GEORGE TOWN, July 13 — The Penang state government will seek federal funding if Putrajaya does not approve its applications to reclaim land to create three man-made islands off the southern coast of the island, Chow Kon Yeow said.
The Penang chief minister said the proposed reclamation project, the Penang South Reclamation (PSR), was the funding model for the massive multi-billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).
“If the PSR project is not approved, then we have to look at other funding methods, maybe even hand over the project to the federal government,” he said.
He said the project delivery partner, SRS Consortium, has applied for approvals for PSR, an LRT alignment and now the Pan Island Link 1 (PIL 1) highway under the PTMP.
“It has been three years and we have not received any approvals and we have not paid SRS anything so the focus is on getting approvals first,” he told reporters after visiting the public display of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for PIL 1.
He said SRS Consortium has to focus on getting approvals for the respective components of the PTMP projects first before they can work out the final design and costs for the overall project.
The PTMP was initially estimated at RM27 billion but it was later reported that the costs may have climbed to about RM46 billion.
The proposed PSR was to reclaim lands off the coast to create two islands, a 2,000-acre island and a 1,300-acre island.
A third island, covering 800 acres, will be created off the first two islands after that.
The three islands will belong to the Penang state government and Chow has said it can be used to raise funds to pay for the overall PTMP projects.
The EIA report for the PSR was on public display between May and June last year.
The PSR project has received flak from local fishermen groups, civil society groups and opposition leaders, citing environmental impact as one of the main reasons for opposing it.
The civil society groups have also asked for the Penang state government to review the whole PTMP especially the PSR component.