Spanner thrown in Penang reclamation works

BATU KAWAN - Land reclamation projects in Penang could soon come to a halt with the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry throwing a spanner in the works.

Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said the Penang government had not consulted the National Physical Planning Council (MPFN) before starting to reclaim land.

"Reclamation projects larger than 100ha or involving 10,000 people should be brought to the attention of the MPFN,

"The guideline is for the state to inform the MPFN chaired by the Prime Minister and comprising all mentris besar and chief ministers in Malaysia.

"However, the Penang administration did not use the MPFN channel, and I am very disappointed.

"I will look into enforcement to see if the land reclamation projects can be stopped," he told a press conference after the launching of the state Fire and Rescue headquarters here yesterday.

Abdul Rahman said he had received numerous complaints on land reclamation projects in Penang. An ongoing land reclamation is a 2,428ha project on the island by a developer.

He advised Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to bring the matter up to the council for discussion.

"I would like to remind Lim that DAP, before it took over Penang in 2008, had promised to reduce land reclamation projects.

"However what we see now is not only rampant reclamation but also the sale of state land," he added.