Media Statement by YB Chow Kon Yeow, Penang State Executive Councillor for Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation on 16 August 2017, Wednesday in Penang.
Media statement on news articles:
- “Penang BN raises three doubts on Bayan Lepas LRT EIA report” by Kwong Wah Press (15 Aug 2017)http://www.kwongwah.com.my/?p=373145
- “Penang Government insincere over display of EIA reports” by The Star (16 Aug 2017) http://thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/08/16/penang-govt-insincere-over-display-of-eia-reports/
- The State Government of Penang would like to clarify on the “3 concerns” of Penang Gerakan and Penang MCA by first making clear on the factual inconsistencies reported in the news articles regarding the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Reports for the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) and the Penang South Reclamation (PSR):
- The EIA Report Public Display for PSR took place from 24 May till 23 June 2017 at 12 locations in KL, Putrajaya and Penang.
- The EIA Report Public Display for the Bayan Lepas LRT, a priority project under the PTMP, is taking place from 19 July till 17 August 2017 at 10 locations in KL, Putrajaya and Penang.
- The EIA Report Public Display for Zenith’s 3 major roads project under the PTMP took place from 19 June till 19 July 2017 at 8 locations in KL, Putrajaya and Penang.
All EIA Report public displays stated above were carried out as part of the processing procedure prescribed under the provisions of Section 34A (2c) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 and the Environmental Quality (Prescribed Activities) (Environmental Impact Assessment) Order 2015, enforced by the Department of Environment Malaysia.
The manner in which the above public displays were carried out are fully under the jurisdiction of the Department of Environment Malaysia.
This is a standard procedure applicable to all projects under the purview of the department.
The issue of “sincerity” and “something to hide” in the display of the EIA Reports is irrelevant and should not even arise.
- As stated in the public display notice, copies of the EIA Report can be purchased from the respective EIA consultants. The EIA Reports are made available for online review to enhance public consultation and engagement, the public is encouraged to drop by at any of the public display booths to submit their written comments — this is part of the DOE process.
- We suggest Penang Gerakan and Penang MCA to consult the Department of Environment if they have any issues pertaining to the public displays.
- The Penang State Government’s media statements dated 14 and 21 July 2017 respectively, had emphasized clearly that the State Government will abide by all laws, rules and regulations in its application to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for EIA approvals of PTMP and PSR Projects.
- On the Bayan Lepas LRT station locations, it is stated in the project’s EIA Report (Chapter 4: Project Options, under Section 4.4: Alignment Options) the proposed LRT alignment and station locations were derived after thorough evaluation of a number of criteria to optimize the project’s outcome, including the must-go points running from the north to the south of Penang Island, namely:
- Komtar (George Town);
- Universiti Sains Malaysia;
- Nibong Bus Terminal;
- Bayan Lepas FIZ; and the
- Penang International Airport.
Other factors also considered in arriving at the proposed LRT alignment include:
- Optimized ridership and station accessibility;
- Integration with existing & future transport systems via interchanges;
- Minimized land acquisitions;
- Optimized journey speed; and to
- Minimized social & environmental disruptions.
The chosen alignment of the proposed LRT needs to fulfill and optimize all the above stringent criteria before the current alignment was selected.
- Numerous workshops and consultations involving State agencies and relevant stakeholders were held during the alignment options evaluation stage, before the present alignment is approved and adopted by the State Government.
- The Penang State Government is implementing Bayan Lepas LRT for the benefit of Penang and its future generations. It is instructive to refer to the EIA Report on why the Penang State Government is implementing the Bayan Lepas LRT (Chapter 3: Statement of Need, under Section 3.4.1: Objectives of Bayan Lepas LRT):
- To construct a new and first urban rail line to serve as the backbone of public transportation on Penang Island, in line with the corridors defined in the PTMP;
- To increase the interconnectivity of destinations and provide better integration between existing public transport modes and future rail lines;
- To alleviate road traffic congestion problems through a comprehensive, interconnected, reliable and safe LRT service;
- To encourage the urban public to switch their mode of transportation from private vehicles to public transportation; and
- To contribute towards a cleaner environment and raise living standards.
- Within the above context, the issue of station locations selected to benefit land owners are again, irrelevant.
CHOW KON YEOW