LETTER | What are the 'noisy' NGOs doing to help Penang?

Magima Raj Pragasam


LETTER | There seems to be a plethora of NGO's in Penang who are against the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project and the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).

However, what's sad here is that these so-called NGO's who are so vocal against the future progress and development of Penang don't provide any tangible solutions for the plight of Penangites who are facing hardship brought about by Covid-19.

They don't do anything constructive to alleviate the sufferings of us Penangites unlike some low-profile NGO's who are proactive in going to the ground to help ordinary Penangites. They are the unsung heroes to me.

The media, unfortunately, doesn't highlight the good work done by these NGOs but rather highlight the noisy, attention-seeking NGOs who are only using Penangites for their own agenda while working in tandem with the likes of PAS, MCA, Umno and Gerakan. 

I just don't know how these NGOs can claim to represent civil society when we Penangites never voted them in to represent us.

What's really alarming is their use of the race card to pursue their agenda to derail Penang's progress and development. 

We Penangites are worried about the ramifications of this latest full lockdown towards the manufacturing and service sectors which are the mainstay of the Penang economy with thousands of Penangites depending on them for their livelihoods to survive.

Have the armchair critics of the PSR and PTMP taken the effort to speak to the fishermen in the PSR project area about what they have to say? The funny thing is that many of these armchair critics don't even live, work or travel in Penang but seem to think that they are qualified to give their omniscient point of view on not only the PTMP and PSR but also speak on behalf of us Penangites.

Through the PSR, more fishermen are going to be able to get a stable salary, jobs, training and educational opportunities for their kids. 

As I have mentioned, there are low profile NGOs in Penang who instead of protesting against the PSR and PTMP, are going to the ground to reach out to the fishing community in the PSR project area with tangible initiatives and solutions. 

These low profile NGOs have even roped in the private sector to participate in aiding the affected fishing community.

What tangible initiatives and solutions have been provided by those vocal NGOs for the fishing community in the PSR project area? 

They are using the fishing community as their poster boys and girls for their agenda and that of the state opposition with the sole objective of demonising the development efforts of the Penang government.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.