Humongous land reclamation in store at ecologically vital Middle Bank, Penang


Middle Bank, Penang

If you thought the Seri Tanjung Pinang Phase 2 land reclamation was massive, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The Penang Development Corporation has controversially invited proposals for project management consultancy for 1500 acres of land reclamation which encompasses the ecologically sensitive Middle Bank. Who cares about the ecology when Big Business is involved, right?

The PDC had issued the request for proposals for “project management consultancy cum conceptual master planning consultancy for Middle Bank reclamation Penang and its associated civil and infrastructure construction and linkage to Penang Island and mainland Butterworth”. Interested firms were to submit their proposals by 15 May 2014.

The plan covers 1500 acres of the Middle Bank, which is shallow and thus cheaper to reclaim. But the Middle Bank contains 125 acres of sea grass – the second largest patch in the peninsula after Johor, where the sea grass is also under threat from another land reclamation project.

Sea grass serves as valuable fish breeding, nursery and feeding grounds for a variety of marine life; the sea grass at Middle Bank is thus home to many species of marine creatures and crustaceans such as “sea anemones, hermit crabs, cockles, clams, sea urchins, fan shells, sea cucumbers and octopuses”. Middle Bank also provides food for fish, dugong, crabs, geese and swans.

No wonder the Penang Inshore Fisherfolks’ Welfare Association (Pifwa), which represents 10000 fisher folk including about 4000-5000 regular full-timers in the state, is unhappy.

Then, there’s an added consideration: if the 891-acre STP2 land reclamation requires 33 million cubic metres of sand or fill material and two million tonnes of rock, how much more will the 1500-acre Middle Bank require and where will the material come from?

The site has been mentioned as a possible target of yet another controversial land-for-infrastructure swap deal. The project could involve a link from Penang Island to the Middle Bank – and another link to the bridge or the mainland? Some part of this project could face IJM’s Light project along the Jelutong Expressway. (There goes the ‘sea view’ of those supercondos and sea-front bungalows?)

The Middle Bank land itself could be worth RM20bn and if that’s the case, how much would the gross development value be worth – RM40-50bn?

But how do you put a price on the loss of precious and priceless marine resources and food security (fisheries)? There are some things that money just cannot buy or compensate for.

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If your aspiration is to go to Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong, anything less would be a disappointment, huh? If you have been trained all your life to succeed in those environments where the language of business is Chinese, then why would you want to attend a local university?

Michael Chee

You are wrong! No all Malaysians want to work in Singapore if they have opportunity locally. I could not get a decent job in Penang with my private certificate, then I moved to Johor. Johor was a big disappointment to me despite all the glamour and publicity of Iskandar which is no more than Legoland, Kittytown and humongous high priced residential projects. So I got no choice but to work in Singapore after six months in JB and tired of its lousy public transportation system notably the Bas Pajak sistem. I am lucky to stay in my friend’s HDB flat… Read more »


I blame myself voted DAP in election. They are destroyer!


WHY Penang moving towards Service Industry (eg tourism, business process outsourcing etc) ?

Lack of Engineering talent (see link from comment by Phison the pendrive innovator) spells the doom of manufacturing /engineering industry in near future at Bayan Lepad FTZ ?

Worth discussing this topic as apprently our education system not producing what the manufacturing/R&D/Engineering Industry looking for.

No wonder more hotels investment overriding FDI to sustain activities at FTZ ?????

Smart GrandDaddy

most excellent technical & scientific skills Malaysians have been lured by Spore firms providing fairness, security and hefty salary Penang or in general malaysia firms not willing to fork out !

looks like Penang shall be importing Taiwan graduates to fill up more techical demanding jobs at Penang FTZ. Won’t be surprised many could be Malaysians living in Taiwan being offered perks to come over to Penang !

G Dorai

famous penang hawkers move or sell secret recipes to SingLand when operating franchise there.

now Msia engineers are also moving south (exodus ?) !

surprised to note that parents who are not fond of “Red Dot” Singland also encourage their children to “migrate” south for better career prospect.

Bolehland now import foreign cheap labours and export brains abroad – what a truly asia trade-off !!!!!!


what have happened to all the straight As students? Not good as engineers?


How many straight As students are offered places in public universities & courses of their choices? And how many of them have rich parents to support them? And how many have broken dreams after SPM & STPM? (I don’t want to mention Matriculation b’cos it’s an easy route to local unis without the rigours of Form Six studies & standard to truly qualify for degree courses). The gomen can’t seem to treasure & nurture these students as national assets san the scanning of skin colour prior to admission. I have told my children, go to Singapore or Taiwan if you… Read more »


The local universitiess are not ranked favorably in the Top 200 because the admission criteria are flawed, good students are somehow rejected due to BN preferenrial system, resulting in poor academic environment. Yes, go study in NUS or NTU in Singapore given the opportunity as the Singapore government offers good bursary on condition that you must work in SingLand for 5 yeara upon graduation, which is also a good way to obtain the SingLand PR.


In the last 10 years, an average property agent makes more money than an average engineer in Malaysia.


Not all straight A students make good engineers. Some are destined to be accountants.

Michael Chee

Priyanka is right. FDI has been going down in Penang, now even lower than what Kedah can get. Better for Penang to focus on service industry eg. Tourism, F&B, MICE… So sPICE on hindsight was a good plan!

Don Anamalai

SP Setia Bhd plans to build more varieties of affordable houses over the next five years on Penang island that are within the income levels of Penangites. Its general manager Khoo Teck Chong told StarBiz that over the last couple of years, the pricing of properties in Penang, on the island in particular, had grown out of proportion with the income levels of the population. “Due to the stringent loan policies of banks, it has become even more difficult to sell high-end properties,” he said. In the south-west district, Khoo said the group had about 63 acres which would be… Read more »


You called RM600 – 700 psf affordable. A 700 sq ft unit would cost from 420k – 490k. When you see the advertisement it will read from RM600 psf onward and its only for a few units. My goodness. Don`t listen to their crap. Check out the market and you will see lots of Soho prices from 400sq for 398k and 700 sq ft for 770k


One ‘high-end’ developer at Batu Maung asked for Income Tax Returns (Borang) from prospective customers before being allowed inside to view the showroom million ringgit homes. “No Money, No View To Buy”.

I feared the parallel ‘high-end’ treatment of average bo bin-chui Penangites before being allowed to set up homes in Cosmopolitan Penang reserved for the rich & famous.

“Tunjuk Borang BE atau B?” demand CAT officers at entry points @ Penang Bridges, CAT Tunnel & Butterworth Ferry Terminals.

Smart GrandDaddy

Soho property priced up as it was meant to do business there n to make money so living there is secondary.


How many land and reclamation deals that the CAT did that is as dirty as the Kajang episode.

The real reason why the Kajang Move was mooted in 2013 and then launched in January 2014:


UMNO and it’s members Barisan wiping out Malaysian $$$.
Pas the man in cloth destroy Selangor with Khalid.
rajraman. DAP destroying nature in the name of $$$.Almost all Politician are same breed.


rajraman. Spot on. What we need is a check + balance on these recalcitrant politicians. They should serve the multi-racial Rakyat’s interest first & foremost, not self-interest, not religious bigotry, & not the business greed of developers & speculators (locals & foreign). This is the crux of the matter. We know DAP’s hunger for more money to develop the state as a Malaysian model, but not the way it is being done thro’ unsavoury swap deals that leave Penangites at the losing end & more environmental damages that may not be reversible. Not Cosmopolitan Penang ending up as Coast-Mud-Politan Penang.… Read more »


Agreed with you 100%.
rajraman. We are a bunch of people’s who want check and balance for benefits for all but in reality the Political Trader think we are a bunch of idiots who know nuts about Business and Politics.


Malaysian, my heart bleeds too seeing the sorry state of malaysia, a God-given blessed country once was but now it has gone to the dogs under some incompetent, self serving leaderships. Now, Pas has taken the bait by umno, they are engaging now and marrying soon while we are still quarrelling among ourselves… Ya, the big logs in BN we ignore but we pick and focus on pakatan’s specks. Very good !!! As the future in this bodohland is bleak, the only wise thing is run while you can esp for your children’s future unless one is satisfied to send… Read more »


Kee (live in SP or kelawai Road ?) being more realistic as the other regulars more myopic with knee-jerk reaction comments.

Ini raya seperti slogan Astro : Salam Kosong Kosong.

May no hatred between rival camps with negative issues initialised to zero from both yang & ying camps. The likes of Palestin & Israel warfare should not happen even in anil’s cyberworld !


“They are not here to serve the people”

Yes, you’re right, unlike BN! And DUMNO doesn’t practise nepotism!

“Fed-up with Pakatan” ?

Sure, Pakatan has to shake-up but the country is on auto-pilot with BN.

While the country is imploding under BN rule, you focus on Pakatan’s problems.

Never mind stay happy like our PM and ignore the the long list of what ills Malaysia under BN!

My heart bleeds to see the sorry state of our country


In Singapore, the first marine park has just been opened at Sisters’ Island:


Pakatan Rakyat, well all hell will gonna break loose.
It is just a marriage of convenience. They are not here to serve the people. They are to serve themselves like the arrogant DAP & CAT in Penang for fast track land grabbing, Anwar PKR in Selangor for nepotism at its highest and PAS in Kelantan for hudud and Islam


A pre-war heritage building has been demolished with MPPP’s blessings to make way for a new mega project in Penang. Or is it with the blessing of the CAT who have break every rules there is.

Do we really need such incompetent CAT. LGE was right. We should not employ foreign cook and foreign CM

Ong Eu Soon

You argued passionately for PR and DAP. This is what you sowed. Be happy!


We were bodoh in the past but at least we and many are now wise up unlike some.


Is there a political party for life? If so, either we are ‘clever’ all the way or ‘bodoh’ all the way, whichever perception we derived from. The fact is the ARROGANCE of DAP, esp that CAT Diety has in some ways deceived us of our hopes & perceived promises of 308. Ah Soon Ko, yes we asked for it (by voting it in faith), but we never expected it (to be this way). There are other issues like education, racist policies, corruption, mismanagement of assets, murders, etc, etc. on a national basis which we should also look into. But these… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon

Mean while in the mainland something going on….. Scarcity of land has always been an issue to Penangites, but the rapid conversion of agricultural land for housing of late has added to the concerns. Many people are alarmed that the rich agricultural belt of Seberang Perai Selatan is being defaced in the name of housing development. In recent months, the local media seems to have awakened from its long slumber to alert Penangites to the rapidly disappearing farmlands, no doubt caused by developers. Indeed if the current trends continue, by 2020, Sebarang Perai Selatan alone will have lost essentially all… Read more »


Good. In theory here’s where the 2-party system should work. If not happy vote them out. Unfortunately if you vote them out, you’re likely to have to vote the next government out after 1 term. It’s collusion. Plain as day. BOTH parties are working together on all these projects. Our only hope is that PR gets voted out and BN delay some new projects to try and consolidate power. This is what happens in a broken democratic system. Just like in the US, its a sham. Independent Media, Courts, Legislation, Political parties which are supposedly adversaries, etc SHOULD ensure adequate… Read more »


Where political parties are in desperation for money to run its agendas & building portfolios to shout out loud comes GEs, the marriage of convenience (of politics & business) is a necessity above & beyond serving the Rakyat. Arrogance runs thro’ the stymied brains of these politicians & minions & secrecy of implementation of land development (before public knowledge) with the excuses of “getting sued for halting signed projects” a way of life to bluff the voters branded as bodoh-bodoh. CAT Deity is a … bluffer riding on the back of DAP & PR. 308 is a snake-oil salesman banner… Read more »


In the first place should forget about the 2 bridges. Just reclaim the land to join up Penang Island to the peninsular; while just allow Malaysian navy submarine enough tunnel to go underneath ! 🙂 If you go to The Star Property Fair, the Developers are now marching towards mainland with lifestyle condos now to be built at Bukit Mertajam, Juru, Butterworth even Sungai Bakap in near term. Forget about unrealistic Belum Forest. Sungai Petani township a steal if you invest now. Where can you find new terrace houses (with open spaces) even in mainland Penang ? Just spare a… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon

Yes. after reclaimed the land, build tunnels for submarines. What a great ideas!

Stylo Logan

You can no longer get ‘cheap and good’ deal on Penang Island.
Sungai Petani and Bukit Mertajam offer good value.


Building more mortar & bricks structures instead of learning to live with Nature is realistic?
You ain’t no experience living with Nature but love raping it to the max like what is happening to Penang Island.
Be realistic to sustainably survive into the future – drinkable water, food, clean air, green spaces.
Have a thought for the future generation – to truly enjoy the environment like humans instead of like plastic cats.

Btw, I learn to survive with self-renewable natural resources in Belum Rainforest without having to rape it.


“From A Distance” by Bette Midler Kee of Sungai Petani: From a distance Penang Island looks blue and green, and the botak-ed hills fengshui delight. From a distance the sea meets the condos, and the land reclaims its ‘rights’. From a distance, there is CAT-Unity, and it echoes through the state. It’s the voice of 308, it’s the voice of developers, it’s the voice of every ‘clever’ man. From a distance we all have enough land, and no one is migrating. There are no homeless, no squatters, no Kg Buah Pala, no more low-cost homes to meet. From a distance… Read more »


Many who voted Pakatan Rakyat in 2008 and 2013 are now very disillusioned with the opposition. The rape of Penang Island, the hudud and bible issues, DAP kowtowing to PAS, The Kajang Move, the conspiracy to oust the Selangor Menteri Besar, the conflicting and contradicting statements by the opposition leaders, the inter-party bickering, the internal party squabbles, the power struggles, the arrogance of power, the deviation from the struggle, and many more, are making those who consider themselves Pakatan Rakyat supporters quite fed up.


With 2 Bridges & an up+coming sea tunnel, what is this mother CAT of all land reclamation going to transform the facet of Penang Island? My prediction: 1) As long as CAT eats dogs in the Northern island of land development, Penang will be no more a liveable island to live, eat & die. It will merge with mainland & developers will make billionaire’s money while the CAT shines on them. 2) More tunnels cut into the pristine hills in the name of short+easy tunnel-ways linking George Town to Balik Pulau / Sg Pinang / Aceh. Imagine the volume of… Read more »


Frankly I think we have enough of Pakatan DAP & PKR in Selangor & Penang. Look at all the issues they have created. If there is a dissolution in Selangor which I hope there will be, you can be sure Pakatan DAP & PKR will be defeated very terribly. Yes lets make sure that DAP & CAT including PKR & Anwar go. Enough is enough.


I have said that crystal clear in my earlier comment that the CAT would be reclaiming land right from the Sg Pinang areas right up to Queensbay area. It is worse than we have expected. It is going right up to Batu Maung areas.

Yes I think one commentator here is very right. We are all very very bodoh. Yes very very bodoh in believing the DAP & CAT