Thursday, May 15, 2008

North Coast residents want balanced development

A scenic bridge in Croatia, an emerging holiday destination in the Adriatic Sea for Europeans. Here the beautiful and pristine sea and natural environment is retained.

First of all, we express out full support to the government in practising the principles of competency, accountability and transparency.
We are well aware of the many issues that the new government has to deal with since its formation but we would like to focus on the physical or spatial planning aspects as they impact most on every one in Penang.

We fully acknowledge the need for the government to create a ‘business-friendly’ environment in order to spur economic development in Penang. However this must be clearly translated into practical actions of improving the delivery system, reducing the cost of doing business, clean and efficient public service, eliminating red-tape, ‘no-wrong door’ policy, quick and accurate access to information, and so on.

Creating such conducive environments for existing and potential investors should not be confused as a ‘pro-business-at-the-expense-of’ mentality. We have seen how demands by certain segments of the business sector have influenced the ‘pro-business’ government in the past at the expense of everybody else and Penang’s unique environment.
Put in another way, we urge the State government to adopt a sustainable development approach that considers the need to balance development with the conservation of our natural resources, which precious little has been diminishing at an alarming pace, and to improve the quality of life in Penang.

There are many important employment generating economic sectors like tourism, education, health, services, R&D which have not been given the required attention in the State’s Structure Plan, but instead there has been an over-emphasis on real estate development which like a beaver, is gnawing away Penang’s precious hill slopes, forests beaches and valuable agriculture land.

We are therefore submitting that an expeditious review of the State Structure Plan policies is urgently needed as everything else (investment promotions, local plans) will emanate from it.

In the mean time, we are not suggesting that planning applications or development should be stopped but rather to sieve those that have more serious environmental, traffic and social impact so that they can be evaluated against a local plan that has been drafted with public consultation respecting the spirit of the Town and Country Planning Act.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There an illegal dumping near Shamrock beach. The person involve will probably built another structure on that site. I hope the local authorities will take action. Don't let the "tidak apa" attitude prevail.