This is the PGCC (based on Equine’s model of the 38 towers) (Patrick Lim is on the right)
And this isn’t? (The PGCC campaign group’s model of the PGCC which PGCC master planner Nasrine Seraji says is based on a “misunderstanding of the masterplan”) (photo credit: Sin Chew from Nasrine’s powerpoint presentation)
Err, pardon me… but what is the difference between the two?
Why did Equine not display its own model of all those towers during its recent exhibitions at Queensbay Mall and Gurney Plaza in Penang? Why only show the two “iconic” towers? (Did anyone bother to ask whether Penangites wanted more “iconic” towers?)
Patrick Lim flew in Nasrine Seraji, the master planner of the Penang Global City Centre project, to attend a local government consultative forum meeting (for a select audience) last Friday. In her powerpoint presentation, Nasrine said that the campaign group’s model of 38 towers was based on a “misunderstanding of the plan”. They were merely “aspirations”.
But Equine obviously had its own model all along – showing 38 towers, give or take a couple of towers. The picture of its model (topmost) was obtained from its submission to Bursa Malaysia. Why hasn’t that model been widely shown in the media?
On Friday night, the PGCC Campaign group held a public forum at Dewan Sri Pinang. Patrick Lim and Nasrine did not show up even though they were in town earlier that day. I wonder why they are so “shy” about meeting the Penang public face-to-face and telling them personally what a great project this is. Instead, they seem more comfortable addressing invited audiences.
Some key questions emerged at the public forum on Friday night (the one Patrick and Nasrine did not attend).
- Under normal circumstances, a project of such a size would require around five (normal) schools, complete with school-fields. But the developer is only talking of one international school (would that include a field as well?).
- Why is the project only talking about building around 1,300 low-cost flats – less than the usual 30 per cent quota requirement for the 7,000-odd residential homes planned for the PGCC?
- Why are these low-cost flats going to be built in Rifle Range – and not on the Turf Club land? And how is it that these low-cost flats will be built on a site that was designated for a badly needed car park at Rifle Range? What about the interests of the residents of the already over-crowded and congested Rifle Range? Doesn’t this abhorrent move amount to reinforcing a kind of ‘ghetto’ for Rifle Range that would be against the spirit of the regulations requiring on-site co-location?
- Nasrine had talked about planting 750,000 trees at the Turf Club site. Can you really fit 750,000 trees on the Turf Club land if you follow the Council’s planting guidelines for distance between each tree? Isn’t the real figure closer to 20,000 trees – and that too if no buildings are constructed?! Or is her figure another “aspiration”?
- Seeing that the land has been converted from open recreational space to mixed development, was there a conversion charge imposed on the developer which could have earned the state government substantial revenue?
- At the public forum, environmentalist Gurmit Singh laughed off the developer’s idea of putting windmills at the PGCC, saying that Malaysia just doesn’t have the wind-power necessary for it to work. Where are the feasibility studies?
- But most of all: Where are the detailed independent Environmental Impact Assessment and Social Impact Assessment? Shouldn’t these be made public before the project can be approved?
So many questions, so few real answers.