GEORGE TOWN: The High Court here today dismissed the judicial review bid filed by nine applicants, comprising seven fishermen and two non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to challenge the grant of the Planning Permission by the Director of the Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD) to the Penang State Government for the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) Project.

The application for judicial review was initially filed by the seven fishermen, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) and Jaringan Ekologi dan Iklim (Jedi) at the Penang High Court in December last year.

With this ruling, the PSI project could now proceed as planned.

In dismissing the judicial review, Judge Quay Chew Soon said the case was being thrown out partly due to being out of time, as it should have been filed at least a month earlier by Dec 1, 2023, instead of Dec 29.

“All in all, I am satisfied that this matter does not warrant intervention as there has been no illegality or irrationality shown. For that reason, I am dismissing the judicial review application,” the judge added.

The fishermen and the NGOs challenged the planning permission granted for the PSI project, arguing that the approval process breached multiple provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 and the Environmental Quality Act 1974.

They sought to invalidate the said permission and claimed among others there was a failure to comply with town planning laws, errors in project referrals and the absence of environmental assessments.

It named the state town and country planning department director, state planning committee, the state government and SRS Consortium Sdn Bhd as respondents.

Lawyers Theiva Lingam, Jessica Ram Binwani and A. Lalith Kumar represented the fishermen and the NGOs, while federal counsel Nordiyanasari Omar, Charanjit Singh, Yeoh Cho Keong and Chai Chin Wuen appeared for the respondents.