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Friday, July 14, 2017

No unapproved reclamation in south Penang, says Chow

State executive councillor says state will wait for approvals from all environment regulators before carrying out any reclamation work.
Chow-Kon-Yeow-penangGEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has assured the federal government that no reclamation work has taken place at the southern coast of the island following concerns on the impact of such works to the marine environment and livelihood of fishermen there.

State executive councillor Chow Kon Yeow confirmed there was no federal approval given for such works.
“The Penang government reiterates its unreserved full commitment to cooperate with the NRE (natural resources and environment) ministry and all agencies under its charge,” he said in a statement today.
He said this was to ensure that all requirements and regulations in relation to the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project are fully complied with.
Earlier today, NRE minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said environment and marine regulators under his ministry had been ordered to conduct urgent audits on all reclamation works, to address concerns raised by the Penang Fishermen’s Association (Pen Mutiara).
He said the matter raised by the fishermen was of utmost concern to the ministry as it affected the marine ecosystem. He said the water quality would also be affected by pollution as the area was part of a narrow strait and a busy shipping route.
“I was made to understand that this reclamation project would impact 50,000 family members of fishermen and the fishermen themselves, who rely on the catch for a living.
“The affected area is also an important area for the breeding of prawns, and fishes such as senangin, kembung and more,” he said.
Chow also said the state’s representatives had met the Department of Environment (DoE) and other agencies during a technical review meeting on June 15.
“It is to be emphasised again that the Penang government will abide by all laws, rules and regulations in its application to the NRE Ministry for an EIA approval of the PSR Project.
“We will not start the reclamation project until the EIA is approved and until the National Physical Planning Council approves it,” he said.
The PSR is the creation of three islands south of the island to finance the RM27 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).
Under the plan, highways, a light-rail transit line and a monorail line will be built by the state government with the help of project delivery partner SRS Consortium. -FMT

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