Six hours not enough to study Penang plan

Six hours not enough to study Penang plan

GEORGE TOWN: Allowing Penangites only six hours per work day to study the Penang Island 2030 Draft Local Plan and charging RM150 if they want more info will not yield high quality feedback.

With hundreds of pages in tens of sections in the draft to plough through, Bayan Baru MCA coordinator Saw Yee Fung (pic) said the time restriction and money barrier were “bureaucratic hurdles on public feedback”.

“The plan is displayed at only two locations on the island and viewing time is limited to between 9am and 1pm, and 2pm and 4pm on working days.

“If Penangites want more information, we have to fork out RM150 to get it in a pen drive,” she said, stressing that for the average Penangite, the hassle would veer them away from contributing feedback.

She revealed that residents of Jelutong and Batu Maung, for example, would be deprived of the chance to study reclamation plans in their areas spelled out inside the draft local plan.

For starters, Saw said the draft plan should be made downloadable for free.

“Invite Penangites to public consultations with the local authority at scheduled times in various locations throughout the island.

“As stakeholders, all Penangites have a right to be told what is being planned near their homes so that they can express their views before the local plan is adopted,” she said.

The local plan of a given area is an official document that spells out detailed development planning strategies, which will influence construction, licensing and socio-economic growth in the area.

At the draft stage, the public is guaranteed the right to provide views and objections under Local Government Act 1976 before the plan is formally adopted.

The public participation phase of Penang Island 2030 Draft Local Plan began on Oct 14 and will end on Dec 13.

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