Feelings against the PGCC are running high. Despite the mainstream media’s almost total blackout of dissenting views, emails have been going around, highlighting the adverse implications for Penang if the project goes ahead. Concerned activists have begun a campaign to raise public awareness of the PGCC and its horrendous implications for Penang.
In the midst of all this, some welcome news: the Penang Munical Council (MPPP) has given an assurance that it would be transparent and accountable in vetting the project. MPPP president Zainal Rahim Seman said the MPPP would ensure all the requirements are met before approving the project.
Commenting on the complaints raised by several NGOs in Penang after the project was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Sept 12, Zainal said a public hearing will be held in three weeks time.
“The developer has submitted it’s plans for the PGCC and I want to assure everyone that the MPPP will be thorough and open in deliberations on the project,” he told theSun.
“We will invite those in the neighbouring areas to come for the public hearing and they will be given an opportunity to air their views, which will be considered in our decision-makings.
“The developer will have to fulfill all the criteria, including traffic impact assessment in the area and the EIA requirement. The relevant departments, including the Public Works Department and Department of Environment, will also submit their reports on the project.”
Zainal said the approval for the project will not be given “so soon”.
He said although the project had been launched even before the approval was given by the MPPP, the initial assessment had been carried out by the Prime Minister’s Office.
So I gather that the Council will be holding a meeting for neighbouring residents to hear their concerns, perhaps on 27 Sept. And I hear the NGOs are also thinking of a public forum. All of a sudden, the path to the promised PGCC land doesn’t look like like it’s going to be strewn with rose petals.
First stop, the call for an independent and thorough EIA.