GEORGE TOWN, Nov 10 — Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) has accused the Penang state government of approving licenses, planning permits and rezoning of lands without approvals from relevant government agencies.
State Opposition leader Datuk Jahara Hamid claimed the state government had approved planning permission without the consent from other relevant agencies.
She cited the Tanjung Bungah project where a deadly landslide occurred in a construction site of a development project, killing 11 people last month, as an example.
“The project did not get the green light from the Department of Environment and yet they approved it and they have also approved six other projects along hill slopes despite protests from residents so this is very worrying,” she said in a press conference outside the legislative assembly hall today.
She added that the state government also approved licenses for entertainment outlets, massage parlours, karaoke centres and snooker centres without green light from the authorities.
“They approved the licenses for those places even though the police did not approve it,” she claimed.
She also accused the state government of not taking stern action against illegal entertainment outlets, massage parlours, karaoke centres and snooker centres.
“They only issued compounds and these places, which are usually front for vice activities, will continue to operate as usual,” she said.
She said the state government approved a total 1,174 licenses for entertainment outlets, karaoke centres, snooker centres and massage parlours since 2008.
Out of the 1,174 licenses, 76 were for entertainment outlets on the island, 322 karaoke outlets, 18 snooker centres and 228 massage parlours while on the mainland, there are 272 entertainment outlets, 104 karaoke centres, 141 snooker centres and 118 massage parlours.
Jahara claimed there are a total 842 illegal outlets in the state consisting of 536 entertainment outlets, 138 karaoke outlets, 63 snooker centres and 105 massage parlours.
The Teluk Ayer Tawar assemblyman also claimed agriculture lands were rezoned without approval from the agricultural department.
“The state approved it without approval but if the rezoning is to build a mosque or a school, we will still accept but this is approved for development or to build a factory,” she said.
Pulau Betong assemblyman Datuk Muhamad Farid Saad said that the state government does not take recommendations made by federal agencies into its consideration.
“The state government doesn’t use recommendations given by other federal agencies,” he claimed.