GEORGE TOWN, Aug 6 — The proposed land reclamation to create three islands off the southern coast of Penang will create additional land banks for the state, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said.
He added the reclamation was not only meant to finance the RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).
He said the state had asked for the federal government’s help to fund the PTMP and if the funding comes, it would be welcomed.
“This doesn’t mean we won’t go on with the reclamation because we are short of land. We need the land created from the reclamation,” he said.
Chow had interjected when Lee Khai Loon (PH-Machang Bubuk) said the state should reconsider the proposed reclamation projects to protect the environment.
Lee raised concerns over the environmental impact of the reclamation project that involved creating three islands of 930ha, 566ha and 323ha in size.
Chow said he had repeated many times that the reclamation was not only to fund the PTMP but also to create additional land banks for the state.
“We may think there are plenty of lands in Seberang Perai but we must remember that this is not state land.We have to acquire them,” he said.
He pointed out that countries like Brazil, Dubai and Qatar still conducted reclamation despite having plenty of land.
“The Penang South Reclamation is what we need for our industrial zone expansion. It is near the airport and it is for Penang’s future development,” Chow said.
The Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project was meant to finance the full PTMP by selling the land created on the islands.
Chow had previously said the land could also provide space to expand the industrial zone other than building more affordable housing.