GEORGE TOWN: The Juru-Sungai Dua Elevated Expressway Project and the Perak-Penang Water Project are currently at the discussion stage involving various federal government ministries, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

He hoped both projects could be implemented due to the situation in the state and that the matter was raised at a briefing on Penang’s Development, chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at Komtar during his one-day visit to the state yesterday.

“I am happy to say that Datuk Seri Anwar is concerned about the two projects and that they are being discussed...hopefully the discussion will yield positive results,” he told reporters after opening the 2nd World Cat Federation Penang International Cat Fiesta 2024, at Spice Arena in Bayan Lepas near here.

Chow suggested that two projects be implemented through the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) or privatisation if they could not be implemented through the federal government’s allocation.

He also thanked the prime minister for appreciating Penang’s contribution to the country’s development, especially in the economic and industrial sectors.

Chow also said that the prime minister concurred with him when told Penang had been marginalised for several years (2008-2018) the state was not aligned with the then Federal Government and was not given the attention it deserved.

Regarding the hardcore poor in the state, Chow said there were more than 10 families and that the prime minister had instructed efforts be made to bring them out of the vicious circle of poverty.

Yesterday, Anwar said the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) of the Prime Minister’s Department (JPM), along with the Penang government, will strive to address the issues faced by over 100 hardcore poor families in the state within one month.

According to him, the effort will see the affected families lifted out of the hardcore poor category, enabling Penang to achieve zero hardcore poverty status by June 1.