Gerakan makes ‘100 days call’ to Penang state govt

GEORGE TOWN: Gerakan has called on the state government to unveil the Penang Structure Plan and Penang Island Local Plan within 100 days of the March 31 declaration of Penang as a city.

Its Penang secretary Oh Tong Keong also wants the new Penang Island City Council (MBPP) to unveil its socio-economic development blueprint for the next five years within the next 100 days.

He said the structure and local plans, and MBPP blueprint were crucial policy instruments to determine the direction of the city and the whole state in next five years or so.

He said his “100 days call” was in line with the state government’s much-lauded competency, accountability and transparency (CAT) slogan.

He said it would be meaningless to brag about being a city or developed state without resolving vital policy matters first.

“Penangites want the CAT government to translate its words into action.

“They want the policies to be unveiled and implemented soon,” said Oh.

He said the MBPP blueprint should focus on people-orientated policies, preservation of heritage, greenery, public transportation and low-cost and low-medium cost housing.

He said MBPP should do away with policies allowing the demolition of historical structures, the mushrooming of touristy boutiques, hotels and cafes at the expense of local residents and traditional businesses, unscrupulous hill clearing and uncontrolled density.

Echoing this, Parti Cinta Malaysia vice-president Huan Cheng Guan slammed the state government for not implementing the structure and local plans after eight years in power.

He said the CAT government had also failed to resolve public transportation and traffic woes.

“Whereas in the past we could stroll along Gurney Drive in the evenings, we now have to trudge through the bottleneck jams just to reach either end of the road.

“Then the battle to find a parking space begins,” said Huan, the former Batu Kawan MP.

He said the state government seemed keen to spend millions to hear consultants say there was no need for a third link only to go ahead with a tunnel plan that could destroy the environment and marine ecosystem of the state, and that too without resolving the traffic problem in the state except by converting roads into one-way streets.

He also lamented soaring property prices and the increased foreign ownership of malls, hotels, and heritage buildings, saying this had never been more common than now.

“Is this what Penangites really wanted when they made a decision to believe in ‘Ubah’? I doubt it,” said Huan.





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