GEORGE TOWN, Oct 21 — Penang state exco Jagdeep Singh Deo today said that land reclamation is a way to combat climate change and to protect Penang island from rising sea waters.
The housing, local government and town and country planning committee chairman said island states all around the world are looking at land reclamation to combat climate change.
“There are many ways to combat climate change and as an island state, rising waters is the biggest challenge,” he told a press conference after officiating World Town Planning 2019 celebrations this morning.
He said one of the most severe effects of climate change is rising sea waters apart from rising temperatures.
“All over the world, they are reclaiming land around the periphery of islands to increase the land level so as to protect the existing island from being flooded,” he said.
Jagdeep was responding to a question on claims by local non-governmental organisation (NGO), Penang Forum, that the state's proposed Penang South Reclamation (PSR) is against the state's commitment to combat climate change.
Earlier, in his opening speech, he announced his full support for the PSR while criticising the civil society for their repeated complaints against the project.
“All they do is complaint, we are doing work here, we are doing this for the future of Penangites,” he said.
He said the state government will continue to take measures to incorporate climate change control.
PSR is a proposed plan to create three man-made islands off the southern coast of Penang island as a funding module for the state's ambitious RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).
The creation of the islands, measuring a total 4,500 acres, was also to increase the land bank for the land-scarce island with proposals to expand the industrial zone, additional housing development and commercial projects on the islands.