km by 5km.
The marina development and operations “will be offered on a lease for a 30-year period with a renewal at the discretion of PDC for a further two terms of a 30-year period each”. The reclaimed land will cover up to 20 acres of the project area and it will be regarded as 99-year leasehold land. The deadline for the request for proposals is tomorrow.
PDC envisages that at least 20 per cent of the berths in the marina, which is meant for pleasure crafts, must be able to cater to super yachts. (We can see where the priorities lie. What about 30 per cent of the area for low-cost and low-medium cost housing? No, the PDC is not allowing any residential development here.)
What about the Sore Thumb? Was this reclamation legal?
Now it looks as it looks as if the Sore Thumb and the proposed public coastal park will be part of the selected developer’s scheme. (This explains the public road between the Penang Swimming Club and 1-Tanjung.)
What will be the impact of the reclamation on the Penang Swimming Club?
And what is the role of the 1-Tanjung development in all this?
Isn’t this PDC invitation for proposals similar to what was originally intended by certain parties when they first came up with plans for the area including reclamation about half a dozen years ago?
Who was responsible for the dumping of rocks and earth – without the permission of the MPPP, which issued a number of stop work orders?
But of course work continued after short pauses. Why didn’t the MPPP ask the party responsible for the dumping to take back all the rocks and earth and restore the beach to its original condition?
TBRA tried to make the best of a bad situation by asking for the Sore Thumb to be turned into a coastal public park. And a soft launch was even held, complete with a layout plan for the park.
But then, more earth was dumped into the Sore Thumb from adjacent areas. Who made the Sore Thumb worse? And what did the MPPP do about it?
It looks as if this latest move by the PDC has the effect of giving a veneer of legitimacy to veiled plans made a long time ago.