GEORGE TOWN, April 18 — The National Physical Planning Council (NPPC) has approved the proposed Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project to create three islands off the southern coast of the main island.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, in a brief statement, confirmed that the NPPC had agreed to the implementation of the project as long as it adhered to the 18 conditions set, but did not elaborate what they were.
Chow said the state government had presented the project proposal to the NPPC for approval during a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today.
“The project was proposed as it is a funding module for the implementation of the Penang Transport Master Plan,” he said.
He stressed that the state government will adhere to all conditions set by the NPPC.
“We will adhere to all feedback from the relevant technical departments regarding the implementation of the project in line with Section 2A(2)(b) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976,” he said.
The PSR is a reclamation project that plans to create islands covering 4,500 acres off the southern coast of the Penang island.
It is expected to increase the state’s land bank. Lots on the islands will be sold to raise money to fund the state’s ambitious RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).
Gamuda Bhd deputy group managing director Rashdan Yusof had revealed in February that PSR will create islands A, B and C off the coast.
Island A will be zoned as a new industrial park due to its proximity to the airport, while Island B will be specifically for high-end support services for the industrial park, such as financial services, business services and tourism.
Finally, Island C will be for the creation of new tourism products for Penang.
Gamuda Berhad is part of SRS Consortium, the project delivery partner for the PTMP.
SRS Consortium will be reclaiming the sea off the coast for PSR.
PSR is the funding module of the RM46 billion PTMP which will include a Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the building of Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1).
Just a few days ago, Chow announced that the Department of Environment (DOE) had approved the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for PIL1, paving the way for the project to be implemented soon.
Civil society groups including Penang Forum, Penang Consumers Association and fishermen’s groups have objected against both PSR and PIL1.
The last few days, the groups had issued statements criticising the approval for PIL1.
The groups cited reasons such as environmental damage and loss of livelihoods for the fishermen along the coast.