GEORGE TOWN, Feb 12 ― Penang Forum today called on the Penang state government to hold off reclaiming three islands under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) pending an appeal case against the project.
Penang Forum’s Khoo Salma Nasution said the Sungei Batu fishermen has already submitted an appeal to the Department of Environment (DoE) and the case is yet to be heard.
“The DoE has not form an appeals board to hear the case yet so the appeal case, which is the first of its kind in the country, is still pending,” she said.
She said the state government should take heed of this and hold off signing any further contracts with the project delivery partner.
She said the fishermen’s group had filed an appeal under Section 35(1) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 against the approval of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project on July 29 last year.
“Until the case is heard and a decision is made, the state government must put the reclamation project on hold,” she said.
Khoo also rubbished the state government’s claims that the PSR will mitigate climate change.
“The PSR is not climate mitigation but climate aggravation,” she said.
She said it was obvious the state government do not understand what climate change meant and how it affects everyone.
“Reclaiming land by using sand from Perak and making it higher does not mitigate climate change, it aggravates it as they are digging sand from another spot and destroying the environment,” she said.
She said it was obvious the decisions around the massive reclamation project are politically motivated without any consideration for the environmental effects.
Earlier, Khoo said Penang Forum together with 21 other non-governmental organisations (NGO) will be organising a “Forum Peduli Rakyat” this Saturday.
She said the forum is a platform for the people to bring up local issues.
“A total 21 different groups will be giving a five-minute presentation each during the forum,” she said.
Issues to be raised are diverse such as public transport, housing, climate change, water management, foreign workers’ hostels and many more.
The forum will be held at Dewan Sri Pinang from 2pm to 6pm.