Penang Gerakan Publicity Bureau Chief Ooi Zhi Yi expressed his disappointment that none of the questions and requests put forth so far by the party has been answered by any Penang state government officials.
” We would like to remind the Penang State Government that we are not questioning for the sake of opposing, but it is for the purpose of making sure that the benefits of Penangites is guaranteed,” Ooi said in a statement today.
Among the things Ooi was referring to was his request for the progress and details of the Environmental Impact Assessment and feasibility studies of the South Penang Reclamation scheme (SRS).
Ooi reminded that Penang Gerakan acting youth chief Jason Loo had also made an official request of the SRS documents through the Freedom of Information (FOI).
“On April 19, 2017, Oh Tong Keong then requested the Penang state government to disclose the agreements that was made with SRS Consortium on the reclamation,” Ooi added, referring to the Penang Gerakan vice-chairman.
“Today, we would like to question whether does the reclamation project solve any of the current issues that Penangites face? It seems that huge corporate companies will obtain most of the benefits. It seems that the reclamation will bring more problems compared with benefits,” Ooi said.
He argued that there were many different impacts that could be caused by land reclamation, particularly with regards to a huge project in the southern side of Penang.
“With such huge islands being reclaimed, will it affect the geological factor of the whole state especially the southern side? We have seen many changes towards the environment in our state including floods that happens in new areas.
“With development at the southern side of the island, more developments of residential and commercial buildings will be developed. Therefore, population and density will be increased which might cause more pollution.
“It is the same as the traffic as when the population increases, the number of vehicles will increase. Land reclamation might also affect the biological environment of the affected area. What will happen to the flora, fauna and marine life? We must not also forget the livelihood of the fishermen in the southern side of the Penang island. With the reclamation, it will definitely affect their jobs,” Ooi said.
He went on to remind the DAP-led state government to seriously consider the negative impacts and not only look at the benefits.
“Focus must be given to the benefit for the majority of the Penangites,” he added.