Home Blog Page 2

Penang mega-reclamation: Three questions

Here are three burning questions that need to be answered:

1. Can the state justify its population projection for the three islands to reach 446,000 by 2030, as stated in the environmental impact assessment report? Where are these people coming from considering it took over 200 years for Penang Island to reach 700,000-plus?

2. Can the state explain how it will fund the PTMP projects, which will cost billions, when its expected net revenue from reclaiming half of Island A would probably be about RM600m in seven to 10 years’ time? This is equivalent to about one year of Penangs state’s revenue. However, the environmental damage and social losses would cost many times as much, if they are truly accounted for

3. Can the state explain how the costs of the Penang South Reclamation has escalated from RM8bn for two islands (totalling 1,428ha) in 2015 to RM7bn for half an island (only 485ha) in 2021?

Concern over land reclamation

Found this extract in Kit Siang’s blog in 2014, when he expressed concern about a large reclamation project at Gelang Patah. Hopefully, his advice will remind all those indulging in such projects about the need to preserve our fisheries:

“I was puzzled and worried – once the reclamation is completed later, can these fishermen still look for fish on the reclaimed brown land which was blue sea before? How are they and their children to compete with foreign workers in order to land a job at the construction sites? Where is the kampung after all?

Coastal Fishermen and Fisheries

They are small coastal fishermen. The Department of Fisheries statistics tells us that there are 613 fishermen in western Johor Bahru, of which 415 are Malays, 147 Orang Aslis and 51 Chinese. Gelang Patah is the main fisheries centre of the western part of Johore Bahru. In the area of Pendas and Tanjung Kupang alone, there are some 250 coastal fishermen and 95% of them Malays.

Fishing might not be the dream job for everyone. The coastal fishermen go to the sea in small boats with outboard engines to fish by using small nets or traditional fishing tools. They are not the relatively well-off trawl boat fishermen with large boats, trawl nets and modern gears. But without these coastal fishermen braving the waves and baking under the hot sun, there will be no fish and prawns as sources of affordable food and nutritious protein for us.

Fisheries contributes to about 1% of GDP for Malaysia. But the contribution of coastal fishermen to our society, and their important role in shaping Malaysian culture and identity, cannot be assessed and valued based solely on the GDP numbers.”

Petition urging Azmin to quit hits 143,000, surpassing Tajuddin petition

An online petition calling for Senior Minister Azmin Ali’s resignation has collected over 143,000 signatures – after just one day – and the figure is rising by the minute.

The petition contains just one line – that Azmin has purportedly failed to live up to public expectations of a senior minister.

The petition has already surpassed the petition calling for Tajuddin Rahman’s removal, which collected 139,706 online signatures – and declared victory in just over 24 hours – when the government announced the Prasarana chairman’s removal with immediate effect. I didn’t think that figure could be surpassed anytime soon, given the storm of outrage over Tajuddin’s distasteful conduct at his press conference.

Well, I was wrong. Azmin is soaring (sinking?) to a new hard-to-beat mark.

A Change.org user going by the name of Kerajaan Gagal (Failed Government) started both petitions.

What do you think? Should Azmin Ali resign?

Now Nurul Izzah ‘tolak tambak’ in Penang!

The #PenangTolakTambak (Penang Rejects Reclamation) campaign received a major boost today when Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah came out with a strong commentary calling for the cancellation of the ecologically damaging Penang South Reclamation mega-project.

The project aims to create three artificial islands spanning 4,500 acres that will destroy prime fishing waters.

How Tajuddin’s boorish conduct united Malaysians in their outrage

Tajuddin Rahman’s appalling conduct at a press conference on 25 May after a collision between two light rail trains the night before outraged many viewers.  

The Prasarana chairman’s condescending dismissiveness of reporters’ probing questions, his lack of empathy for the victims and his sneering remark with racial overtones towards a woman reporter from China were apparent for all to see.

With his appalling conduct, he unwittingly succeeded in uniting the nation in the public backlash that followed. This was clear when stand-up comic Douglas Lim received many positive comments from a multiracial audience for taking the mickey out of Tajuddin’s appalling press conference in a spoof. Full article on Aliran website