Reassign environment portfolio to another exco member, Chow told

Reassign environment portfolio to another exco member, Chow told

Reassign environment portfolio to another exco member, Chow told
Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow has defended S Sundarajoo’s appointment as housing and environment committee chairman.

PETALING JAYA: An environmentalist has urged Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow to reassign the environment portfolio currently held by S Sundarajoo, who is also in charge of housing in the state.

“Bringing these two portfolios under a single individual’s purview is not a judicious choice,” said Sahabat Alam Malaysia president Meenakshi Raman.

“This alignment presents a potential for a conflict of interest,” she told FMT, when commenting on the newly elected Perai assemblyman’s appointment as the state executive councillor for housing and environment.

Civil society group Aliran had previously claimed that merging the housing and environment portfolios would give rise to a conflict of interest.

Chow, however, responded by claiming that there was no conflict of interest in Sundarajoo’s appointment, and that the former development executive’s experience in the property industry would be an asset to Penang.


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Meenakshi said the reality was that Penang’s ongoing struggle with rampant housing development has taken its toll on the environment.

“Despite Chow’s assurances, public perception has been affected,” she said, adding that the appointment of the same exco member to handle both the housing and environment portfolios raised questions of good governance.

“I recommend reassigning the environment portfolio to an individual who possesses a stronger familiarity with environmental matters,” she said.

Another environmentalist, Irshad Mobarak, said Sundarajoo’s experience in the housing sector was not in doubt, but questioned his suitability for the environmental portfolio.

“Currently, there’s a persistent clash between development initiatives and environmental considerations,” said Irshad, a former Ecotourism and Conservation Society Malaysia president.

“The concern is whether he can effectively find common ground between these two aspects.”

Irshad said it was important for the exco member in charge of environmental matters to have a “profound understanding of environmental issues and conservation principles”.

He said the Penang government should strive to choose the most appropriate candidate for the environmental portfolio and ensure that there is “absolutely no room” for conflict of interest.

Reassign environment portfolio to another exco member, Chow told



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