GEORGE TOWN: Penang will likely proceed with the mega southern land reclamation projects now that the state and federal governments are from Pakatan Harapan.
Newly sworn-in Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state was open to a new financial model to drive the proposed RM27 billion Penang Transport Masterplan, but it also sees an urgent need to maintain the additional landbank that it will gain from reclamation.
Speaking at his maiden press conference hours after being sworn in by Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Dr Abdul Rahman Abbas here today, Chow stressed that the reclaimed landbank will be crucial in the face of an acute shortage of land on the island.
"It (reclamation) is proposed to be our new industrial park and a degree of mixed development — some 4,000ha of additional land can be created from it," he said.
But perhaps the size may be scaled down if the federal authorities can help provide an alternative financial model for the masterplan, Chow said.
He said the priority now is the proposed light rail transit, whose base would be situated at the southern reclamation site, the island link roads via the three paired highways which connect Gurney Drive, Air Itam and Batu Ferringhi with the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway and seeking the necessary approval for the reclamation.
He added the state will provide more than RM40,000 annual allocations to the three opposition backbenchers, stressing that there will not be any discrimination.
As for the state executive council line-up, Chow said there are likely to be five news faces to replace those who did not stand in the last election.
The five would replace Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon (PKR), Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim (PKR), Lim Hock Seng (DAP), Danny Law Heng Kiang (DAP) and former chief minister Lim Guan Eng (DAP) who is finance minister designate.
In IPOH, Perak PH chairman Ahmad Faizal Azumu started his first day as mentri besar by attending a briefing by heads of departments at the state secretariat building today.
Earlier he arrived at the state government complex to clock-in at 8am.
He was greeted by State Financial Officer Datuk Mohd Ghazali Jalal who is carrying out the duties of the State Secretary and officers and staff of the mentri besar's office.