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Gerakan In The News

Is Penang Esplanade promenade a vanity project? – Gerakan

May 18, 2022

GEORGE TOWN: Gerakan is not convinced with Penang Island City Council (MBPP) Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang’s explanation that there was nothing wrong with the design of of its newly-built seawall at the Penang Esplanade here.

Part of the RM13 million project was temporarily closed due to high tide three days after it was unveiled.

Gerakan vice-president Datuk Baljit Singh said Yew seemed to be taking a lot of time explaining the design of the project and did not give much emphasis on public safety.

“He (Yew) also failed to address if more ratepayers’ funds are going to be utilised for any additional work, which may be required at the project site.

“The public does not require training in architecture, engineering or conservation to be told by the photographs and videos that the lower seawall of the Esplanade was submerged in water.

“The mayor has made it clear that the lower terrace of the new seawall was designed to be located within the upper portion of the intertidal zone, and is expected to be submerged during supertides and spring tides like what had occurred this week.

“If the flooded area is not meant to serve as a glorified public pool, kindly state so. Stop parading it like a vanity project to score political points,” he said today.

Baljit said Yew was also generous with praise for his council enforcement team for the way they handled their job during the supertide phenomenon this week.

“Will Yew please respond if more public funds are to be used and if funds from other sources were also utilised for the project? This does not refer to fees of international consultants whose advise was sought on the project,” he added.

Earlier today, Yew had defended the design of its newly-built seawall at the Penang Esplanade here, part of which was temporarily closed three days after the unveiling of the RM13 million project due to high tide, saying there was nothing wrong with the design.

He had said the new seawall was planned, designed and built according to plan by a team of experts.

The project came under scrutiny after it was temporarily closed three days after its official opening last Friday due to high tide.

The MBPP also installed signboards to warn the public of the tidewater, with a gate to installed to close the lower terrace area during high tide and at night.

The gates, which were installed on both access points to the terrace, were vandalised within a day after the official opening of the promenade.

It was reported that the seawall featuring a two-tier walkway that incorporated a trench, which would take in water from outside the seawall during high tide.

The redeveloped waterfront was part of MBPP’s initiative to improve the area and provide public spaces.

The redevelopment included a 570m pedestrian walkway from the hawkers’ centre at Medan Selera Renong to the naval base near Fort Cornwallis.