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Penang a haven for developers

May 14th, 2012 · No Comments

A non-governmental organization (NGO) has condemned the Pakatan Rakyat government for supposedly converting Penang into a developers’ state.

The Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam (Cassa) which said this maintained Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had “allowed developers to take control of the state.”

Cassa president and legal adviser Jacob George said that the state government was only alarmed regarding its own vision of what development should take place.

He claimed it was intimidating how the state government prioritized economic interest over and above the people’s well-being.

“It’s all about what Lim and the rich investors want. There are no consultations with the grassroots, laymen and NGOs.

“Penang is becoming a fortress for the rich with the poor and middle class being alienated,” he claimed.

Contending cracks in close by buildings and construction work that goes on late into the night at big development sites in Gurney Drive and Jalan Kelawai, Jacob said the state government had fall short to act on the complaints.

“In one case, the complainant was forced to make a police report after the developer discovered her identity and she felt threatened.

“Only in Penang, people are intimidated when they raise matters of public interest,” he claimed.

He alleged that Penang was a concrete jungle for the simple reason that there were quite too many high density apartments.

Jacob grants the state government a rating of “less than four” for its governance.

He said rosy investment records are not a good barometer of development.

“We have to look at whether the people are happy. When Pakatan Rakyat came into power in 2008, it promised consultations with the people and to abolish corruption but they have not delivered.

“I raised several issues to Deputy Chief Minister Dr P. Ramasamy two years ago which till today, remain unresolved,” he said, adding that Cassa had received at least 500 complaints regarding such issues in the state.

He said it was improper that every time that a problem was raised with the state government, it would always put the blame on the previous administration.

He also called for a White Paper to be prepared on the controversial sale of land in Bayan Mutiara and for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate the deal.

He said Cassa was on a nationwide road show to raise public awareness on issues affecting the respective states prior to the next general election.

He was talking at a press conference in Batu Ferringhi. Penang was Cassa’s first stop.

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