GEORGE TOWN, Oct 8 — Penang Gerakan chairman Oh Tong Keong today questioned Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow’s rationale in persisting with the controversial seaside reclamation project to create three artificial islands for the state.
Citing an online petition, the state Opposition politician claimed the number of people opposed to the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project was 100 times the number of people Chow proclaimed were in favour of it.
“Why does the chief minister only see 1,521 people who supported the project but chose to ignore the voices of 129,125 people who are against the project?” Oh asked.
He was responding to Chow’s news conference yesterday in which the latter highlighted 1,521 fishermen who supported the PSR after they passed him their petition for it.
Oh claimed the majority in Penang have been opposed to the project since 2015.
He expressed scepticism over the state government’s justification, saying its repeated arguments on the need to expand Penang’s land bank and industrial zone does not stand as there is still plenty of land available for use on mainland Seberang Perai.
“What is important to note here is that the Environmental Impact Assessment for PSR did not include transportation plans when in the beginning the state had said the PSR was to generate funds for its Light Rail Transit project,” Oh said.
He also questioned why the transportation plans were removed from the original Environmental Impact Assessment report.
“Is the state government lying to the people from the beginning?” he asked.
He claimed that the PSR is now seen as a project that only benefits the developer and contractors and not the people of Penang.
“I hope Chow and the state government do not behave like ostriches by hiding their heads in the sand but instead, open their eyes and ears to listen to the views of a majority of Penangites who are opposed to the PSR project,” he said.