Press Conference statement by DAP Penang chairman Chow Kon Yeow at the Penang Turf Club on Friday, 28 September 2007
Today the Penang DAP is moving in to represent the people’s concern over the development of the Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) at the Penang Turf Club.
We have been monitoring the project since last year but we were unable to probe much because of the lack of information.
However since the launch by Prime Minister two weeks ago, concerned Penangites and affected residents began to voice their concern over the project.
However, there seems to be a blackout of their news by the mainstream media. The PGCC Campaign Group has lamented that they were unable to put forth their views.
The PGCC is a high impact project and has great impact on the island and Penangites. As such they have a right to know how this project will impact them.
We are unhappy that the Penang Island Municipal Council President has said that the Council would not be holding any public hearing for Penangites to air their views
We call on Chief Minister Dr Koh Tsu Koon to direct the Council to conduct such hearing as soon as possible.
The developer should also honour their words that they would be transparent about the project. We note that the printed media are not giving spaces to alternative views. The developer is a big-time advertiser and the media bosses are reluctant to offend the developer because of the advertisement dollars.
The developer must lift the “control” and allow the media to engage the public.
Another point of contention is the social housing requirement. It came as a shock when the developer, Patrick Lim said they would be fulfilling this obligation by redeveloping a plot of Council land at Rifle Range.
This is unacceptable and conflict of interest on the part of the Council. The Council is the approving authority and they should not put themselves in such a position. It would mean that the Council would have to approve the PGCC project should the developer commit themselves to the social housing obligation. It is like offering a bride to the Council to get approval for PGCC.
We would be monitoring the PGCC and would work with other NGOs to ensure our future is not compromised.
We have also set up a monitoring committee headed by State publicity secretary and lawyer Wong Hon Wai.