Phee: We will monitor the project very closely
KUALA LUMPUR: The DAP-led Penang government will proceed with its controversial Robert Bosch solar photovoltaic plant project in Batu Kawan despite increasing public concerns.
The state government, it was understood, was only waiting for the German company to submit their comprehensive land and structural development, plus logistic plans before the project kicks off.
DAP Penang state executive councillor, Phee Boon Poh told The Mole that the state government was even willing to help the company to ‘fast track’ the project.
Phee who is Penang executive councillor for Environment, Health and Caring Society Welfare assured that the state government would closely monitor the project.
Asked why the German-based company is yet to make a public declaration on public concerns about radioactive waste, Phee said: “Why should they declare themselves as radioactive-free when they do not deal with any radioactive material at all?”
The multimillion solar panel plant project drew public criticism and concerns from environmental groups following a blog post.
Blogger Stop The Lies claimed the solar panel manufacturing plant, which Robert Bosch GmbH plans to build in Penang was similar to a plant in China which was closed down due to serious health and environmental risks.
Parti Cinta Malaysia vice president Huan Cheng Guan said that the project was approved by the DAP-led state government without any prior public consultation.
Huan said the onus is on Penang Government to disclose details about it to avoid any misunderstanding.
Reminded about Huan’s queries, Phee said the former Batu Kawan MP was misleading the public.
“I do not understand why people pay so much attention to a person like Huan, who speaks without doing his homework and fact-checking.”
“We can accept constructive criticism but not something ill-motivated meant to mislead the public,” Phee added.
It was understood that residents in Batu Kawan and nearby areas have held numerous community meetings pertaining the solar panel plant project and are expected to hold a peaceful demonstration soon.
Huan when contacted confirmed that the people were upset with the state government’s high-handed approach in the issue but he declined any further details on the impending demonstrations.
Kota Belud MP Datuk Abdul Rahman questioned, in Dewan Rakyat recently, the principle used by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng as his arguments in defending the Batu Kawan project was similar to that used by pro-Lynas group in justifying the project.
Abdul Rahman said: “Guan Eng said the project in Batu Kawan was declared safe by the DOE (Department of Environment). I pointed out to him that it was the exact argument used in defending the Lynas project.”
“He (Guan Eng) also asked us to accept the United Nation’s IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) experts’ view but at the same time he and Pakatan Rakyat refused to accept the agency’s view on Lynas,” Abdul Rahman added.