An informative article on Malaysia.
By the Penang Infrastructure Corporation
Time and again we have been allaying misconceptions regarding Penang South Islands (PSI). Penang and its people will gain from the tangible returns and social capital from PSI that will be disproportionately high to the investment in the form of innumerable benefits.
Penang stands to gain enormously from the PSI project. The reclamation work of Island A alone will inject RM7 billion in domestic investment while generating thousands of new job opportunities in Penang.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow into the three completed islands is estimated at over RM70 billion, and the ensuing gross domestic product (GDP) contribution and job creation estimated to be RM100 billion. There will more than 300,000 jobs respectively where at least half are knowledge and highly skilled jobs, over a 30-year development time frame for the three PSI islands.
These projections are not “plucked from thin air” as alleged by irresponsible commentators. They are based on the actual experience of Penang’s developmental history, in particular, the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone that had attracted more than RM50 billion since 1980, produced in the independent study by one of the big four audit and consultancy firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The development plan for PSI was prepared in consultation with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2019 guidelines, Low Carbon Cities Framework, and the independent study by the world-renowned Royal HaskoningDHV, headquartered in the Netherlands.
The joint occurrence of high tides and a 1000-year storm surge has been accounted for in the design of Island A’s minimum platform level of 3m above mean sea level. 20% of PSI land is reserved for green parks, mangroves, water canals, wetlands, floodplains and bioswales to enhance biodiversity, cooling the environment by one to two degrees Celsius.
PSI’s environmental offset programmes have also included 4km mangrove wetlands that will provide additional shoreline protection while also promoting biodiversity.
The Green Tech Park on Island A will appeal to global electrical and electronic (E&E) companies and is designed to achieve 50% carbon reduction by 2030. A lifestyle campus-like environment will aid in enhancing industry collaboration with education institutions, enabling development and upskilling of our workforce, and moving the industry up the value chain.
In addition, there will also be ample lush public open spaces spread across the island such as 7km of Central Canal, 3km of public beaches and 5km of esplanade. And by putting bicycles ahead of cars, the 140km of bicycle and walking tracks island-wide and 7km of navigational waterway will result in seamless connectivity and an additional transportation mode.
A world-class tourist area is also included into the development of PSI to complement George Town, supported by attractive clusters of F&B, entertainment, a market place and food hall, fishermen’s wharf, waterfront esplanade, performance halls and other iconic spaces. Education campuses will be set up, creating a hub for education, attracting local as well as international students.
These green open spaces and facilities that can be turned into venues for leisure activities, events and festivals that promote Penang’s local culture and eco-tourism, will benefit locals and tourists alike.
PSI serves Penangites
The PSI development is aligned with the Penang2030 socio-economic vision to increase liveability to improve quality of life; to upgrade the economy by raising household incomes; and to invest in built environment or infrastructure to enhance Penang’s resilience.
The combination of industrial, commercial, residential, public space, and green lungs in the PSI is designed to create tangible state assets and boost social capital in Penang.
PSI is not a business-as-usual development. The project is grounded on independent studies prepared by reputable international expertise such as the United Nations’ IPCC, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Royal HaskoningDHV. Developing Penang for the projected industrial demands, social challenges, and climate conditions should be based on proven expertise – not on the fringe view from irresponsible commentators without any experience of completing large-scale infrastructural development.
By providing capital inflow, generating jobs, creating tangible state assets, and boosting social capital, the PSI project will bring improvements to our economy and personal lives for many years to come.
Penang Infrastructure Corporation Sdn Bhd is a special purpose vehicle that leads the implementation of projects under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).
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