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09 di balik pulau - Google Blog Search


MP wants outright ban on <b>Balik Pulau</b> projects | Free Malaysia Today

Posted: 19 Jul 2011 08:35 PM PDT

The Penang government has approved various projects to develop Balik Pulau but MP Yismadi Yusoff wants all development to be stopped, pending a review.

GEORGE TOWN: Balik Pulau MP Yusmadi Yusoff wants all development in his constituency stopped, citing environmental and socio-economic problems.

But the state government has turned a deaf ear to his pleas. Penang state executive councillor Chow Kon Yeow said the state is unable to meet his requests.

Chow, who is the Penang DAP chairman, said that the state can only stop the projects if the developers had contravened the approval guidelines issued by the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) here.

Yusmadi, who is a PKR supreme council member, had earlier called on the state to stop the projects pending a total review by MPPP due to widespread concerns over the environmental and socio-economic impact to his constituents.

Yusmadi clarified there is no dispute between him and the DAP-led state government.

"It is just about an MP speaking out on behalf of his constituents. I am just carrying out my duties as an elected representative."

Yusmadi said he wants an outright ban on projects, adding that it is only proper to stop the projects pending a review.

The state government must also come out with a ruling that all projects can only be approved if the local authorities obtain input from the elected representatives .

He that said in Penang, the 13 parliamentarians must be consulted first before any projects get underway

Social justice

Yusmadi said there is a contention that some form of social justice must prevail whenever development projects are approved.

"We cannot simply ignore the pleas of the affected residents."

"Just look at the outcry from the Taman Desa Ria residents in Sungai Ara who were up in arms over a hillslope development project near their homes, fearing that landslides may occur there," he said.

In Balik Pulau, the constituents' concerns are two-fold.

One is about the impact on the environment as two-thirds of the constituency lies in hilly areas, and it is home to much greenery and the famous durian plantations besides the fishing villages.

Secondly, if the development takes place, the traditional villages will be lost and the residents will become squatters.

Former Balik Pulau MP Dr Hilmi Yahya said the constituency is experiencing rapid development.

"In our time (Barisan Nasional), the development was balanced and sustainable. We wanted to maintain Balik Pulau's greenery. We do not want it to become another concrete jungle like Bayan Baru," said Hilmi, a former deputy chief minister.

Hilmi, who is now the Teluk Bahang assemblyman, said the current government is simply approving too many projects.

He alleged that not one has low or medium-cost housing units.

"Most of the housing projects are beyond the reach of the local residents; a terrace house is going for RM500,000 and some bungalows go beyond RM1 million, Hilmi said.

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