Penang forum's action was like a stab in the back: Guan Eng

14 Aug 2016 / 18:12 H.

GEORGE TOWN: Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (pix) today said Penang Forum's complaints to the Unesco World Heritage Centre in Paris was like a stab in the back.
Lim expressed his regret and disappointment towards the Penang based civil society group for its action that bypassed the state and national authorities.
He however stressed that the state government will do its best to protect the heritage status and slammed Penang Forum's move as another slander to the state administration.
"We will fight to the last to protect what we have," he told reporters after launching a waste segregation programme at Taman Idaman in his state constituency of Air Putih.
Lim questioned the action by the group and defended the state government's move to implement the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) outside the heritage area.
"The Light Rail Transit (LRT) component of PTMP is outside the heritage zone, not inside.
"Unlike Malacca where they plan the monorail system inside their heritage zone, but nobody said anything", he lamented.
He said that if the group wants to sabotage the state government, this is not the way to do it.
"The project (PTMP) is for the benefits of Penangites regardless of political leaning, if you don't like it this is not the way to do it", he said.
Last Friday, George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) general manager Dr Ang Ming Chee said GTWHI was informed by the National Heritage Department on July 29 that Penang Forum had submitted a letter to the world heritage governing body regarding the proposed PTMP.
Meanwhile, Penang Forum, in a statement today, said its letter to Unesco was to protect George Town's heritage status and not delist it.
It said the proposed LRT and monorail bordering the heritage zone may cause George Town and Malacca to lose their Unesco world heritage status.
It went on to say that GTWHI as a state agency entrusted to protect and preserve the world heritage site should have contacted Unesco to highlight the potential impact of the massive transport hub at Sia Boey.
It added that despite months of highlighting potential risks to GTWHI, the Penang Development Corporation and state government by non-governmental organisations, there had been no action taken to protect the heritage site.

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