Unlimited land reclamation - Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia

Unlimited land reclamation

By: Oh Tong Keong


Since DAP assumes power, the greatest damage to Penang is approving developers and business groups to proceed with series of land reclamation project without any control. The eco-system is badly affected while land reclamation projects are without transparency!

We are full of doubts on the numbers provided by the Penang state government with regards to the size of the reclamation project. Hence, the state government should de-classify all contracts, agreements and letters of intent with its partners SRS Group, the Penang Transport Master Plan without any condition. Recently Gerakan leaders have been using various channels to request the state government to reveal the size of land reclamation project in southern part of Penang Island but to no avail. The state government has turned them down by putting the matters aside.

In Dec 2015, the authorities have announced that a total of 4,000 acres would be reclaimed. Six months later, Penang state exco member Chow Kon Yeow said 4,500 acres. Why did the state government reclaim an additional of 500 acres of land? The additional land to be reclaimed is big enough to build 340 football fields. If each square feet is calculated as RM1,300, the reclamation project will involve RM30 billion and the sum is sufficient to build tens of thousands of low cost houses. Why does change take place within 6 months? Are they allowed to increase the size of reclamation as they wish?

The 4,000 acres of reclaimed land is the asset of Penangites. Why did the state government afraid of letting people know what is happening? How much of land is owned by the state government? Is the land ownership 99 years or 999 years? Why does this information not revealed to the public?

When I questioned the DAP led state government on inconsistent figures of land reclamation at Gurney Drive last month, with reasonable doubt in mind, I have asked whether some mysterious personalities were manipulating in the state government. That was the reason causing the state government not revealing the related contract and content of the second phase of land reclamation projects in Gurney Drive and Sri Tanjung Pinang. It could be due to the presence of mysterious personality.

Until today, the public is unable to find out about the land reclamation project in southern part of Penang. What is the actual size and area involved in reclamation? To answer the query and doubt on the discrepancies of the size of reclamation, Penang DAP should let the people know the true picture immediately by de-classifying the contract, agreement and related documents without any conditions.

The Penang state government should not be claiming that they are capable, accountable and transparent when seeking votes but forget about those pledges after the election.

It is learned that the Penang Fishermen Association and most of the fishermen in Penang are against the mega land reclamation project in southern part of Penang Island. They have also urged the state government not to victimise the fishermen for the interests of some business groups. The southern part of Penang is paradise to the fishermen. Prawns in the area can fetch up to RM100 a kilogram during Chinese New Year. Once the sea is affected by land reclamation project, Penangites would be forced to consume imported prawns which are expensive.

After land reclamation project is completed, the sea can no longer be a place for fishing. Fishermen would have to travel further, use more fuel and costs would definitely increase. As the breeding ground for prawns are near seashore, most of the fishermen are catching fish and prawns within one to five nautical miles. Fishing trawlers travel further, which is about eight nautical miles away to operate. Once land reclamation is completed, fishermen would have smaller area to operate. Their production would be reduced.

Based on the draft content of the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) report on the southern part of Penang, the land reclamation project causes four types of worst scenarios to the area. Coral reefs, landing site for turtles, swampy area and fishing area would disappear. This includes turtles would no longer land on the southern part of the island.

Swampy area would disappear. This means the breeding ground for prawns would disappear too as swampy area are the habitats for small prawns and other living creatures. At present, looks like the land reclamation project in southern part of the island brings more harm than good.

Original Source: 没有节制的填海

 
 
 
 

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