By Clara Chooi – January 21, 2011
GEORGE TOWN, Jan 21 — Penang residents have been given a two-week window to provide their feedback on the state government’s plan to construct the Penang People’s Park (PPP), which includes a RM300 million international convention centre.
Beginning today, the public will be allowed to view the plans for the multimillion ringgit project from 9am to 5pm for two weeks at the main entrance of the Penang International Sports Arena (Pisa).
They can communicate their views on the project directly at the venue or via email to MPPP.
In a press statement this morning, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said that public consultation was a key aspect in the state government’s “CAT” governance of competency, accountability and transparency.
“The PPP (plans) will be on display and the public can submit their views at Pisa or communicate by email to MPPP.
“I hope that MPPP can have discussions with those who gave public feedback after the two week period,” he said.
The Bagan MP had officiated the public viewing ceremony at Pisa this morning.
The PPP is a five-feature construction that includes the country’s first subterranean RM300 million Penang International Convention and Exhibition Centre (sPICE), a seven-acre public park, a refurbished and upgraded Pisa, a refurbished and upgraded Aquatic Centre and a four-star hotel with retail outlets and a spacious parking lot.
The project has been awarded to Eco Meridean Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of property developer SP Setia Bhd, which was among the three firms that submitted formal responses to a request for proposal in an open tender system for the project in 2009.
“Three key requirements were considered in awarding the open tender — best value for money pricing, best product quality and whether it can be maintained to match world-class standards,” Lim said today.
He reiterated that the company’s proposal for PPP and sPICE had passed all three requirements and had also fulfilled the state government’s plans to protect the environment.
“sPICE will be a green building and will provide a new seven-acre public park. As it is underground, the park will be at ground level and not at rooftop.
“The public park will be open to the public free of charge and no charges imposed as alleged by some,” he said.
Earlier, Lim had announced that the MPPP would be investing a net sum of RM11.5 million in the RM300 million project, through a public-private partnership agreement with Eco Meridean.
He explained that while the council was to invest RM50 million in the project, savings from the RM25 million repair works on Pisa and the Aquatic Centre and the purchase of land at RM13.5 million to construct the four-star hotel would save the council some RM38.5 million.
For SP Setia, he added, the firm was confident that by managing and maintaining sPICE for 30 years, it would be able to recoup its investments through rentals and other related activities.
“This is a vote of confidence for Penang that the state will be a preferred choice of investors, tourists, young and talented residents who desire a sustainable habitat.
“SP Setia’s confidence is also backed by other foreign and local investors who made Penang the champion state in Malaysia for the first time in history with RM 12.2 billion in investments in 2010, the highest total ever for Penang,” he said today.