It is fascinating what some people continue to dig up. This excellent statement below was issued by the then DAP secretary-general, MP for Tanjung and parliamentary opposition leader Lim Kit Siang on 28 September 1990.
Notice the sections highlighted:
DAP calls for the commissioning of a new EIA on the Penang Hill project and a dialogue between the State Government, the Hill developer and concerned organizations
By Parliamentary opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 28th September 1990:
DAP calls for the commissioning of a new EIA on the Penang Hill project and a dialogue between the State Governmnet, the Hill developer and concerned organizations
Ever since the signing of the memorandum of understanding by the Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Lim Chong Eu and Bukit Pinang Leisure Sdn Bhd on Sept 1 for the $460 million Penang Hill Resort project, both the Gerakan State Government and the Penang Hill Resort developer have not been able to answer the many concerns and objections raised by the people of Penang about the massive environmental and ecological damages of the project.
These concerns and objections to the Penang Hill Resort project are:
1. Adverse effect on the water supply to parts of Geogetown, Air Itam town and Balik Pulau because of the depletion of essential water catchments areas.
The former Penang Waterworks Authority general manager, Datuk Kam U-Tee, who retired last month, held that the catchments atop Penang Hill were crucial for the preservation of water supply to the Penang State, producing about 22 million gallons a day.
2. Large-scale land and forest clearance resulting in serious soil erosion and increased incidence and severity of floods in the city;
3. Sociological damage to the flora and fauna of Penang Hill;
4. Damage to the heritage buildings and historic character of Penang Hill.
The DAP calls on the Penang State Governmnet to commission another environment Impact Assessment (EIA) on the Penang Hill project, as the EIA report submitted by the project developer had been disowned by the Econville Group, Institute of Advanced Stuidies, Universiti Malaya, although the EIA report bore its name.
The DAP also calls on the Penang State Government and the developer to fully respect the views and concerns of the people of Penang about the environmental, ecological, heritage and historic aspects of Penang Hill, and as a first step, to begin a dialogue with all concerned organizations and individuals aver the project.
An advisory committee comprising representative from concerned organizations about the Penang Hill Resort project should also be formed to advise the Government on the Project.
Less than a month later, in the general election on 21 October 1990, Kit Siang famously defeated Chong Eu in the Padang Kota state seat, forcing the founding Gerakan president into premature political retirement. Kit Siang polled 6,317 votes to the then incumbent chief minister’s 5,611. (After his retirement, Chong Eu became advisor of Berjaya Group, the same company that had big development plans for Penang Hill in 1990.)
Hopefully, the present administration in Penang will heed some of the farsighted concerns Kit Siang expressed two decades ago – which are just as relevant today.