Friday, October 19, 2007
The rape of Penang's green lung
This is the 104 hectares land at Batu Gantong, Penang Island, one of the few remaining green lungs on the island. The land belongs to one of Malaysia's oldest turf club, the Penang Turf Club and on the same land is the state's first golf course, the Batu Gantong course.
Under the leadership of prime minister Abdullah Ahmad (Badawi), this green lung will be turned into a mega concrete jungle to be known as Penang Global City Centre costing more than 25 billion ringgit. The project will be carried out by Equine Capital Berhad associate company, Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd, the flagship company of the prime minister's close friend Patrick Lim a.k.a. Patrick Badawi.
The Batu Gantong land is reportedly valued at 200 ringgit per square foot. The turf club will be moved to Batu Kawan on the mainland where the value of the land is said to be 50 ringgit per square foot.
The Penang Government under chief minister Koh Tsu Koon has given an assurance that it will address all issues raised by the people and non-governmental organisations regarding the project.
He hinted that there may be some modifications to the project, although the people is not asking for modifications. Tsu Koon said the state government are just as concerned as everyone else about the issues raised. Can he go against the prime minister? Definitely not! Therefore, his assurances are of no value at all. It is simply a cheap political assurance.