GEORGE TOWN (Feb 17): The Penang state government is determined to continue its mega infrastructure projects under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) to stimulate the economy despite protests from certain quarters.

In a statement today, Penang Infrastructure and Transport Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said that the provision of medical care, social aid and economic upliftment are all equally important to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As a responsible state government, we have to ensure that our economy survives as much as our citizens. Adverse economic repercussions such as unemployment, business closures and market capital deficiency have to be addressed,” he said.

Zairil issued the statement in response to Parti Gerakan Rakyat (Gerakan) Penang chairman Oh Tong Keong’s suggestion to suspend the PTMP projects until the pandemic ends as the current situation in Malaysia is still severe.

Zairil said the state government had formed the Penang Socio-Economic Recovery Consultative Council (PSERCC) comprising representatives of both the government and industry to oversee efforts towards a recovery across various sectors.

He said that among the key recovery drivers identified by the PSERCC was the implementation of the PTMP projects, including the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project.

“Besides the creation of new jobs, these projects will also inject domestic direct investment into the local economy besides catalysing future growth and foreign investment,” he added.