GEORGE TOWN: The state government has a lot to be worried about following the expose of the RM75 billion mixed development off shore project in Balik Pulau, says private consultant Dr Nik Zamri Majid.
He said there are only two matters that required the approval of the federal government: the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the increase in land boundary which falls under the purview of the National Physical Development Council (MPFN).
"Apart from that, the development project falls under the state's purview, particularly in land related matters.
"The Penang Structure Plan 2005-2020 stated that all projects must be approved by the State Planning Committee and MPFN. We must receive both approvals," he said.
Unlike Kedah and Selangor which avoid working closely with the federal government, Nik Zamri said Penang on the other hand was more keen to work with them.
Nik Zamri was commenting on Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's remark yesterday that the project, which allegedly involved investors from Malaysia and Hong Kong, "simply does not exist".
"His comment was simply to divert attention... because the general election is around the corner. Obviously, they have something to worry about," he said.
Asked if he was confident if the project would go through, Nik Zamri said: "I would not have asked my client to spend RM5 million on the EIA if I thought it would not be approved".
The Malay Mail yesterday front-paged the RM75 billion mixed development offshore project in Balik Pulau, to feature industries, residential areas, hotels, parks, schools, and an artificial beach, all constructed on stilts.
It was learnt that the project, which has yet to be approved by the state, was proposed last year following consultations with NGOs as a prerequisite to introduce and gain the confidence of these groups of people.
Lim however maintained that the project "simply does not exist".
He said the state government received many proposals from all parties and that Nik Zamri had met him once during a meeting arranged by the Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mansor Othman.
"I was shocked by the scale of the proposed project and told Nik Zamri that this involved the federal government, and he needed to get their approval first before the state government can even evaluate it," he said.
Lim claimed that certain parties were trying to smear and attack the Penang state government for a project that simply does not exist as it has not been approved.
The Malay Mail learnt the company which proposed the project -- Al Cube Sdn Bhd -- had submitted a proposal on behalf of Malaysian and Hong Kong investors believed to be involved in diamond and gold business in Africa.
Believed to be dormant, the Selangor-based company is made up of two 51-year-old directors and a 48-year-old secretary appointed between 2011 and 2012.
The mega offshore development project was introduced to the state government by Al Cube last year.
Nik Zamri said the company submitted the 22-page proposal to the state on behalf of the investors who have yet to be named.
Told that checks had revealed the company was dormant, Nik Zamri denied it and said it was now active and "going into diamonds and gold in Africa, and rubber gloves".
The company, set up in 1990, is made up of three shareholders, including one of two directors, who together own one million and two shares.