GEORGE TOWN, May 15 – Environmental and fisheries groups have expressed their opposition to the proposed reclamation project in Penang, which is set to cover an area of 2,500 acres. The groups have called for the project to be scrapped altogether rather than just scaled down. The proposed project has been criticized for its impact on fishery spawning grounds, coral reefs, and mudflats, as well as the large volumes of sand required for the reclamation, which will be sourced from Penang or Perak waters.

The groups have argued that the project will have negative consequences not just for the immediate site but for the entire region, including Penang, Kedah, and Perak waters. “It is not correct to say a smaller number of fishermen will be affected,” said a spokesperson for one of the groups. “The impact will be far-reaching, affecting not just fishermen but the marine habitat as a whole, including shrimp migration.

The groups have also pointed out that there is no need for the project, as funding for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) has already been promised by the Federal government.  There is absolutely no justification for this reclamation project,” said the spokesperson. There is land available in Seberang Perai, as admitted by the Chief Minister himself, of 12,000 hectares. This project must be scrapped altogether.”

The call for the project to be scrapped comes amid growing concern over the impact of development on the environment in Malaysia, particularly in coastal areas. The groups have urged the government to prioritize sustainable development and to consider the long-term impact of projects such as the proposed reclamation in Penang. The proposal is currently under review by the Penang government, and a decision is expected to be made in the coming months.

Pocket News