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GEORGE TOWN, April 1 — Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow today said that pig farmers in the state have until the end of this year to submit their building plans to upgrade their farms to a closed-house farming system.
He said there are a total of 166 pig breeders in the state, with nine on the island and the rest on the mainland.
“Only 44 out of the 166 have submitted their building plans while the other 122 is yet to submit their plans,” he said during a press conference after a courtesy visit by Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce (PCCC) committee members in Komtar this evening.
Chow said the pig breeders were already given an exemption from applying for planning permission to upgrade their farms into a modernised farming system.
“All they need to do is to submit their building plans by this year before we enforce the Pig Farming Enactment 2016 next year,” he said.
Chow said one pig farm has already been upgraded to the closed-house farming system so other pig farms can arrange to visit the farm and look at its operations.
He said the modernised farming system was to ensure that effluents from the farms were not channelled into rivers.
He urged all pig farmers to comply with the requirements under the enactment and submit their plans before December 31.
The deadline given to pig farmers to upgrade their farms was one of the issues discussed during the courtesy visit by PCCC, Chow said.
PCCC had requested for an extension for the farmers, but Chow explained that the farmers were already given a one-year extension to submit their building plans from the end of 2018 to end of this year.
On an unrelated matter, Chow said PCCC had raised concerns on fees charged on industrial investors who planned to sell off the lands they had acquired from Penang Development Corporation (PDC).
Chow said investors who purchased industrial lands from PDC and later had to sell the land, including the factory or plants built on it, will need to pay consent fees to PDC before the sale was approved.
He said PDC will need to evaluate the sale of these lands to a third party to ensure suitable types of industries are based on the area.
“PDC imposed the consent fees because the fund is put back into the management of the industrial zone,” he said.
He said since PCCC had forwarded some complaints on the high consent fees, PDC may have to look into it and consider reviewing the fees.
“If reviewing the fees is justified, it will then be brought to the board for approval before it can be reviewed,” he said.
Chow said PCCC also discussed government projects, that were awarded by open tender.
“They wanted to know how many projects were awarded to Penang companies and how many to companies outside Penang,” he said.
Chow said at least 90 per cent of these projects were awarded to Penang-based companies.