Media statement by the Penang State Government responding to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Malaysia YB Datuk Seri Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi:

  1. Statement made at Sg Batu, Penang Island, on 27 December 2017:
  1. Statement made on 28 December 2017:

With regards to the statements made by the NRE Minister as published in the media above, the Penang Statement Government would like to clarify on the misconceptions concerning the proposed Penang South Reclamation (PSR) Project, as follows:

  1. Absence of Technical Reports
  • The minister alleged that the Department of Environment (DOE) has yet to receive any report on the proposed PSR Project, the State Government would like to clarify that in fact, the State Government has submitted more reports and studies than any other reclamation project carried out in Malaysia to various government departments and agencies, including DOE.
  • The State Government has been actively seeking feedback from the respective departments and agencies for the various reports on the PSR Project, and has worked tirelessly to prepare resubmission of the reports based on the department and agencies’ feedback.
  • For the PSR Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report, the State Government had submitted the report to DOE on 28 April 2017.
  • A public display for the EIA report was carried out from 24 May – 23 June 2017 at 12 locations in Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
  • A meeting between the State Government, DOE and a panel of experts was then held on 15 June 2017 to discuss the EIA report.
  • Subsequently, the revised EIA report incorporating the State’s responses to feedback and comments from DOE and the panel of experts was resubmitted to DOE on 15 August 2017.
  • In addition to the EIA report, the State Government is also in the midst of preparing detailed reports in accordance with the advice received from the National Physical Planning Council (NPPC)’s Working and Regulating Committees.

A list of all the reports prepared and submitted by the State Government for the PSR Project is summarised as follows:

Reports Departments/Agencies In-Charge Submission Date Meeting Date Resubmission Date Status
EIA Report Department of Environment Malaysia (DOE) 28 Apr 17 15 Jun 17 15 Aug 17 Pending approval.
Hydraulic Report Department of Irrigation and Drainage Malaysia (DID) 6 Jan 17 16 Feb 17 4 May 17 Approved with conditions.
Fisheries Impact Assessment (FIA) Department of Fisheries Malaysia (DOF) 16 Feb 17 27 Mar 17 16 June 17 Preparation in progress for the 3rd submission, based on new report guidelines set by DOF after 2nd submission.
Social Impact Assessment (SIA) PLANMalaysia (JPBD) 3 Aug 17 2 Oct 17 Preparation of SIA resubmission in progress, incorporating the State’s response to feedback from PLANMalaysia.
Marine Traffic Impact Assessment (MTRA) Marine Department Malaysia 14 Jul 17 9 Sept 17 9 Nov 17 Submitted supplementary info (Basic Plan for Dredger & Hopper Barge) on 9 Nov 17.

Pending approval.

Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) Public Works Department Malaysia (PWD) and the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) 26 Jul 17 (PWD)

12 Sept 17 (MBPP)

13 Dec 17 TIA to be further discussed with MBPP & JKR.

Pending approval.

  • As a responsible State Government, Penang State Government will ensure that all concerns are resolved before the project is implemented.
  1. PSR Project Has Proceeded Without Federal Approval
  • No reclamation works has been carried out in the southern coast of Penang Island for the PSR Project.
  • The State Government has reiterated in a few occasions, including via official statements made on 14 July, 21 July, 16 August and 20 August 2017 that the State Government will comply with all legal requirement before implementation of the project
  • The State Government again reiterates that the State does not intend to start reclamation works without obtaining the necessary approvals, including EIA approval.
  1. Rationale of the PSR Project and Role of the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) – SRS Consortium
  • The PSR Project is a project by Penang State Government. It is an important project for the future development of Penang as a technologically advanced, modern, inclusive and socially progressive state via Smart City masterplan initiatives. It is a 50-year development project.
  • It is a recognised fact that Penang Island severely lacks sizeable strategically-located land for sustainable growth.
  • PSR Project presents an ideal opportunity for the State Government to transform and future-proof Penang under a long-term development masterplan.
  • The PSR Project provides the State Government a unique opportunity to resolve some longstanding social issues, chief amongst which are housing and transportation.
  • Being the sole land owner of PSR, the State Government will have the ability to carry out more housing projects to supplement its current efforts to build sufficient quality housing for all income levels of its Rakyat.
  • It is planned that 30% of the housing units on PSR will be allocated as affordable housing, which will benefit the fishermen community.
  • The State Government wishes to reiterate that PSR Project is a State Government project. The role of SRS Consortium as the PDP, is only to assist the State Government with the implementation of the project. SRS Consortium is neither the Project Owner, nor are they the developer of the project.
  1. International Boundary & Shifting of the Continental Shelf of Malaysia
  • The proposed PSR Project is located at a very shallow area of less than -3.5 m CD (depth) on the continental shelf of Malaysia and well within the 3 nautical miles radius from the existing shoreline of Penang Island’s south coast.
  • Based on the map obtained from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency’s (MMEA) website, Penang Island and the proposed PSR Project are located far from the country’s international border with Indonesia.
  • There is no possibility of the shifting of the continental shelf and encroachment into maritime international border after PSR Project is built (refer map below). As comparison, reclamation projects in Johor and Melaka are much closer to international waters.
  • It is quite perplexing when the NRE Minister mentioned he is agreeable with the reclamation projects in Johor and Malacca, given that the Johor reclamation project is fringing Malaysia’s boundary with Singapore, while the Malacca reclamation project is much closer to the Indonesian maritime border compared with Penang’s PSR Project.
  • The State is equally puzzled when the NRE Minister said he is not agreeable with reclamation projects that create new coastlines such as PSR, because all reclamation projects will create new coastlines including those in the states of Johor and Malacca.

 

 

  1. PSR Project will Jeopardise the Livelihood of the Fishermen Community
  • Comments that all fishes, crabs, clams and other sea produce will be lost once PSR Project starts is incorrect.
  • The PSR Project only occupies a small portion of the fishing area of local fishermen (refer map below). There is still a sizeable fishing ground for the fishermen in the south coast.