Lessons for Penang from handling of Kidex

comments     Tan Seng Hai     Published     Updated

Dear Chief Minister YAB Lim Guan Eng and Penang state exco members,

I append below a statement by a pro-tem committee member of the ‘Say No To Kidex’ movement in Selangor.

I see many similarities between Kidex and the Penang state government’s proposed 3-highways-plus-1-tunnel mega projects. The proposed Penang highways will similarly run through very densely populated sections of the island. In addition, the controversial Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) will need to be revived to link these three new highways together.

The PORR was said by some quarters to be one of the factors that changed the previous state government. At least 10 new interchanges will also need to be built. These highway alignments will affect thousands of stakeholders living and working near the corridors. Some sections of the highways will be elevated while most sections will pass through private land and residences. Hence, there will be acquisition, compensation and eviction issues involved.

There are lessons to be learnt for the Penang state government from the Selangor government's fiasco in handling the Kidex issue. The Penang state government needs to conduct REAL public consultations BEFORE the project approval. The project should not be rushed through and full transparency and accountability should be in place.

The alignment of the three proposed highways and the PORR should be shown in the draft Penang Local Plan which is expected to be open for public viewing soon.

The Selangor Pakatan state government has mishandled the Kidex project. It is the hope of Penangites that the DAP-led Penang state government will not make the same mistakes as Selangor.

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