Clarifying The Role of Politicians in Development Control

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The idea that our elected representatives are fixers on whom we can exert individual pressure leads, in certain contexts, to dubious practices that undermine larger developmental objectives. One thing that Penang can do to stop this tradition is to open meetings of the One Stop Centre to the public.

RECENTLY, residents of Taman Desaria on Penang Island went to the press to complain that the developer of a housing project that was under appeal in the Appeals Board had begun clearing the land and paving an access road to the site (New Straits Times, July 15, 2011; Sunday Star, July 17, 2011). It is also clear that the residents do not want the project of 51 houses on a hill slope at all since it would rob them of “one of the last remaining green lungs”.


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