What’s holding up the Penang Island Local Plan?


Why has the process of enforcing the Penang Island Local Plan been delayed?

The draft Local Plan was passed by the MPPP in November 2008.

I glanced through the Town and Country Planning Act, and from my reading, this is what I gather should be the proper sequence in enforcing the Plan:

  • Council prepares a draft Local Plan. (Passed by MPPPĀ  in November 2008)
  • Plan is put up for public inspection.
  • Period for objections.
  • Council holds a public hearing for a committee to consider public objections. (The committee to hear the objections is appointed by the State Planning Committee.)
  • Council may modify the Plan to incorporate the objections.
  • The SPC can then approve the modified/unmodified Plan or reject the Plan altogether.
  • If the SPC approves, the Plan will then be forwarded to the “State Authority” (the Governor and, in practice, the Executive arm – the CM and his exco) for assent.
  • The Plan comes into effect once assent is given.

Has this sequence laid out in the Act been followed?

As the MPPP had already passed the draft Local Plan in 2008, shouldn’t the next step be putting the Plan up for display so that the public can inspect and raise objections? Why is this not being done?

Apparently, the reason for the delay is that they want to do the Special Area Plan for the World Heritage Zone first to make sure it does not conflict with the Local Plan.

But I believe both the SAP and the Local Plan were prepared by the same consultant; so there is unlikely to be much conflict. The draft Local Plan has been delayed long enough.

This is a more detailed sequence (as provided in the Town and Country Planning Act):

s. 12(8)
MPPP will formulate its proposal in a draft local plan which must conform generally with the structure plan & shall take into a/c the direction of SPC.

Before giving any direction, SPC SHALL first consult MPPP about its proposed direction

BEFORE commencing the preparation of the local plan, MPPP SHALL take steps to secure (a) that publicity is given to the draft that will be prepared, its objectives and purpose & matters it proposes to include in the draft local plan and (b) that persons who may want to make representations must be made aware that they are entitled to do so and be given the opportunity to do so.

MPPP shall publish in three issues of at least two local newspapers a notice stating the dates and places and time, copies of the draft local plan will be made available to the public and giving at least four weeks (from the date the draft is made available for inspection) for public to object.

MPPP shall make copies of draft local plan available for inspection and inform the public of the time within which objections may be made.

The time for objections MAY be extended once by MPPP by not more than four weeks on the application of any person.

MPPP will hold a hearing by a Committee of three persons appointed by SPC- for the purpose of considering objections & representations.

After considering objections & representations, MPPP shall submit the original draft or modified draft (to include objections) to the SPC for approval.

SPC may either approve draft (with or without modifications) or reject it.

SPC may take into a/c any matters that it thinks are relevant – whether or not the were taken into a/c in the plan as submitted to it.

SPC shall submit the approved draft local plan to the State Authority for assent & upon assent it shall come into effect.

MPPP shall publish the local plan in the state gazette and in two local newspapers.

The local plan shall conform to the structure plan but if there exists a difference due to the structure plan being out of date, SPC shall refer the difference to State Authority for its decision.

If State Authority agrees that structure plan is out of date, it shall declare that the local plan prevails over the structure plan.

The question is, did MPPP comply with s.12A? For sure, the draft local plan cannot be sulit at any stage.

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Has anyone been to the MPPP office at the Esplanade recently? Nice heritage building on the outside but old and rotten at the inside. Just take a good look at the messy environment inside and I wonder if anyone can find inspiration and spirit working there.

Why not move all MPPP offices to Komtar and rent out the old city hall and its twin building to some art gallery or even a bistro. The new occupants may even restore the interior of those buildings to their original pride.

Asam Garam

typical Malaysian attitude – gaya mesti ada dan tunjuk luar yang hebat walaupun isinya agak kosong.

good example : drive fancy cars but live in modest home (which cost s less than a car price).

Saya setuju MPPP kena pindah ke Komtar. Kemudian Komtar Walk barulah ada bisnes bla pegawai MPPP minum/makan situ waktu berlepak.

Office sekarang kat Esplanade bolehlah disewa untuk commercial.

pikir pikir lah

Andrew I

E.g. Gherkin and his BMW.


Asam Garam, i have a friend who is a lawyer, he just hates people driving good cars. His reasoning is, vehicle is just a means of transport, why must we spend so much to purchase one good car, why not take the money to help the poor. I am not sure whether my friend is jealous or he is really keen to help the poor. However, to some, owning a good car is a hobby/interest/passion. So, let them, we have no right to say anything, afterall, they are using their own money. (I am not referring to BN politicians here).… Read more »

Asam Garam

looks like we have many orang bisness as there are many many new cars on the road. I tak jealous if that’s for bisness cause tapi duit lebih baik untuk jaminan anak punya education atau susu untuk membesar.

If you don’t believe, go and check out the car park at rifle range area. Plenty of fanciful cars yet the people live very modestly.

Bravo marketing from car salesmen !


Asam Garam, i share your view, we need to be prudent. But youngsters these days, they are just different, generasi modern.


wira, i like your idea, please talk to DAP/Pakatan. TQ!


I went to City Hall and Town Hall to recee for a Street Food Museum, spent some hours taking pictures inside Town Hall for my proposal and the reason I got from MPPP that Town Hall is not for this museum purpose is official functions all year round. If an idea for the permanent preservation of our famed food culture is not worthwhile or urgent, even if it may generate incomes, create additional tourist attraction and some jobs, I don’t know how to justify when we could get a Hong Kee to fleetingly promote our own food culture for a… Read more »


As I understand it (from a bird on the wall), there ARE conflicts between the Special Area (World Heritage) Zone Plan and the Local Plan.
The original Local Plan was prepared before the award of the World Heritage status.
It may have been prepared by the same consultants but the assumptions were different….usual snafu. This is similar to the kind of error which led to the controversial Boustead Hotel getting approval when the building height would have conflicted with the Unesco listing conditions.

In any case, I agree….the plan is way overdue for publication..

Gerakan K

Thanks for acknowledgement.

That is pure INCOMPETENCY by PAKATAN RAKYAT administration in Penang. They are just UNFIT to govern.

Andrew I

Late is better than never, Gherkin.

Gerakan K

Anil: But I believe both the SAP and the Local Plan were prepared by the same consultant; so there is unlikely to be much conflict. The draft Local Plan has been delayed long enough.

GK: Ha ha, but there are BUSINESS conflicts with the plan. Maybe someone want to exchange something with someone. You know lah, that one time wonder admin.

Asam Garam

dedicate to those who are still holding up …