Monday July 9, 2012
We are responsible, says Penang exco man
Reports by SIRA HABIBU, RAZAK AHMAD, DERRICK VINESH, ANDREA FILMER and TERENCE TOH
GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Government is mindful that it is the government of the day and is ultimately responsible for all development and environmental issues in the state, said its Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow.
However, he said it needed to set the record straight.
“We are mindful that we are the government and that we are responsible for these issues but we need to set the record straight.
“Because of our concerns that we need a balanced development policy, it is time to set aside the political dimension of this issue,” he said after a charity cycling ride in Tanjung Bungah yesterday.
He was responding to reports in The Star over rapid development encroaching into the hills and the coastline on the island, with pictures showing “bald” spots and stripped foliage.
The state government, added Chow, would also embark on a multi-million ringgit study that would shape future development in Penang for the next 20 years.
The study, he said, would cover all aspects of land use as well as development planning and control, adding that the Penang Municipal Council, professional bodies and non-governmental organisations would be consulted on its scope.
In BUTTERWORTH, State Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh promised to beef up enforcement on all hillside development projects.
He said the state Department of Environment (DOE), along with relevant agencies and local authorities, would visit the project sites more often to closely monitor their work.
Phee said stricter enforcement was necessary to ensure that developers abided by the terms and conditions stipulated in their Environmental Impact Assessment reports.
Denying that the state government was playing a “blame game” with the previous Barisan Nasional administration, Phee said it merely wanted to set the record straight.
He was speaking after opening an organic kitchen management community project in Taman Bagan Lalang yesterday.