PLANMalaysia: All states must form social impact committees

Datuk Rokibah Abdul Latif (second left) and other VIPs at the Seminar Penang 2030, Manual Of Social Impact Assesment by PlanMalaysia in George Town February 19, 2019. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Datuk Rokibah Abdul Latif (second left) and other VIPs at the Seminar Penang 2030, Manual Of Social Impact Assesment by PlanMalaysia in George Town February 19, 2019. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Feb 19 — Malaysian states are now required to set up their respective committees to review social impact assessment (SIA) reports for small projects in their territory, said the town and country planning department (PLANMalaysia).

PLANMalaysia director-general Datuk Rokibah Abdul Latif this was due to the amendment to the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 requiring the submission of SIA for such projects.

“Each state will need its own committee to deliberate the SIA for small projects involving not more than 100 acres,” she said in a press conference at a seminar on SIA here today.

The states may then approve these SIA reports via the individual committees comprising specialist and representatives from technical departments.

No state has formed these committees yet and PLANMalaysia was still issuing the approvals, she said.

Rokibah explained that the new requirement for SIA reports was important as they must also contain plans for mitigation and management.

She said if the proposed project has a negative social impact, then the mitigation plans are important to address it.

“If there are issues such as relocation of residents, then the mitigation plans must have proposals on how to handle it,” she said.

She said with mitigation plans in place, the project owners will then have a guideline on what steps to take to address these issues.

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