Friday July 6, 2012
Plans for AWLU project to go ahead, says CM
GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government will stand by its decision to acquire a 40ha plot of land for the construction of a higher education institution for women in Balik Pulau.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Asian Women Leadership University (AWLU) had been offered alternative sites but the latter insisted on Kampung Genting.
“This university is unique and as its chief academic planning partner is the renown Smith College (USA), I believe that it will truly be an education centre of excellence, prehaps more famous than even Universiti Sains Malaysia.
“We have very high hopes for this project which will benefit the future generations,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
He said the land in question had been gazetted as an educational excellence hub but was not acquired by the state previously.
Lim also produced a copy of a letter dated June 12 from Minister in the Prime Minister’s Depart-ment Datuk Seri Idris Jala to the state government stating that the Education NKEA Steering Committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin approved AWLU.
“The letter states that Pemandu will facilitate the processes while licensing will be subjected to Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) guidelines.
“We were also asked to enable the transfer of land to the AWLU Malaysian Foundation,” he said.
Lim, who met with some 40 landowners on Tuesday night, said they understood the need for the acquisition but wanted “good compensation”.
“The amount will be determined by the Valuation and Property Services Department which is under the Finance Ministry,” he said.
He said AWLU was a project suggested by the Federal Government and accepted by the state government in the interest of the people.
On Wednesday, Kampung Genting Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) chairman Rosman Long led more than 50 people to protest against the state government’s land acquisition in front of Masjid Jamek Kampung Genting.
The landowners had received notices from the state secretary’s office on June 29 informing them about the land acquisition by the state for the construction of the AWLU.