Aliran is alarmed that the Penang state government is bulldozing through its mega-reclamation plan to create a so-called “Silicon Island” off the southern coast of Penang Island.
The proposed 2,300-acre island lies smack in the middle of fish-breeding coastal waters in the south.
Even though the proposed three islands have been scaled down to one, the project will kill off the marine biodiversity in the affected area and damage the coastline.
It will also erode the fishermen’s livelihoods, as their catch dwindles, and weaken the state’s food security.
Reduced catches in the future will lead to higher fish and seafood prices for ordinary people.
Fresh hydrological and tidal studies are needed now that only one island will be built instead of two or three.
Has there been any study of the impact of the existing reclamation in the north of Penang Island? What is causing the worrying beach erosion in Batu Ferringhi and the pink tide phenomenon in the waters off Teluk Bahang and Sungai Pinang, Balik Pulau? Shouldn’t we study this in more depth first before embarking on more reclamation?
- Sign up for Aliran's free daily email updates or weekly newsletters or both
- Make a one-off donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB a/c 8004240948
- Make a regular pledge or periodic auto-donation to Aliran
- Become an Aliran member
On 25 May the Penang State Fishermen’s Association (Pen Mutiara), the South Penang Area Fishermen’s Association, and Zakaria Ismail, on behalf of the Sungai Batu fishermen’s unit, filed their notices of appeal to the Appeals Board. They are challenging the conditional approval of the environmental impact assessment report for the reclamation project.
This appeal has not yet been heard. So why is the state in such a hurry to start the project on 1 September. To present the fishermen and the people of Penang with a fait accompli?
There is plenty of cheaper land on the mainland for high-tech industry.
The country is also struggling to reduce its massive food import bill, which includes fish imports. Food security ought to be our priority in this era of extreme weather changes.
Aliran urges the Penang state government not to jeopardise our existing sources of affordable seafood.
Do not prioritise corporate profits at the expense of the people’s interest.
Stop grabbing the commons. Stop the reclamation!
Aliran executive committee
1 September 2023