Look at Penang South Reclamation project more objectively, says state exco

Penang state health executive councillor Dr Afif Bahardin said the Penang South Reclamation project should be viewed more objectively and it should not be dismissed without due consideration. — Picture by K.E.Ooi
Penang state health executive councillor Dr Afif Bahardin said the Penang South Reclamation project should be viewed more objectively and it should not be dismissed without due consideration. — Picture by K.E.Ooi

GEORGE TOWN, May 26 —  The Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project should be viewed more objectively and it should not be dismissed without due consideration, said the State Health, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry and Rural Development Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin.

He said the state has always followed the legal process and reviewed all reports from experts and relevant departments to find the best formula to reduce the negative impacts on the environment and fishermen.

According to him, SRS Consortium has conducted a series of discussions and meetings with fishermen to obtain their views since the issues on the PSR project were raised.

“There is no benefit to cancel the PSR, it is better to discuss how the project can be implemented by giving minimum impact to the environment. I see PSR is able to create new economic opportunities here.

“I have met and discussed with youths here, they want to work in Penang but the job opportunities in other cities are more attractive than what is being offered here,” he told reporters after launching Ops Raya by the Community Emergency Response Team George Town (CERT George Town) here today.

He was commenting on the claim by an environmental group that more than 6,000 fishermen in northern Perak will be affected by the proposed PSR project.

On May 21, the Malaysian Fisheries Development Authority (LKIM) chairman Muhammad Faiz Fadzil said they are waiting for the report from the state government pertaining to the claim.

Dr Afif said the state government through SRS Consortium met Muhammad Faiz recently to explain the process and projects which will be carried out in addressing fishermen’s welfare and other related issues.

The PSR project was planned by the Penang state government to finance the Penang Transport Master Plan, which is expected to cost RM49 billion, to solve traffic congestion problems. 

It involves development projects on 1,800 hectares of three man-made islands which are expected to compete with Marina Bay in Singapore. — Bernama