GEORGE TOWN, Dec 28 — Environment and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Jaafar’s criticisms against Penang’s proposed land reclamation project were baseless and irresponsible, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
He was responding to Wan Junaidi’s comments yesterday that he will do everything possible to stop the land reclamation project off the southern coast of Penang island.
“This is clearly a political attack as his statements were not true and irresponsible.
“This is clearly a case of double standards, why did they allow Kedah and Johor to do it but not Penang,” he said at a press conference at his office here.
Lim said he will issue a full statement to respond to the federal minister tomorrow.
Yesterday, during a visit to Permatang Damar Laut, Wan Junaidi said he does not agree with Penang’s proposed south reclamation project which is off the coast of Permatang Damar Laut.
He said he will urge the National Physical Planning Council to reject the project.
He cited reasons for stopping the project such as environmental impact, loss of livelihood for local fishermen and possible encroachment into international waters.
The proposed reclamation project, dubbed as the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project, was meant to fund the state’s ambitious RM27 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).
The proposed project includes the creation of two man-made islands off the coast, of about 2,000 acres and 1,300 acres respectively, and later another island covering 800 acres.
The PSR Environmental Impact Assessment Report was put up on public display in May and June this year to gather public feedback.
The project has been receiving flak from local fishermen groups, civil society groups and Penang Opposition leaders, citing environmental impact as one of the main reasons for opposing it.