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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Wan Junaidi: Premature to conclude on Penang’s reclamation without EIA

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KUCHING: Natural resources and environment minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar says it is premature to make a conclusion on the planned land reclamation project on the southern coast of Penang island as its environmental impact assessment (EIA) report is not ready.
“My comments on the planned land reclamation project in Penang were made in my capacity as the environment minister. Personally, I do not agree with it.
“Please do not mix the official government decision with my personal comments,” he said.
“Their application is still under evaluation. The EIA report has yet to be completed, with the fisheries impact report, the social impact report, and comments by the survey department,” he said after inspecting work on a RM500,000 drainage project in Lorong Damar 1, Kampung Rampangi here today.
During a visit to Penang on Dec 27, Wan Junaidi had said that the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project would harm marine resources and affect the fishermen’s income, as well as result in a change in the country’s continental shelf.
The federal minister had been repeatedly telling the state government not to reclaim land from the sea off Penang.
The state government has since been engaged in a back-and-forth verbal tussle with Wan Junaidi, telling him no reclamation work would be carried out without the approval of the department of environment (DoE).
Penang state executive councillor Chow Kon Yeow had said yesterday that the state would not start reclamation work for the PSR without necessary approvals beforehand, telling Wan Junaidi not to come out with “stupid statements”.
The planned project on a 809.73 hectare site in Permatang Damar Laut involves the construction of three artificial islands.
Penang is also planning a 6.5 km undersea tunnel, three highways and a cable car system called Penang Sky Cab. -FMT

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