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Reconsider Balik Pulau land acquisition call

GEORGE TOWN: A Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblyman today asked the Penang DAP government to reconsider the proposal to acquire people's land in Balik Pulau for an education hub.

Muhammad Farid Saad (Pulau Betong) said he had no other motive in the matter except to help villagers from Kampung Genting and Pondok Upeh who had approached him knowing that their land would be acquired for the project.

Speaking during the debate on the Supply Bill 2011, he said the state government should take into account the interests of the villagers as they had occupied the land for a long time and had nowhere to go.

The land was gazetted as an education hub on Aug 15. More than 100 villagers of Kampung Genting demonstrated over the acquisition of 40 hectares in their village for the construction of a tertiary education institution.

Mohammad Farid also suggested that the state government provide more recycling bins in the effort to make Penang the first green state in Malaysia.

"I personally support this noble effort, but the state government should provide more recycling bins to educate the people on the importance of maintaining a clean and green environment," he said.

Another BN assemblyman, Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah (Seberang Jaya), claimed that the state government was engaging in political rhetoric and neglecting the welfare of the people.

He claimed that there was congestion in the waiting area and wards of the Seberang Jaya hospital, resulting in patients having to wait for as long as 10 hours before they were able to see a doctor and obtain treatment.

"There are not enough seats in the waiting area, there is a shortage of support staff, medical officers and so on. Allocations have been made. Do not let the people suffer.

"If possible, revive the Butterworth hospital and the specialist hospital in Bukit Mertajam," he said.

Arif Shah also said that the state government was being insensitive by having rejected a proposal to expand the congested market in Seberang Jaya, and was not managing waste in the state the right way. -- Bernama
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