23November2017

Preservation of environment to be BN main thrust in Penang

Gerakan plans to make preservation of the environment as its main thrust in the run-up to the 14th general election in Penang, following a spate of natural disasters which have come to inundate the island state.

Its election task force head Wong Mun Hoe said that the present state government is showing a lack of understanding on what environment preservation is all about.

There even might be a hint of ignorance and arrogance over the issue, as the state officials easily get upset when they are pestered about issues, he noted.

They can declare that they have done this and that; they have a greenery campaign or they have banned plastic bags at supermarkets or hypermarkets.

But the fact remains that Penang has been inundated with a series of floods, landslides, landslips and beachfront erosion for the better part of this year.

“In fact, this year is where Mother Nature has hit back at Penang for ignoring her plight,” claimed Wong.

Following the tragic landslide which killed 11 persons including a Malaysian site supervisor, Wong said that the response from the state government was not reflective of what the people were yearning for.

“People here want to know what can be done to safeguard the environment. Even on how to ease traffic congestion. The paramount thing is quality living.

”What is the point of securing good jobs when half of the time spent on commuting to work is in traffic jams?” Wong asked.

”What about investing in a high end property, when the buyer faces a threat of soil erosion if it is near a hillslope or threats of flooding if it is in flat land,” said Wong.

These are pertinent questions which the voters are asking.

”Instead, the answers accorded are such as a congestion means Penang is doing well economically, or it is the federal government’s fault for not approving traffic mitigation projects,” said Wong.

”As a responsible government, pushing blame to one’s predecessor is not going to solve the problems; it is about showing leadership and finding solutions.

”When it comes to flooding and landslides, the blame has now been defined as a worksite mishap rather than on policy issues,” said Wong.

”The issue is that it may well be a work site mishap, but the state should take advantage of the present public concern to provide a policy which is geared towards solutions rather than on politicking,” he said.

“We want solutions to be offered in the face of global warming.

”Therefore, the plight of the environment would be given close scrutiny by Gerakan in the next election,” he added.

Wong said that the party will discuss with experts and environmentalists to offer recommendations to the voters on what a new government can do for the state in terms of safeguarding the environment.

There would also be more emphasis on balanced development, he said.-1/11/2017

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