The following resolutions were adopted by participants of ‘Penang Forum 4: Development and Good Governance’ on 18 December 2011 at the Caring Society Complex, Penang.
Recognising that the current Penang state government, the MPPP and the MPSP have increased their efficiency and effectiveness and introduced some praiseworthy measures such as the open-tender system, the No-Plastic Bags and Styrofoam policy, the Car-Free Days, the Penang Speakers’ Square
Appreciating that there is now more space for civil society groups and arts and culture to flourish,
Mindful of the present lopsidedness in federal-state powers and the limited financial resources of the state and local government,
However, alarmed by the increasing susceptibility of the government to the neo-liberal global and local forces pushing a certain top-down, mega projects-driven approach to development that often pays scant regard to sustainable development principles, and
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Conscious of the need for a more people-centred, sustainable and greener approach to development based on the real needs of the people,
We, the participants of Penang Forum 4, call upon the Penang state government and municipal councils to
- implement a planned and more systematic, holistic and sustainable development process,
- institute a more participatory planning process, including organizing a series of workshops to educate and engage the public on draft Local Plans prior to their approval;
- impose a moratorium on high rise and high density buildings until such time that the Local Plans have been approved by the Penang people.
- address and resolve the problems of the various residents associations especially by implementing independent social, environmental and traffic impact assessments for new projects;
- formulate land-use and land reclamation policies that would ensure that the state maintains effective control over land-use planning and protects its long-term financial interests to serve the best interests of ordinary Penangites, in particular marginalised and vulnerable groups, including the provision of sufficient affordable housing, public parks, and social amenities;
- formulate innovative yet prudent independent fiscal policies that would allow the state/local government to generate and conserve financial resources for projects that would bring about the maximum long-term benefit to local communities;
- address the poor integration of transport within the town planning and land-use planning policies; and
- ensure the prompt enforcement of legislation for the violation of any laws or by-laws.