Principle 2: Adopt a sustainable financial model
Penang state government plans to pay for this infrastructure via land sales from reclaimed land, what happens if there is a downturn in the land/property market? We are already seeing a softening of house prices. What would happen in the event of a house price correction? Land reclamation should be a policy of last resort, not first resort, because it also has significant and irreversible impacts on coastal environment, livelihoods of vulnerable fishing communities, and seafood supply to local population. Massive land reclamation is not an environmentally sustainable policy.
The state has also committed to spend over RM6 billion to build the third link tunnel plus three major highways. Zenith-BUGG consortium will be paid via land swap plus toll collection on the tunnel. If the State is able to persuade Zenith-BUCG to replace these highway projects with public transport projects, there would be no need for any immediate land reclamation.