SAM is outraged over approval of EIA of the Penang South Reclamation project  

Sahabat Alam Malaysia is shocked and outraged after learning that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the proposed reclamation and dredging works for the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project has been approved by the Department of Environment (DoE).

We are appalled that the project has been approved despite concerns and objections raised by fishermen including PEN MUTIARA, the official fishermen’s association and the Persatuan Nelayan Kawasan Selatan Pulau Pinang (PNKSPP) and all the units of the fishermen villages here.

SAM was a member of the EIA Technical Review Committee (EIATRC) and we had raised our objections too, in support of the fishing community as well as concerns over the environment.

Others who had also objected and who were in the EIATRC included fisheries related agencies i.e. the Fisheries Department, Lembaga Kemajuan Ikan Malaysia (LKIM), and the Fisheries Research Institute, all of whom had also raised their concerns that the reclamation will affect the fisheries sector, fishers livelihood and food security as the reclamation footprint has high marine biodiversity.

One important aspect that was omitted when assessing the scale of impact of the project is the impact of sourcing for sand and other fill materials such as rocks. The proposed project consisting of three reclaimed islands with a total area of 4,500 acres (1,821.1 hectares) requires fill material estimated at 207,000,000 cubic metres. Total rock volume required for the construction of revetment as edge protection of the reclaimed islands is 4,500,000 cubic metres.  Our call that the environmental impacts of sourcing the sand and rocks must be included as cumulative impacts of the PSR-related activities was also negated.

We are disappointed that the new government is ignoring food security, environmental integrity and the actual scale of negative and long-term impacts caused by the reclamation. This carbon-intensive and capital-intensive reclamation project runs contrary to today’s planning imperative which calls for climate-resilient development.

The DOE Director General must make transparent the grounds of his decision and also the Penang State government must make public the 71 conditions which have been imposed.

SAM will continue to maintain our stand against the project.

The State and Federal government are exacerbating environmental and social injustice by proceeding with the reclamation project.



Mageswari Sangaralingam
Hon. Secretary
Sahabat Alam Malaysia

Press Statement, 26 April 2023