GEORGE TOWN, July 11 — Seven fishermen and two non-governmental organisations said today they will file an appeal against the Penang High Court’s dismissal of their judicial review against the approval process for the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project.

The fishermen, led by Zakaria Ismail, along with Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) and Jaringan Ekologi dan Iklim (JEDI), expressed their disappointment in the high court’s decision to dismiss their judicial review application challenging the planning permission granted for the reclamation project by the State Town and Country Planning Department.

“While expressing their respect for the decision of the court today, the applicants, who are mainly fisher folks impacted by the PSR Project, feel dejected that their pleas and complaints have been ignored, and their rights disregarded,” according to a joint statement issued by SAM secretary S. Mageswari and JEDI president Khoo Salma Nasution.

They said the High Court dismissed their application as the respondents had complied with the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 so there was no illegality, irrationality or unreasonableness in the decision-making process in the grant of the planning permission.

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“The High Court also agreed with the respondents’ submission that there was no need to review and alter the Penang Structure Plan 2030 on the downsizing of the PSR Project since Islands B and C were merely shelved and not abandoned,” they said.

They said the state government had presented clear and unambiguous public representations that Islands B and C of the PSR project would no longer be implemented.

However, they said it was revealed during the exchange of affidavits in the proceedings that the two islands were merely shelved temporarily and that the PSR project was not only limited to Island A.

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“According to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report, the PSR project will cause permanent and irreversible loss to the ecosystem,” they insisted.

They said the lives and livelihoods of the coastal fishers in the southern part of Penang will also be adversely affected by the project.

Meanwhile, infrastructure, transport and digital state exco Zairil Khir Johari said the dismissal of the judicial review showed that all planning permissions including the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and other relevant studies that were conducted, followed the relevant laws.

“All legal requirements and processes were abided throughout the approval processes and the court’s findings validate that everything is in order according to the relevant laws,” he said in a statement today.

He said the Penang Silicon Island project will go ahead without any obstructions in conformity to all guidelines and laws to meet the completion of the project.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow has also said that from day one of the reclamation project until now, the state had complied with all regulations.

The PSR, which has since been renamed as Penang Silicon Island, is a reclamation project to create a manmade island covering about 930 hectares.

The project was initially to create three man-made islands but has since been scaled down to only one island.

Reclamation works for PSI, off the coast of Batu Maung, has already started in September last year and is set to complete by 2032.