Penang Forum 4: Development and Good Governance

The Steering Committee of the Penang Forum of which CAP is a member of, is holding a public forum at the Caring Society Complex along Jalan Utama on 18 December from 9.00am to 5.00pm.

The Penang Forum is an informal network of some 40 Penang-based NGOs and concerned individuals who came together in April 2008 to chart a possible way forward for Penang. After the 2008 event, a Penang Forum Declaration was submitted to the state government calling for a new partnership with the Penang people based on the principles of popular participation, transparency, accountability, sustainability and social justice.

Since then, two other Penang Forum events have been held. Penang Forum 2 was held in March 2010 and passed two resolutions urging the Penang state government to revive local government elections as well as to disclose the Penang State Local Plans.

Penang Forum 3 was held in November 2010 when an election was conducted to promote local democracy and to determine the civil society nominees to serve as MPPP and MPSP councillors for the year 2011.

It is now time for us to hold Penang Forum 4 which will take a closer look at familiar problems, some of which have intensified over the last three years. We will be looking at the impact of property-centric development at the local level in particular the problems of high-density development, congestion, transport, environment and land reclamation.

These planning and sustainable development issues will be put in the context of the yet-to-be-enforced Local Plan. More than that, we will attempt to analyse all these issues from a broader perspective and come up with possible solutions.

Hence, we invite all Penangites to participate, share their views and make suggestions to realise a vision for a sustainable and environmentally friendly Penang. Those interested should register with Ravi at 012-5800030 or email stating name, organisational affiliation (if any), contact number and email address. (Registration fee is RM15, students and persons with disabilities, RM10. Lunch and two tea breaks will be provided, only if you register by 13 December.)

The following groups are represented on the Penang Forum Steering Committee, which meets periodically: Aliran, Badan Warisan Malaysia, Cepat, Consumers Association of Penang, Friends of Penang Botanic Garden, Good Governance and Gender Equality Society (3Gs), LLG Cultural Development Centre, Malaysian Nature Society, Penang Heritage Trust, Persatuan Orang-orang Cacat Anggota Malaysia, Sembang-Sembang, Suaram Penang, Taman Sri Nibong Residents Association, Tanjung Bungah Residents Association and Women’s Centre for Change.

Representatives of more Penang-based NGOs are expected to be present at the event proper on 18 December

Penang Forum Steering Committee

Tentative programme

Penang Forum 4: Development and Good Governance

18 December 2011, Caring Society Complex

8.45am – Registration

9.15am – Introductory remarks

Focus on planning issues affecting RAs (Resident Associations) and individuals

Chair: Ahmad Chik and Cecilia Ng

Pykett Avenue, Savoy Garden, Tenby College, Bayan Bay, Sungai Ara, Tanjung Bunga, George Town heritage area, Seberang Perai

10.30am – Coffee Break

11.00am – Panel discussion: Overview of development in pipeline

Chair: Loh-Lim Lin Lee

Buildings (with visuals) (Tan Seng Hai)

Transport (Swee Heong)

Environment (Anil Netto)

11.30am – Where is the problem?

Chair/Speaker: Dr Francis Loh/Lim Kah Cheng


Local councils

State government

Federal government

The people

11.50am – CM’s response (To be confirmed)

Noon – Q&A with panel (Chair: Francis/Kah Cheng)

12.30pm – Lunch

2.00pm – Panel: Analysis and solutions

Chair: Khim Pa

– What’s wrong and how to right the planning process (Laurence Loh)

– Land reclamation (Dr Leong Yueh Kwong)

– Fiscal policy and development (Dr Lim Mah Hui)

2.45pm – Q & A

3.00pm – Small group discussions

– Environment (Facilitator: Leong Yueh Kwong)

– Transport (Facilitator: Lim Thean Heng/Low Swee Heong)

– Planning process – Structure Plan/Local Plan (Facilitator: Laurence Loh)

– Fiscal policy and processes (Lim Mah Hui)

– Housing/parks and public amenities (Anil Netto)

4.00pm – Reporting

Chair: Agatha Foo

4.15pm – Tea break

4.30pm – Resolution and Memorandum

5.00pm – Press conference

Please check for updates or changes to the programme.

About Penang Forum

The Penang Forum is a coalition of progressive public-interest civil society groups based in Penang, Malaysia.

We aim to promote participatory local democracy, sustainable planning and development, economic justice, affordable housing, environmental consciousness, and heritage conservation.

A Steering Committee guides the direction of the Penang Forum coalition and organises events and campaigns. It is run in the spirit of consultation and consensus as a collective without a permanent secretariat. No one group or individual dominates the coalition.

Periodically, the group organises a major event – Penang Forum – which brings together Penang-based civil society groups and concerned individuals to discuss issues of importance to the state and then highlights these to the Penang state government. So far, three major Penang Forum events have been held.

The genesis of the Penang Forum can be traced to the Pesta Rakyat Merdeka event in 2007, organised by Penang-based civil society groups to mark the 50th anniversary of Merdeka. The cooperation among these NGOs was further strengthened through their involvement in the successful Anti-PGCC campaign in 2007-2008 to oppose the Penang Global City Centre project at the site of the Penang Turf Club.

The following groups are represented on the Penang Forum Steering Committee, which meets periodically:


Badan Warisan Malaysia
Consumers Association of Penang
Friends of Penang Botanic Garden
Good Governance and Gender Equality Society (3Gs)
LLG Cultural Development Centre
Malaysian Nature Society
Penang Heritage Trust
Persatuan Orang-orang Cacat Anggota Malaysia
Suaram, Penang
Taman Sri Nibong Residents Association
Tanjung Bungah Residents Association
Women’s Centre for Change, Penang