About 50 people gathered in Tanjung Bunga this morning to remind the state government about its pledge for a seafront public park.
The residents say the 2.2-acre coastal park was promised by the state government in April 2018. Half a million ringgit was allocated for the park but the residents are still waiting.
They demand that the state government keeps its promise to build the coastal park so that residents will have a place for seafront exercise and recreation.
The protest was organised by the Tanjung Bungah Residents Association (see its statement below).
For some background, refer here.
The state government has responded to say that a developer has now been entrusted to build the park. Let’s see.
The TBRA statement:
The unrealised public seaside park promise
TANJUNG BUNGA: The Chief Minister of Penang Incorporated’s (CMI’s) promise to build a seaside pocket park in 2018 has yet to be realised, and the Tanjong Bunga Residents’ Association is now calling on the state to honour its pledge.
TBRA chairman Zulfikar Abdul Aziz said a video produced by the state at the time showed that the coastal park located close to the One Tanjung condominium had an array of ameities including a running track, cycling space, a football field, and basketball and badminton courts.
The video shows former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng speaking at the launch of the project in April 2018, where he promised a 9,000-sq-metre green park (two acres), a boardwalk and an open concrete stage. Among the VIP guests featured in the video, which can be found on Lim’s Facebook account, include the current Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow and state executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo.
The seaside pocket park was expected to take 16 weeks for construction and was scheduled to be completed in December 2018.
The park is located on a reclaimed land between the sea-facing frontage of The Cove condominium and the Penang Swimming Club. When reclamation work began in 2000, it was a relatively modest and flat ‘tongue’ extending from the coast into the sea.
However, by 2006 the size and height increased dramatically and residents nearby complained to the TBRA that trucks were continually dumping rocks and soil on the site for bulldozers to spread. It became an ugly naked rock hill stretching into the sea. A stop work order was obtained in 2006.
The TBRA started calling it the “sore thumb” after the four Cove tower “fingers” were built and began demanding that it become a public coastal park when the association learned that attempts were being made to turn the area into a marina-cum-commercial space.
When the chief minister announced that the space would remain a public space and be turned into a seaside park, there was an undeniable sense of relief among Tanjung Bunga residents.
Zulfikar said that with so many concrete developments occurring in Penang, more sustainable urban green spaces have become a necessity.
“Parks fulfil many functions in urban context that benefit people’s quality of life. Steadily growing noisy traffic and urban heat, especially in Penang, is not only damaging the environment but also incurs social and economic costs.
“The state has an obligation to at least attempt to counterbalance some of the massive construction in our city over the past 10 years. This promise made by the previous chief minister four years ago must be fulfilled,” he said.
Lim’s speech in 2018 had said that the design of the seaside pocket park was to create “an urban coastal park to promote sustainable development and establish community accessibility to nature”.
He had also said that the seaside pocket park would cost the state an estimated RM500,000, and the project was to be managed by the CMI.
TBRA is reiterating its call for the state government to fulfil its 2018 pledge made about a month prior to the 2018 general election and deliver on the seaside pocket ark that it had promised.