GEORGE TOWN, Sept 2 — The controversial Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project will not start without obtaining approval from the Department of Environment (DoE) for the Environmental Management Plan (EMP), a state executive councillor Zairil Khir Johari told the state legislative assembly today.
The transport and infrastructure committee chairman said the state is yet to obtain approval for the EMP of the project.
“In the meantime, pre-construction works such as survey works and soil investigation will continue to be conducted at the project site,” he said in his winding-up speech today.
He gave the Opposition leader Datuk Muhamad Yusoff Mohd Noor (BN-Sungai Dua) the state government’s guarantee that the PSR will only be implemented once the EMP was approved.
“The state government will ensure all effects from the project such as sludge and mud will be under control,” he added.
He said the implementation of PSR, together with the mega Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), will generate job opportunities for the local construction and services sectors in the short term.
In the long term, he said PSR is targeting foreign direct investment of about RM70 billion with a Gross Domestic Product estimated at RM1.5 trillion along with creation of 300,000 jobs by 2050.
The Penang lawmaker said Island A in Penang South Islands (PSI), created under PSR, will expand the Bayan Lepas free industrial zone.
“Island A will be built as a high technology industrial park, a Green Tech Park, to attract international investors in the electronic and electrical sector in future,” he said.
He said the Green Tech Park is different from other industrial parks as it will be designed with supporting infrastructure needed for the Industrial Revolution 4.0, e-commerce, artificial intelligence, 5G, Internet of Things, robotics and automation.
“The state government is confident that the Green Tech Park will be an international brand name that will strengthen Penang’s position in the E&E value chain for the next 30 years,” he said.
As for other components of the PTMP, Zairil said the state is following up on a final approval to finalise the Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit Scheme (BLLRT).
The BLLRT was given a conditional approval on July 18 in 2019 and is expected to obtain full approval from the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) by the first quarter of 2022.
He said the state government is still in discussions with Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) to finalise the BLLRT alignment and stations at the Penang International Airport area as part of the conditions given by APAD.
The state government is also in the process of obtaining approval for the Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1) EMP from the DoE.
Zairil said the state is still in the process of appointing consultants for implementation works of PIL1 and design works for Phase 1A of the project, from Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu interchange to Tun Dr Awang interchange, will start at the end of this month.