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Penang govt under fire over terms to study hill projects’ papers

By JOSEPHINE JALLEH
josephine@thestar.com.my


GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Government's decision to impose conditions for the public viewing of documents relating to hill land development on the island has come under criticism.

Penang Gerakan local government bureau head Teh Leong Meng said those wanting to view the documents were required to make an appointment as well as submit their particulars, such as their names, contact and MyKad numbers and address.

Other conditions are that only two groups of a maximum of five people each will be allowed into the state government's office in Komtar to view the documents at any one time.

They will only have 90 minutes to view the documents for 38 projects.

“Why are there so many restrictions? It will only deter people from going to view the documents. If the state is sincere and serious in declassifying the documents, it should give the public a free hand to study the documents,” Teh said.

He said the bureau had received complaints from the public regarding the conditions, adding that it had also verified the matter with the state government.

“We want to make a proposal to improve it,” he said at the Gerakan headquarters in Jalan Macalister here yesterday.

It was reported on Thursday that the public could view the documents for two weeks starting tomorrow.

State Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow had said that all the relevant documents on projects involving development above 83m, from 2006 onwards, would be declassified.

Massive hill land development, particularly on the northeastern coast of the island, had recently come under fire from environmental and residential groups.

Chow said conditions such as asking for personal particulars were basic procedures.

“Even when I go to any office, I have to give my MyKad number. Focus on the big issue instead of the petty ones.”





SOURCE: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/7/1/nation/11584225&sec=nation